February 16, 1955

?

An hon. Member:

And more so.

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CCF

Willis Merwyn (Merv) Johnson

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

Mr. Johnson (Kindersley):

All of the features of the South Saskatchewan river development project are related to the topic under debate-irrigation, maintenance of lake levels, urban water supplies, power, river regulation and floods. Until this river is regulated we cannot utilize a large sector of the fertile

land in the Carrot river valley which in the future will be so desperately needed to fulfil our responsibility to the world.

In view of the increase in population in relation to world food supplies, it is imperative that we do all within our power to utilize and conserve. The first step must be a dominion-provincial conference to outline a policy towards which we can all aim. We must plan for the maximum utilization of the resources of Canada and fulfil our commitments to the Atlantic charter to eliminate poverty, with its evils of hunger and disease. Sir John Boyd Orr has stated:

A declaration by one of the great powers that it was prepared to co-operate in such a plan-

That is, to eliminate poverty.

-with other nations, irrespective of their political system, would win for it the sympathy and support of the poverty stricken peoples who form two-thirds of the world's population. They are more interested in the war on want than in treaties and political boundaries or in the relative merits of capitalism and communism.

Let us consider the importance and urgency of this matter. There is not a moment to lose in establishing a national policy on soil, forest and water conservation to enable Canada to play her future role.

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LIB

Armand Dumas

Liberal

Mr. Armand Dumas (Villeneuve):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to participate in this debate I have in mind that the conservation of our natural resources is the privilege and the duty of every good Canadian. I really believe that conservation is one of the most important subjects that we could discuss. I also realize that the problem of bringing about greater conservation of our country's natural resources is a complex one.

At every session since I have had the honour of sitting in this chamber, whether the subject was brought up during study of a government measure or during discussion of a private member's resolution similar to the one we have before us now, the question of soil and water conservation has always provided interesting and instructive debates. Moreover, the subject of conservation has been discussed at length at meetings and conferences in every province across the country. Politicians, professors, lecturers, representatives of industry, farm organizations, forestry associations and many others have expressed their views on the problem.

The majority of those who have debated the subject are of the opinion that in the past we have been too prodigal. Who would dare deny it? For instance, in the early days of the colony the abundance of trees was a drawback to the opening up of the country. The forests were not treated as they should have been. In the years that followed, large 50433-78

Conservation

scale operators added their efforts to those of the colonists and were no more careful than the colonists had been.

Are we treating the forests with the respect they deserve today? While in some sections of the country fine farms have advantageously replaced large tracts of wooded land, in many other sections abusive cuts have created deserts where there could have been an abundance of wood forever.

It has been demonstrated over and over again that we have all been guilty of abuse, industry and government alike, with regard to the exploitation of our forests. Fortunately, during the last three or four decades there has been a better understanding of the necessity for conservation. For instance, today many of the operators harvesting Canada's wood crop are seriously concerned about the future wood supply, and are actively engaged in doing something about it. Many of the leading operators have already achieved sustained yields in their operations. Large amounts of money are being spent every year by industry for road construction, fire prevention, research work of all kinds and investigations into improved methods of operation. These are very vital contributions by industry.

The provinces, with primary responsibility for the welfare of the forests as owners and lessors, have shown a growing sense of responsibility in all branches of forestry as well as in the field of conservation. The federal government has assisted, and does assist on many occasions in a great number of ways, the provincial governments in their efforts toward greater conservation. We find on the statute books of Canada legislation such as the Canada Forestry Act, the Canada Water Conservation Assistance Act, the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act and the Maritime Marshland Rehabilitation Act, to mention only a few. Each of these measures has been enacted for the benefit of the provinces who wish to take advantage of them.

There are also other fields in which the federal government has made valuable contributions to forest conservation. I shall mention only the forest research branch which has conducted, and is still conducting, extensive studies in silviculture, logging, protection, inventories, reforestation, utilization, preservation, mechanics and chemistry. In spite of the progress we have made in the field of conservation, I admit there is still much to be done. I repeat that the problem of attaining the utmost in conservation is not an easy one. Problems of this nature are more often solved through compromise and co-operation.

I am of the opinion that one of the important duties that rest with the different governments, industry and the people of this country

Conservation

as a whole is to ascertain the responsibilities and shortcomings, and decide upon the logical steps to be taken to solve the difficulties. There are some important questions which are in the minds of the Canadian people, regarding which no clear-cut answers have been given. For instance, here are some of those questions: How serious is our forest problem? What must we do to conserve this national asset? What are the ideals towards which industry and governments should aim? If there is some danger of losing this very important asset, what must be done to avoid such a disaster? How can we keep every tract of forest land continuously growing and producing trees?

This is not the first time the hon. member for Kootenay West has introduced a resolution to the effect that the government should consider the advisability of calling a federal-provincial conference on conservation with a view to establishing a national policy on soils, forests, water conservation and land use for Canada. In the past, and again today, I have listened carefully to the remarks made by the hon. member. I do not hesitate to say that he deserves to be congratulated upon being such an ardent lover of the forests and such a strong supporter of conservation.

However, I am not convinced, Mr. Speaker, that the calling of a federal-provincial conference would give this country a national policy covering these subjects. I am not absolutely sure that without some additional studies, and some real co-operation, we could gain much at this time by calling such a conference. I should like to draw to the attention of hon. members what was said by the then minister of resources and development during the session of 1952, when he participated in the debate on a similar motion. He had this to say, and I quote from page 835 of Hansard for March 26, 1952:

There is, I believe, pretty wide public acceptance of this general principle that some of the costs of conservation should be borne by the taxpayers generally, but there is room for considerable discussion on two points concerning its application. The first is the extent to which it should be applied, the degree to which the taxpayer should carry the burden of conservation. The second is the determination of what proportion of the burden should be borne by private enterprise, and what should be carried by the taxpayers of the province on the one hand and by the taxpayers of the whole country on the other. In other words, how much of the government contribution to conservation costs should be made by the provincial and municipal governments concerned, and how much by the federal government. Problems such as these are usually best solved by dealing with each case on its own merits, rather than by trying to lay down general principles because the surrounding conditions tend to vary so widely from case to case.

On another occasion, during the 1952-53 session, the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), after having cited some extracts from the federal-provincial conference of 1945, added the following:

Well, here I rather shy away from using the expression "national policy" in connection with things of that kind. There are people who think that, when you use the term "national policy" there is some way in which the central authority is going to reach out and try to draw to itself some of the provincial jurisdiction. We do not want to do that. We want to have this country continue under the constitution that was set up, and we do want to co-operate with the provinces.

Later on, referring to the resolution, he

said:

It asks that we consider calling a dominion-provincial conference to bring about a greater degree of collaboration and co-operation. Well, we are quite prepared to consider that. But we do not think it would be apt to produce very great results to do it right away or to do it on any wide scale. Let us continue to demonstrate, by the co-operation that will be taking place, that there are no ulterior motives in doing it, and that it is merely a genuine desire of Canadian citizens, to whatever administration they belong, to help the Canadian people of this generation discharge the responsibility they have to Canadian people of future generations to see that the resources of this country are not depleted, but are maintained, and will be available to be used by them, and will have increased productivity as the size of our population increases.

Well, Mr. Speaker, those words coming from the Prime Minister should make it very clear that this government is anxious to do everything it can in order to further the cause of conservation: and moreover we have proof in the legislation which has been enacted that this government is willing to go a long way to help those who want to help themselves. As a legislative body, I would think we could better discharge our responsibilities by insisting that a special committee of this house be set up to make further studies and investigation of this matter. It is possible that a full and comprehensive report on the subject would supply the real approach to our forest problems.

The job that needs to be done and the opportunity we must seize will require increasing co-operation among the forces of governments, industry and private owners of land. The encouragement of teamwork must be considered a prime requirement of a national policy on conservation, and this can be assured only when all the interested parties agree that the problems are national in scope and that their solution depends on co-operative efforts.

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PC

John Borden Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. John B. Hamilton (York West):

Mr. Speaker, I know I am not the first or the only new member in the House of Commons who has had great difficulty in fathoming all the

rules of procedure of the house, all the special customs, all the special days. But it is with a little consternation that I find myself taking part in this debate. You see, last night at 9.45 I was ready for immigration, but at ten o'clock I was told to be ready for conservation. I have searched through my immigration speech, but I cannot find a single paragraph that I can use on conservation.

Be that as it may, at the risk of talking myself out of the house-and I have been warned that this is a common malady: I

hope I just talk myself out, period-I would not be fair to my constituency of York West if I did not say a few words on this resolution. I do not like to limit my remarks in any debate to the narrow scene of one constituency, and even in' this instance I shall attempt to talk on a wider basis.

I must point out, however, that this resolution is of the utmost importance to the constituency of York West, because this area suffered by far the greatest loss during the recent "Hurricane Hazel". On one street alone, Raymore drive in the township of Etobicoke, 45 people lost their lives, and property damage was terrific. Although the brunt of the loss of life and damage was borne by the township of Etobicoke in the easterly part of York West, severe damage and loss of life occurred in the extreme westerly part of the constituency as well, notably in the Long Branch area. All told, property damage totalled almost $3 million. As Werden Leavens of Bolton, the former chairman of the Humber valley conservation authority, pointed out:

The flood conditions are not new. There have been floods in this valley for at least the last 158 years with increasing frequency and severity. "Hurricane Hazel" was by far the worst but it was only a dramatic and tragic summary of the need for flood control.

Members from the greater Toronto area cannot speak today without mentioning the outright heroism of many of our citizens during and after "Hurricane Hazel". The spirit of co-operation among all agencies that volunteered their services; the efforts of the Red Cross, various church and women's organizations, service clubs, the armed forces, the press, radio and television-and, yes, I believe for the first time in Canada the various political parties helping on an organized basis-directed in round-the-clock work by efficient municipal authorities, resulted in the performance of miracles of rehabilitation.

Now the work of financial adjustment goes on. But-and it is a very large "but"-have we learned any lesson? At the risk of being 50433-78J

Conservation

out of order, speaking from a national viewpoint I would repeat that here was the greatest argument for a complete reappraisal of our civil defence set-up. I have said before in the house that a few air raid sirens are not enough. At least a small permanent force must be maintained in the larger areas of concentrated population. There must be adequate direction and, with all deference to the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin), I am coming to the conclusion that the national direction and the permanent force staff should be under army control. Even in "Hurricane Hazel" army troops were required, and I believe that in a national emergency the over-all direction must fall to the army.

But if we need national direction of that kind, we also need national direction and assistance of the kind envisaged by this resolution. In my constituency of York West a very urgent brief has already been presented to the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Lesage) by the Humber valley conservation authority, in which they request the federal government's aid in their plans to prevent further loss of both life and property, and also to ensure adequate soil and forest conservation. As deputy reeve Tonks of York township has said:

Over the last 200 years one of the most dense forest areas in Ontario has been denuded. Today we have flash floods washing away the land and leaving practically no water in some areas. In summer the river is often a filthy and polluted mess. Yet the Humber is the drainage depot for a vast amount of heavy industry building up in an area of major national importance.

I have already indicated to the minister in this house the very great urgency in this matter. No time should be lost; we cannot delay when lives are at stake. I must say I am hoping that the demands in this brief do not get the same treatment as requests for action on the Dundas-Royal York subway, which we have not obtained though the first request for it was made in 1917. I hope, Mr. Speaker, I may be forgiven for inserting that remark into this debate.

I gather that to date federal assistance such as requested, by the Humber valley conservation authority is based on the provisions of section 3, subsection 3b, of the Canada Water Conservation Assistance Act, 1953, which provides that an agreement between the government of Canada and any province for contributions by the federal government in respect of the cost of projects for the construction of dams and other works for the conservation and control of water resources in such province shall also provide that:

The province will carry out a program of reforestation or other ancillary conservation measures

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LIB

Allan Henry Hollingworth

Liberal

Mr. A. H. Hollingworlh (York Centre):

Conservation

dispelled had he seen the members oi such organizations-for example, the Toronto Avenue Road Lions club, of which I am privileged to be a member-working night and day distributing sandwiches and coffee. Of course the immediate sufferings of the people affected by the hurricane were and are being taken care of by the "Hurricane Hazel" fund. The purpose of the authority's brief is to make sure that this does not happen again.

I would urge upon the government that they take a sympathetic outlook in regard to this matter and participate in the scheme to help make the Humber valley flood project a reality when the authority itself passes on this scheme.

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CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. J. W. Noseworihy (York South):

Mr. Speaker, certain facts have been brought out clearly in the course of this debate. The first, of course, is that the government and the present minister are not prepared to support this resolution. The second is that while Liberal members have spoken in favour of conservation, no Liberal member has committed himself to support this particular resolution.

What is quite evident is that the government and the Liberal party do not believe that we should have any such thing as a national policy on conservation or a national policy regarding soil, forest and water conservation and land use. Apparently in the opinion of the government those are provincial resources, not national. The thing I wonder about is why we have a minister of national resources if we have no national resources for him to administer. Apparently land, soil and water are provincial resources, and one wonders just what are the national resources over which the young and energetic newly appointed minister has control or in which he is interested.

The minister made a great point of wanting to be invited by the provinces to participate in any co-operative effort regarding the conservation measures outlined in this resolution. The excuse the minister gave for taking no action on this resolution is the same old excuse that every politician since confederation has used when he did not want to do anything. Every politician who has been presented with a problem which he did not want to face up to has fallen back on the poor old British North America Act, which leaves certain affairs in the hands of the provinces, and the excuse has been that it would interfere with provincial rights.

Let us assume or take it for granted that these resources are provincial resources. What is to prevent the national minister-the

Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources-from taking some initiative and giving some leadership to the provincial authorities in this matter? Why must he sit back and permit some province to take the initiative in getting a conference together or in trying to arrive at some degree of uniformity in this matter of the conservation of these resources? There is a great need for the education of Canadian citizens in the matter of conservation. Why must the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources sit back and wait for some provincial minister or some provincial authority to come forward and take the initiative in instituting such an educational program?

Apparently the government does not believe in anything approximating a uniform policy for all the provinces. Quite evidently what the government wants to do in the matter of conservation is deal with each province separately and make a different agreement with each province, without any effort to see that all the provinces are treated alike or that this matter of conservation is dealt with as a matter of national importance.

Just as soon as a catastrophe strikes, such as the one that struck the Humber valley last fall, and just as soon as damage such as that which has been outlined by the hon. member for York West (Mr. Hamilton) and the hon. member for York Centre (Mr. Hollingworth) is sustained, these provinces and municipalities come to the federal government for help; and they usually get it. In all fairness to the government I think we must admit that on this piecemeal basis the government has assisted where catastrophe has struck in the various provinces. But surely a more satisfactory solution of this problem would be an effort to arrive at some form of national policy, some measure-granted that it may have to differ from province to province- with some degree of uniformity which would indicate that the federal government is assuming some responsibility in the matter of conservation of these resources.

Why must we wait until catastrophe has struck before we can get any action from the federal government or any assistance on matters of this kind? It has been estimated, as has already been stated, that "Hurricane Hazel" did over $3 million worth of property damage in the Humber valley last fall. There was loss of life and untold suffering which cannot be measured in terms of dollars and cents. I am told that years ago recommendations were made for the building of dams and reservoirs that would have prevented that catastrophe had those recommendations been carried out. Had the federal government and the provincial government been

working together with municipalities where conditions existed such as those prevailing in the Humber valley; had they been cooperating in attempting to prevent such catastrophes instead of just coming in to help after the catastrophe has taken place, hundreds of people living in that valley would have been saved the inconvenience, the loss and suffering which they endured as a result of that hurricane.

I want to support the resolution. After all, if our soil, forests and water are of no concern to this federal government, then what in the world in Canada is of any concern to them? There is little in this country that is of more concern to the people of Canada as a whole than are our soil, forests and water. Certainly they are interests which should concern the federal government and as to which the federal government should no longer hesitate to give some leadership.

It is not necessary to foist a federal policy upon the provinces or upon any municipality. What we want in this matter is the kind of leadership and initiative that a federal government in this country exists to give. When we are given that kind of leadership and initiative there will be no stepping on provincial toes, and no necessity for it. We can have that kind of leadership which only the federal government can give, and we can solve these problems on a co-operative basis to the benefit of the people of Canada in every province and in every municipality.

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PC

Margaret Aitken

Progressive Conservative

Miss Margaret Aitken (York-Humber):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to say just a few words on why I am supporting this resolution. I am, like the hon. member for York West, supporting it because conservation has become something of tremendous importance to me and to the people I represent in this parliament. During the past month or more subjects of vital concern to the Canadian people have been debated in this house. We have talked about unemployment, education, foreign affairs and immigration. All these things affect the lives of the people we represent in parliament. But it seems to me that today we are talking about something that affects life itself. Conservation is something more than the building of green belts, the replanting of forests or the maintenance of soil values. Those of us who saw "Hurricane Hazel" in action know that, in speaking of conservation, we are also speaking about the preservation of life.

York-Humber, the constituency which I represent, is bounded on the west by the Humber, which is a lovely, winding, slow-moving, docile river. On the night of October 15, it was a seething raging river of terror.

Conservation

A short time ago, as has already been mentioned, the Humber valley conservation authority presented a brief to the government asking for aid in building dams to prevent such flooding and tragic results as were caused by "Hurricane Hazel". I ask the government to give this brief the closest scrutiny and most sympathetic consideration. It is very easy and perhaps natural for legislators to ask why people build their homes in areas threatened by natural disasters. More than 1,400 homes and small businesses were destroyed or damaged by "Hurricane Hazel". There were 85 lives lost, and property damage ran into astronomical figures.

Why do people build their homes in such areas? I suppose economic circumstances make people choose low-lying and therefore low-priced properties. That is one reason. Perhaps another is an instinct that is as old as civilization. Men have always clustered by river banks. In early days transportation and sources of energy were the reasons. Today the reasons are economic and perhaps aesthetic, too. Homes beside river banks are always very attractive. But there certainly are reasons why people build their homes in these low-lying districts. I do not believe you can legislate those reasons away, nor do I think you can scare the people away. But governments can build barriers against dangers.

In my constituency the old story of wolf, wolf was tragically exemplified. It was the oldtimers who lost their lives, not the newcomers. Those who had watched the spring floods pour into their cellars year after year paid no attention to the warnings of danger. They went to bed on the night of October 15 resigned to the chore of bailing out their cellars the next morning, and within minutes they and their homes were swept away. More recent residents were alarmed by the torrential rains and left or were rescued.

Since 1791 there have been 72 floods in the Humber valley area. "Hurricane Hazel" was, of course, the worst and most destructive of them all. As a representative of those who have suffered so tragically from these floods, I cannot let this opportunity pass without paying tribute to the people who were battered by "Hurricane Hazel", both those who were affected by it personally and those who helped others. They were magnificent. It seems to me that in my lifetime all our energies have been directed toward the development of weapons of destruction. Here is our chance to do something toward construction. Here is our opportunity to protect life and conserve our natural resources in the form of water, soil, forests and human beings. .

Conservation

Mr. John Pallet! (Peel): Mr. Speaker, the resolution before the house reads:

That, in the opinion of this house, the government should consider the advisability of calling a dominion-provincial conference on conservation with a view to the establishment of a national policy on soil, forest and water conservation and land use for Canada.

The thought comes to me that the mover of the resolution is a bit of an optimist, because if the government were to do what he suggests it would be the first time it has been able to formulate a clear policy on anything. I would also point out that conservation means saving, and to expect such a policy on the part of the government is a little too much because by their actions they have indicated that they are completely inexperienced in saving.

The minister has stated that such questions are matters of provincial rights. We hear a great deal about provincial rights in this house, but there is very little discussion of human rights. Conservation deals with the rights of human beings. However, notwithstanding the minister's diffidence about considering the resolution, there are certain matters that I feel should be drawn to his attention and the attention of the house and the government. If the government fail to take proper steps with respect to conservation I foresee that the flood waters arising from their lack of action will flush them from office.

A number of conservation authorities have been set up in the province of Ontario with the co-operation of the provincial government. In some instances conservation measures have been taken in time, and in other instances steps were not taken soon enough. It may be that some of the lessons that have been learned will help the government cast aside some of their diffidence and take a step forward rather than acting like the little girl who never went out because she was never asked, and would not go out by herself.

In Canada we are blessed with a great abundance of natural resources. We have been entrusted with their care. Perhaps we have violated that trust, and have been too indecisive in taking conservation measures to protect our natural resources and the heritage which is ours. This indecision brings the same result involved in all indecision, some form or other of disaster, floods in many parts of the country and the loss of natural forest resources in other parts.

Perhaps the most recent illustration was the flood, already mentioned, on the 15th and 16th of October last year that followed "Hurricane Hazel", although in this instance a conservation authority had been

in operation for some years. There were more floods occasioned by "Hurricane Hazel" than those in the Humber valley. Our hearts and sympathy went out to the staunch Dutch immigrants of the Bradford marsh area who were also affected. There was no indecision in their case so far as relief was concerned. There was no question whether agriculture was a provincial or a federal matter. Notwithstanding that agriculture concerns both the federal and provincial governments, the province of Ontario said that in this case it was a provincial matter and proceeded to help those people. They did not argue about the rights of the two governments.

The most extensive flooding, of course, was in the Humber valley. We always watch events in the Humber valley rather carefully because the river starts in Peel county as a pleasant little stream, but in a distance of 58 miles and a drop of 1,200 feet it can become quite a torrent of water. The minister has received representations from the Humber valley conservation authority. The hon. member for York Centre referred to certain parts of the brief submitted by the authority, although he did not quote it directly.

There have been additional submissions to the minister by the Humber valley conservation authority. I feel it is most significant that these submissions have been made as a result of his inquiry, so I trust the fact that the minister has requested further submissions indicates he is genuinely and seriously casting aside the provincial rights aspect of this particular question.

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LIB

Jean Lesage (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

I believe, Mr. Speaker, I should make a correction at this point. These submissions are made under an existing act, the water conservation assistance act. In such a case there is no question of provincial priority.

Mr. Pallet!: I am certainly pleased to hear the minister say that.

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LIB

Jean Lesage (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

The request has been made by the province in the case of the Humber valley.

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PC

John Cameron Pallett

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pallell:

The minister referred to the provincial rights aspect of the resolution. As I read section 7 of the resources and development act which sets up the minister's department, it says:

The minister may formulate plans for public works and improvements, housing, community development, research and the conservation and development of the resources of Canada_

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LIB

Jean Lesage (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, this act has been repealed and has been replaced by an act which was adopted by this house in December of 1953, creating the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources.

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PC

John Cameron Pallett

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pallell:

Is the minister suggesting that this section does not apply under the new act?

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LIB

Jean Lesage (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

Not in those words.

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PC

John Cameron Pallett

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pallell:

Is the minister suggesting he does not have the same authority under the new act?

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LIB

Jean Lesage (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

The Canada Water Conservation Assistance Act is still in force, and it was under that act that I received the submission from the Ontario government for assistance to the Humber valley conservation authority. Only yesterday I received the additional information that I requested from the delegation that came to my office on January 31, and the officers of my department are presently studying the technical details of the submission.

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PC

John Cameron Pallett

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pallell:

Yes; that is dealing with the Humber valley authority representation. I am referring now to the original submission that the matter of conservation was within provincial jurisdiction only.

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LIB

Jean Lesage (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

That is not what I said. I said that natural resources were primarily the responsibility of the provinces, and I could ask the hon. member if he does not agree with what I said.

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PC

John Cameron Pallett

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pallell:

The minister could ask that, but since he did not I do not believe I should be obliged to answer the question.

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LIB

Jean Lesage (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

No, you are afraid.

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PC

John Cameron Pallett

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pallell:

I return now to a consideration of the resolution before the house. Since the minister has indicated that he will perhaps support the representations of the Humber valley conservation authority, after receiving advice from his officials and if he believes they should be supported, I may relate to him some of the incidents that occurred on the night of the flood which will perhaps encourage him in the human approach to this question. Yesterday in the house we had a great oration on the human element that comes into the consideration of everything this government does. To assist the minister in that consideration I may give him some of the human elements involved in "Hurricane Hazel" which occurred on the night of October 15-16.

I would say it was about eleven o'clock at night when I received the first indication there was something amiss. I had a telephone call from a constituent of mine who said, "John, we are taking people out of the homes on First street in boats; what do we do?" I thought, that is rather interesting. We had a big flood in Winnipeg, so there must be some organization set up to look after these things. I recalled the many newspaper articles about civil defence, so I looked in the

Conservation

telephone book to see if there was a listing under "civil defence". 1 did not see anything under that heading.

By that time our local firemen were on the job. The Lions Club were out doing their bit. Traffic was being directed on this rainy night by a boy scout, 16 years of age. The girl guides were out. The Kiwanis Club was distributing food. Blankets were needed and the problem was how to get them. I called a friend of mine in the army and he said, "John, you cannot get them out; you have to get the council to get them out." I said, "That is all right." I was given a number and I called our deputy reeve. She called the colonel in charge, and out came the blankets and beds. I wish to say that, although the red tape was fairly extensive, the army responded magnificently and should be given full credit for the work they did.

There was one humorous incident which would be appreciated by those who have been in the services. At the Port Credit high school where the blankets, beds, and mattresses were being unloaded there was a sergeant supervising the job and a brigadier carrying the blankets.

Topic:   CONSERVATION
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CONFERENCE TO CONSIDER NATIONAL POLICY
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February 16, 1955