June 5, 1908

LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

People are living on the lands in this township and say they have their entries in the Dauphin lands office; yet there has been no amendment in the Lands Act. Please state to me what this is? They are on the odd-numbered sections as well.

It would appear that a number of settlers are going in there notwithstanding the fact that it has not been opened for settlement. Can the minister state that he has any idea as to when those lands will be thrown open to homestead entries ?

Mr. OLIVER, We are using those lands as an assistance in clearing settlers out of the Riding Mountain [DOT]reserve and as soon as we can clear them out or find that we cannot move them out the lands will be at once thrown open. But we think it will be sound public policy to continue the departmental reservation placed upon them many years ago with a view of assisting us in the" work which as my hon. friend has declared, is certainly one of exceeding difficulty in getting the squatters out of the reserve. We cannot put the lands to any better use for the time being.

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Subtopic:   '9995 COMMONS
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CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. J. ROCHE (Marquette).

What publicity will be given about the throwing open to these lands ?

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Subtopic:   '9995 COMMONS
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

The same publicity as was given to the intention to throw them open on a former occasion. It will be thoroughly advertised that they will be open on a certain day as in the case of the Doukhobor reserve.

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L-C

John Herron

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HERRON.

A number of settlers have squatted on the odd numbered sections in different parts of the country and particularly in southern Alberta. Has the minister any policy with regard to the protection of those people who have lived on the odd sections and made improvements? gome of them have applied to the land office for entries but I do not suppose they were accepted.

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Subtopic:   '9995 COMMONS
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

It is provided in the Land Bill now before the House that the odd numbered sections shall be open for settlement, but until parliament has declared its will on that point I have no policy at all. The odd numbered sections are under reservation and people who go on reserved lands go at their own risk.

Mr. AMEg. Has the survey been completed of the sixteen townships which by order in council of the 37th of January, 31)07, were reserved in the Peace River district for the Peace River Colonization and Land Development Company ?

Mr. OLIVER, gome six townships or parts of townships were surveyed some I years ago.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

Has there been any survey recently or will there be one this year?

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Subtopic:   '9995 COMMONS
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

No.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

Has the minister any definite information from the surveys as to the agricultural character of the land in these sixteen townships ?

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Subtopic:   '9995 COMMONS
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

There are surveyors' notes made when the lines were drawn, but I do not consider these notes made for a different purpose, to be reliable information as to the character of the country.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

Does not the surveyor generally report on the character of the soil, water, and timber ?

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Subtopic:   '9995 COMMONS
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I believe he does but he is there to make money by running survey lines and he is under no responsibility as to the accuracy of any report he may make on the character of the country. One report might be accurate where another would be inaccurate so that I would not place absolute dependence upon the surveyors' notes as to the character of the land.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

Is the government taking any steps to secure information as to the agricultural possibilities of these particular sixteen townships ?

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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

Not at the present time.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

How does the government intend to deal with that company if they are not in possession of accurate information of the character I have mentioned ?

Mr. OLIVER, I do not know that such information has any particular bearing on the dealing of the government with the company. An agreement was entered into providing that under certain circumstances certain things would be done. The question at issue between the company and the government is : Has the company done these things ? If that is settled in favour of the compauy there is no difference be tween us ; if it is settled against the company the government will take such action as the circumstances require.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

Has the government arrived at any conclusion as to whether they will continue this arrangement ?

Mr. OLIVER, The government has notified the company that in its opinion the terms of the agreement have not been fulfilled, and the matter is under adjustment.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

When was that notification served on the company ?

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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

Three months ago.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

How long were they given to show that the concession should not be cancelled ?

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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I do not know there was any definite time stated. We are awaiting their statement of their position. They demand further time to make their defence on account of the absence of some of their leading men and other causes.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

The minister stated that knowledge as to the character of that land from an agricultural standpoint had no bearing on the case. A return was brought down to the House not long ago and that, and other information available ought to convince the minister that it would be desirable for the government to be in possession of definite information as to the agricultural possibilities of this concession. This concession was first granted in 1900 and the time for fulfilling the obligations of the company was extended by a subsequent order in council of the 8th of July, 1904, requiring them to locate on the said tract within three years from the first of October, 1904, no less than fifty settlers. I wish to ask whether on the 1st of October, 1907, there had been filed with the department satisfactory evidence that fifty settlers had been located in accordance with the terms of the order in council of 1904.

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Subtopic:   '9995 COMMONS
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June 5, 1908