April 27, 1909 (11th Parliament, 1st Session)


Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)



Mr. Speaker, this Bill is introduced for the purpose of the formation of a permanent commission on the natural lesources of Canada. Hon. gentlemen will no doubt remember that there was a conference held in Washington at an earlier stage of this session at which Canada was represented, and that the report of that conference recommended and urged strongly that the countries taking part in it, namely, Mexico, the United States and Canada, should each of them establish a permanent conservation commission for the purposes of considering, investigating and recommending in regard to the development of the natural resources in their own countries. The government has judged that it is wise to accept that recommendation and has entrusted me with the duty of drawing up a Bill for that purpose. I will just say shortly that the Bill provides for a commission, which shall be an honorary commission, of thirty-two members, twelve of whom shall be ex officio members, three members of the government at Ottawa and one representative of each of the provincial governments in Canada, that representative to be, as a general rule, a minister of the province in charge of the lands, forests and mines. That will depend, of course, on the duties assigned to the different provincial ministers. That would provide for twelve members of the commission. It is proposed to provide that the twenty other members of the commission shall be appointed by order in council. The government will appoint one of these commissioners as chairman. The commissioners shall not be paid at all, but shall receive their travelling expenses when they attend a meeting of the commission. There will be one annual meeting in the month of January and other meetings shall take place at the call of the chairman of the commission. The work of the commission shall be conducted by a small office at Ottawa which

office shall be included in the inside service here and be in charge of one officer who shall be called the secretary of the commission. I think this outlines the chief details of the Bill. The Bui, which is a very short one, outlines these details and defines the objects and intentions of the commission.

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