February 27, 1956

CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. H. W. Herridge (Kooienay West) moved:

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

He said: Mr. Speaker, this is the fifth occasion on which I have moved a similar motion in this house. I take advantage of the opportunity provided by the rules of this house to bring this important question to the attention of the chamber. I do so with undiminished zeal and in the hope that the minister will finally be convinced of the soundness of our arguments, of our pleas and of the urgent need for our proposal and the public support behind it throughout the country. I trust that this afternoon the atmosphere of the house will be such that we will be able to imagine falling water, the sough of wind in the firs, and the smell of the good earth.

I never rise to speak on a resolution such as this without remembering the many occasions upon which the former member for Davenport, the late Mr. MacNicol, spoke on similar questions. I remember his interest in this matter and the travelling he did throughout this country to promote public interest in the principles of conservation.

I rise also because the policies of this group are based fundamentally upon reverence for life and reverence for creation, and in that spirit we in this group are constantly advancing suggestions for the conservation of human and natural resources.

I do not wish to exaggerate the importance of the problem. The solving of the conservation problem alone is not going to save this country or save the world. Political, social, educational and other measures are indispensable, but unless the conservation of natural resources is practised generally throughout this country in the near future our efforts in other directions will fail. In my opinion a government concerned with economic and political problems cannot ignore the necessity for the conservation of natural resources. If it does it is attempting to erect a national structure without sound foundation and it will simply not stand the test of time. In my opinion the most imminent danger is that we shall not realize how very short we are of that one unrenewable natural resource, time. If we delay until the next year or the next decade or the years to come, we shall be wasting just so much valuable time.

Other peoples and other civilizations suffered the consequences of ignorance, ineptitude, inaction and delay, and there is no reason why that experience cannot be repeated in Canada if we continue to procrastinate.

Our national health requires first of all that our renewable natural resources-those are the resources with which we are dealing this afternoon-be used to produce as much wealth as possible on a sustained yield basis throughout the years. We dare not exhaust those national resources to a dangerous point, because there are no substitutes.

As I said previously, this is not a partisan question. There is support in all political parties for the principles of conservation, and there is an opportunity in practising the principles of conservation for public ownership, for co-operative ownership and for private initiative. In my opinion, we shall require all three working together if we are going to solve this question satisfactorily.

There is an increasing recognition of the importance of conservation of our resources. More and more people are expressing their concern and their support for those principles. I wish to deal momentarily with just a few. I read recently that Lord Alexander of Tunis in a speech said this:

The forests of Canada are one of our greatest national assets and their conservation and use for the benefit of Canadians, present and future, is of great importance to all citizens everywhere.

On May 4, 1953, as reported on page 4764 of Hansard, the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) had this to say in speaking in a similar debate:

We recognize, as do all other hon. members, that the natural resources of Canada are a heritage' to be developed and conserved for the purpose of providing the greatest possible measure of opportunity and security for all Canadians.

On February 16, 1955, as recorded on page 1205 of Hansard, the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Lesage), speaking on a similar resolution, said this:

I agree with him, however, that conservation of our natural resources is undoubtedly one of the most important subjects that can be discussed in this house.

Then we have in the Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (Mr. Prudham), a min-nister who I know is interested in conservation of natural resources and who practises what he preaches. I was told recently that last summer when he was on his summer vacation he was out fishing with a party that caught a considerable quantity of fish. After using all they could in the camp that evening, they had a number left over, and then the instinct of the minister in support of the principles of conservation began to work. Do you know what the minister did?

He had heard many times about artificial respiration of human beings and the minister said: "Why not practise it on fish?" The minister practised artificial respiration on a number of fish, brought them back to life, put them in the water, and they went away to be caught another day. That is a true story.

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?

An hon. Member:

That is a fish story.

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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

Ask anyone to check on that. Then the agricultural institute of Canada-

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

It was probably caught by another minister.

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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

-has for a long time urged a national policy of conservation of soil, water and other natural resources in Canada. They have had a very good committee working on this question throughout the year. The Canadian forestry association has urged the government to give increased attention to the question of the conservation of forests. During last year they were the sponsors of a dominion-wide conference on renewable natural resources. The recent convention of the Canadian lumbermen's association is another indication of the interest of the lumber industry in increased federal expenditures for the protection of our forests and national leadership in the question of a nation-wide conservation policy.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture has taken an active part in studying this whole question, particularly the question of river bank erosion in British Columbia in recent years. The trades union congresses have indicated their interest in the matter. So have county and municipal organizations, particularly in the province of Ontario, as well as universities, the press, many periodicals and increasingly wide sectors of private industry in Canada, particularly the pulp and paper industry. There is also a very rapidly growing number of private Canadian citizens who are becoming interested in the subject because of the activities of these other groups.

I recognize the good work done by the federal government in certain directions, under the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act, the water resources act and the good work under the Rocky mountains conservation board act. In that connection I must pay tribute to Major General Kennedy. There is a man who is thoroughly imbued with the spirit of conservation as applied to forest resources. There is a man with a technical understanding of the problem, with the earthy approach that is required to get the

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co-operation of his officials and the people directly concerned. I think his work has proven very successful.

As I said before, various other bodies and organizations, particularly the pulp and paper industry, have carried on somewhat extensive research in recent years which has been of great value to all those interested in the problem. However, in my opinion there is a necessity for federal government leadership and financial assistance at this time to assure the satisfactory conservation of these resources on a nation-wide basis. I repeat that while there is a great deal being done in various directions we have, not only in my opinion but in the opinion of most responsible and informed people throughout the country, reached a point where there is an increased and urgent need for federal government leadership on these, most important questions.

When speaking on my resolution last year the minister gave three reasons for not agreeing to accept it. While he supported the principles of conservation in general, he gave these three reasons for not being able to accept the resolution. First, he said that the prime responsibility for conservation of resources rests with the provincial governments. Second, he said that the suggestion for federal action should come from the provincial governments. Third, he had grave doubts as to the success of a conference called to deal with all renewable natural resources.

In reply to his first argument with respect to the matter being the prime responsibility of provincial governments, I would ask the minister if this argument applied when the old age pension legislation was adopted, when the Trans-Canada Highway Act was passed, when health grants were undertaken, and other measures. Second, the minister says that the federal government should first be asked by the provinces to coordinate a conservation program. I would ask the minister who took the initiative with respect to the income tax agreements, national unemployment insurance, federal-provincial agricultural conferences and so on. I would ask who took the initiative in the formation of a commission to study conservation in Canada in 1909. I think the federal government acted wisely in all these cases and saw that if there was going to be a satisfactory state of affairs in these cases it was necessary that it should take the initiative and leadership and not wait for the provinces to ask the federal government to act in a certain direction. The third reason has to do with the doubts expressed by the minister as to the success of a conference

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called to discuss the conservation of all renewable natural resources. In that respect I will admit his argument has some validity. I think he has some grounds for argument there. It is a vast subject and possibly that would not be the best way to approach it in the first instance.

It might be better-and I agree with the minister to that extent-to call separate conferences on forest resources, on water resources and on soil and land resources, then at the appropriate time, call a final national conference which would be called together to correlate the work of these other conferences that have been going on throughout the years and to work out a draft for a final decision for a nation-wide conservation policy.

This year I have changed my resolution to this extent. I have changed the word "national" to "nation-wide". I am beginning to acquire the habits of the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin). I do not want any implication of centralization or federal domination of the provinces and things of that sort. I thought if I copied the Minister of National Health and Welfare in this respect and changed the word "national" to "nation-wide", it would remove every possible opportunity to suggest that the federal government was going to dictate to the provinces. I am sure I am on sound ground in that respect because there is no one more fitted to present a problem so as to avoid offending the sensibilities of any province than is the Minister of National Health and Welfare.

Today I have time to deal with only one aspect of conservation policy, namely, forest conservation. Other members of this group- and, I hope, members from other parties- will deal with water conservation, soil conservation and land use. I also hope we shall hear something from members who are interested in wildlife conservation because all of these subjects are correlated. Wildlife depends on forest conservation, water conservation and land conservation. I trust we shall hear something from those who are particularly interested in wildlife in this country.

I want to give a few figures to support my arguments with respect to certain comments I am going to make in connection with forest conservation. I particularly want to bring to the attention of the house the national revenue derived from the forest industry and the federal government's investment in conservation programs for this resource in relation to others. I have obtained these figures from the bureau of statistics. They are for 1953. They were the latest figures I could get worked out in this form.

In 1953 agriculture gave a net added value to the economy of Canada of $2,113 million. The government's investments in agriculture, in the estimates, are $75,565,308 this year. I see the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) looking at me and I suspect he might rise and say that the figure is not quite exact. May I explain, Mr. Speaker, that I have deducted the $2,167,783 that is in the minister's estimates for forest biology and scientific investigation into forest diseases. I can never understand why that matter was in the minister's department anyway. I find that mining in 1953 was responsible for a net added value to the Canadian economy of $1,101 million. That figure included primary mining, $791 million, and smelting and refining, $310 million. According to the estimates the government investment in mining this year is $22,832,265.

What is the situation with regard to forests? In 1953 the forest industry gave a net added value to the economy of Canada of $1,540 million made up as follows: Logging, $634 million; pulp and paper, $600 million; saw milling, $270 million. In this year's estimates the government invests in the forest industry in Canada $6,845,612 which also includes the money that is being expended by the science service of the Department of Agriculture for forest biology investigation. Now I think, Mr. Speaker, this demonstrates the improvident approach of this government with respect to investment in the protection of the forest industry in Canada, particularly in view of the revenue derived by the federal government from the forest industry. I think it is only common sense to increase the investment to ensure the permanency of that revenue.

I am quite confident, Mr. Speaker, that Canada's forest crop can only be maintained in the future, and in the very near future, by federal-provincial co-operation and the implementation of a nation-wide policy combined with a much larger federal investment in that industry. In total, if my information is correct, Canada has adequate timber reserves at this time but they are unevenly distributed. In some areas there is overcutting, in some areas there is under-cutting, and in some areas the cutting is in balance. However, we are rapidly approaching the point, particularly with the rapid development of the pulp and paper and lumbering industries, where we could quickly commence to dissipate our forest capital. Professor Zavitz of the Ontario forest service said two or three years ago that Ontario's total annual growth that year was destroyed by fire, insects and disease, plus 7 per cent depreciation of the forest capital by cutting.

Now, that is a very serious situation in one province. Ontario is doing some very excellent work in connection with forest conservation. All our forests are constantly threatened by fire. Unless large sums are spent to protect them, with the increase in population and the increasing number of people moving about in the woods, in bad years the protection of these forests will be beyond the capacity of some of our provincial governments. I speak from nearly 50 years' experience in living in the woods, operating a forest and lumbering industry, and working in a heavily timbered region. I have fought Are on many occasions. I recall shortly after the first world war witnessing the destruction of 100 million feet of timber in four hours and 30 minutes. The hon. member for Van-couver-Quadra (Mr. Green) will know the district of which I am speaking. This fire consumed the timber between Summit lake and Slocan lake in one afternoon. The destruction occurred because the small fire which started the large blaze was not tackled early enough. The whole thing in forest protection is to get to the fire while it is small.

I shall never forget that experience because there was a magnificent mixed growth of fir, hemlock, cedar and white pine. The sight of 100 million feet of potentially commercial timber destroyed in four and a half hours is something that leaves an imprint on the mind of a person who is interested in natural resources. I might say, Mr. Speaker, the very first fire in which I had occasion to take part occurred when I was hiring horses to pack supplies. They were very unusual supplies in those early days. As a diversion I might say that was where I was first introduced to what was known in those days as Kootenay chowder. All the men in the camp away in the mountains build a big bonfire. In my supplies there were several cases of clams and several bottles of whiskey- that always went with fighting fires in those days. In case anyone is interested in the recipe, it is this. You get a four gallon kero-sine tin, dump into that a case of clams and three bottles of rye whiskey, add one tablespoonful of dynamite, boil the whole for one hour and serve hot with bannocks. I have given that experience because it was my first experience in fighting fire, and it was quite a dramatic business. Anyway, my experience in the early days, not recently, with a great many fires, convinced me that that is the primary and first problem with respect to the protection of our forests of this country.

Naturally, I think the federal government should assist the provinces in five or six ways as far as the protection of their investment in the forestry industry is concerned. As I said before, the first should be increased

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assistance against fire. The most complete protection against fire is the most urgent duty of any administration, whether federal or provincial, but at the same time it is the most difficult and the most costly. The danger increases with increasing population. Out of an average of 5,000 fires reported each year in Canada, almost 4,000 are now caused by human activities. Funds are required to provide access roads, trails, radio communication, lookout towers, planes, helicopters, ranger cabins, warning signs and other equipment.

Years ago, because of the cost of fighting fires and the new people in the country at the time, many of the fires above levels of about 5,000 feet were not attended to. It was usually said, "It is not economic to protect that timber." In many cases it was not commercial timber but it was a great mistake. Many of the flash floods that are occurring in British Columbia now, in the interior particularly, are occurring because the small brush, the smaller timber, was burnt out in the basins at the headwaters of those creeks. It is just as important to put a fire out whether it is up 6,000 or 7,000 feet as it is to put one out at the thousand-foot elevation. But it takes money to do it. Because of this menace the federal government should gradually increase its assistance to the provinces for fire-fighting service.

As said before, Mr. Speaker, from my experience I give that as the No. 1 problem with respect to the protection of our forests. I admit the federal government is making some grants at the present time under the Canada Forestry Act and by agreement with the province; but there should be increased appropriations for continuing our forest inventory. Some people are of the opinion that if you take stock of the timber you have in the country, once you have gone over the whole of Canada, you have your stock there and you simply deduct that which is destroyed by fire, that which is cut and that which is destroyed in other ways, and then you have the remainder. But if a timber inventory is to be worth anything we must have a continuous inventory of our timber resources in this country. That takes some planning and some extra cash.

The second thing that the federal government should do is to increase the grants to the provinces for carrying on a continued inventory of our timber resources across this country.

The third thing we should think about is forest management, research, both fundamental and applied research. While forest management is essential, the results of good management are not fully realized without

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respect to scientific utilization. In some cases I find men. who are very interested in conserving the forest and growing a crop of timber but who lose interest at that point. Unless we have scientific utilization a lot of the value of our forest management will be lost.

At this time I must pay a tribute to the work of the forest branch of the minister's department. I think his officials are doing an excellent job with their limited resources, and I repeat that "limited resources". I also must say that the forest products laboratories are doing a work in this country that is recognized by very few people. Their studies in utilization, which is most important, if applied by the industry generally, will save this country the waste of hundreds of millions of feet of timber. Do we realize that if we protect our forests against fire by the practice of the best management principles-suppose we are doing that without adequate scientific utilization- even today in Canada on the average only 50 per cent of the trees standing in the woods across the country as a whole are manufactured into products for sale to consumers? We have to do a great deal more than that, and I must say again the work that is being undertaken by the forest products laboratories is a work that, if used by those who are producing great quantities of wood in the lumbering industry and in the pulp and paper industry of this country, could produce in the future hundreds of millions and possibly thousands of millions of dollars of increased revenue from resources that are now being wasted.

Then, there is the question of reforestation, which is very important. I place that as fourth. In our section of the country, in southeastern British Columbia, we have natural regeneration. Our people generally practise a system of selective cutting. In other places it is necessary to have clean cutting because of the huge stands of virgin timber. There is no second growth underneath. Then there are other places where replanting is required. Anyway, I think there is increasing need for federal assistance, assistance to the nursery stations, assistance for replanting, and there is also a need for studies in erosion. With respect to logging roads, and things of that sort, difficulties are increasing very rapidly because they use very heavy equipment in the woods in these days and there is need for assistance. When they used horses for logging purposes they did not dig large trenches in the woods; they did not make those gullies which quickly become creeks in the springtime. There should be a considerable increase in the

assistance given by this government to the provinces for reforestation.

Then, last of all, in my opinion, education is of paramount importance. I know good work is being done by the forestry branch in this respect in the distribution of literature, press releases, radio addresses, pamphlets and booklets, and good work is being done by organizations such as the Canadian forestry association, by some of the universities, by some of the provincial governments and by some other private groups; but further funds are required-again limited funds-to carry on a more extensive program of public education and co-operation between governments, public bodies and individuals interested.

Without any question, Mr. Speaker, the facts prove the value of our forests of Canada, and prove that they warrant a much larger investment by the federal government in their protection and development. I do not suggest for a moment a sudden great increase in the estimates of the forest branch. I think we have an example of what can happen when you get a sudden increase in estimates. We all know of the wasteful expenditure of the Department of National Defence. In some respects it was occasioned by a sudden great increase in money available without any staff and without the planning necessary to use that money effectively. I am not suggesting a sudden great expansion in the estimates. I am suggesting, as a result of nation-wide conservation policy being developed, a gradual policy being devised and a gradual increase in the estimates of the forest branch of the minister's department, as a staff can be trained and as the program can be developed so that the funds will be spent efficiently and planned as a result of federal-provincial co-operation.

I have tried to illustrate, Mr. Speaker, as far as the forest industry is concerned, the need for a nation-wide conservation policy, protection and development of our forest resources as one facet of our renewable natural resources. Similar arguments will apply to water resources, soil and land resources and to wildlife. One of the greatest weaknesses today in facing conservation of natural resources is the number of governments and other agencies in this country who are concerned, and definitely concerned, in different phases of these problems.

Therefore in conclusion may I say that I think two things are essential for success, and I think it is essential that there be success in the near future. The first is the co-ordination of all these worth-while activities into one comprehensive and effective program, and

the second is that adequate funds be made available by the federal government to implement such a program.

Once again I urge the minister to accept the principle of my resolution and by so doing mobilize all the resources of the federal and provincial governments, of interested organizations, of individuals and of the people of Canada in support of a nationwide policy of conservation of all our renewable natural resources.

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LIB

Allan Henry Hollingworth

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, first of all I should like to congratulate the mover of this motion on his interest in the matter and on his knowledge of the subject of conservation. Not only is he a credit to his party, he is a credit also to his province and to his country.

This is a subject of great importance but I think we should realize at the outset that primarily it is a topic which comes under provincial jurisdiction and I think all our remarks should be governed by that salient fact.

I am entering this debate this afternoon to discuss two things in particular, the Humber valley conservation authority and the national parks program. Hon. members undoubtedly are aware of the fact that the Humber valley conservation authority made application to the province of Ontario and through it to the government of Canada under the Canada Water Conservation Act for the creation of flood control measures the necessity for which was brought about largely by the after-effects of the disastrous "Hurricane Hazel", Hon. members will remember that representatives of the authority saw the minister on January 31, 1955, and it was requested of them that a further report be made. Before the economic conditions and engineering aspects of this project could be determined it was withdrawn by the province of Ontario and at the present time the matter is in a state of flux.

I understand that a bill is before the Ontario legislature to amend the conservation authorities act and which would dissolve the Humber valley conservation authority and form the metropolitan Toronto and region conservation authority. I understand further that all the assets of and the appointments made by the Humber valley conservation authority would be taken over by the new authority. I should like to say that once the authority is designated and if further application is made to the federal government I as one of the members for the Yorks-I think all other members for the Yorks will feel the same way-will certainly use all my efforts to see that this worthy project is consummated.

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The advantages of having a Humber valley conservation program are many. First of all, dams would be erected to provide reservoirs which would hold 52 per cent of any major runoff which might result from a repetition of "Hurricane Hazel". This could come any time, and usually does come once in every 75 years on a major scale. Furthermore these dams would control the summer flow of the water of the Humber at that time of the year and would ease a very serious problem of pollution which is prevalent in the summer months when the level of the water is quite low.

Then again the dams would create lakes to form a recreational area. One will realize that with a population of almost two million the Toronto metropolitan area requires some form of recreational park system which would take care of the recreational needs of greater Toronto. Finally, such lakes as would be established by this project would supply the municipalities with necessary water, and some control would also help in the management of soil conservation.

I should like now to deal with the question of national parks. Section 4 of the National Parks Act sets out the general purposes of the act. This is called the dedication clause, and it reads:

The parks are hereby dedicated to the people of Canada for their benefit, education and enjoyment, subject to the provisions of this act and the regulations, and such parks shall be maintained and made use of so as to leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.

Last summer I had the privilege of visiting some of these national parks, and at this time I should like to speak particularly of the Banff national park, the Yoho national park and Jasper national park. I want to comment upon the splendid reception accorded me by the different park superintendents and their staffs. It was a real privilege to see with what enthusiasm these gentlemen treated their work. I think a tribute is owing to the minister and his officials for the way in which these parks are being run by such capable people.

There are certain fundamental prerequisites for a national park development. A national park must preserve unusual scenery or some natural wonder or historic feature of national importance. It must be of sufficient size to support adequately all forms of wild life native to the region. It should embrace only lands in their natural state for the most part and should not take in lands suitable for agricultural use. It should exclude mineralized or forested areas capable of commercial exploitation.

I appreciate the problems created by the number of visitors who are visiting the parks.

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This creates a great danger of spoliation and a greater danger of fire. An editorial in yesterday's New York Times comments upon the increasing use of United States national parks, and they put this problem quite nicely when they say:

The brutal fact is that the national parks of the United States are in dire danger of being loved to death, destroyed by the American people in their desire to see them, to travel through them, to camp out in them, to walk and ride over them! Present facilities are geared to handle about half the number of present visitors. If we are going to continue to have national parks that are worthwhile, and, equally important, that are to be adequately used by the people while being preserved and maintained for future generations, we have to embark on a large-scale protective and constructive program.

I have two observations to make. They are not meant as criticism, but I should like to call them to the attention of the minister. First, in my opinion there are not enough tourist facilities available. It seems to me that there are too few auto camps and hotels to look after the people who want to visit these parks.

My other complaint is that many people seem to be disappointed in the fishing. Perhaps I noted this particularly because I am extremely fond of fishing and I know that I was disappointed. One can realize the difficulties in this respect. After all, lakes that are accessible to highways are always fished out. I am told that the glacial silt which comes down from the mountains, particularly in the summer months, is not good for fishing and that the best time to fish is in the spring or the late summer. But I understand the department is taking steps to correct this situation. For example,

I was interested to note that in some lakes, such as the third Vermilion lake, the waters are being treated with "rotenone" powder to kill the suckers and to provide the water for trout. I was interested also to learn that the warden of Yoho park had said that Emerald lake was afflicted with suckers and a great deal of expenditure would be necessary to clean it out, but such action is being contemplated also, I am told.

Another matter is that the fish hatcheries at Banff and Jasper are being increased. At Banff two substations are being provided, and, for the first time in many years, one quarter of a million young trout will be available to stock the lakes in Banff park. Similarly, at Jasper, one half a million young trout are available and being developed at the Jasper substation. Again, research is being continued by biologists of the Canadian wild-life service of the national parks branch.

I think the minister and his officials are to be congratulated. I am informed that trout

can still be caught in the more inaccessible lakes and, of course, any real fisherman will tramp miles or go by packhorse to reach those lakes. It also means, of course one must have the time.

Now I should like to speak about national parks in Ontario. Hon. members particularly from that province, will be aware of the three small national parks, namely, the Thousand Islands national park, the one at Georgian bay islands and the small national park at Point Pelee. I think these parks are admirable, but I think also they are inadequate. In travelling through the vast panorama of lakes, streams and forests of incomparable and rugged beauty that constitute northern Ontario, I have thought that would be an excellent place for a national park. I understand that the procedure for establishing a national park is as follows. National parks can be established by an act of parliament amending the existing parks act. In establishing new parks the policy has been for the federal government to request the province concerned to take the initiative by offering a clear title. If the lands are suitable and measure up to national park requirements, the offer of the provincial government is accepted and necessary legislation will be passed by both federal and provincial parliaments.

The federal government and the province of Ontario have a splendid record of cooperation in many fields. I would like to ask the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources if he will consider approaching the province of Ontario for a great new national park in northern Ontario.

finally, I wish to say something on this question of overriding provincial jurisdiction in this field.

I must say regretfully and reluctantly that I cannot support this resolution. I cannot support it because I feel, as the minister said last year, this is something that primarily comes within the jurisdiction of the provinces. If a majority of the provinces requests such a conference, then I think we should certainly co-operate with them, but it is not something like a dominion-provincial conference where both governments have equal jurisdiction or co-ordinate jurisdiction, for example, in taxation both the federal government and the provincial governments have access to taxation because of the constitution, but surely this is something which comes within the province primarily. As I understand it, it is also on the agenda of the present conference which was and is being held between the provinces and the federal government.

But in the meantime, to be true to our responsibilities and to assist the hon. member for Kootenay West, who is doing such a magnificent job of bringing this up year after year, we should not only reconstitute or resuscitate-whichever word you want to use-the house standing committee on resources but also perhaps, as the hon. member for Kootenay West suggested last year, the government should again set up a commission on conservation for the necessary fact finding and research.

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PC

William Marvin Howe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. M. Howe (Wellingion-Huron):

should like to commend the hon. member for Kootenay West for once again bringing this question to the attention of this house and of the people of Canada, by means of his resolution that the government should consider the advisability of calling a dominion-provincial conference on conservation, with the view to the establishment of a nationwide policy on soil, forest and water conservation and land use for Canada.

As the hon. member for York Centre was speaking, I was thinking of his own resolution not so long ago on education. In the discussion on that, the bugbear of dominion-provincial relations was brought up, and indications were that this was trampling on the field of the provinces. In the case of education and scholarships, the fact that none were given at certain levels meant that Canada was the loser, because it lost thus many of the brains that it needed. But in the case of conservation we have a problem in which we have a second chance. In the main we are dealing with renewable resources, built up by mother nature in this country over many years-trees, soil, rivers and so forth. Man has been destroying many of the things that mother nature took so long to build. But, as I say, we have a second chance, by carrying out a scheme such, as is proposed in this resolution.

One of the particular reasons why I am interested in this question of conservation is that in my own riding of Wellington-Huron, as an editorial in the Fergus News Record indicates, in the spring of 1957 will be completed one of the greatest conservation schemes that has been developed in this whole dominion. That is the Grand river conservation scheme. That scheme is part of history. As far back as 1905 an engineer named William Breithaupt in the city then named Berlin took time to walk up and down the banks of the Grand river. Even in those days when there were not so many people living there, he found a picture of erosion. Trees, trunks and soil were taken away and the banks scoured to the rock on that river, because of the fact that there was a rushing current

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during the spring and summer months. Later on, he found the stream shrunk to a very small rivulet which was polluted with sewage and so forth from all the cities that were established along that river. He decided to see if he could interest people in building some type of conservation scheme on this river. The original plan was for five dams. In 1939 the first dam was built above the town of Fergus-this was called the Shand dam, not too far from the village of Belwood. A few years later another dam was built at the headwaters of the river and was called the Luther dam. When the final dam is built on the Conestogo a conservation scheme will have been developed that will prevent terrific flooding in the spring with the crushing weight of water and ice that does so much damage and it will also establish and maintain a flow of water throughout the entire season.

At this time I should like to pay tribute to those spirited citizens in that district who, with very little monetary return to themselves, have carried through this project to a successful conclusion, who have not stopped working and who are turning their time and energies to building up once again the banks of that river as they were many years ago before all the trees and shrubs were taken away. They are making it once again a thing of beauty. They are developing parks, building beaches around the lakes and, what is probably more important than ever, they are establishing tree farms up and down the Grand river valley.

I bring this matter to the attention of the house because, as I say, it is a pattern that might be followed in other parts of Canada. I maintain that if it had been followed along the Humber river valley the terrible catastrophe that followed "Hurricane Hazel" would not have been possible. Along many other rivers that night there were thousands of dollars' worth of damage. The flooding along the Nottawasaga river in southwestern Ontario that night resulted in over $500,000 damage done to bridges and culverts. With this pattern of damage and destruction, would it not be better to spend money on preventive measures so that the raising of disaster funds would not be necessary and municipalities and governments at all levels would not be called upon to assist in reinstating people, reconstructing buildings and moving them to other localities?

As I say, great tribute is due these people who have done so much to carry out this wonderful work. I might say also that their work has been of an economic nature, particularly in southern Ontario, something we did not expect. I have here an article from

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the January issue of Bush News entitled, "Security for Future Seen in Tree Farms." The article reads in part as follows:

Ontario now has 17 tree farms as a result of the certification of 11 woodlots in the Grand valley district of southern Ontario December 28. The woodlots, totalling 423 acres, were officially certified as tree farms at a ceremony in Galt, sponsored by the Huron district tree farm committee and the Grand valley conservation authority.

During the ceremony, James A. Vance, P.Eng., of Woodstock, chairman of the Canadian forestry association of Ontario and guest speaker, announced there now was a direct market in southern Ontario for pulpwood from the tree farms. He said the Ontario Paper Company which operates its giant mill at Thorold is planning to purchase 10,000 cords of pulpwood in the southern Ontario area next year. . . . He added that Canada's history was largely determined by trees. There were more than 4,000 uses for wood in daily life today. It goes into lumber, pulp, rayon, cellulose and plastic. The tonnage of wood used in world war II was greater than the tonnage of steel.

As the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Herridge) indicated, there are very many organizations which are taking an interest in this question, and in that regard I should like to refer to the policy declarations and resolutions of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for 1953-54 and 1955-56. Under the heading "Water and Energy Resources" they have this to say in their 1955-56 policy declarations and resolutions:

The chamber urges the development of a program for the establishment of a national policy for the control, conservation and development of water resources for multiple purposes on which all interests can unite and on which a maximum of local and provincial autonomy is assured.

It is also rather interesting to note that some of our younger people are interested in this question. In the Globe and Mail of March 8, 1955, there is an article containing the following:

Katharine Merry, 17, of Milton, a member of the Halton 4-H beef calf club and 1954 winner of the Queen's guineas at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, said one-fifth of the original crop land of Canada has already been destroyed by improper agricultural methods and that more is being destroyed every day.

As this would indicate, Mr. Speaker, the question of conservation is bigger than just the holding back of the waters in our river valleys. We must consider the reasons that are contributing to the excessive flooding. We are all familiar enough with the history of this country to realize that when our forefathers came here it was pretty well all covered with forests but that in order to provide for food and crops for their way of life it was necessary for them to cut down the forests indiscriminately. This practice went on to a great extent. It was followed in our country in the same way as it has been all over the world with no thought being

taken for tomorrow. As an ancient Chinese philosopher once said: "If a man take no thought for what is distant he will find sorrow near at hand."

The history of the world indicates that soil erosion is part and parcel of the history of mankind. Great empires have risen only to fall because of the loss of their topsoil. The great Sahara desert, over which Rommel made his advances and retreats during the last great war, was at one time the granary of the Roman empire. Irrigation works were damaged by war. Vegetation disappeared, blowing sand and subsoil covered whole cities and the work of seven centuries was lost in less than 100 years.

We find the same pattern in Mesopotamia, Italy and China. However, we do not have to go back that far in history. In many cases our own handling of this particular matter has proved that we too are guilty of forgetting the fundamentals necessary for the protection of that very valuable asset, our topsoil. There are many districts in southern Ontario which at one time supported whole communities and which are now pictures of dilapidated and broken down buildings and eroded soil. The people have been forced to move because through improper methods of land use the land would no longer provide a livelihood for them and their families.

In the United States we have the tragedy of the dust bowl that occurred in the states of Kansas, Texas and southern Oklahoma where, in a period of excessive drought and in a region with the striking paradox of productivity and erosion, the topsoil that was left exposed began to drift and blow. In fact, on one occasion the sky over New York city was darkened by the dust from that dust bowl in those southwestern states of the United States. We sometimes say that that happened back in 1934. I do not know how many members read the Globe and Mail this morning, but in it there is a picture with the heading at the top, "Red Dust from Texas Blows into Windsor Area." It can happen again. Periodically we read that there is still danger of the same thing happening in our own western provinces as happened back in the thirties with the blowing of the soil.

In China we find an example of the two extremes. In northern China there is the Gobi desert, a vast barren land where nothing can grow. In central China there is the Chengtu plain where for 1,500 years intensive agriculture has been practised by following proper conservation, irrigation and soil protection methods. We too must realize the importance of a national policy of conservation of our renewable resources, a national policy which gives us a comprehensive picture right across the whole country.

We might take a leaf from the book of some of the countries that have joined the Colombo plan organization. Last summer there was completed by Pakistan-one of the countries that we consider to be a have not country-an aerial survey of their whole country. From this survey, together with the work of a ground crew, there has been worked out a comprehensive plan, just as we have mentioned here in our resolution, so that in the reclamation and the setting up of their country, in using these funds for technical assistance, they will not go at it in a haphazard way but will have a co-ordinated plan that will be followed right through in their entire country. I understand that Ceylon is doing the same thing.

I can see no reason why we in Canada could not have an aerial survey of that type. The other day I noticed a description of a new type of machine for reading the threedimensional camera which would give us a better picture and a better perspective of the means necessary to prevent the type of thing about which I am speaking. As was stated by the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Herridge), many people are trying to bring this matter to the attention of this country of ours. In the London Free Press of recent date there appeared an item which was headed "Too much population; Professor broods on war from hunger" and which reads in part as follows;

A gloomy forecast of a hungry, overpopulated world, with nations possibly waging war to safeguard their food supplies, was placed before a section of the Royal Society of Canada . . .

The forecast was made by Professor D. A. Mac-Gibbon of the department of political economy, McMaster University, in a paper on the threat of overpopulation.

The professor concludes his remarks with these words;

He felt that the greatest possibility of delaying an actual global crisis in food supplies for some decades at least, lay in scientific progress and in the resolute employment of methods of conservation.

Speaking about things that are being done to decrease the number of acres of land we have, may I say that the practice that is being followed in some parts of southern Ontario is, in my opinion, wrong. I refer to the taking over by great industries of that wonderfully productive fruit and vegetable land in southern Ontario, something which man can never replace, something which it has taken years and years to build up and develop. Industry can grow and develop on land that would not be as suitable for the growing of fruit and vegetables. I think that practice is wrong and one that should be changed. General Smuts once said that erosion is the biggest question before the country, bigger than any

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politics. As I said, time is of the essence. Old mother nature does not stand still but she gives us a second chance to renew these resources which we have depleted. I feel that there should be a definite policy of conservation on a national level to promote systems of farm practice, tree culture, water supply and land settlement that will promote greater economic security for our dominion.

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LIB

Samuel Rosborough Balcom

Liberal

Mr. S. R. Balcom (Halifax):

Mr. Speaker, I think we should be happy today that the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Herridge) has again brought this important resolution before the house. I can appreciate his doing so for I understand that he lives in an area surrounded by thousands of lakes and streams and hundreds of acres of beautiful forest, all of which he owns.

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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

Excuse me, Mr. Speaker. I rise on a question of privilege. May I say that I do not own all that. I live in a very small area within all that.

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LIB

Samuel Rosborough Balcom

Liberal

Mr. Balcom:

It does not look like it by the pictures, Mr. Speaker.

In Nova Scotia where forest, lake and stream blend to make a great paradise, the people are extremely conscious of this important matter of conservation. Nova Scotia is a small province, composed of merely 21,000 square miles jutting out into the Atlantic ocean, practically surrounded by water, and it loses by erosion many acres of fertile soil to the Atlantic ocean, the Northumberland strait and the bay of Fundy.

I am sorry that the hon. member for Kootenay West could not have broadened this resolution to include the youth of this country from Newfoundland to Yukon. That is one resource in which we are experiencing a great drain. Particularly is that so in Nova Scotia. We train our young to graduate-to mention only two professions-in engineering and medicine. Then we lose most of them.

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PC

Joseph Warner Murphy

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Murphy (Lambion West):

To the United

States.

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LIB

Samuel Rosborough Balcom

Liberal

Mr. Balcom:

To the United States, but mostly to central Canada. This drain has been going on for many years.

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PC

Joseph Warner Murphy

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Murphy (Lambton Wesi):

He is wrong.

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LIB

Samuel Rosborough Balcom

Liberal

Mr. Balcom:

I hear the hon. member say that I am wrong. I should like to point out to him and to other members of the house that all one needs to do is to look at our universities where we have our presidents, the important doctors across this country, the engineers, the president of the national research council, and at many places like that where you will see our university graduates.

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PC

Joseph Warner Murphy

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Murphy (Lamblon Wesl):

Look at the emigration figures. Look at the emigration that is going to the United States.

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LIB

Samuel Rosborough Balcom

Liberal

Mr. Balcom:

We have a small number going to the United States. Unfortunately we are not filling up this loss in Nova Scotia through immigration. When talking about conservation I think we should give the authorities, both federal and provincial, credit for the work they have already done. Over the years many millions of dollars have been spent all across this country. In some provinces the amount has naturally been greater than in others. But Nova Scotia has done reasonably well with respect to money spent on conservation. In 1952 some $715,000 were spent in six counties of Nova Scotia. Of that $715,000, $90,000 was spent in Annapolis and Kings counties. Again in 1953-54 $166,000 were spent, and $90,000 again were spent in 1954-55.

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PC

George Clyde Nowlan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

They have a good member.

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LIB

Samuel Rosborough Balcom

Liberal

Mr. Balcom:

That pleases the hon. member for Digby-Annapolis-Kings (Mr. Nowlan). This land in Annapolis, Kings and Digby counties is the most important part of the province. It has been cultivated from away back in 1604 by the Acadians, and it was intensely cultivated by them from 1604 to 1755 at the time of the expulsion. There were periods when this land in the valley-this land that was reclaimed by the building of dikes and dams-was worth perhaps $200 an acre and at times it produced 50 bushels to 75 bushels of grain per acre and 2i tons to 3 tons of hay per acre.

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PC

Joseph Warner Murphy

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Murphy (Lamblon Wesl):

What kind of grain?

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LIB

Samuel Rosborough Balcom

Liberal

Mr. Balcom:

Probably not as good as that out west but it was so good that those Acadians sold it to the French in order to feed their army, and they had quite a business with Newfoundland over the years not only in grain but in beef.

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February 27, 1956