Mr. Adrien Lamberi (Bellechasse):
Mr. Speaker, I thank you for having taken into consideration the question I asked some time ago with regard to a problem concerning my riding, and more particularly the people of ile-aux-Grues and the town of Montmagny.
Is is about a wharf, the Montmagny Wharf built a number of years ago, thanks to the contribution of both the government and a private enterprise. At that time, the wharf was meeting the needs of the population and was capable of promoting the economic development of the area.
Opposite the city of Montmagny there is an island inhabited by good citizens, 90 per cent of them farmers, especially potato growers and milk producers. The only useful means of communication between Ile-aux-Grues and the city of Montmagny is by boat.
But for some years now, the situation has been worsening. The channel leading to the wharf at Montmagny, which is commonly called the dock channel, is so full of sand and mud that this fall, even at high tide, the ship that plies between Ile-aux-Grues, the big island and the city of Montmagny had a hard time docking, often damaging its engine. In fact, the owner, Mr. Lavoie, is wondering if he will be able much longer to
November 18, 1968
carry the produce, the mail and the people who have to keep in touch with the rest of the province and the country. In short, the people have the right to live on that island and they are also entitled to the services which are normal in 1968 with regard to communications, health, etc.
The government authorities in Ottawa have been aware of that problem for a number of years now because, during the week, a special meeting took place between the city council of Montmagny and the intermediate bodies. Of course, I was invited to take part in that study in order to submit the problem once again to Ottawa and to try to convince the authorities of the urgency of doing something.
Studies were made two, three or four years ago, and estimates were prepared by engineers. According to present day flies, it seems that it would cost approximately half a million dollars to dredge the channel and give the ships access to the wharf, thus facilitating navigation and communications.
I feel that, even though it should not be extremely profitable or advantageous for the government, something should be done to help that area of the province of Quebec, if not to develop further at least to maintain itself economically.
Mr. Speaker, it is common knowledge that the lower St. Lawrence, from Montmagny down, has numerous economic difficulties. All the governments, co-operate in trying to maintain an interesting and decent standard of living, as well as agricultural and industrial organizations with a view to encouraging the people to stay in that beautiful part of our country. I insist on this and I shall continue to insist, because it is my duty. It is not an election commitment because, before the elections, a questionnaire had been submitted to me in order to know my ideas on the subject and I deliberately omitted to reply, in order not to give the impression that I promised to solve problems which I did not understand.
I did not want to enter into any commitment, but today I am their spokesman in the house and since I understand their problems better, it is my duty to try to work with the government in order to find solutions which will be beneficial, valuable and lasting.
There is another aspect to the problem which must be remembered, and that is that a great many migratory birds come to l'ile-aux-Grues in the autumn. The hunting season attracts many tourists to the island and is an important source of revenue for the people. However, because navigation is difficult, there
Proceedings on Adjournment Motion are fewer hunters each year, and therefore less profit to be made. In my opinion, taking into consideration all those problems concerning l'ile-aux-Grues and the town of Montmagny, it would be in the national interest to take the steps necessary to solve them as soon as possible, so that the people do not feel neglected. They should be given the same help as is given elsewhere. This is not always economically sound but it is necessary from the humanitarian point of vue.
It has been my good fortune recently to visit another country and I have seen to my amazement some places where-
Topic: PUBLIC WORKS-MONTMAGNY, QUE.- REQUEST FOR DREDGING