Ottawa, January 2, 1958.
The Hon. W. A. C. Bennett Premier of British Columbia Victoria, B.C.
My dear Premier:
At the federal-provincial tourist conference that was held in Ottawa this past October there was a good deal of discussion on the possibilities of major developments being achieved over the next few years in the expansion of Canada's tourist industry. It was recognized that in most areas of the country expansion of tourist accommodation facilities of all kinds would have to be effected before any major increase in tourist traffic could be handled adequately.
One type of tourist accommodation which has rapidly increased in popularity over the past few years, and which would certainly have to be expanded to meet a major increase in tourist traffic, is camp ground-picnic area development. At the conference, all provinces demonstrated their interest in this form of development, whether it would be located along provincial highways or in provincial park areas. I indicated on behalf of the government of Canada the strong interest which the government has in the development of the tourist industry which already plays such an important part in our country's economy and which we are sure will play an increasingly important part in years to come. While I was not able at the conference itself to make any definite offers of federal assistance in connection with projects the provinces might wish to undertake, the whole problem has since been under most active consideration.
The government of Canada has now decided that it would be very much worth while to take an immediate step in the direction of some assistance as a practical experiment. The work involved in implementing the program would have particular value at the present time in providing added employment this winter in many different localities across Canada. I have therefore been authorized to offer on behalf of the federal government a program of assistance to the provincial governments on the following basis:
(1) The federal government will reimburse the provincial governments for 50 per cent of provincial government expenditures
made on camp ground and picnic area developments between the date of this letter and May 31, 1958.
(2) The offer applies only to developments on land owned or to be acquired by the provincial governments and constructed by or on behalf of provincial departments and agencies, with the understanding that the developments would continue to be owned by the province.
(3) Subject to (2) above, the developments could be constructed anywhere in the province.
(4) The offer is made on the basis that not less than 50 per cent of all expenditures are for payment of wages of persons employed on the work.
(5) Auditing of provincial records or inspection of provincial works by federal representatives would not be a condition of reimbursement. Reimbursement would be made on receipt of a letter or statement from the provincial minister or ministers directly concerned giving the total of expenditures made within each of the prescribed periods and stating that the conditions set out in (2), (3) and (4) above had been met, and enclosing a list of the points where work was done and a very brief description of what had been accomplished at each point.
(6) Reimbursement could be made on a monthly basis if desired by the province, on submission of an appropriate letter or statement as set out in (5) above to cover the expenditures made in the last complete month. For expenditures made prior to March 31, 1958, a covering letter or statement would have to be received by April 20, 1958, so that the federal contribution could be paid from 1957-58 funds. Covering statements for provincial expenditures in April and May could be submitted any time before June 30th.
(7) Because of the limited time, it would not be proposed that formal agreements be entered into. This letter, together with a letter from a provincial premier accepting the offer and the conditions set out above would be regarded as the agreement. Immediate consideration will be given to placing before parliament a request for the provision of the funds that will be required for the federal share of the cost of the program.
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Development of Camp and Picnic Areas I am sorry that I have not been able to advise you of this program at an earlier date but I would hope that it will still be possible to organize and carry out a good deal of work such as cutting and clearing of sites, trails leading to sites, erection of camp buildings and so on. We propose to initiate a program of this nature at once within the national parks and we have found by past experience that a good deal can be done regardless of weather conditions.
I would be very pleased if you would let me know as soon as possible whether your