My experience in regard to other matters and other projects has been that if one believes strongly in them and
June 28, 1967
perseveres long enough, one generally meets with success in the end.
The purpose of this proposed waterway is to provide another means of transportation. It is only natural that some of those engaged in other modes of transportation will oppose this proposition and even ridicule it. I personally believe that this proposed western inland waterway will reduce freight costs in the prairie provinces, will accelerate development in northern areas and will encourage production of minerals as well as agricultural and forest products. It will open new frontiers to recreation and will encourage tourists to come to these areas. It will help to bring in much needed United States dollars and thus help to rectify the imbalance of trade with our neighbour to the south. In addition, it will shorten the distance for building roads to resources and will create substantial additional employment.
Many have said to me that this idea of a western inland waterway is a very good one but that before it will be practical or feasible we need a much larger population and much more industrial development. I do not dispute the fact that this is probably correct. The population of Canada from now on will increase at a much faster pace than in the past and the same applies to industry. With an increasing population, industrial development will take place at a far greater place than in the past. In view of this I feel it is imperative that the government start now with studies and not wait until we require this additional transportation system.
It is a foregone conclusion that extensive population growth and extensive industrial growth will take place in the three prairie provinces in the years ahead. The prairies have wheat, oil, potash, minerals, agricultural products, pulp and forest products, fish, and so on. For these reasons this is a natural area for industry to establish and a western inland waterway will help to bring industry there.
[DOT] (5:10 p.m.)
In the period from 1870 to 1917 many boats travelled the Saskatchewan River system. There was no expenditure made for river improvement. Some of these boats were of a good size, as long as 200 feet. We have today a fleet of tugs and barges operating on Lake Winnipeg. I am told that this is the most up-to-date equipment of its kind on the North American continent. During the construction of the hydro development at Grand Rapids this fleet moved a lot of material and equipment to that power site. These crafts
Establishment of Inland Waterway will be ideal for operating on an inland waterway such as I visualize.
An extensive detailed investigation to ascertain the feasibility and cost of providing a navigable waterway for vessels and barges to operate between Edmonton and Lake Winnipeg was carried out between June, 1910 and October, 1915. The complete report of this investigation was submitted in November, 1917 by the chief engineer of the Dominion Public Works Department. This report, based upon a minimum of six feet of water at mean low water levels from Lake Winnipeg to Edmonton, estimated the cost as follows: Dredging and channel improvement, $6,200,000; seven locks and dams, $14,565,591; total, $20,765,591. When this report was received the first world war was in progress. Then came the post-war years, the depression and the second world war. No action was taken on the report.
Mr. Speaker, bearing in mind that it is over 40 years since the last study of the proposed inland waterway was made I would urge the Minister of Transport or the Minister of Public Works, or both of them, to initiate a study at this time in order that up-to-date figures may be available. At the time of the previous study the economy of western Canada was centred on wheat and other grains. Now, western Canada is becoming industrialized and, as I have pointed out, industrial development will from now on expand at a much more rapid pace. It is essential to have competitive transportation systems which will be able to provide low-cost transportation service. I believe that in the future a multi-transportation service which will include highway, rail, air and waterways will be needed to serve the needs of the people.
Following the second world war, tremendous developments of waterways have taken place in the United States, in Europe and in other parts of the world. The St. Lawrence seaway was built after the second world war and now permits ocean liners to sail to the lakehead.
In the June issue of Ship-Shore News there is an article under the following headings, "Canal Traffic And City Will Benefit From $350 Million Dig". It reads in part as follows:
A $110 million excavation project began this month on the Welland section of the seaway, where a new eight-mile channel will replace a narrow and winding part of the waterway that now bisects a city of 38,000. Minister of Transport J. W. Pickersgill officiated at ceremonies marking the start of excavation near the south end of the
June 28, 1967
Establishment of Inland Waterway channel, mid-way between the cities of Welland and Port Colborne .. .
The Welland bypass is the first stage to bring the 35 year old 27-mile waterway up to date and to meet the projected needs of the next decade's shipping traffic.
The second plan, which still requires government approval, is relocation of the canal at the northern end, with a new lock running from Lake Ontario- east of the existing canal-to Thorold, above lock 7.
Another heading appeared in the same paper, namely, "Experts Will Discuss Potential Of Waterways At Niagara Falls Meet." I now quote from this article:
The Great Lakes Commission will hold its semiannual meeting this year in the Parkway Inn, Niagara Falls, N.Y., June 27, 28 and 29. The program of activities includes a tour of the Canadian and American falls area. The Commission's executive director, Colonel Leonard J. Goodsell, says: "The theme of our meeting is Multipurpose and International Use of Great Lakes Waters: (1)
Water Resources Programs; (2) Navigation, Power, Recreation and Scenic Beauty, and (3) U.S.-Canadian Activities.
Our objective is to demonstrate the very wonderful things that can be done to develop our water resources, while assuring their wise use and conservation for the benefit of all who use and are interested in the water resources. We are especially fortunate in having Niagara Falls of the U.S. and Canada available to us. Here we can very quickly and conveniently view outstanding developments in the multipurpose and international use of the water resources of the Great Lakes basin ...
The agenda for June 27 includes committee meetings to discuss the St. Lawrence Seaway, navigation and commerce.
In the United States several waterways have been developed since the second world war. Some of the major navigation inland waterways in the United States are the Mississippi River system, the Missouri River system and the Ohio River navigation system. All these inland waterways have brought tremendous benefits to the communities along the way. Travel on inland waterways in the following European countries, Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, the Netherlands and the U.S.S.R., has greatly increased in the last 25 years.
Topic: EXTERNAL AFFAIRS