Mr. G. R. WEBB (Leeds):
After listening this afternoon to hon. members speaking about national parks, it would seem to me, Mr. Speaker, that we are pretty much in agreement as to the actual value of the parks. To you, Your Honour, to all members of this house and to the people from far and near, I want to extend an invitation to come to the province of Ontario. We have some parks in Ontario, but unfortunately not nearly enough. Since I happen to come from the most beautiful part of the province, namely, the county of Leeds right on the St. Lawrence river, I felt it my duty to rise and say a few words.
We have eleven parks but they are all islands. These are not large parks-they range from four acres to twenty-five acres-but they are valuable. As the minister tonight seems to be paying a great deal of attention to what is being said, I thought it might be wise to bring to his notice the fact that we fall far short in providing anything like enough accommodation to take care of the thousands and thousands of people who live in the United States so near to our border and who cross
National Parks Act
into our country every year. We are finding it more difficult all the time to provide accommodation to satisfy these people when they come here.
I want to suggest one or two things, and I believe the hon. member for Lanark (Mr. Blair) will agree with me in what I say. In addition to the great St. Lawrence river, we have a chain of lakes known as the Rideau lakes chain. With all due respect to the beauty of western Canada which has been expounded on, I think I can say without fear of successful contradiction that we have the most beautiful part of Canada, which is undeveloped.
In that connection I would urge that the matter of a park be taken up as soon as possible, with co-operation between the provincial government and the federal government, and that we get together and make a park. We do not want a small park. While I must admit that we cannot boast of wild animals in this particular area, I think I can say that we have plenty of wild life to satisfy anyone who wishes to go there. We have fishing. Apparently I am not going to be the last one to speak tonight, so I shall not get into the question of whether or not we have the greatest possibilities for fishing; but we certainly have wonderful opportunities. The man who speaks last always has the advantage of talking about fish, because he can always make them a little bit longer than the fellow who spoke before him. Therefore I shall not get into any competition in that respect.
I will, however, say this. In our county we can provide all kinds of entertainment, such as fishing and out-of-door life of all descriptions, that is not surpassed by any other place in Canada. The sooner the people of this country realize that we have this beautiful territory, the better it will be for the people of all parts of Canada.
We must join together and see that there is no part in the entire Dominion of Canada that has not a national park, so that when tourists come into Canada they can travel from one part of the country to the other and find that they will be well received in these parks. They must find that there are places where they will be entertained, so that they will be satisfied, in order that they will come back again. I believe we can pretty much forget the monetary side of the matter. If we treat these people right, they will come back. We must give them accommodation and make it worth their while to see our country, which is the finest country in the world.
Topic: NATIONAL PARKS ACT
Subtopic: CONSOLIDATION OF PARK DESCRIPTIONS-REGULATIONS EFFECTIVE WHEN PUBLISHED IN "CANADA GAZETTE"