The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Dec. 26, 1876

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p.2 The Power Dry Dock - The voting upon the propriety of taking stock in the Power Dry Dock Company will take place tomorrow, and it is to be hoped that the electors will turn out and record their votes for or against the by-law, according as they feel inclined. The poll will open at the usual polling places at nine o'clock in the morning, and close at five in the afternoon.


To the Editor of the Daily News.

Dear Sir; - Mr. Power has ventured to answer my letter, signed "A Citizen," and from his manner it must be inferred that he cannot face the question by sound argument, and his main weapons are vile nick names, such as "Snake in the grass." Well, if he likes that sort of argument to uphold his cause he is welcome to it, and all the benefit arising therefrom. He further states, "As an Alderman he deems it his duty to promote the interests of the citizens generally." Now this is just where Mr. Power and the writer differ in opinion, spending $15,000 of the public money to help Mr. Power to finish the dry dock is not primarily for the benefit of the city. It may in a secondary way do some good to the city provided the operation should be a success, but we maintain that it will in the first place benefit Mr. Power, his family and his connections. This is the way he likes it put, and we readily give him the benefit of his own method of describing the said Dry Dock Company, which is owned, as he says by his own family and connections. We could show this matter in a very different light. This word "connections," which he uses, may be family connections or business connections. They may be men, women or children, but Mr. Power doesn't feel inclined to give any light on that subject; but, if necessary, it can be proven that certain wealthy citizens were at a very late date stockholders in the Dry Dock Company, and they could build the dock ten times over if they considered it a paying operation, and the citizens can easily see who those men are if they observe who are canvassing on the dry dock question this very day. Mr. Power further says the bottom is solid limestone and no fissure is within the limits of the dock. This one assertion in my mind is enough to condemn all Mr. Power has said or done in this dry dock question, as we can appeal with confidence to every man in the city at all posted as to limestone strata around Kingston, if they ever saw a space of say 300 feet long and 75 to 100 feet wide in any quarry opened in Kingston that had no fissures, and yet Mr. Power asserts this said space which the dry dock proposes to occupy has no fissures before he has got it excavated. Mr. Power further opens out generally on the question of the march of improvement which on his part is simply a flourish of trumpets to cover up and blind the public eye to the grasp which he is trying to get of the $15,000 to benefit himself, his family connections, and connections not to be mentioned. The last paragraph in Mr. Power's letter mentions, that the dock will cost $38,000, we believe that Mr. Power has stated that the dock will cost $50,000, and that this sum is inside the mark, and this was stated on the basis of work to be done, provided all went well, but there has been a large outlay in ineffectual efforts to pump out that portion already enclosed and excavated which embraces a very small portion of what is necessary to be done.

The amount paid out he puts at $13,000

The amount of Stock subscribed 10,000

The amount from City 15,000


But he says nothing about the debt at present encumbering the dock which has to be paid out of the city's portion estimated by some at $16,000, but Alderman McIntyre stated in the Council that there was $11,000 against the dock some six months ago, and it is not likely to be less since that time, Mr. Power seems to give no light on these subjects and he need not call men who take some pains to enlighten the taxpayers "snakes in the grass" because they see fit to differ from him, or may not happen to be one of that family or connection however remote.

The dock on its own merits never can make a dollar and Mr. Power knows it, but it will be an excellent feeder to his shipyard, and he alone, not forgetting the connections will reap that benefit.

All things considered we are only anxious to let the taxpayers know the situation and let each man do as he sees fit, and hope these men who vote for the $15,000 will not in future raise a howl against increased and growing taxation.

Dec. 26th A Citizen

p.3 Power's Dry Dock - list of voting stations.

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Dec. 26, 1876
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Daily News (Kingston, ON), Dec. 26, 1876