February 12, 1915 (12th Parliament, 5th Session)


George Perry Graham



How long are we to wait for this matter to be remedied? While we are waiting people are dying of disease. At the present time examination is being made of the intake pipe of the town of Brockville, in which it is contended there is a break. The Board of Health tells us to adopt a filtration plant. Another expert says: No, you must treat
the sewage as it goes into the river. We proceed to do one or both of these things under the Provincial Health Act, and a little later on we shall have a Dominion Act under which to take action. It is time that this House indicated in some way what it proposes to do. The measure need not be drastic; we may not insist on towns being bankrupted or put to great expense; but every day that this matter is postponed, a greater mileage of sewage systems is being constructed in these towns; greater quantities of sewage are being poured into the streams, and greater will be the expense of re-

adjusting whole systems a few years later. Therefore I think we have waited long enough. _
I do not intend to discuss the details of this Bill; but if the Government are anxious to handle this question in a practical manner, some measure can be passed which will be an indication to the people in the various towns that action is going to be taken, but that they will be given time to readjust themselves to the new condition of affairs. I am not in favour of sending this Bill to another committee if it is to be held over until another session. If it is to go to a committee, the committee ought to understand the gravity of the situation in many of our towns and investigate as far as possible all the conditions; there is plenty of material to afford them all the information necessary; and they can report a Bill which can be passed this session, letting the people throughout the Dominion know that we are going to stop the menace of pollution of our streams; because so long as something is not done to stop it, it will be continued, and no amount of talk will make the people change their systems. I have had considerable experience of injurious results from such pollution during the past few months. I hope the Bill will come before this House as a practical measure to be voted upon before this session closes.

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