Mr. JOHN WESLEY BRIEN (South Essex):
Mr. Speaker, before going into Supply, I wish to bring before the House a matter of very great importance to the constituency which I have the honour of representing, and to the country generally. I refer to the removal of sand and gravel by American and Canadian companies from the west end of Lake Erie in the vicinity of Pelee island and Point Pelee, which is causing extreme erosion oi the shores of the island and also the point, carrying away the natural protection and threatening the destruction of both the island and the point. Notwithstanding that petitions from the municipality and from private parties have been sent in to the Government during a period extending back over four or five years, yet this nuisance is going on unabated.
In the first place let me give some idea of the location of this island and this point. Pelee island is not only the most southern point of South Essex, but also the southernmost point of the Dominion of Canada, situated about thirty miles southeast of
the mouth of the Detroit river and about sixteen miles from the mainland of Canada. Formed in the course of ages by a small upheaval of rock and by the rich alluvial deposits brought down by the swirling waters of the Great Lakes as they turn their course eastward towards the Gulf oi St. Lawrence, it is one of the few places in Canada which can boast of prehistoric habitation. In ancient days the Mound Builders reared on it their structures foi defence, for memorials to their dead, and for worship. It is now the peaceful abode of eight hundred patriotic and loyal British subjects. It has an area of sixteen square miles and consists of about ten thousand acres of the most fertile soil in the Dominion of Canada, of which 9,800 acres are under cultivation. For many years it was renowned for its great harvest of grapes and the excellent native wine produced from them. It is now particularly noted for its enormous crops of fall wheat, corn and tobacco. The excise revenue collected on tobacco from Pelee island alone amounts to over $100,000 per annum.
Topic: SUPPLY-EROSION OF PELEE ISLAND AND POINT PELEE.