June 3, 1935 (17th Parliament, 6th Session)


Thomas Reid


Mr. THOMAS REID (New Westminster):

Mr. Speaker, before you leave the chair I should like to air a grievance. Some time ago I appealed to the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Stewart) in connection with a matter which affects many farmers on Lulu island. I have received several telegrams stating that there is grave danger of flooding of their lands and I desire to draw this serious matter to the attention of the government. There is perhaps such a thing as natural erosion of lands which might be termed an act of God, but the erosion to which I now refer, involving some 5,000 acres of cultivated land and over 100 families, has been caused by the action of the Department of Public Works in closing up in 1926 and 1927 certain channels of the Fraser river, thereby throwing the current of the river against the bank of Lulu island. I know that the Minister of Public Works says it is not possible for the department to assume full responsibility in this matter, and I quite realize that no government can be held responsible for all erosion which may take place to river banks, provided of course they are natural. But the matter I am putting before the house is one where the Department of Public Works has interfered with the course of the stream, closing up one channel and so throwing the Fraser river over against the dyke lands in the municipality of Richmond. I claim that responsibility does rest with the dominion government and they should come to the rescue of these farmers. The danger is so serious that if the dyke breaks through not only will over five thousand acres of land under crop be destroyed but the whole dyking system of that district will also be completely ruined. I am again appealing to the minister and to the house to come to the assistance and rescue of the farmers and settlers in that district.

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