[Opening prayer by Mr. Speaker. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Presenting Petitions.
Reading and receiving Petitions.
Presenting reports of Standing and Select Committees.
Notice of Motion.
Introduction of Bills.
Orders of the Day.
MR. R. W. BEND (Rockwood-Iberville): Before Orders of the Day I would like to draw your attention to some visitors in the first gallery to your right. You will recall that it has been my pleasure at various times to introduce students from one of the best high schools in the country - Stonewall. Tonight it is my pleasure to introduce students from one of the best high schools in the city, Sisler High School, with their teacher, Miss Motherwell.
MR. M. A. GRAY (Inkster): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to direct a question to the Ministry. Who is responsible for the light that flickers under the Golden Boy? My question is this. There are many people in the City that wanted to know whether there is a night session they are interested in, but they don't see the flickers until 8 o'clock, when I understand that they cannot be put on earlier than the Mace is on the table, and that means 8 o'clock. Well, by the time they decide and they call up their boy friend or their girl friend, it's 9 or 10 o'clock and it is too late to come over here. So, seriously, I wanted to know whether there is a tradition to it which cannot be broken. If it can be broken, I think perhaps that whenever we have a night session, that the flickers be on at least at 7 or 6 o'clock so the public who are interested, and there are so many who are interested to see the proceedings, whether the proceedings will be interesting I do not guarantee, but they wanted to see the proceedings and come here in time.
HONOURABLE DUFF ROBLIN (Premier): Mr. Speaker, perhaps I could undertake to make a comment at least on the honourable gentleman's question. I know the point that is puzzling him puzzled me in days gone by because it is true that according to our previous custom and tradition the flickering light in the dome is not lit except when the Mace is on the table. That means that in regular sessions, when the House sits from 2:30 in the afternoon through to 11 o'clock at night with a break for dinner, then of course the light does flicker in the dome, and people who watch it can tell whether we are sitting that night, if they should happen to look out before 8 o'clock. But it seems to be
the custom that if we start a separate sitting, as we are doing these days, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, when the sitting closes in the afternoon and the mace leaves the Chamber, then custom decrees that we do not light that flickering light in the dome until such time as the Speaker has resumed his chair and the mace is back in its place. Now, as to whether that is a good custom or not, I must leave it to the House to decide. Certainly, there is no tradition that cannot be changed and I suppose that if it is the wish of the House we can change it. My own view is, however, that perhaps we would do well to continue to adhere to the ancient tradition because I think that if people want to know whether we are in session, the news is readily available through other channels. And while I must confess I am the last one to discourage anyone from coming to visit us here, we are always very glad to see people here and sometimes regret there aren't more, I really incline to the opinion on an offhand basis at any rate, that we should leave this custom the way it stands.
MR. R. PAULLEY (Radisson): Mr. Speaker, while we are talking about flickering lights, I would like to commend whoever was responsible for the attempt to illuminate this marvellous building that we have here in Manitoba. We have heard from visitors from all parts of the continent, and also from overseas, of the beauty of our Legislative Building here in the Province of Manitoba, and I was more than pleased this evening to see that at last it has been lit up on the outside, as it is very often lit up on the inside, and would commend whoever's idea it was. There will be some wrinkles possibly to iron out until the lighting is perfected. The Golden Boy particularly stands out very, very well, and I'm sure that the people of Greater Winnipeg and the Province as a whole will be more than pleased to see this fine building illuminated in the evenings.
HONOURABLE ERRICK WILLIS, Q.C. (Minister of Agriculture): Mr. Speaker, may I say that the new look of the Government building is supposed to indicate a new Government and also a new look on our problems, and accordingly, this evening it is lighted as a demonstration. May I say to those Scotchmen who are opposite that the cost will amaze them because it is so reasonable and I think completely worthwhile. I have long thought that this building should be presented in a better way and I hope for the day when we shall clear out these buildings directly north of here so that it may be looked at from Portage Avenue and you may get a proper impression in regards to the building. You have a ten million dollar building which couldn't be built for twenty million dollars now, and you have a ten dollar approach to it as far as the public is concerned.
For the benefit of the new Members, I should just like to recount a story which is true, which I have told to many others. A few years back a gentleman came to my office and he said "I am an architect from Washington - my specialty is public buildings - I have come here specifically to see your building and when I have inspected it I will again return to Washington", and he said to
me "Could you give me an architect so that he may answer my questions?" and I said "Yes, we would be happy to give him our leading architect on one consideration", and he said "What is that?", fearfully, and I said "Well, providing only that you will come back and tell me what you think of this building". So he had told me that he thought he knew all the public buildings on this continent and he had built several of them himself and, as a consequence, he thought that he had seen all the good ones at least. So he made his tour and he returned in about three hours. I said to him"Well, what is the answer?" He said "Well, I want to tell you that there is one building on this continent that might be considered equal to it and that is the Supreme Court Building in Washington" but he said "I will assure you from my experience that there is no other on this continent".
MR. GRAY: Just one minute to reply to the last speaker is this. The new illumination is wonderful. I admired it and I spent about 10 or 15 minutes to admire it, but so far it only lits up and decorates the office of the Premier and the office of the Minister of Agriculture. Now what about -- I haven't been there yet -- now what about the front of the building where the masses come in? Aren't the masses that come into this building entitled to some light?
MR. WILLIS: ...always subject to improvement, and I assure you that we shall improve. This is the first night of an experiment.
MR. D. L. CAMPBELL (Leader of the Opposition): Mr. Speaker, this is an interesting discussion and one that I am sure the older Members of the House can share with the newer ones, but I think it requires a little bit of research with regard to the flashing light because I notice what the Honourable the First Minister said, and I remember hearing that mentioned last session. I'm sure I haven't been keeping as closely in touch with these matters recently as I used to - I don't refer only to the last few months, I mean for some years, but my distinct recollection is that when I first came in here that it was not the custom to have the light flashing only during the time when the House was sitting. I quite recall at that time we were instructed that the reason was the one mentioned by the Honourable Member for Inkster, that it was in order to inform the people who might be interested, during the adjournment hour, if there was a night session. Then I remember that more recently there seemed to be a departure from that opinion, that procedure. I would suggest that it would be well for us to meet the point that the Honourable Member has made and take a look at this again, because I think it is some convenience to the people to tell those who are in a position to see the flashing light and let them know whether the House is sitting or not, and I wish someone would just check up to find why the change was made. Quite frankly, I don't recall when that was done.
So far as the new illumination around the building, I think I'll reserve judgment for a little while on that one. I guess I'm
old fashioned about a great many things, and I suppose that you'll find that as with the policies that have been in effect here as compared to newer ones, that I'm inclined to reserve judgment for a little while, because I must confess that I always thought that one of the striking architectural features of this building was this dome and its Golden Boy, and I thought that the method that we had formerly of having the light switch illuminate the dome itself, leaving the rest of the building less brilliantly lit, or with little lighting, showed up the dome and made it quite a striking effect, and a sort of an eerie effect that I thought was quite striking. However, perhaps it's well to have both parts lit up, to use that term that has already been employed.
I notice that the Acting Minister of Public Works says that this is meant to correspond with the new look in Government and is meant to suggest that there is a new Government in here. I think that might be kind of appropriate because it seems to me the color was rather bilious and maybe ... or jaundiced ... maybe it's quite appropriate. I notice that the Honourable the Acting Minister says that it is an experiment, and perhaps some other changes are going to be attempted. But I would suggest that some research be conducted into this question of the flashing light because I think there is some point to trying to inform the people who are within sight of the lights in the dome as to whether the House is going to sit. Then of course there would be no reason why they shouldn't continue to flash if that is thought to be a good plan as well, and I think it is.
Mr. Speaker, I have one other matter. Just to be right I should sit down and then take it up later.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, I am not attempting to continue a debate here on the color of the -- on the new appearance of the building except to remark that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. But to continue with the point raised by my honourable friend with respect to the flashing lights in the top of the dome, I must bow to his longer service in the House and confess that I had not heard the information that it had once been the custom to keep them flashing. I suppose that our customs could be traced to the tradition in the Mother of Parliament where orginally a lantern was hung outside the door of the House of Comons as a method of guiding or street lighting in the absence of the kind of lighting we have today, and that has since, I believe, been translated into a light in the tower of Big Ben. However, while I must confess I am not an expert on these matters, I can undertake to have inquiries made to see whether there is any really good reason why we can't have them flashing all the time, and if we find that we can do so without too great an offence to the traditions of the House, well we will be glad to do it.
MR. E. PREFONTAINE (Carillon): Mr. Speaker, the Honourable the Acting Minister of Public Works told us that the price of these lights would be pleasing to the Scotsmen on this side of the House. I don't plead guilty to being a Scotsman but still I would like the Honourable Minister to tell us a little bit more about what he thinks is a reasonable price.
MR. WILLIS: When we have achieved what we hope will be near perfection in the lighting, and we have established completely the price, I shall be very happy to inform you. We may need more lights or less lights, we may need more flashers, or less flashers, and on that basis we shall be able to inform you. And again I say, even although you are fortunate enough not to be a Scotchman, you will be surprised at how reasonable it is.
MR. CAMPBELL: Sir, before the Orders of the Day are proceeded with, I would like to ask a question of the First Minister that necessitates a brief statement first, I'm afraid, and that is that having been unavoidably absent this afternoon I was not present when the two pages of estimates were placed before us. Might I ask the First Minister, Mr. Speaker, if these are all the estimates that we are to have placed before us at this Session.
MR. ROBLIN: Yes, Mr. Speaker, that is all that we intend to place before the House. And perhaps I might say as an additional comment for the information of the House that it would be our hope to proceed with the Committees on Supply and Ways and Means tomorrow afternoon.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary question. Is it not in the proper tradition of this House and of the constitutional procedure that we should have estimates to cover the expenditures contemplated in the Bills that are now under way, that have been accepted in principle and that are on their way through the various stages of the House?
MR. ROBLIN: I think that sufficient funds are already provided in one way or another, Mr. Speaker, to cover those points, but if my honourable friend wants to continue the discussion on the matter in the Committee, when we can have a more freer and fuller discussion of it, I would be glad to give him whatever information I can.
MR. SPEAKER: Adjourned debate on proposed resolution of the Honourable Member for Morris.
MR. H. P. SHEWMAN (Morris): Mr. Speaker, there has been some discussion on this resolution and I think the discussion has been very good. The Honourable Member from Gladstone in speaking, in effect said that the people of the Neepawa area pioneered this Water Conservation Act that was passed on April 10 last year. I will give them great credit because they are one group of people in Manitoba that have realized the necessity and the need of an Act such as this, and they have been asking for help, asking this present Government for immediate action as far as implementing that Bill was concerned. If we will go back several years ago, when we on this side of the House now were over where they are, and that we had had resolution after resolution before this House asking for this immediate action in those days, it was taking a long, long time - I am safe in saying at least five years - before we could get public opinion brought to bear on this
Government where there was any definite action taken as far as the water-soil conservation act was concerned. Now he mentions that last Friday, I think it was, that we had placed before on our desks here a pamphlet outlining, you might say, watershed legislation and watershed control, or words to that effect. Mr. Speaker, I don't think that I would be too far amiss if I was to make the statement stating that some time last April those pamphlets were printed, and if my information is right, they lay in the basement of this building because that is the first one that I had ever seen. Now I don't think they were distributed previous to last Friday.
Now, when the opposite Member asks for immediate action that is similar to the display of immediate action that we have had in this Government for a long, long time. That has been why the people of the Neepawa district and the rest of Manitoba have been pushing this present Government (I'll use the word pushing) for immediate action because they were under the impression that it would take years for this Conservative Government to move. I am going to inform them right now that we've had immediate action. When one goes out and plants a crop you have to wait for the harvest. You have got to wait until that crop ripens. We have planted a seed since June 16 to harvest the crop, as far as soil conservation and water control is concerned. As the Minister mentioned in his speech the other day, that there has been a great deal of action taken to bring this Act into force, and it is disappointing in a way when we think back when the Members opposite, in the Opposition, sat where we're sitting, day after day, year after year, and you couldn't get no action on a question that has been important to the economy of Manitoba as this has been. I don't know of no other question that has faced this legislation in a good many years gone by that is more important to the economy of the people of Manitoba and especially our farm population.
Mr. Speaker, it seems that when we were over at the other side, we did criticize the Government for inaction, and rightly so, because there was no action as far as farm policy was concerned. There was action along the lines in different respects as far as helping farmers was concerned but no definite farm policy. This Soil Conservation Act, and the Minister mentioned the other night that he was setting up the Commission as soon as is humanly possible, when we were over there and asked the Government to set up a commission and do it immediately, I remember quite well when the Crop Insurance Commission was set up. The Leader of the Opposition stood on this side of the House and said that we weren't going to push them into anything in a hurry; he was too smart for that, he was taking his own time to pick the best men possible. Now they are criticizing us, Mr. Speaker, for taking our time over here to get the best men possible to fulfill this important commission. I don't know where the sense comes in.
Now, Mr. Speaker, the other speakers that have spoken have missed a point. I haven't heard one speaker over there mention the fact that this should come under one authority. Now they are trying to - what would I say? - as in previous deals, one rabbit, one horse - they want to get into something easy and quick without
thinking this thing through to the end. And I maintain that there should be one authority, and that is a Chairman of this Commission to handle a commission that is going to be as important as this one. And this watershed bill that we passed - soil erosion and the Roseau Watershed Control Bill that we passed last year, is not, and I said at the time, the proper bill. I would like the Government to take into consideration appointing their Commission immediately, which we know they are going to do, and have that Commission sit until the next regular session, and have that committee report back to this House. And I am sure if they would do that we will find out that our next step will be to amend the Soil Conservation and Water Control Act, because, in my opinion, that Bill, and I stated at the time, was not the proper Bill. There wasn't enough teeth in it to give the immediate action that is needed. And I will say that it is a matter of education, and I would like to see that an education policy be followed immediately that we could educate the farmers where and how this bill would be the most useful. Now, there was no reference in the bill to that effect and I think that this Government should do that thing - implement a plan of education.
Now, Mr. Speaker, this soil conservation is something that has been tried in other countries and the country to the south of us, that I have mentioned before, has had a soil conservation scheme or plan for a good many years and they have realized the necessity of it now, where it's only last April that we, after a good many years of trying and talking, have had the previous government pass this bill to give the necessary action where we are going to be doing some good. The bill across the line, I think in the State of Minnesota and North Dakota, the bill will be spending somewhere in the neighborhood of almost a million dollars this year in advertising and along the lines of education. I think, Mr. Speaker, that we have to have some sort of education as far a farmers and this bill is concerned. It touches on a good many subjects. It takes into consideration controlling water where it falls, and it takes into consideration farm management. And highway construction will come under the same heading. Wheat control comes under the same heading. Anything that pertains to soil conservation and water control will come under this committee's head.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I have mentioned in this House before that the previous Government did not, until public opinion forced them into doing something along the lines of implementing that bill. Now, it was mentioned here the other night, or this afternoon in fact, by the Honourable Member from Ste. Rose that the Minister had not taken any action. Now, I am quoting from a paper here, Mr. Speaker, where the Minister, for the people, had wrote a letter to the Neepawa Press stating "(1) I believe that the new legislation will expand rather than contract the benefits of the Watershed and Soil Conservation Authorities Act. Even though this Act, which was passed on April 10, 1956, was a step in the right direction, the proposed Act will include all of the good features of the present legislation but will be more extensive and far-reaching and will in some cases deal with municipalities on an individual basis in regards to drainage and water conservation problems. (2) I believe Watershed Committees will play an important role under the
proposed Act, as they have done under the present legislation, and all of these committees should remain intact and ready to operate". I imagine what they meant by that, Mr. Speaker, that our technical help that we have within our department would be merged into one department to do the most good. Also further down in this article: "I regret that I was unable to indicate in exact detail the new proposed legislation because legislation for the winter session of the legislature has not yet been considered by the Cabinet, but I have reason to believe that the results will be not disappointing. Yours very truly, Errick Willis, Minister of Public Works." Well, when the statement was made that our Minister had not taken any immediate action I think, Mr. Speaker, that is not just the fact, so I do say this, that this Government, on soil conservation and water control, will give the people of Manitoba immediate action.
MR. N. SHOEMAKER (Gladstone): Mr. Speaker, if there is no one else that wishes to speak to this Bill, I would like to close the debate on it.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Member is closing the debate. Anyone else wish to speak?
MR. SHOEMAKER: I just want to correct a couple of statements that the Honourable Member for Morris made, relative to the various pamphlets lying in the basement of the building. The yellow copy which you all have, except me, I guess. I can't find mine here. And this one and several other ones - I'm surprised the Honourable Member for Morris had not seen them before the other evening. But I just have a note here from the minutes of the meeting that we held on March the 24th, 1958, and it reports the activity -- it apparently is an annual meeting, and it reports some of the activities for the year prior to that. And the Education and Publicity Committee are reporting here and it says a very successful group of progress meetings had been carried out in the watershed area between March the 10th and March the 21st. Attendance was well over 850. Mr. Poyser and Mr. Lee attended. 600 letters went out, advertising the meetings; 875 White Mud Watershed booklets were distributed; 965 Wonder of Water booklets were distributed. Now, the, I haven't the last one referred to here -- so, you can see that we distributed in one week alone, nearly 2,000. So that we, certainly, were quite active in this, and we, certainly, realize as the Honourable Member from Morris has suggested it, it is an educational program and we certainly feel that we have made some attempt to educate the people in our area.
Just as recent as last June, I called on a farmer out in the Springhill district, and that's pretty close to the, what we refer to as the Riding Mountain Escarpment, and he said that "Do you know that the agriculture representative at Neepawa has my crop program outlined for the next 20 years?" And I asked him if he intended to follow it, and he said, "Certainly". He has a crop program outlined and written down that he intends to follow for the
next 20 years. Now, if we can get enough farmers to follow that type of program, and realize why they are doing it, then we, pretty well, have the ground work done, I think, in our particular area. We also investigated, the Honourable Member for Morris made some mention of what they were doing in Minnesota. The agriculture representative at Neepawa, last year, I think, in 1956, it may have been '56 or 1957, during the time that he was supposed to be enjoying his summer holidays, he took off about two weeks time and drove down to Kansas and Nebraska and many other places in the States to study this very problem. He took quite a number of colored pictures on that trip and I have had the pleasure of seeing them and he has shown them at various meetings throughout the, what we call the watershed area. We have hired buses, chartered buses, and we've driven farmers all over the area to show them the results of wind and water erosion. I don't know how many, Save the Soil Clubs that are now organized in that territory, but they're all certainly very interested and I agree that that is the place you have to start. It's an educational program that is needed. Now, I would like to read just a very short article here on what our ag. rep. has to say about some of his findings in the United States. He says "examples of similar organizations," and he's referring to ours, "can be found in the southern peninsula of Ontario, where over 20 are now in operation. The U.S.A. pioneered in this venture, when one of its projects became the Tennessee Valley Authority. This authority, over a 26 year period, has provided hydro power, farm fertilizers and many forestry products, to name only a few, to a great area in Central United States. Since the enactment of public law 566, more than a thousand applications for watershed developments have been filed throughout the United States. These are in various stages of development. They are, in addition to several other projects which have been under way for several years, on a demonstration basis. Excellent achievements in watershed development, have been made in Oklahoma on the Sandstone Creek Watershed; the Calgary Creek Watershed and others. Since public law 566 was enacted, a total of 52 applicants for watershed development have been filed by Oklahoma people alone."
The job of getting these watersheds organized and developed will require the co-operation and work of many people. It is possible in our area, to provide water for domestic and livestock uses, for many farms as well as urban centres. The development of water areas in Ontario is under the Department of Planning and Development. Professional staffs are provided by the Provincial Government in order that watershed authorities may obtain the best technical guidance. Similar assistance is made available in the U.S. by the senior governments to the local authorities. In the U.S. it is interesting to note that a watershed may employ as many as 20 to 30 professional and trades people to do a co-ordinated job. In Manitoba, proper land use is the most important factor in watershed management. It is logical that this should be developed under the correct professional staff of the Department of Agriculture. In order that this may be done most effectively, several present Acts of legislature would best be administered under this Department. That is, the water rights, Crown lands, forestry and
Now, the following is taken directly from the material which the legislature sub-committee presented to the Campbell Government: "We recommend the establishment of a separate department of government, with a Deputy Minister and if possible, a separate Minister, to bring together the present sections of legislation presently in different departments, so that co-ordination of efforts may be achieved." If, under circumstances of any particular moment, it is impossible to have a separate Minister, we feel that the Minister of Agriculture should be responsible. For example, at the present time, you find small water rights is in Mines and Natural Resources, the drainage commission is in Public Works; Crown land and Land Titles is in Mines and Natural Resources; and soil conservation is in Agriculture. And that was a motion that was moved by Mr. Morton, and seconded by Mr. Broadfoot.
Now, I had the pleasure of having lunch today with the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and we discussed this very briefly today again, and I appreciate the remarks that he made last night, and again tonight, and I feel certain that we will get action, but we feel that, that we have pioneered in this field. We feel that we certainly have, have laid the ground work and we don't want to be disappointed. As I said last evening, it is very difficult to keep a committee interested unless you can show them that you have, that you have borne fruit.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared it carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Proposed resolution, the Honourable Member for Ste. Rose.
MR. G. MOLGAT (Ste. Rose): Mr. Speaker, I wish to move, seconded by the Honourable Member for St. George, that the following resolution: Whereas the Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba Board as reported June 30th, 1958, the Government of Manitoba, declares that the project of regulating the level of Lake Manitoba between elevation eight eleven feet and eight thirteen feet by means of the Fairford River Control Works is a practicable project whereas the Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba Board in effect have made a cost benefit survey of the Lake Manitoba Fairford River control project and found that the estimated agricultural losses alone for the three years from 1954 to 1956 were $1,600,000.00 and the estimated cost of the project is $1,000,600.00 and whereas the proposed project of Fairford River control would practically eliminate all of these losses in the future; whereas such control works would also provide water storage and water conservation during the years of low water, whereas the Government of Manitoba's proposing action to increase winter work projects and winter employment; Therefore be it resolved that in the opinion of the House the Government of Manitoba should give consideration in the advisability of immediately undertaking the Fairford River Control project as recommended in the report of the Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba Board.
[Mr. Speaker read the motion. ]
MR. MOLGAT: Mr. Speaker, first I wish to thank the House for allowing this to stand yesterday afternoon and again this afternoon. In view of the circumstances I'm most appreciative of the indulgence of the House in this case.
I'm pleased also to get up at this time and present what I think will be a noncontroversial motion. My previous two efforts in the House so far have roused the ire of my good friend the Minister of Agriculture, not willingly, but that seems to be the result, and I am sure that in this case we will be in full agreement.
I cannot rise on such a resolution without thinking back to an old friend of many of us here in the House, the previous member for St. George, Mr. Chris Haldorson, who unfortunately is no longer with us. Mr. Haldorson was most interested in this project. He had spoken about it several times in the House and I was pleased at that time to co-operate with him in his efforts both here in the House and outside at many meetings that were held on this matter of flooding of Lake Manitoba. I'm pleased that his successor, the new Member for St. George, is equally active on this and was pleased to second my motion enthusiastically.
The recent flooding on Lake Manitoba began about 1955. As a result of the very wet years we had, and I will refer more details to it later, but the damage was most extensive. In many areas around the Lake, families had to move out completely, go and live elsewhere, abandon their homes and in some cases, all their means of making a living, and try and establish themselves elsewhere to make a new start. As an example of the importance that this is, you can consider Lake Winnipeg which is a much larger lake. It is only 150 miles of developed shoreline. Lake Manitoba on the other hand, although much smaller, has some 450 miles of developed shoreline. So, it gives you an idea of the magnitude of the problem in that area. At the very start, 1955, when the flooding became serious there was a voluntary local group, entitled itself the Lake Manitoba Flood Control Committee, made up of private individuals, in many cases they were members of the various councils of the municipalities around the Lake. They set up this voluntary group to try and get something done to correct this recurring problem on Lake Manitoba.
Out of the combined efforts of this voluntary group, the Lake Manitoba Flood Control Committee, which by the way, Mr. Speaker, is still active and, I hope the work of the members who were particularly interested in this project, came the Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba Board. In that regard I wish to pay tribute to the two members of the Manitoba Civil Service who were on that Board. I unfortunately do not know the Federal men who comprised the Board, but I know that these two Manitobans, outstanding civil servants, have been very active in other fields and, I think, in this regard once again they have produced a very fine piece of work.
Well, we now have the report, Mr. Speaker; it was presented in June of this year to the Government and the problem is, where do we go from here? The Board made a very thorough study of the
problem not only of Lake Manitoba but of several other projects that were presented to it as well. Insofar as Lake Manitoba is concerned, they found two possibilities for the regulation for flood control. First, the control through the control of Lake Winnipegosis and secondly, through the Fairford channel. So far as the Lake Winnipegosis control is concerned, it was found to be more costly, much more difficult to do, and as a result their recommendation is simply for improvements on the Fairford channel and a control dam. They have proceeded and in their report give some figures and costs; break them down as $1,480,000.00 for the channel deepening adn $120,000.00 for the control. The total cost then $1,600,000.00 and by their statement this would permit a regulation between 811 and 813 feet. Regulation between those two levels will, again in their own words; "practically eliminate all agricultural losses such as those that were suffered between the years 1954 and 1956".
I think it is right to point out that there are ohter losses in addition to the agricultural losses, the agricultural losses no doubt were the greatest loss. But, there are many others that do come as a result of the high water level. The Board themselves list, for example, and this is not included in their calculations, lake level damage to buildings, roads and bridges; that's from the high water. So far as the low water levels are concerned and those have been a problem in years past as well, is the problem that the marsh lands along the Lake dry up, weeds invade the farm land, stagnant waters from the marshes develop disease to the water fowl. We had some of that this year in the Delta Marshes. The general lowering of the water table reduces hay production along the Lake. The recession of the water line is a great inconvenience to cottage owners and to beaches. So much for the low level. And then there is problems as well from the fluctuating level. That is something that we have suffered constantly as well because the Lake has been going from low level periods to high level periods. So far as the fluctuations the, very difficult to assess at the moment but the Department feels that there are some difficulties to the fishing industry. A great deal of spawn is lost due to the fluctuation. So far as the trapping industry, the same thing happens. Muskrat houses are built and then the very dry period comes, the muskrat die or vice versa; they are flooded out. So you have those difficulties there as well from the fluctuation.
But actually, the Board concentrated their work on the agricultural loss. Mr. Speaker, from their investigations, they have come to the conclusion that in that period from 1954 to 1956 the agricultural losses alone in the area around Lake Manitoba totalled $1,600,000.00, and that is extremely important. And, in that regard I would like to quote exactly the statement of the Board. It is simply this from page 13 of the report: "to determine the approximate magnitude of the agricultural losses sustained during the recent high water period 1954, 1955, and 1956, qualified assessors engaged by the Board conducted a survey around the two lakes". They are referring to Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba. The result of this survey is summarized in the following statement and it is
given on page 14. They show that the estimated flooded areas and agricultural losses on Lake Manitoba were 155,000 acres for a total of $1,600,000.00. So, there is, Mr. Speaker, one side the cost as estimated by the Board $1,600,000.00. On the other side losses strictly from agricultural causes alone, ignoring these other factors that I've brought out ... in three years only, in other words, for an expenditure of a million six, we would save the people in the area around Lake Manitoba an equivalent amount that they have suffered in the past three years. That is assuming, of course, that those troubles will recur in the future and, I think, if you check through the history of Lake Manitoba you will find that it is a series of ups and downs.
Now the Board carried on and investigated as well other possible difficulties or benefits from control of Lake Manitoba. They found that all other projects that were suggested to them for consideration that have been discussed at various times, either in relationship with the flooding of Lake Manitoba or the relationship to the Assiniboine River or the Red River Flood Control for Winnipeg, fits into this problem, this project quite well. For example, the Assiniboine River diversion. The Board finds that if the diversion were put in either to put more water in Lake Manitoba or vice versa to take water out of Lake Manitoba into the Assiniboine River in times of low water, that this Fairford River Control project would fit into that scheme. And, that statement is in the report. They find as well that the possibility of the Dauphin River power project which was discussed some years ago would definitely fit into this as well. If the Dauphin River project, power project, were to be implemented in the future years, the work that would be done on the Fairford channel would fit into that scheme, would be part of it in any case. They find as well that insofar as the Nelson River power development's potential future, again, the Fairford control project would fit into that scheme as well.
One of the difficulties all along in our discussion of the control of Lake Manitoba and the improvement of the channel into Lake Winnipeg was the objection and, I think, justified objection, of the residents along Lake Winnipeg saying that we have problems of our own; don't add water on to us. In that regard, the Board again investigated and reports that in their view, and this again I quote: "the control of Lake Manitoba level by channel improvements and a dam in the Fairford River would have had a slight detrimental effect upon Lake Winnipeg levels." This is on page 27 of the report. The bottom of the page, it continues. "It is computed that the maximum mean monthly Lake Winnipeg level in 1955 would have been increased by one inch", which I think can be reasonably termed as negligible.
Mr. Speaker, coming back again to the report of the Board. I think it is significant that in their findings which are summarized at the front, pages 8 and 9...pardon me, 9 and 10; out of five findings the only one that the Board recommends purely and in a straight forward fashion is this one of Lake Manitoba control. On the previous one, the first one which is Lake Winnipeg control, they say simply "The Board finds this project to be
impracticable under present circumstances". They go on then for Lake Winnipeg regulations for Nelson River power development and they say that it may become economical in a few decades. They proceed to say that some action, such as the reservation of land, might have merit, and considerations could be given. And the third one, recreational interests, again considerations might be given to the program.
We proceed on then to diking. They say it's not an adequate measure to protect agricultural land from flooding. We proceed again to the control of Lake Winnipeg for power purposes. They say this should take such steps as may be practicable in the then existing circumstances. And we come to the fifth recommendation: Lake Manitoba regulation for flood control, between elevation 811 and 813; I will not read the whole section, but they finish off simply with this statement. "The Board therefore finds this to be a practicable project."
It seems to me therefore, Mr. Speaker, that due to the fact that there is an unhesitating recommendation there for that project from all those that were investigated by the Board, due to the fact that it fits into other plans such as the Assiniboine River diversion, the Dauphin River power project, the Nelson River power project in the future. Due to the fact that this would not be a project to drain the lake, but simply a project to control it between two acceptable levels, 811 and 813 feet. In view of the fact that a cost benefit survey has been done and I quoted on that specifically the statements of the Board, that they have employed assessors to investigate these costs. They find this to be desirable; when you tie that in to the legislation which has been presented to us at this session to provide winter work, winter employment, it seems to me that this project fits into the plans of the Government at this time and deserves immediate attention. I appreciate that it may not be possible for this winter, to have a great deal of work done there to provide employment. But it seems to me that a start could be made on this project at this time, and in view of all the recommendations, in view of what this report says, that it would be a perfectly fitting piece of work for the Government to begin at this time, and I hope that this resolution will pass unanimously and receive immediate consideration.
MR. R. O. LISSAMAN (Brandon): Mr. Speaker, I'd like to move, seconded by the Honourable Member for Pembina, that the debate be adjourned.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote, declared it carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Proposed motion of the Honourable Member for St. George. The Honourable Member for Morris.
MR. SHEWMAN: Mr. Speaker, with the permission of the House I'd like to have this resolution stand.
MR. SPEAKER: Stand.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, I see we are at the end of the Order Paper, and I would like to suggest that the House adjourn, that it should convene in room 200 as a Special Select Committee, so that we may continue the consideration of the Bills that are before us. I trust that will meet with general agreement. I beg to move, Mr. Speaker, seconded by the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture, that the House do now adjourn, and stand adjourned until 2:30 tomorrow afternoon.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared it carried. ]
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