Ambrose Upton Gledstanes BURY

BURY, Ambrose Upton Gledstanes, K.C., B.A., M.A.

Parliamentary Career

October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
CON
  Edmonton East (Alberta)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
CON
  Edmonton East (Alberta)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 157)


May 23, 1935

Mr. BURY:

I wish to make a brief contribution to the harmony, indeed the unanimity, that has prevailed among lion, members opposite on the subject of bridges by interjecting another bridge which I wish to call

Public Works Program

to the attention of the minister. On the same highway on which this Ceepee bridge is to be constructed, there is another nec^p-sary link, a bridge over the North Saskatchewan river at the northern part of the city of Edmonton. We have no ferry there as my hon. friend who represents North Battle-ford (Mr. McIntosh) has at the site of the proposed bridge in his constituency, and people taking that highway, coming from Lloydminster and Saskatoon and, I suppose, going through North Battleford, when they come to the bank of the North Saskatchewan opposite Edmonton have to make a detour of fifteen miles or perhaps more in order to get back on that highway. I would urge upon the minister consideration of the possibility of utilizing an amount from this vote for the purpose of completing the good work which he proposes to commence at Ceepee, by putting up another bridge over the North Saskatchewan river at Edmonton.

May I, while I am on my feet, remind my hon. friends opposite that this particular item of the vote demonstrates what they are so loath to admit, namely, the broad mindedness and lack of political partisanship of the present government in respect of relief; for whereas the hon. member for North Battle-ford is able to get a bridge at Ceepee, I have so far failed to get a bridge in my constituency of East Edmonton over the North Saskatchewan.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OP RAIDWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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May 23, 1935

Mr. BURY:

I hope, if I do not get it this year, I may get it next, and in the very remote possibility that by an extraordinary freak of circumstance my hon. friends opposite find themselves on this side of the house, I may get it from them if I cannot get it from my own party.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OP RAIDWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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April 15, 1935

Mr. BURY:

Mr. Chairman, I have neither the intention nor the desire to. follow the

hon. member for West Middlesex (Mr. Elliott) in his wanderings beyond the ambit of the resolution, but I should like to refer to one point raised by the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Stewart). When the public works program bill was being considered last year I believe I was the first member of the house to plead that when contracts under a certain figure were considered, tenders should be confined to local contractors in cities of such size as to create genuine competition. This plea was listened to with a great deal of sympathy and received general support from both sides of the house. I think this was rightly so when we realize that the express purpose of the bill was to provide relief rather than simply to erect certain structures or buildings. It was intended to give as much work as possible to the different communities of Canada. I argued, and I believe my argument was listened to with sympathy, that the purposes of the legislation would not be effective unless some limitation were placed upon the principle of tendering. A large contractor is able to carry his overhead at a comparatively small percentage of his turnover; such a contractor might be successful in obtaining a contract in a nearby city and could come into that city and underbid for a certain job. A considerable amount was allotted to Calgary for a building in connection with the Department of National Defence. A contractor fortunate enough to obtain a large proporton of this contract could go into Edmonton and underbid for work in that city. In this way the purpose of the bill would be defeated. It is of no use to say that when you call for tenders for the erection of a building in Edmonton and a contractor in Calgary, Winnipeg or Montreal obtains the contract, it can be provided in the specifications that local labour must be employed. It is only natural that some local labour will be used, because a contractor is not going to put himself to the expense of transporting the labour from the city to which he belongs. But he will bring his key men and members of his staff, and perhaps considerable of the needed material. The best part of the money spent on the contract will not remain in the locality. Any profit there may be on the contract will be carried back to the contractor's home city. The money earned by his key men and his staff also will be taken away. For these reasons it was logically and properly urged that this principle be adopted, and it was looked upon favourably by the house.

Public tenders were called for in Edmonton, and although it was not stipulated that the

Public Works Program

tenderers must be local men, we were fortunate in having a local man put in the lowest tender. I understand that he is likely to get the contract. A principle which might be perfectly sound when the only purpose of a construction program is merely to provide buildings or structures for the use of the government may not be applicable when the purpose of a program is to provide work in as large a measure as possible under the circumstances. Therefore I think the policy adopted by the Department of Public Works was not only entirely justified but was in accordance with the views and wishes of the majority of hon. members of this house.

I should like to refer briefly to that part of the resolution providing for $15,009,000 as a guarantee, for the purchase of railway equipment. I ask that as much of this work as possible be done locally. In the Canadian National shops in Edmonton we have had 94 men laid off in the car and coach department. A census taken of 63 of these men shows that 54 of them are on relief, some of them having been from ten to seventeen years in the Canadian National service!, and they are now in danger of losing their pension rights and their homes. That is a very serious matter for them, and when we look back at the conditions out of which this situation arose we have to recognize that the men themselves are not to blame for it. Years ago this country, under the influence of a too optimistic conception and estimate of its railway requirements, branched out in every direction in an inflated program' of railway construction. Our program was too optimistic; our actual railway development was too optimistic; but these men entered the service of the railway with the natural assurance that they were entering into what was practically steady and regular employment. They did so on the strength of the wisdom and the decision and action of this parliament, and after working there for from ten to seventeen years they are now out of employment largely as the result of over-optimism in those years. Surely it is the duty of this country to do everything within reason, when work is going, to see that it is spread among the railway men as far as possible. I do not say that all the money can necessarily be used in this way, but I am pleading that to the very limit of possibility the moneys granted in this way be used in repairs in order to take back men in the railway repair shops for the construction of new rolling stock and in equipment, where such equipment is made. I therefore join with the other members of the committee -on both sides of the house who have urged this upon the minister.

Topic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEES OP RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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March 11, 1935

Mr. BURY:

My answer is that as I understand the situation, one of the grounds of our jurisdiction to pass this legislation is the fact that as a nation we have undertaken to pass legislation of this kind. That, as I understand it, gives to this parliament a jurisdiction which it might not otherwise have. My suggestion is that if that be so, the scope of our jurisdiction will be limited to the scope of our obligations derived from such undertaking. In other words if our jurisdiction depends upon or is derived from our obligation, to that extent, in order to keep within our jurisdiction so derived, we must keep within our obligation.

Topic:   C0A1M0NS
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March 11, 1935

Mr. BURY:

I am sure that most if not all hon. members are in sympathy with the suggestion which has been made by the hon. member for East Hamilton. But I understand that this bill is drafted for the purpose of implementing an undertaking given by Canada in connection with draft conventions approved by the international labour office at Geneva. I understand that the bill on that account conforms in essence with the draft convention. My hon. friend from East Hamilton says: "But why should not this parliament go beyond the minimum requirements of the draft convention and enact a measure which will include more classes and perhaps go even further in respect to the limitation of hours?" I suggest this to him and to the committee: I understand that one of the grounds on which parliament bases its jurisdiction to pass a measure of this kind is that it is an attempt to implement a treaty agreement, and if it were not, whatever ground or basis of jurisdiction we have would be to that extent weakened. For that reason I suggest that the moment we go beyond that ground we are weakening our position in respect of jurisdiction, and that only by keeping within the limits of our treaty obligations are we safe in respect of our right to pass the legislation, so far as such obligations are a ground of our jurisdiction.

Eight Hour Day

Topic:   C0A1M0NS
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