This will not wait that long.
Poor Mr. Cote, how wrong he was; unfortunately for him, his government waited so long that he died in the meantime and never had a chance to see Mr. Graydon's prediction come true, namely that it was necessary that the Conservative party take office in order that the demands of those two members be satisfied.
Unfortunately, too, for the Liberal party, which always had counted on Gaspe as a vested riding, because its red army was seen to collapse and lose all the seats they retained on the lower St. Lawrence and Gaspe.
Yet, Mr. Chairman, the two events I just mentioned, that is, the premature death of Mr. Cote, and the defeat-or should I say say the downfall-of the Liberal party are of secondary importance compared to the considerable damage to the whole population and, more particularly, to the people of Gaspe, through the carelessness and neglect of the former government.
In order to give a brief history of the project, may I point out that the fathers of confederation were so keen on obtaining the assent of the maritimes to their confederation project that they had to promise them a railway which would link them to the great central provinces of the country.
It was in fulfilment of those promises that the Inter-Colonial was built, and that is why the railway, instead of following a straight line, turns off at Mont Joli toward the maritimes, and the north shore of the Gaspe peninsula is isolated.
It is therefore patent that private initiative alone made the Gaspe peninsula what it is today.
Industrialists, businessmen, farmers and fishermen, who are handicapped by inadequate means of transportation, nevertheless made some progress.
Mr. Chairman, this is a long peninsula which extends for 150 miles between the St. Lawrence river, to the north, and the Baie des Chaleurs to the south. It is covered with mountains and forests and has a central plateau.
On the south side of the peninsula, a C.N.R. branch line runs along the Baie des Chaleurs shore from Matapedia to Gaspe. Therefore, the north shore of the peninsula is deprived of railways, to the exception of the section from Mont Joli to Matane, which is served by the Canada Gulf Terminal Railway.
The main industries of the peninsula are lumber, fishing and mining.
Needless to add, Mr. Chairman, that the announcement of the railway from Matane to Ste. Anne des Monts in the speech from the throne was enthusiastically welcomed by the great majority of voters in my riding. However, some of our political opponents, in order to minimize this government's action, are trying to impute some utterly unfounded intentions to us which in no way formed the basis for this bill.
In order to prove to the house that this project was in keeping with the wishes of the population, may I mention various public bodies, as well as some personalities, who unequivocally expressed their desire to see a railroad built from Matane to Ste. Anne des Monts.
I shall now quote a few public organizations and name some individuals in this respect:
Resolution of the municipality of Capucins, Matane county.
Resolution of the corporation of the county of
Resolution of the municipal corporation of the village of Mont St. Pierre.
Resolution of the city council of Rimouski.
Resolution of the St. Norbert de Cap Chat parish.
Resolution of the municipal corporation of Baie des Sables.
Resolution of the municipal council of Les Mechins.
Resolution of the municipal council of the village of Ste. Felicite.
Resolution of the municipal corporation of the town of Mont-Joli.
Resolution of the municipal corporation of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, of Riviere-Madoleine.
Resolution of the municipal corporation of the village of Cap Chat.
Resolution of the town council of Matane.
Resolution of the municipal corporation of
Resolution of the municipal council of theparish of St. Octave de Metis. Resolution < of the municipal council of Ste. Anne des Monts. Resolution of the chamber of commerce ofGaspe North Incorporated. Resolution of the chamber of commerce ofMatane. Resolution of the chamber of commerce of
And I should like to quote here the names of some members of a delegation which came to Ottawa to support the project. This is the list of their names:
Rev. A. Bourdages, canon, and parish priest of Ste. Anne des Monts.
Fernando Chateauneuf, chairman of the chamber of commerce of Gaspe North.
Dr. J. Matte, representing the chamber of commerce of the province of Quebec.
Henri Labrie, director of the chambers of commerce of the lower St. Lawrence.
Benoit Gaboury, mayor of Mont Joli, chairman of the economic planning council of the lower St. Lawrence.
Alphonse Couturier, member for Gaspe North at the legislative assembly.
Clement Cote, chairman of the chamber of commerce of Matane.
Col. Jos. Pineault, chairman of the chamber of commerce of Mont Joli.
J. Lafond, chairman of the North Gaspe Mines, Marsoui.
Dr. J. Emile Rioux, physician-surgeon, chairman and founder of the chamber of commerce of Gaspe North.
Romuald Rioux, mayor of Ste. Anne des Monts, director of the economic planning council of the lower St. Lawrence.
Louis Landry, ex-chairman of the chamber of commerce of Gaspe North.
M. Gabriel Bernard, N.P., representative of the chamber of commerce of Murdochville.
L. P. Peloquin, chairman of the industrial committee of Matane.
L. O. Roy, merchant, Ste. Anne des Monts.
Lucien Belanger, vice-chairman of the chamber of commerce of Matane.
Dr. Gaetan Lemire, fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, at the Ste. Anne des Monts hospital.
Henri Beaulieu, alderman of Mont Joli.
Etienne Levesque, alderman of Mont Joli.
F. A. Gauthier, tradesman, alderman of Matane.
Benoit McMullen, industrialist, alderman of Matane.
Jos. Dumont, foreman, alderman of Matane.
Paul E. Bouffard, tradesman.
Oscar Couturier, industrialist, director of the chamber of commerce of Gaspe North.
Maurice Gasseau, insurance agent, director of the chamber of commerce of Gaspe North.
Maurice Gasse, industrialist, director of the chamber of commerce of Gaspe North.
Lucien Couturier, industrialist, director of the chamber of commerce of Gaspe North.
Bertrand Tremblay, legal adviser to the chamber of commerce of Gaspe North.
Canadian National Railways
Omer St. Pierre, industrialist, representative of the chamber of commerce of Gaspe North.
Gerard St. Laurent, industrialist, director of the chamber of commerce of Gaspe North.
Jean Yves Berube, representative of the Ungava Transport Company and director of the chamber of commerce of Gaspe North.
Dr. Maurice Baillargeon, dentist at Ste. Anne des Monts.
Claude Jourdain, Gaspe Construction, Cap Chat.
Paul E. Levesque, chairman of the school board of Ste. Anne des Monts.
Maurice Lefrancois, merchant, Ste. Anne des Monts.
Dr. Ovide Bernatchez, optometrist, Ste. Anne des Monts.
Zephirin Laflamme, hotelkeeper of Mont Louis.
Bernard Miville, law student, Cap Chat.
Fernand Leblanc, secretary-treasurer of the chamber of commerce of Gaspe North.
Mr. Roch Lalande, lawyer, Ottawa.
Mr. Chairman, at this stage of my speech, I should like to refer to certain parts of a speech made in this house by the hon. member for Laurier (Mr. Chevrier) on June 13, 1960, as can be seen on page 4862 of Hansard for that day:
Mr. Speaker, if I do so tonight, it is because the subject has been discussed for several years, and because I should like to remind the house of the eight proposed routes that were considered by the government of the time, and therefore by the Department of Transport. We considered that project, and most particularly the possibility of buying the Canada Gulf and Terminal, in 1927, 1930, 1943, 1946 and 1949. Of course, the government of the time did seriously consider the matter, and I should like here to put on the record the eight proposed routes that were considered at the time.
As you see, Mr. Chairman, according to the hon. member for Laurier and ex-minister of transport, the government has made a long study in 1927, 1930, 1943, 1946 and 1949. Should I infer that the government who was in power before us was a student government, that 1957 was a year of careful study, and that the people then decided to throw out the student government to replace it by a mature administration.
And in the same speech, the hon. member for Laurier goes on to say at page 4863 of Hansard:
I do not know what Mr. Gordon's attitude is today, because I left the department several years ago.
I do not know whether he has reconsidered the various locations, the least costly of which was $27 million at the time. But representations should be directed not so much to Mr. Gordon as to the government, and that is exactly what the hon. member for Gaspe (Mr. English) seems to overlook entirely.
It seems evident that this figure of $27 million is the estimation of the less expensive route at that time and I imagine that would be 12 or 13 years ago.
I wonder how we can reconcile this $27 million figure with the $16,100,000 figure
Canadian National Railways given in this bill. Because if we compare the cost of materials and labour at that time with that of today, the opposite should normally occur.
I should like now to mention certain words of appreciation which were said publicly concerning the realization of this project. Mr. Clement Brown, in the Montreal Le Devoir of January 19, 1962 had this to say:
This will result in an upsurge of the economic life of the Gaspe peninsula.
In the newspaper La Presse of January 22, 1962 we read this:
Industrial revival promised to the Gaspe peninsula through the construction of a railway.
La Voix Gaspesienne of Thursday, January 25, 1962, wrote:
At last the railway.
Incidentally, this newspaper is published at Matane and is normally reported as being sympathetic to the Liberal party.
For his part, the mayor of Matane, Mr. F. A. Gauthier, said he was very glad of the project, in the sense that it will represent an improvement on the transportation system in the Gaspe peninsula.
In the same issue of that newspaper, in an editorial signed G.G., we read the following:
The project could not he more serious, since it is part of the federal government's program for this session. It is the fulfilment of a promise which Mr. Diefenbaker made personally during the 1957-58 campaigns.
At last, this is the fulfilment of a promise which has been recognized and repeated by a newspaper sympathetic to the opposition. It is one promise less to be held against us as not having been fulfilled. If, during the next federal election, we are blamed about promises, the blame will not be very efficient.
Mr. Chairman, I have also received several letters of appreciation from my electors, and I only want to mention it on the record. A great number of citizens of the constituency of Ma-tapedia-Matane have shown their satisfaction about the measures announced in the speech from the throne.
Considering the excellence of such a measure, which has been put forward by the Conservatives for a long time and always refused by the various Liberal administrations, I feel it is my duty to express to those who are responsible for that magnificent and essential achievement, my most sincere gratitude.
My most sincere thanks are extended, first of all, to the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) for the great understanding he has shown several times with regard to the
fair claims of the citizens of the Gaspe peninsula, who, under Liberal regimes, had acquired the rather unenviable title of the eternally forgotten people.
Thanks to the right hon. Prime Minister, the Gaspe peninsula will now develop and enjoy, like the other areas of Quebec and Canada, this economic growth of which we are now so glad. Undoubtedly, Mr. Chairman, the electors of the constituency of Matane-Mata-pedia and all those of the neighbouring constituencies will be unanimous in congratulating and thanking the head of the government for his generous action.
In addition to the Prime Minister, I should also mention the present Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Hees) and the Minister of Transport who have both supported sincerely and strongly the project under study which will give the Gaspe peninsula the prosperity it so rightly deserves.
Briefly, I must say that in less than five years of Conservative government, the salvation of that area is forthcoming. During the 30 years they were in power, the Liberals could do nothing better than consider the project, but the Conservatives, on the other hand, have fully implemented it. The Canadian people will decide in due time which of the two parties is the most efficient.
Topic: CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic: CONSTRUCTION OF BRANCH LINE BETWEEN MATANE AND STE. ANNE DES MONTS, QUE.