Vancouver to Hold Referendum on Smelter Bonus – March 26, 1897

Council met with representatives of J. Evans & Co. of London, who were seeking a ten year exemption from taxes and from water charges in exchange for building a smelter within City Limits. Council agreed to submit a By-Law to the voters for their approval.

This transcript was made in 2022 by Transcribimus volunteer Gerald Soon

Minutes source: City of Vancouver Archives Series 31
Volume 7 page 505 – 507

[volume 7 page] 505

Vancouver March 26th 1897.

The Council met on Friday March 26th 1897 at 2:30 P.M.

Present – His Worship the Mayor and Aldermen Shaw, Painter, Neelands, McQueen, McPhaiden, Clandenning, Brown, W.S. MacDonald and D.G. McDonald; also the City Solicitor and Messrs Wm Cargill and Harry Symons, Q.C.

The object of the meeting was to consider the Smelter proposition submitted by Wm Cargill on behalf of J. Evans & Co London, Eng.

After considerable discussion it was moved by Alderman Brown
Seconded by Alderman Clandenning.

Whereas a certain proposal has been made date 10th February 1897 to the Council of the City of Vancouver by Mr Evans as representing a Syndicate of London, England to erect and operate a Smelter and refining works within the limits of the City on certain terms and conditions as to exemption from taxation and exemption from water dues for a period of ten years.

And whereas it is in the interest of the City that a smelter and refining works should be erected and operated within the City. Be it therefore resolved as follows: Provided that if within two months from the date of the passing of this resolution a contract to be approved of by the Council of the City be entered into by Messrs Evans, Prescott and Rothschild or by a Company formed by them (having sufficient capital to undertake the work) with the City inter alia the following conditions that is to say:-

  1. That they will commence the construction within three months after the execution of the contract within the limits of the City of a Smelter with all machinery plant and gear to be used in conjunction there with that will when completed be capable of creating at least 500 tons of ore per day of twenty-four hours, and also a refinery with all

[volume 7 page] 506

necessary appliances and gear capable of refining the product of all lead or copper ores or the product of both such ores, as the Company may determine, the output of such Smelter; and will complete the construction of and have part of the Smelter and refinery in operation capable of and of sufficient capacity to smelt, treat and refine ore to the extent of two hundred and fifty tons per day at the least; within one year of the execution of the contract and will complete and bring into operation the remaining portion of the Smelter and refinery, capable of and of sufficient power and capacity to smelt, treat and refine another two hundred and fifty tons per day as soon as the supply of ore shall justify the same. Provided that the question when the said smelter and plant shall be so increased and whether the supply of ore would justify such increase shall be left in the case of disagreement to the decision of some person to be appointed it is by a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia on application by another party to the contract.

II That the Cost of Construction of the said smelter; refinery, plant; machinery and gear necessary to enable the Smelter and refining and treatment of ore to the extent of five hundred tons a day, a day shall not be less than $600,000

III That all necessary means and precautions as few as possible shall be taken to prevent the smoke, gasses and vapors emitted from the smelter or refinery from becoming a nuisance to the public in the neighbourhood of the Smelter or injurious to the vegetation in the immediate neighbourhood therof.

Iv That they will not employ any persons of Chinese or Japanese race in or about the construction and operation of the said smelter and refinery.

V And such other conditions and terms as may be mutually agreed on; then in such

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Case the Council will submit a By-Law to receive the assent of the Citizens of the City to be voted upon in similar manner and subject to that provisions relating to the voting on and passage of money By-Laws exempting their property actually to be used and occupied for smelting and refining, purposes only from taxation that may be imposed by the City for a term of ten years and also exempting them from all water rates that may be imposed by the City for the water used by them to an amount not exceeding 50,000 gallons per day for a term of ten years which amount of water not exceeding 50000 gallons per day the City will supply but if the Company shall have no claim against the City in the event of the water supply being under 50,000 gallons by reason of any matters outside the control of the City. Carried

The Council then adjourned

W. Templeton

Thos. F. McGuigan
City Clerk.