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BC Sessional Papers

SUPPLEMENTARY RETURN RELATING TO THE PROTECTION FROM OVERFLOW OF THE RIVER FRASER. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1896

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 59  Vict.
Protection from Overflow of Fraser  River.
857
SUPPLEMENTARY  RETURN
RELATING   TO   THE
PROTECTION FROM OVERFLOW OF THE RIVER FRASER,
Provincial Secretary's Office,
4th March, 1896.
JAMES BAKER
Provincial Secretary.
Certified copy of a Report of a Committee of the Executive Council, approved by His Honour
the Lieutenant-Governor on the 4th February, 1896.
On a memorandum frorn the Honourable
dated 4th February, 1896, reporting—
the Chief Commissioner of  Lands and Works,
That strong representations have been made to the Government from numerous farmers
and settlers concerning the danger to the lands on the Lower Fraser River by reason of
periodic floods occasioned by freshets on the said river, and that these periodic floods had
caused great damage to the farmers and settlers on the said lands, and were severely detrimental to the further settlement of the said lands and consequently to the agricultural industry
of the Province.
That by the " British North America Act" the navigation and control of navigable rivers
are outside the legislative action of the Province a.nd properly belong to the Dominion.
That by means of custom receipts for goods supplied to the settlers in the Fraser River
Valley the Dominion Government derives a considerable revenue.
That the Provincial Government has, in consideration of a portion of the benefits derived
from the settlement of the lands of the Fraser River Valley, undertaken to guarantee the
bonds of Dyking Commissioners to the extent of $15,000 a year, for the purpose of dyking the
lands in the Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Hatzic Prairie, Coquitlam and Matsqui areas, and
the said dykes are now approaching completion.
That the balance of the lands now capable of being effectively dyked in the Fraser River
Valley is comprised in the following areas, viz :—
Sumas lands, 31,000 acres, at an approximate cost of $300,000.
Chilliwhack lands, 30,000 acres, at an approximate cost of $250,000.
Nicomen lands, 7,000 acres, at an approximate cost of $50,000. Making a total of 68,000
acres capable of being dyked at a cost of, approximately, $600,000.
That great damage is done to the banks of the Fraser River by frequent lodgment of
floating trees upon the bottom of the said river, thereby causing further accumulation of trees
upon the spot, and thus creating large sandbanks which divert the course of the river and cause
incalculable damage to the riparian owners, 858 Protection from Overflow of Fraser River. 1896
The Minister therefore recommends that application be made to the Dominion Government
for a guarantee of the bonds at 4 per cent, of the Dyking Commissioners of the aforesaid
balance of lands still remaining undyked, so as to safeguard the lands from floods and give
security to the inhabitants for remaining upon the said lands.
The Minister further recommends that the Dominion Government be moved to consider
the necessity of placing a steam tug on the Fraser River for the purpose of towing away landed
trees, and also of employing a dredge for clearing the channel of the said stream with a view
to restrain the waters from altering their course to the detriment of the banks of the river.
The Committee of Council submit the afoiesaid recommendations for Your Honour's
approval and advise that a copy of this minute, if approved, be forwarded to the Honourable
the Secretary of State.
Certified,
A. Campbell Reddie,
Deputy Clerk Executive Council.
[Receipt acknowledged by the Secretary of State, 15th February, 1896.]
VICTORIA, b. c.:
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty.
1896.

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