I agree with the Minister of Railways that this item is of vast imporance to the people of Canada. We have a large tourist trade, and the hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario, who is unavoidably absent to-day, and I, represent one of the oldest playgrounds in Ontario. People have been coming there for years, and we are in the satisfactory position at the present time of having lost only a very small percentage if any of our ordinary tourist traffic. But there are immense possibilities not only along the Muskoka lakes and Georgian bay and the
famous French river country, but possibilities in vast territories not yet open to tourist traffic. This vote is therefore a move in the right direction. In the past, so far as I am aware, the efforts to secure tourists have been confined largely to the individual resort proprietor and to the railways, with possibly some slight assistance from the provincial governments and from the parks branch of the Interior department. I would suggest to the minister that as far as possible these various efforts should be coordinated. Copies of advertisements issued by his department should be sent to these various agencies I have mentioned, the railways, the resort proprietors and the provincial governments, and they in return should and, I believe, would supply this department with copies of any advertisements they issue. Thus we might coordinate our efforts, saving money and probably covering a good deal more ground. There is another point I would press on the committee and that is the advisability of advertising our own provinces in Canada. Many of us have no doubt been in the province of Quebec and have seen the great scenic beauties there, and I am sure we feel better and have a higher appreciation of that province by having visited it.
The same is true of the west, even the great mountain ranges and the beautiful resources they have there. In like manner many of our people in the west have never visited Ontario and Quebec, and I think there is at present being spent outside Canada a great deal of money that could profitably and wisely be spent by our tourists by staying at home and seeing their own country first. I do not think this will raise any controversy in the republic to the south. For many years advertisements have been published in the United States magazines under the caption: See the United States first, the same thing has been true of various other countries, and there is no reason why we should not encourage that sentiment among our own people and show them the advantage of visiting those parts of Canada which they have not already seen. By this plan there would be kept in Canada money which would be just as useful to this country as money brought here from any foreign land.
I would also point out that in my section in particular we find that a very considerable proportion of those visiting it become property owners. They acquire a small piece of property in that district and build thereon summer residences, some perhaps small, others costing many thousands of dollars. In this way they become almost regular citizens of our
country, and they give employment to many others such as the caretaker of the cottage, the man who puts in the ice, the man who cuts the wood, the farmer who supplies the vegetables and probably meat during the summer months. This has become a regular traffic in many places giving regular employment during the summer season.
I do not propose to detain the committee further. I would only say that I am entirely in favour of this appropriation, and in doing so I think I am voicing the opinion of ninety per cent of the people of Canada.
Topic: RAILWAYS AND CANALS