June 26, 1925 (14th Parliament, 4th Session)


Joseph Tweed Shaw



The hon. member for Bow
River says, "hear, hear." He visited that area last year and saw it for himself. That particular variety of scenery can be duplicated in a thousand different places. The parks in Alberta total an area of approximately 9.000 square miles, and all of this, if advocates of park conservation are to have their way, is to be forever a closed area in which there shall be no commercial exploitation at all. Some advocates of park conservation or preservation agree with the view that the parks in Alberta are altogether too large. The present park area should be carefully surveyed so as to pick out the points of special scenic significance, and the rest should foe permitted to be commercialized where commercialization is proper and justified. With what the leader of the opposition says in regard to a proper development especially of this particular area, I find myself in accord. I happen to have a copy of the Manchester Guardian Weekly of Friday, April 17, of this year, and apparently there has been from time to time a great deal of controversy even in England with regard to the preservation of what might be called mountain reservoirs. I desire to read from this article one or two selections which will epitomize the situation:

Much cf the early indignation was probably due to a confused idea that new moorland reservoirs are what devout Calvimsts used to call "humanised abominations", whereas the lakes previously existing were intensely authentic and well-considered works of nature. In truth there are few things which nature makes sc arbitrarily and so accidentally as lakes, or by which she seems to set less store when they are made. As Playfair pointed out, before our large-scale reservoirmaking had fairly begun, a lake in nature is but a temporary condition, a mere incident, of a part of a river.
Further on, this article states:
Of course a corporation may disfigure a fine vallev by building ugly waterworks and houses, by forcing the banks into rigid lines, or by lining the margin with stone setts. But none of these mistakes is a necessary Dart of reservoir-making. They are merely bad reservoir-making. The very few buildings, roads, and fences that reservoirs need would serve their purpose at least as well if they were models of beauty. And this they ought to be-simply from public spirit in all cases, and also from enlightened selfishness.
My suggestion to the minister is that the application of the province of Alberta should be granted and that if necessary that particular area which has no special scenic value should be excluded from the park area. That can be done easily and readily, and subject to proper festrictiops as regards (development, having in view the preservation of whatever scenic values there may be, the government should not hesitate to grant a license to the province of Alberta if and when it makes application therefor.

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