Mr. THOMPSON (Simcoe):
Before this vote is carried I should like to say a few words, and first of all I should like to congratulate the Minister of Railways upon his very able presentation of the case for Canada as a country offering many attractions to the outside tourist. I think the whole country owes a debt of gratitude to Hon. Mr Dennis, Senator from Halifax, because it was upon his initiative that the Senate appointed a special committee last session to inquire into the possibilities of the tourist traffic and to ascertain what steps could be taken to encourage and develop this traffic. As a result
of the work of that committee a publicity department was established, from which excellent results are to be expected.
Among the facts brought out by the committee was that in 1929, the last year in which good times prevailed in the United States, Canada received a revenue of $310,000,000 from the outside tourist trade. Those who have made a study of this matter anticipate that when times once more become normal the trade will provide a revenue of $500,000,000. I think that this is the opportune time to make a special drive for this trade. It is said that 20,000/300 people visited the Chicago fair in 1933, with possibly a like number in 1934. It is natural to expect that many of these people will be looking for a new place in which to spend their vacation this year, and there is no country with the attractions of Canada. If a special drive is made immediately we could expect a large share of this trade. The whole dominion is interested in this question, but Ontario is particularly interested because of its proximity to the more populous centres of the United States. In addition our province has the added advantage of good roads and easy access by rail and water.
There is no trade or industry-I think we can call it that-which provides such general and in some cases generous benefits. Practically all classes of the community receive benefits from this trade. The hotel keeper, the boarding house keeper, the merchant, the garage man, the mechanic, the cook, the guide, the boat livery man, the farmer and the market gardener all receive direct benefits from this trade, and through them the benefits are spread to all classes in the community. Large sums of money have been spent upon our railroads and highways, and if this tourist traffic is encouraged we will be able to obtain some return on our investment. Those who have spoken before me on this question have laid before the house some of the special attractions which their particular province or constituency possesses, and perhaps I may be allowed to do the same thing.
I consider that my riding of East Simcoe possesses unique advantages because of its history and scenery. The history of this riding goes back to 1615 when Champlain, that great adventurer from France, journeyed up the Ottawa river, passed into lake Nipis-sing, came out into Georgian bay, then down to Penetanguishene, finally landing at Orillia. He wintered there in anticipation of joining the Huron Indians on a warlike expedition against the Iroquois. Through the public spirit which is characteristic of them, the
citizens of Orillia have erected a monument to the memory of Champlain which is said to be the finest of its kind in Canada. This was made possible only after a considerable expenditure of time and money, aided by contributions from the dominion, Ontario and Quebec governments. Every year thousands of tourists from Canada and the United States visit Orillia in order to view this monument.
I suggest to the minister that in any publicity issued in connection with the tourist traffic particular mention should be made of this monument.
Adjacent to the town of Midland is a martyr's shrine erected to the memory of those heroic Jesuit missionaries, Fathers Brebeuf and Lallemant, who were taken captive by the Iroquois and so cruelly tortured to death. This shrine is a most attractive spot for tourists from Ontario, Quebec and the United States, and I think it should be emphasized in any publicity which is issued.
Penetanguishene celebrated its tercentenary in 1919, a delay of four years having occurred because of the war. The chiefs of the Huron and Iroquois tribes were invited to be present, and they met and smoked the pipe of peace and entered into what is hoped will be a lasting treaty. During the war of 1812 Penetanguishene was selected as the proper place for the establishment of a naval and military station. At the conclusion of the war the American war vessels Tigress and Scorpion, which were captured from the Americans at Mackinaw, were sunk. Recently one of them has been brought to the surface and provides an object of great interest to American tourists. So much for the historic points in my riding.
I shall deal now with the points of special scenic beauty. My riding lies at the gateway of the thirty thousand islands of the Georgian bay. This area has recently been made a national park by the dominion government. The trip from Midland to Parry Sound through the inside channel is said to be the finest trip of its kind in Canada. I suggest to hon. members that if they want to see something of the beauties of Ontario they should take that trip. In addition to the wonderful trip among the thirty thousand islands we have the Severn river which forms the northern link of the Trent waterways connecting Georgian bay with lake Couchiching. Thousands of tourists spend the summer there and there is room for thousands more. I have mentioned briefly a few of the attractive points in my riding and I am sure I voice the views of my constituency when I say that we are heartily in favour of this vote.
Topic: RAILWAYS AND CANALS