May 28, 1948

CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. P. E. WRIGHT (Melfort):

I should like to ask the Minister of National Revenue whether the government is considering the advisability of extending the basic herd principle, now applicable to cattle, under directive No. 78 of September, 1947, to include sheep, swine and other domestic animals? If this change is to be made, can the minister say when it will come into effect?

Topic:   LIVESTOCK
Subtopic:   APPLICATION OF BASIC HERD PRINCIPLE TO OTHER DOMESTIC ANIMALS THAN CATTLE
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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Hon. J. J. McCANN (Minister of National Revenue):

The matter of extending the basic herd principle is being given consideration by the government, and it will probably extend to swine, sheep, purebred horses and so on, but not to poultry. It will be applicable in the year 1948.

Topic:   LIVESTOCK
Subtopic:   APPLICATION OF BASIC HERD PRINCIPLE TO OTHER DOMESTIC ANIMALS THAN CATTLE
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EMPIRE TRADE

SUGGESTION AS TO ADVISABILITY OF CALLING CONFERENCE


On the orders of the day:


PC

Harold Aberdeen Watson Timmins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. H. W. TIMMINS (Parkdale):

I should like to direct a question to the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. Having regard to the fact that Canada is suffering a disastrous decrease in her trade with the sterling area countries, will the minister give consideration to taking the necessary steps to call an empire trade conference at an early date?

Topic:   EMPIRE TRADE
Subtopic:   SUGGESTION AS TO ADVISABILITY OF CALLING CONFERENCE
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LIB

George James McIlraith (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Trade and Commerce; Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. G. J. McILRAITH (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Trade and Commerce) :

I should like to treat this question as a notice and have an answer given later.

continuation of CEILING PRICE

On the orders of the day:

Topic:   EMPIRE TRADE
Subtopic:   SUGGESTION AS TO ADVISABILITY OF CALLING CONFERENCE
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PC

Robert Earle Drope

Progressive Conservative

Mr. R. E. DROPE (Northumberland, Ont.):

In view of the fact that under an order in council tabled by the Minister of Agriculture a floor price is established for butter, will the minister tell us whether it is the intention of the government to continue the ceiling price as well?

Topic:   EMPIRE TRADE
Subtopic:   SUGGESTION AS TO ADVISABILITY OF CALLING CONFERENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Right Hon. J. G. GARDINER (Minister of Agriculture):

All I can say, Mr. Speaker, is that the ceiling price is being continued.

Reclamation of Marshlands

Topic:   EMPIRE TRADE
Subtopic:   SUGGESTION AS TO ADVISABILITY OF CALLING CONFERENCE
Permalink
PC

Calvert Charlton Miller

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MILLER:

I should like to ask a

supplementary question of the Minister of Agriculture in that connection.

Topic:   EMPIRE TRADE
Subtopic:   SUGGESTION AS TO ADVISABILITY OF CALLING CONFERENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

It will be quite in

order to discuss that whole matter in connection with my estimates, which will be up shortly.

Topic:   EMPIRE TRADE
Subtopic:   SUGGESTION AS TO ADVISABILITY OF CALLING CONFERENCE
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DREDGING

KINCARDINE HARBOUR DREDGING CONTRACTS


On the orders of the day:


PC

Andrew Ernest Robinson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. A. E. ROBINSON (Bruce):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask a question of the Minister of Public Works. Is his department doing anything toward having the 1947 contract for dredging at Kincardine harbour completed as soon as possible?

Topic:   DREDGING
Subtopic:   KINCARDINE HARBOUR DREDGING CONTRACTS
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LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. ALPHONSE FOURNIER (Minister of Public Works):

Mr. Speaker, I understand the contract was not completed last year, and we will proceed with it.

Topic:   DREDGING
Subtopic:   KINCARDINE HARBOUR DREDGING CONTRACTS
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MARSHLANDS

RECLAMATION AND DEVELOPMENT-ASSISTANCE TO MARITIME PROVINCES


Right Hon. J. G. GARDINER (Minister of Agriculture) moved that the house go into committee to consider the following resolution : That it is expedient to present a bill to assist the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island in the reclamation and development of marshlands in the said provinces by the construction and reconstruction of works necessary therefor and the purchase of required machinery and equipment. Works may be undertaken only on the recommendation of an advisory committee to be established under the act and upon terms and conditions agreed upon with the province concerned prior to the first day of May, nineteen hundred and fifty-five. The Minister of Agriculture is empowered to appoint necessary temporary officers and employees to be paid out^ of the consolidated revenue fund with provision also for the payment of expenses of members of the advisory committees. Motion agreed to and the house went into committee, Mr. Golding in the chair. Mr. CRUICK8HANK: Mr. Chairman, I do not wish to take any more of the time of the committee than is absolutely necessary, but I believe I should speak briefly concerning the flood situation, particularly as it concerns my riding and, I suggest, as it concerns the whole of Canada. Flooding in British Columbia is more now than a matter of local concern. I might explain briefly that in the Fraser valley area surrounding the cities of New Westminster and Vancouver there are some seven diking districts. The last flood we had was in 1894, and the last break in dikes was about 1920 or 1921. I mention the date of the last break in order to bring to the attention of the committee, through you, Mr. Chairman, the importance to the whole of Canada of preventing these breaks. At the time of the last break in 1920 or 1921 the great Canadian National Railways were put out of action for forty-eight hours. We were able to stem the hole in the dike at that time, but despite that fact the Canadian National Railway lines to the Pacific coast were out of action for that length of time. I would emphasize, sir, the gravity of the situation as it is today. I am particularly concerned, of course, with my own riding of Fraser Valley, but I must point out that the present situation concerns the whole economy of Canada. What would happen if any unfortunate international incident should take place -I will not go into details-involving the cutting off of the Pacific coast for some months through the inability of the two great trans-Canada railway systems to get through? What would happen to the economy of Ontario and Quebec if the trans-Canada railways were cut off for two or more months? As I have said, we were able to stem the hole in the dike on this earlier occasion; yet one of the railway systems was unable to get through for hours. Two dikes remain at the present time; if they go, then both the trans-Canada railway systems will be unable to get through for two to six months. Hon. members must realize how important this is not only to the Fraser Valley constituency alone but to the whole country. Only last night and this morning naval boats were sent in to evacuate hundreds of families in the Fraser valley area. No estimate has yet been made as to how much stock is lost, but we have an idea how much money has been lost, and it can be counted in millions of dollars. Many hon. members have had the pleasure of visiting British Columbia, and are no doubt familiar with the fertile Chilliwack area. Today at twelve o'clock if the river rose another thirty-two inches the town of Chilliwack and the whole of the surrounding district would be under water. This would mean a loss of millions upon millions of dollars. While I do not think this matter should be considered from the point of view of dollars and cents, let us not forget that the dominion government has millions of dollars invested in the Canadian National Railways in that area. Both the railways would go out of action. Reclamation of Marshlands



I am told that the brother-in-law of the hon. member for Wetaskiwin (Mr. Jaques) lost his farm the day before yesterday. In the particular district in which I live the dike is holding. My own farm buildings are above the high-water mark, and cattle have been brought there from the surrounding district. They are on my high land today, because they cannot be left on the lower ground. Farmers have moved their stock out of the buildings to places behind the second remaining dike. I wish to impress upon the house the seriousness of this matter. On Friday last school children six or eight years of age and upwards worked in filling sandbags in an endeavour to hold the water back. A few weeks ago hon. members of the opposition held a convention in Ottawa, upon which occasion a friend of mine, the former provincial president, came here from Agassiz. His drug store is now flooded. I know the hon. member for Kamloops (Mr. Fulton) has just returned, and he tells me that the water is adjacent to the railway. As I say, I do not know how much money has been lost, or how many cattle have been lost. I do not think, however, that that is the important point. When even one life is at stake in Canada, this house must give the matter serious consideration. The reason for the flood this year is exactly the same as it was in 1894. We had heavy snowfalls this year in the mountains, and a very late spring. Ordinarily we have a gradual run-off, the high water averaging about 17 feet. Measured this morning it was up 22 feet, due to the cold and late spring in British Columbia, and the fact that the run-off came very suddenly. I wish to point out, through you, Mr. Chairman, that in my opinion-and I am expressing the opinion of the people of my riding- there would have been no damage if the great Fraser river channel had been kept clear. Opposite Matsqui islands, where the large river boats used to come up, and where the river was about three quarters of a mile wide, any time now at low water you can throw a stone across. The sandbar has filled it up. The water cannot get away. Even if we have a normal run-off, the sandbars are there. The only protection we have is one dredge forty years old. This one dredge cannot even keep the mouth of the river open. That is why I think the federal government comes into the matter. We cannot afford locally to finance the damage that has been done. We cannot afford to finance the protection that is needed if in the next forty-eight hours, or *maybe within the next week, the ports of Vancouver and New Westminster have to be protected by keeping the two railways running. One of the ministers is now out in British Columbia. We are now asking the dominion government to assume its responsibility because it is not a matter which concerns only the Fraser valley or British Columbia. It is a national matter, and the economy of Canada is affected. I wish to say we have every confidence in the engineer who is in charge in British Columbia, but we are suggesting it is not a local matter, and that the government should send out there immediately either a deputy minister or the chief engineer. I would also suggest that the Minister of Agriculture should send out a responsible representative of his department to check on conditions as they affect agriculture, in order that they may, in co-operation with the minister now on the spot, give to the matter the serious consideration which must be given at once to protect the economy of the Fraser valley and of the whole dominion. I am about to fly out there, because I believe it is my duty under these conditions to be in my own constituency. If I can be of any assistance, that is where I should be. I believe that is where any member should be when it is a matter of assisting his constituency. I hope that some farm member in the opposition will see that I am protected while I am away. I have enough confidence in hon. members to feel sure that that will be done. I want to impress upon the government, upon the Minister of Public Works in particular, upon the Minister of Agriculture and upon the Minister of Finance, who is not here, that this is not now a Fraser valley matter; it is a national matter which must be attended to, and at once.


May 28, 1948