May 31, 1921 (13th Parliament, 5th Session)


Matthew Robert Blake



I was very sorry to hear from the member for West Lambton (Mr. Pardee) such an attack upon the people of Winnipeg and upon this Bill. I agree with every word said by the member for Proveneher (Mr. Molloy) that this is an interpnovircial stream, and as such should be controlled for the interests of both provinces rather than for the sole benefit of Backus. The hon. member for West Lambton expressed his regret at this Bill being brought down in the dying hours of the session, but we must do some work before prorogation.
It has been urged that because nothing but small and shallow boats are used on the Winnipeg river, therefore it cannot be regarded as a navigable stream. Will my hon. friend say that because there are small draught boats plying on the Mississippi that therefore the Mississippi is not a navigable stream? This river is a navigable stream, and must be regarded as such and controlled by the Dominion Government.
My hon. friend from West Lambton also regrets that the people of Winnipeg are interested in this matter. Why should they not be? Would he rather have Backus completely interested and the people of Winnipeg taking no part? The industrial life of tne province of Manitoba depends upon the power development on this river. We are also dependent upon the waters of this lake for our supply of drinking water. We have had our whiskey cut off but we do not purpose having our water supply cut off. The city of Winnipeg is the fourth manufacturing city in Canada and we have as cheap power as is to be foiind on the American continent. The water for our waterworks comes by gravity from the lake of the Woods, there being a drop of 291 feet from the lake of the Woods to lake Winnipeg. Practically every foot of this water can be utilized for the development of power to meet the needs of Winnipeg in the days to come.
The member for Lambton went on to say that there was plenty of power on the Winnipeg river for Manitoba and that there

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