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March 5: Port Arthur

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The suffragists continue their work from January and February, asking both Cities for support with the Provincial and Federal Governments to extend the voting franchise to women.

March 5: Port Arthur

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Lieut. Orr has put in a request for a telephone for the military police office outside the normal chain of command for such requests. He is granted the telephone March 12 when they discuss this letter again (see below).

March 5: Port Arthur

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The Cities continue to be asked to contribute larger and larger sums of money to support the War Effort at home and overseas. Here, Port Arthur City Council is asked for grants from the Red Cross and the Patriotic Association. The $2000 grant requested by the Red Cross would be $35,000 in 2017 Canadian Dollars, and the $16,000 requested by the Patriotic Association would be $280,000. Any citizen or organization who could afford it was encouraged to buy War Bonds to contribute directly to the war effort; this proposed resolution to purchase $50,000 of British War Bonds is equivalent to $875,000 in 2017 Canadian Dollars.

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March 12: Port Arthur

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With so many requests for large amounts of money, it was a very good thing that City Council had a Finance Committee to sort them all out and determine how much the City of Port Arthur could actually contribute. Here the Soldiers’ Aid Commission is asking for $10,000, the equivalent of $175,000 in 2017 dollars. (If you are keeping track, the City has now been asked for $28,000 ($490,000 in 2017 dollars) in less than a month.)

March 12: Port Arthur

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In February the Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Bunnell, had written to appeal for increased food production.  This push led to individuals increasing their own home production, and many transformed their flower gardens and lawns into vegetable gardens.  The City of Port Arthur already offered garden plots for rent on empty City property, and here a former Mayor of Port Arthur, Richard Vigars, offered up an empty lot he owned at the corner of Van Norman and Court to be added to the City’s list of possible garden plots.

March 12: Port Arthur

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Port Arthur City Council discusses Lieut. Orr’s Feb 26th request for free telephone service for the Military Police again, and finally agrees to provide it.

March 12: Port Arthur

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March 12: Port Arthur:  Report No. 4 of the Finance Committee:

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Here we can see the City of Port Arthur’s Finance Committee in action.  The report does not mention the large sums requested by organizations (see March 5thabove), but does approve the purchase of $50,000 worth of Canadian War Bonds, not British War Bonds as previously mentioned in the March 5th entry.  This could simply be a mistake in the first entry, or it could indicate a change made by the Finance Committee, or it could indicate that two separate groups of War Bonds were purchased (see March 19 below).  The Finance Committee also approved payment of the Provincial War Tax for 1916.  As they received two letters from the Solicitor for the Treasury, and had to pay interest, it appears they did not pay the tax bill on time.  This war tax was collected from property taxes (see March 26 below), and also a war tax of some kind was collected as a deduction straight from City employees’ wages.

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March 13: Fort William

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As noted in February, The City of Fort William wrote to express their support of Women’s Suffrage to the Ontario Government.  Here, the Women’s Suffrage Association thanks the City for their support.

March 19: Port Arthur

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With so many soldiers now returning from the war, The Twin Cities Veterans’ Association was founded.  Here the Veterans’ Association is asking for space in City property to set up a Club Room.

March 19: Port Arthur

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Samuel W Ray, another former Mayor of Port Arthur, communicating about the purchase or potential purchase of War Bonds. $100,000 in 1917 is equivalent to $1,750,000 in 2017. As above, this may indicate that $50,000 of British War Bonds and $50,000 of Canadian War Bonds were purchased.

March 19: Port Arthur

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Here the Mayor of Fort William, C.W. Jarvis, writes to Port Arthur City Council regarding the franchise for women in Ontario.

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March 26: Port Arthur

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Here Mr. H.A. McKibbin, the Clerk of Shuniah, writes about a contribution from Shuniah towards the Patriotic Fund, indicating that they did, or were planning to, contribute to Port Arthur’s Patriotic Fund.

March 26: Port Arthur Finance Committee Report

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Here we get an indication of how the City of Port Arthur planned to pay the War Tax in 1917, by including it in the mill rate of property taxes to be paid that year (see March 12 above).  We also see how they are going to pay for all of the large sums of money requested by each organization, by also including that in the property taxes.  The Finance Committee also draws a line in the sand, listing which organizations will benefit from the taxes collected and when they are to expect their money.  It also states that they will write a memo to the Dominion Government that Port Arthur expects the Dominion Government to be solely responsible for the up-keep of returned soldiers.  At this time, municipalities were responsible for funding welfare, or “relief” as it was called, so the municipality could be stuck with having to support veterans who were unable to work, as well as fund veterans’ organizations.

March 26: Port Arthur Property and Fire Committee Report

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A request was made to find space for the Twin Cities Veterans’ Association to have their Club room (see March 19) which was forwarded to the Property Committee.  Here the Property and Fire Committee discuss investigating the use of the building currently used by the Salvation Army as their Reading Room.

March 27: Fort William

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Here the Women’s Patriotic Auxiliary is asking for the Fort William City Council’s cooperation in connection with a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Confederation on July 1st.

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