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Historic EVENTS in and around Welland

WELLAND CANAL TO BE ENLARGED

Important Statement by Mr. Tarte.

[Welland Tribune, 24 September 1897]

Hon. Mr. Tarte, minister of public works of Canada, having been charged with excessive expenditure in his department, and on promising the prosecution of public works on too lavish a scale, makes a trenchant reply, in which the following of especial local interest appears. Mr. Tarte says:

“I altogether decline being bound by the policy of the past, and also by the opinion of those who have propounded that policy. Times and circumstances have changed. We are deepening our canals. We will be obliged, I am sure, to deepen the Welland canal in a short time. The railway companies are building elevators in the harbors of the Great Lakes. The C.P.R. are building an additional elevator at Owen Sound. The Grand Trunk, in connection with other capitalists, are also contemplating building an elevator on the south side of the same harbor.

I am a firm believer in the possibility of diverting an immense quantity of western traffic to our Canadian ports, harbors and railways. I do not see why, having the ports of St. John, Halifax, St. Andrew’s, on our national territory, we should allow our Canadian trade to be shipped to European markets through American ports.”

All Mr. Tarte’s speeches are of this tone. Mr. Tarte says that the reason he takes this tone is, to quote his letter, that “Canada is such a great country, with such abundant resources, that we might well afford to take stock of the future.”

Referring to the charge of lavish expenditure by Mr. Tarte’s department for the year that is past, he further says:-

“You may say that my lavishness is a matter of general criticism. Will you permit me to call your attention to hard facts:

Parliament voted for my department, for the year 1896-97, an appropriation of…$2,439,920

Out of that expropriation I have expended during the last year…$1,748,939

Saving a balance of …..$690,981.

“I need not make any comments. I beg, moreover, to state that I have economized over sixty thousand dollars on the administrative part of my department alone, by decreasing the number of employees by saving salaries, wages, etc.

So much for my administration during last year.”

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