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PAPERS Shewing communications exchanged between the Provincial and Dominion Governments, on the subject… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1893

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 56 Vict. Correspondence, re Federal Public Works. 283
PAPERS
Shewing communications exchanged between the  Provincial and  Dominion Governments, on the subject of Federal Public Works and Improvements.
By Command.
JAMES BAKER
Provincial Secretary.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
9th February, 1893.
Extract from a letter from  Hon. Mr. Davie to Sir John  Thompson, K. C. M. G., dated 18th
November, 1892.
Public Works and Improvements.
It is felt that the prosperity and development of the Province is being seriously retarded
for want of necessary public works and improvements. These have already been pressed
upon the Government of Canada by the British Columbia representatives, and chief amongst
them, and of vital and urgent necessity, may be mentioned :—
Improvements of Rivers.
(a.) A hydrographical survey of the navigable part of the Fraser River, which has
become seriously choked up by bars and diverted from its ordinary channel, as shown by
the Admiralty charts, thereby causing the washing away of large tracts of valuable land, and
threatening calamitous destruction in the near future. In the restoring of the river to its
proper channel and the removal of obstructions $100,000 can be usefully expended, and it is
estimated will thoroughly accomplish the work. Upon this subject I refer you to the
Minutes of the Provincial Government, forwarded to the Secretary of State, and dated
respectively 26th March, 1890 ; 2nd April, 1890 ; 14th March, 1892, and 22nd August, 1892.
(b.) Removing the obstructions in the navigation of Skeena River, which will include
removal of the snags, for which work a steam scow would be necessary, and blasting the
rocks which render the Kit-sa-las Caiion dangerous at certain stages of water. For the
purpose of blasting the rocks an appropriation of $52,000 was voted by the Dominion last
session, but $5,000 will be required for the purpose. The removal of the snags and employment of a steam scow will, comparatively, not be an expensive matter. The Local Government are constructing a waggon road from Hazleton to the adjacent agricultural lands, but
the efforts of the Provincial Government to open up this portion of the Province will be
unavailing unless the improvements to navigation upon the Skeena, above indicated, be
likewise undertaken. I will, before I leave Ottawa, endeavour to furnish you with an estimate
of the cost of removing the snags. During our conference I handed Hon. Mr. Ouimet a
letter from Mr. R. H. Hall, M. P. P., giving valuable information upon the subject of the
proposed improvements to the Skeena River.
(c.) The removal of obstructions in the Cowichan River. Owing to these obstructions
last year, the railway bridge near Duncan's, and the Government road bridge in the same
locality, were both washed away, and serious damage done to the lower bridges, near the
sea, also entailing great loss and inconvenience to the settlers. The Indian reserve on the
river has been reduced by one hundred acres or more (see report of a survey which it is understood the Indian Department has had made shewing the quantity of land swept away from
the reserve), and the settlers have lost a large area of valuable land worth $100 per acre.
Similar devastation is bound to occur in future unless the matter is remedied. 284 Correspondence, re Federal Public Works. 1893
The Dominion Government have for some years expended annually $1,000 for improvement of the Cowichan River, but the work requires to be undertaken on an entirely different
plan, and can be undertaken so as to be effective once for all. As it is now, one year the
stream will wash a few acres from the north bank, and then next summer the $1,000 will be
spent in trying to direct the current from the north bank, with the only consequence of the
inroads of the river being directed towards the south bank, and so on, year by year, turned
from bank to bank. By this process the river has already cut a channel nearly four hundred
yards wide in some places.
The plan which Mr. Croft, an experienced engineer, member of the Local House for Cow-
ehan District, whose letter to me I have handed to Hon. Mr. Ouimet, recommends, is to erect
suitable guiding works above the railway bridge, and extend them year by year towards the
sea, and thus in a few years the channel could be made straight, the safety of the various
bridges assured, and the farmers' and Indian lands protected from loss. Accompanying Mr.
Croft's letter is a rough sketch illustrating the proposed work.
(d.) Removal of log jams in the Koksilah and Chemainus Rivers. This would be a work
of trifling expense, but of vast advantage to the community.
(e.) Giving a subsidy for a steamboat service and mail communication to the islands
between Vancouver Island and the Mainland, Comox, and those points of settlement on the
Mainland and Island not reached by rail, and extending to Queen Charlotte Islands. There
are large and valuable tracts of land and important industries which might by this means be
opened, populated, and developed, and in this connection I may say that the Local Government would be prepared to open up roads in places thus made accessible.
(f.) Lighthouses, Nanaimo Harbour, Departure Bay, Cape Mudge, the northern entrance
Johnson's Straits, and Moresby Islands.
(g.) Fog alarms, east point of Entrance Island.
(h.) Telegraph lines between Nanaimo, Alberni, and Comox, and signal line, northern
entrance to Johnson's Straits ; also the better maintenance of the telegraph service provided
by the Carmanah and Cape Beale wire. As an instance of the inefficiency of the last-mentioned service, I have handed Mr. Ouimet a clipping from the " Colonist" of 20th October,
ult., showing the experience of the ship " Dumfrieshire," proving the present working of the
line to be simply a delusion.
(i.) Harbours, Victoria and Nanaimo. Removal of rocks from inner harbour of Victoria,
dredging both harbours, and new dredging plant.
(j.) Beacon light to be placed on Brotchie's ledge.
Office of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada,
Ottawa, Canada, 30th December, 1892.
Sir,—I have the honour, by direction of the President of the Council, to transmit herewith a certified copy of an Order in Council, No. 3,194a, dated the 30th December instant,
with reference to the placing of a beacon light on Brotchie's Ledge,
I have, <fcc.,
(Signed)        John J. McGee,
Clerk of the Privy Council.
The Hon. Theo. Davie,
Premier of the Province of British Columbia.
Certified copy of a Report of a  Committee of the Honourable the Privy Council, approved by
His Excelleney the Governor-General in Council, on the SOth December, 1892.
The Committee of the Privy Council have had under consideration a communication
addressed by the Premier of British Columbia to the Minister of Justice dated the 18th of
November, 1892, calling attention to the placing of a beacon light on Brochies Ledge.
The Minister of Marine and Fisheries to whom the communication was referred reports
tiiat it was proposed to erect during the past season a stone or concrete beacon on the ledge
in question,   and  to surmount  it  by  an  electric  light  connected with the shore system of 56 Vict. Correspondence, re Federal Public Works. 285
electric lights, but in consequence of the stranding of the steamer "Quadra," the vessel was
not available during the high spring tides of last summer, the only time at which the work
could be done advantageously.
The Committee, on the recommendation of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, advise
that the Premier of British Columbia be informed that arrangements will, however, be made
by the Department of Marine and Fisheries to carry out the work next season.
(Signed)        John J. McGee.
Clerk of the Privy Council.
The Honourable Mr. Davie,
Premier of the Province of British Columbia.
Department of the Secretary of State,
Ottawa, 17th January, 1893.
Sir,—I have the honour to transmit to you herewith, for the information of your Government, copy of an Order of His Excellency the Governor-General in Council, approving of a
report of the Honourable the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, on the subject of certain lighthouses and fog alarms in British Columbia.
I have, &c,
(Signed) L. A. Catellier,
Under Secretary of State.
His Honour
The Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia,
Victoria.
Certified copy of a Report of a   Committee   of the Honourable the Privy Council, approved
by His Excellency the Governor-General in Council on the 13th day of January, 1893.
The Committee of the Privy Council have had under consideration a communication from
the Premier of British Columbia to Sir John Thompson, dated 18th November, 1892, calling
attention to the necessity for—
(a.) Lighthouse on Cape Mudge ;
(b.) Lighthouse in Nanaimo Harbour;
( c.) Lighthouse on Moresby Islands ;
(d.) Fog alarms, East Point of Entrance Island.
The Minister of Marine and Fisheries, to whom the communication was referred, reports
as follows :—
(a.) Lighthouse on Cape Mudge :—
In 1891 a communication was received from the British Columbia Board of Trade, which
included a light on Cape Mudge in the list of aids required for navigation in northern waters.
It was ranked as one of secondary importance.
This cape is at the south entrance to Discovery Passage, about forty miles northwestwardly from the light already built at Yellow Island.
The Chief Engineer of the Department of Marine and Fisheries was sent in the spring of
1891 to make a thorough inspection of the aids required for navigation, and the interests of
the navigation to be affected thereby in the Province of British Columbia. He visited Cape
Mudge and reported that a light upon a certain site which he had there examined would show
up Discovery Passage, and around it into the strait as far as Texada Island. He, however,
expressed doubt whether the necessity for this light was very great, or whether the absence of
a light at this place was attended with much risk to vessels, and the Minister is of the opinion,
considering the present condition of traffic, that the urgency for a light at this point, compared
with the demands elsewhere, is not sufficient to warrant the necessary expenditure.
(b.) Lighthouses, Nanaimo Harbour, Departure Bay:—
The Department of Marine and Fisheries has already placed two lights upon buoys at the
entrance to this harbour, in lieu of building a lighthouse at that point.    Having consulted 286 Correspondence, re Federal Public Works. 1893
his officers the Minister finds that the Department of Marine and Fisheries has no reason to
believe that these buoy lights are not giving satisfaction. If this be so, no necessity exists
for a special light in Nanaimo Harbour.
The importance of trade is fully recognized by the Minister, and the Engineer, on the
visit above referred to, ascertained that aid was required for entering the harbour at night.
At his suggestion the buoys were lighted, and as far as the records of the Marine and Fisheries
Department show this appears to have satisfied the pilots. These harbour lights are said to
give mariners aids where they are most wanted, while lights on shore would be at a considerable
distance from the somewhat intricate channels that have to be found and kept on entering the
harbour.
Lighthouse in Departure Bay :—
The Engineer having visited this point, reported that a chance anchor light lantern on a
pole on the east point of Jesse Island, in Departure Bay, would be a useful guide, but that it
was not so urgently required as Nanaimo Harbour Light, the entrance being bold and the
water good.
Considering the great number of demands made throughout Canada for expenditure on
aids to navigation, the Minister is of the opinion that in the absence of any further representations from those engaged in navigation it would appear that the shipping in this district is
fairly served by existing aids.
(c.) Lighthouse on Moresby Islands.
Many requests . have been made for a light on Pelorus Point, Moresby Islands. The
Engineer having visited this place, reports that while a light would be a useful guide to vessels
approaching this point, its chief utility would be as a point of departure for vessels using the
Swanson Channel in going through Active Pass.
The American Government have, however, since the above applications definitely decided
to place a light on Turn Point, Stewart Island, and consequently much of the necessity for a
light on Pelorus Point has disappeared. These two points are not more than four miles apart,
and Turn Point is the better situated of the two for vessels approaching from every direction
(d.) Fog alarm, East Point of Entrance Island :—
This subject is dealt with on another report to Your Excellency.
The Minister of Marine and Fisheries adds that while every effort is being made to keep
pace with the growth of trade in British Columbia, so far as providing the necessary aids to
navigation is concerned, it must be recollected that throughout the great inland waters of
Canada new routes are being constantly opened up as well, and the demands are yearly
increasing for similar aids in various other parts of Canada. Great caution is therefore
necessary in order that, while the interests of navigation may be fairly served, the charges of
construction and maintenance of these aids may not be unduly increased.
The Committee, on the recommendation of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, advise
that a copy of this Minute, if approved, be transmitted by the Secretary of State to the
Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia for the information of his Government.
(Signed)        Joseph Pope,
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council.
Department of the Secretary of State,
Ottawa, 28th January, 1893.
Sir,—I have the honour to transmit to you herewith, for the information of your Government, copy of an approved Minute of Council, having reference to the erection of a fog alarm
on the East Point of Entrance Island.
I have, &c,
(Signed)        L. A. Catellieh,
Under Secretary of State.
His Honour
The Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia,
Victoria. 56 Vict. Correspondence, re Federal Public Works. 287
Certified copy of a Report of a   Committee of the  Honourable the Privy Council, approved by
His Excellency the Governor-General in Council on the 23rd January, 1893.
On a report, dated 19 th of January, 1893, from the Minister of Marine and Fisheries,
stating with reference to the Order in Council of 13th .January instant in regard to the erection
of a fog alarm on the East Point of Entrance Island, that a lighthouse has already been
erected in the interests of navigation on Entrance Island, and steps have recently been taken
for the improvement of the light by replacing the Catoptric Light by a Fifth Order Dioptric
Light.
The Minister in view, however, of the large amount of tonnage now visiting the Port of
Nanaimo, larger than visits either Victoria or Vancouver, and considering the approaches are
more dangerous, recommends that the subject be favourably considered when the Estimates
for the next fiscal year are dealt with.
The Committee, on the recommendation of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, advise
that the Secretary of State be authorized to forward a copy of this Minute, if approved, to the
Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia for the information of his advisers.
(Signed)        John J. McGee,
Clerk of the Privy Council.
VICTORIA, B. 0. :
Printed by Richard Wolwskden, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty

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