May 28, 1948 (20th Parliament, 4th Session)


Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative


Mr. Chairman, I should like to take three or four minutes of the time of the committee to discuss this particular resolution. In the first place, I should like to see a national policy adopted which would apply not only to the maritimes but throughout the whole country. A number of hon. members visited the city of Toronto some time ago and they saw the marshlands in the Ashbridge's Bay area.- The city built two large dredges at considerable cost which pumped about two and a half million cubic yards of sand and water a day which was used to reclaim this area.
I support the principle of the resolution. The hon. member for Davenport has taken a great deal of interest in this matter. The other day he showed some pictures in the railway committee room which indicated what could be done in this country in the way of reclaiming marshland throughout the country. I believe in certain cases the provinces should contribute towards works of this kind.
Since confederation the only works carried on by the federal government have been those concerning navigation. The public works department erect breakwaters, harbour works
Reclamation oj Marshlands

and all that sort of thing on navigable waters or streams. Many of the reclamation works carried out in the three prairie provinces have been good so far, but I do not agree in the policy involved. Somebody must be responsible for the construction of these works. We should have a national plan but it seems difficult to get a plan at the present time for these reclamation works. I do not think an advisory committee should be appointed. The works are to be undertaken by an advisory committee upon terms and conditions agreed upon with the province prior to Majr 1, 1955, and the Minister of Agriculture is to be empowered to appoint the necessary officers and employees to be paid out of the consolidated revenue fund. There should be a national policy of flood control undertaken in conjunction with the provinces. Some of the dredging plants of the federal government could be used in connection with this work.
Floods are causing widespread damage in every province. We should have a national policy of bonuses, subsidies and subventions on reclamation and flood control. It would not only improve conditions all over Canada and develop our national resources but provide employment. I commend the principle of this resolution. We shall await the bill for details.

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