Inside Front cover - Art Langley Sr.: A Comment on Politics
ISSUE : Issue 25
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1980/6/1
Art Langley Sr: a Comment on Politics I was mayor of Port Hawkesbury. I went on the council in 1916 first, and I think it was 1929 I was elected mayor, and then I served about 16 years, on and off, back and forth. And we were one of the first towns in Nova Scotia that had pavement. That was around 1928 or '30. There was no pavement in Hawkesbury. Now Yarmouth had a mile of pavement, and Wolfville. I'm not talking about Sydney or Halifax, Antigonish didn't have it. In the spring of the year they were getting bogged with their cars here, going back and forth--what a hell of a mess. All we were spending on this road here was about 1800 dollars a year. Well, we could get this paved for 30,000 dol- lars--one mile--with the best kind of pavement. Guaranteed for 20 years. Well, at 1800 dollars a year, in 20 years you've got that thing paid for. And you've got a good street. I went to Halifax and there was a Tory government in power. Mr. Black was the Minister of Highways. And I was always a Liberal--a nasty Liberal as far as the Tories were concerned. And a Tory, Hubert Aucoin, represented this county, from Cheticamp. He and I were good friends, the very best. Now I said, "Hubert, if you can do something for me," I said, "I'll do what I can to elect you." He said, "You come to Halifax and we'll see Percy Black, see what we can do for you." I went. I said, "30,000 for one street is too much for one little town." I told Per? cy Black, "I understand you did something for Wolfville, you paid half of that and the same in Yarmouth. Now," I said, "do that for a Liberal." He got up off the chair and he put his hand to his forehead like that and he walked over to the win? dow, and he walked around and everything. "Well," he said, "I don't know how we can do it." He said to me, "You're not quiet." So he didn't commit himself. We went away and Hubert worked on him. And at last he did it. Well, he was defeated that elec? tion then. The Liberals won that election. Poor old Hubert was defeated. I felt sorry for him--a good man, too. Well, politics-- dirty, isn't it? But anyway, we got the road. But I'll tell you how dirty the Liberals were. The road was to start down here at the harbour bridge and go north one mile up to the top of the road. And to show you how dirty they were with me, because they knew of course that I had voted for the Tories--they stopped the paving at that street over there, before it got to my home. Well, I raised hay, but that was the way it was going to be. An engineer came down to represent the government, he told me how it was going to be. I said, "It's not going to happen that way, my son, that is to be sure." "Well," he said, "if it doesn't, I'll fill my coat and go home." "Well, you go home," I said. "This is no place for you." A representative of the Standard Pavement Company, to please me, he said, "Langley, we will finish it for nothing. When they stop there, we will finish it the rest of the way for you--but for god's sake," he said, "don't raise hell like this. It's going to affect us too." I said, "They're not putting it over me, and I don't want to do it that way." But they said they'd rather I let them do it. "You'll get the pavement you asked for but," he said, "quiet down and don't cross them, because it'll affect us." And so I quieted down and Standard Pavement put that in. Politics is dirty. Oh, jeez, they're as rotten ... it's amazing, terrible. Our Cover Photograph is of Effie Fitzgerald, Aspy Bay, and John A. Wilkie, Sugarloaf.
Cape Breton's Magazine