May 28, 1948

CCF

Joseph William Burton

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. BURTON:

I have a number of questions I should like to ask, which certainly do come under this item. First, may I remind the minister that during the past few years I have been quiet and considerate in asking for any information concerning the matter I have in mind. But, after the tremendous snowfall we had during the past winter, and the tremendous amount of run-off water, I should like to inquire from the minister as to how much water is impounded in Wolverine creek by the dam built by P.F.R.A. southeast of Humboldt in the summer of 1943. Have any repairs been made to this dam in the past year, and, if so, what was the total cost of such repairs?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

The dam at Wolverine creek is really an underground dam.

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PC

John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacNICOL:

That is a new kind of dam.

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An hon. MEMBER:

An election dam.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

No, it is a sensible kind of dam. The underground structure is of gravel and no better water in the world can be had than that stored in gravel. Steel piling is driven down at the end of the area in which the water is stored. The run-off in the spring soaks into that and is stored. A total of $479.75 was spent last year on repairs.

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CCF

Joseph William Burton

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. BURTON:

For what purpose?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

I am not sure of the purpose, but I presume it had something to do with the structure. I imagine my hon.

Supply-Agriculture_____________

friend knows more about it than I do, because he lives close to it.

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CCF

Joseph William Burton

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. BURTON:

My information is that a wooden overflow structure was burned by a prairie fire. I do not know just to what extent the department has repaired it, but in repairing it I hope they see that this dam which is supposed to hold water will not be consumed by a prairie fire.

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An hon. MEMBER:

Firewater.

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CCF

Joseph William Burton

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. BURTON:

I should like to find out how much water is now impounded by this dam. Last year and the year before, I made special trips out to the dam, one time right after there had been a cloudburst in Humboldt which had raised the level in Burton lake near my farm to about ten feet. When I got to the dam there was not enough water to permit a respectable duck to take a bath. I want to know whether this dam is going to hold any water at any time.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

I think if my hon. friend took a jump down one of the wells down there he would find that there is more water in it than there ever was before.

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CCF

Joseph William Burton

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. BURTON:

I hope the minister is not suggesting that I go down a well?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

It was never intended to be a duck pond. It is on the same principle as that by which water is supplied to Moose Jaw. Water comes down from the Saskatchewan river seventy miles away, it is pumped into the sands, and then Moose Jaw pumps it out again and takes it eighteen miles into the city. This dam is some six or seven miles from Humboldt and there is a graveled underground area in which water is supposed to be stored. So far as I know, Humboldt has never attempted to pump water out of it and, until they do, they will not know whether there is any water there. I presume there is water there because the dam is properly constructed.

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CCF

Joseph William Burton

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. BURTON:

The town of Humboldt and their advisers in the matter of water supply have been hesitant to undertake the placing of a pipeline to that dam, because until this spring there has not been sufficient water to warrant the expense. The minister's statement that this dam was constructed with the idea of checking the flow of water underneath the surface is understandable-

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LIB
CCF

Joseph William Burton

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. BURTON:

Then why was it necessary to construct a dam forty or fifty feet in height if it was intended to hold water flowing underneath the ground? The engineers of the

department must have had some idea that sufficient water would back up behind the so-called underground dam to raise water on the surface against the dam. The minister or his officials can find out much easier than I what water is impounded by this dam. There was a tremendous amount of run-off water this spring.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Both the hon. member and I will be out there before very long and we can look at it.

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CCF

Joseph William Burton

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. BURTON:

I hope the minister will so arrange his trip that I can have the pleasure of driving him to that dam. I assure him that I will not invite him to jump in a well because I know we can get along very well without that.

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FULTON:

What amount will be spent this year in British Columbia under P.F.R.A.?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

None under P.F.R.A. on construction. The money that is being spent in British Columbia is being provided from two sources. One is the Veterans Land Act. A considerable amount of work is being done under that act in different parts of British Columbia and our engineers are doing the work. There will be other expenditures in British Columbia made under item 36, which has to do with the Lillooet river. I will ask the hon. member to deal with this matter when we reach that item. Then I would point out that item 38 has to do with land reclamation and there will be expenditures under that.

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May 28, 1948