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


James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)



Perhaps if I were to give some details so that hon. members would have some information as to the nature of the legislation, it would help them in anything they might desire to say. I was hopeful that most of the discussion would take place on second reading of the bill. The bill is in print and ready for distribution as soon as this resolution passes. With the bill before us, we would be in a better position to discuss points such as those mentioned by the senior hon. member for Halifax.

At present, however, I should like to reply to the question asked by the hon. member for Souris. As he said a few moments ago, for a period of years he and other hon. members have been advocating that we should have legislation similar to that known as the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act, which would be applicable to all Canada.
In so far as it has been given consideration by the government, it was thought that if such action were taken there should be two bills, one covering the problems we have from Manitoba west and the other covering problems from Ontario east. Those problems are different, due largely to the nature of the country and to the difference in climate in the different areas. It was thought, therefore, that there should be two bills.
May I say that, among others, I have become a little bit tired, if I may use that word, of waiting for these larger bills. The suggestion made a few moments ago by the senior hon. member for Halifax is correct in every particular. Since coming to Ottawa and going to the maritimes to see for the first time the marshlands there, and the experimental work which was started there the year before I took over the department, and which has been continued since that time, I have been convinced that one of the most important works to be done in Canada was the rehabilitation of the marshlands.
I recall that from my earliest days in school in Canada I was taught that one of the highest tides in the world was that in the bay of Fundy. I did not realize what that meant until I had an opportunity to go there and to see it. The situation is one which has been dealt with over a long period of time and by different authorities. Although I have not measured it, I was told, while I was very young, that the water rises to a height of forty-two feet.

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