Port Arthur: February 8:
This is not the last time the issue of free street railway tickets, and who is eligible for them, would be addressed by the City Councils.
First, the responsibility for issuing free street railway tickets to soldiers drilling at the Armoury is given to a small committee comprised of Mayor Mooney and Aldermen Bodin and Wilson.
A few minutes later, this plan to give free streetcar tickets for soldiers is given additional support: Council indicates that the tickets, as well as other support such as lighting and phone service, should be offered as a means of encouraging the army to mobilize a full battalion in Port Arthur.
A copy of this resolution is sent to two of the people who would have the authority to make that decision.
At the same meeting, the account is paid for the sleeping bags purchased for Officers of the Second Contingent, the cost having been split with Fort William. (See the Timeline for December 1914)
Fort William City Council here makes a formal proposal that a regiment in training should be placed at the new Port Arthur Armouries. The proposal includes a nod to Major General Sam Hughes, the Minister of Militia, and notes that over 700 soldiers had at that time already been recruited in Fort William, Port Arthur, and the surrounding region. This proposal is forwarded to Port Arthur City Council, as well as two Members of Parliament and Lt. Col. Little.
The two M.P. recipients are Robert Rogers, representing Winnipeg, and also Minister of Public Works, and Francis Cochrane, representing Nipissing, and also Minister of Railways and Canals. They were two influential politicians who would have been familiar with Northwestern Ontario. John James Carrick, the M.P. for Thunder Bay and Rainy River, had been given the honourary rank of Lt. Col. and was stationed at Canadian headquarters, taking him away from his parliamentary role.
February 15: Port Arthur:
Port Arthur City Council received a copy of Fort William’s resolution, and thanked Fort William for having made the recommendation. They would follow up the next day.
February 16: Port Arthur:
Port Arthur also makes a resolution recommending a regiment in training be placed at the Port Arthur Armouries, using nearly identical language to Fort William. They also mention Major-General Hughes, note the number of soldiers recruited in the area, and send a copy of the resolution to the same individuals.
That the two cities were cooperating on making this recommendation, to benefit the entire region as well as the armed forces, presumably was hoped to strengthen the case.
By this time, military authorities had already decided to raise a battalion in this region. The 52nd Battalion would be mobilized in Port Arthur on 20 March, 1915, and would take advantage of the strengths mentioned by both Councils. This petition itself would likely have had little to no effect on that decision, but it does demonstrate the popular support for the war effort in both cities.