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> Issue 62 > Page 67 - The Cabot Trail; A Political Story

Page 67 - The Cabot Trail; A Political Story

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1993/1/1 (180 reads)

I could see underway, numerous houses, cottages and tourist homes in the many bays and inlets as well as sail boats and all kinds of pleasure craft, apparently everybody enjoying themselves. I awoke from this day dream and looked out the window of the hotel and saw a couple of cows wandering down the street in Baddeck; apparently the cow bells had awakened me. When I saw them I realized it was only a dream, but from that day onward I have worked to make that dream come true. Returning to Halifax I made an appointment with Premier George Murray. After discuss? ing the matter fully with him and telling him of the conditions which prevailed in that outpost of civilization, I found he was very much surprised and very sympa? thetic and felt that a road should be con? structed. The question immediately came up as where the money was to come from. He suggested that the matter be brought up at the next Government meeting which was to be the following Wednesday. I went to the meeting with not much hope but told my sob story as well as I could. The members of the Government were all favourable but again the question of money was the handi? cap and I was not yet in a position to give them any estimate of the cost. After two hours deliberation the matter was al? lowed to be left over until the next Gov? ernment meeting. In the meantime I had consultations with the members for Inverness County. Mr. Murray at that time was member for Victoria County. The members for In? verness were Donald MacLennan, pres? ently Senator MacLennan, and the late John Bournoit. After discussing ways and means with them I made another attack on the Premier and received his ap? proval for making a temporary survey. In my discussions with the two members for Inverness County, Mr. MacLennan made a suggestion which I afterwards followed up and proved finally to be the key to the situation. At that time we were receiving in lieu of taxes a sum of money from the Oxford ?apet Company which was used in the maintenance of roads in Inverness and Victoria Counties. When I met with the Government again I proposed that we would capitalize this money amounting to $6,000.00 annually or for a period of ten years $60,000.00: working it out on a high percentage basis would give us $3,600.00 at 6% which would pay for the survey and other incidentals. Mr. Murray suggested that I make a tempo? rary survey. I immediately called in the Chief Engineer Mr. R. W. McColough for consultation and arranged to send survey parties into the district, one to work between Pleasant Bay and Cap Rouge and another between Pleasant Bay and Cape North. One party was under the direction of Engineer Handy, the other under H. McKenzie, a New Brunswick engi? neer. Their instructions were to make a survey for a road passable for team traf? fic just to determine the possibilities of building such a road and probably cost of same. The two parties under the direction as above started their work and continued until driven out by winter storms in Janu? ary of 1925. When they returned to halifax I got their reports which were favourable but at a tremendous cost. The report made by them was that the project was indeed difficult but feasible. I was somewhat discouraged. However I had a conference with the members for Inver-
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