House of Commons, 14 February 1905, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

[...]tics and a supplementary vote of $10,000 for general statistics.
Mr. TAYLOR. If my hon. friend (Mr. Fisher) will refer to the estimates now before us, on page 32 he will find the figures I refer to.
Mr. FISHER. Perhaps the second vote I referred to may have been $15,000 instead of $10,000 as I suggested ; that would make the $18,200.
Mr. TAYLOR. And you are asking the same amount this year. I want to know how that money is expended.
Mr. FISHER. I shall be glad to give the information up to the present time. That vote has been expended on statistical work, part of it, the usual statistical work always carried on in the department every year and part of it special statistical work, that is work drawn from the compilation of the census, and it has been found that a portion of that latter work has been of sufficient value to be included probably in the final reports or volumes of the census. The consequence is that I might almost say that a portion of it has been devoted to such work as is contemplated in this Bill, that I have now before the House, between the decennial census. It is largely the kind of work, although not all of the kind of work that the Bill contemplates and which I would like to see taken up and continued by the officers of the department between the decennial census years and the work which was necessary after our decennial census year on the compilations of the census of that year. I can give my hon. friend (Mr. Taylor) the expenditure which has been made with regard to the individuals employed &c., if he desires it.
Mr. MONK. As this is a somewhat important measure, I would like the minister to give us an outline of what the expenditure contemplates in connection with this new office in the immediate future and what work would be performed by the officers of this new department for the first few years ?
Mr. FISHER. I would say to my hon. friend when discussing this Bill a few days ago in committee, before the financial resolution was before the House, the question was asked of me as to the probable expenditure involved in the proposed legislation. I then said that I thought it would be about $20,000 more per annum. practically immediately, than we are now spending on statistical work in the department. I have since been' going carefully over what I would like to do under this Bill, and I think that the amount which I then indicated is quite sufficient to accomplish all that I contemplate or expect to do for several years to come with the possible exception of some expenditure in connection with printing which I did not take fully into 992 account when I made that estimate. I do not know yet that the printing would require more money than the amount I stated, but I want to be entirely frank with the house and do not wish in any way to say anything which I am not quite sure is within the mark. I therefore thought that I ought now to say that if we are to undertake to publish monthly bulletins or to publish every year a very large amount of statistical information that we gather, in extended form, it might be that the printing bill would be larger than I at first thought.
An extra thousand or two of dollars might therefore be required from year to year for printing. I wanted to give this explanation of the financial side of the case so that there would not be any suspicion that I was minimizing or misrepresenting it.
My hon. friend from Jacques Cartier has asked me to give an outline of what is proposed. We have had under the law a general census every ten years, and a census of Manitoba taken in the mid-year between the regular decennial censuses. In 1885 or 1886 we had a census of the Northwest Territories taken on the same bas1s as the census of Manitoba; but since that time there has been no special census taken of the Northwest Territories. Under this Act I propose to continue to take every ten years a census of the whole Dominion of Canada, and to take in the mid-year between the regular census years, a census of Manitoba, and, if this parliament at the present session should create two new provinces in the Northwest Territories, or any provinces, to take a census of them in the same way that the census of Manitoba is taken. The Manitoba census is taken by virtue of a provision in the Subsidy Act. Nobody can say to-day what may be decided in regard to a new province or new provinces in the Northwest Territories. But whatever is decided in regard to subsidies for those new provinces, I think it is well that this Act should provide for the censuses to be taken in the province of Manitoba and iii the new provinces to be formed in the Territories. The figures which I have given do not include any expenditure which may be necessary in connection with those censuses. Those figures indicate what I expect the annual expenditure to be, in addition to which special provision will have to be made for the taking of the decennial census and for the taking of the census of Manitoba and the other northwest provinces. As I have said, I believe the value of this work will be very great; and, as the work will grow, it may be that a few years from now the minister will have to come down and ask for a larger vote on this account; but, so far as our expectations or intentions go at the present time, the money I have spoken of will. I think, cover the necessary expenditure for several years to come.


Canada. House of Commons Debates, 1875-1949. Provided by the Library of Parliament.



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