Nova Scotia, House of Assembly, Debates and Proceedings of the House of Assembly (6 May 1867)
By: Nova Scotia (House of Assembly)
Citation: Nova Scotia, House of Assembly, Debates and Proceedings of the House of Assembly, 23rd Parl, 4th Sess, 1867 at 202-203.
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DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY OF NOVA SCOTIA. 1867.
MONDAY, May 6
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RAILWAY TO DIGBY.
The house thon. went into committee on the general state of the Province, and took up the resolution relative to the extension of the railway to Digby.
His Honor the Speaker said that he felt it was altogether out of the question that he should delay the house, at that late period of the session, with any lengthy remarks on the subject before them. Indeed, it was unnecessary to show the advantages that would proceed from the extension of the railway to Digby. Those who were at all acquainted with the Western part of the Province must see that it was impossible for the line to remain at Annapolis. The harbor of Digby was in every way more suitable for the terminus. By bringing the road to that town, the counties of Shelburne and Yarmouth would be placed in position to receive immediate advantages from it that could not be expected if the terminus remained at Annapolis. No doubt, in the course of the time, the line would be extended still further, and reach its natural terminus at the West, namely, Yarmouth. It was well known that the Harbor of Annapolis was not accessible, very often for some weeks, during the winter. Digby, however, did not lie under a similar disadvantage, but was accessible at all seasons. Before closing, he must add that the Western part of the Province would ever feel grateful to the present Government and to the Legislature for having promoted the building of the road to Annapolis. He trusted that, having gone so far, the Legislature would not refuse to grant the extension required—the extension that would be of great benefit to the Province generally.
Mr. S. McDonnell alluded to the energy and zeal with which the Speaker had advocated the resolution in the interests of his constituents, but he was afraid it was too late in […]
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[…] the session for the house to express any opinion on the subject.
Hon. Provincial Secretary said that the hon. gentleman could hardly have examined the resolution, or he would not have arrived at the conclusion he had. It simply authorized the Government of the day, whoever they might be, on the completion of the road to Annapolis, to make a survey for the purpose of ascertaining the practicability of a further extension to Digby. No one could doubt the advisability of such a step.
Mr. Annand understood the resolution to call for a survey immediately, and to pledge the house to the construction of the railway after that survey had been made and the road built to Annapolis. He was desirous of seeing the road built, but he was unwilling to hold forth vain hopes, or to bind the future Legislature.
Mr. Townsend advocated the survey being made as far as Yarmouth.
Hon. Provincial Secretary said that it was not in contemplation to call upon the local Government for the purpose of making railway extensions. Under the act of Union the railways became the property of the general Government, and would be regulated by it. Under these circumstances it would be quite justifiable for the Legislature to authorize a survey, which, when made, might Induce the general Government to extend the line so that it might be made more productive.
Mr. Coffin urged that the survey be made as far as Yarmouth.
Hon. Provincial Secretary said a survey between Digby and Yarmouth was unnecessary, for the country was a dead level, and without any difficulties in the way of a railway.
The resolution finally passed as follows:—
Whereas, The extension of a railway from Annapolis to Digby is absolutely necessary for securing the benefit of a safe and commodious harbor available at all seasons, and is of vital importance to the material prosperity and ultimate success of this great and desirable undertaking;
And Whereas, The Shore Counties, together with the enterprising and largely increasing County of Yarmouth, must at a very early day, successfully urge the extension of the railway to Yarmouth, which makes it of the highest importance that the extension from Annapolis to the barber of Digby should be proceeded with at the earliest day possible consistent with the financial condition of the Province.
Therefore Resolved, That the Government be authorized to survey a line of railway from the terminus at Annapolis to the harbor of Digby.