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Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty  61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1107
To the Honourable Thomas R. McInnes,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour :
I have the honour to submit the Report of the Provincial Board of   Health for the
year 1897.
I have the honour to be,
Your Honour's most obedient servant,
19th May, 1898.  61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1109
1. Letter of Transmission.
2. Members of the Board.
3. Chairman's Preliminary Remarks.
4. Secretary's Preliminary Remarks.
5. Abstract of Minutes of Meetings of Board.
6. Topics of Discussion at Meetings.
7. Secretary's Report of Inspection.
8. Sanitary Inspector's Report.
9. Health Officers' Reports.
10. Appendices :
(a.) Health Act.
(6.)  Regulations.
(c.)  Pamphlets and Circulars.
(d.) Dr. Furrer's Report.
(e.) Letters in extenso.
11. Index. 1110 Provincial Board of Health. 1898
Dr. J. C. Davie, Chairman, Victoria.
Dr. J.  M.  Lefevre, Yancouver.
Dr. R.  E. Walker, New Westminster.
Dr. L. T. Davis, Nanaimo.
Dr. George H. Duncan, Secretary, Victoria. 61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1111
Hon. D. M. Eberts, Attorney-General, Victoria,
Sir:—I have the honour to submit for your consideration the Third Annual Report of
the Provincial Board of Health of British Columbia.
The main body of the Report consists of a synopsis of the Minutes taken at the meetings
of the Board held during the year—making evident the work and objects of the Board—
together with the reports of Dr. Duncan, the Secretary of the Board, reports from various
Health Officers and Districts, and pamphlets on various sanitary matters which have been
formulated by the Board for the information and education of the public.
Amongst the most important matters which have engaged our attention since the
issuing of the last Annual Report is the question of Tuberculosis. While this disease is one
of the most common and widespread, causing, according to the careful compilation of
sanitarians, one-seventh of the mortality of the human race, it is beyond dispute a disease
which can be prevented. The Board has commenced this work of prevention by publishing a
pamphlet for distribution throughout British Columbia. This pamphlet contains a plain
statement of facts concerning tubercular disease—facts which if understood, appreciated and
acted upon by the public at large, will have an immense influence in checking the ravages of
this disease. The Provincial Board of Health has for similar reasons recommended to the
Minister of Agriculture the systematic inspection of all herds of milch cows and other
cattle to ascertain their freedom from or otherwise of tuberculosis. If this recommendation
is carried into operation, the most important agency for the prevention of this disease will
be effected.
The Board has also taken up the question of the sanitation of the salmon canneries
throughout the Province, and has formulated a set of Regulations dealing with this whole
matter in detail. These Regulations, to become law, require to receive the sanction of the
Lieutenant-Governor in Council—so far such consent has not been given. If any reform is
to be effected this season, these Regulations should be carried into effect at once. I should
beg leave to urge upon the Government most strongly the desirability of immediate action
being taken. These cannery regulations, though entailing some trouble and expense on the
owners of the canneries, will be found on careful scrutiny to be formed quite as much in the
best interests of the canneries as they are for the benefit of the public health.
Perhaps the most important subject discussed by the Board is the pollution of the rivers,
lakes, etc., of the Province by sewage, etc. The history of the world has proven the gravity
of this question. The pollution of fresh water has been found everywhere to be one if not the
most fruitful cause of epidemic disease. All cholera epidemics arise from this cause. The
very prevalent disease of typhoid fever has for its cause polluted water and practically no
other. Sanitarians in all countries have decided that pollution of rivers, etc., must cease. In
British Columbia, clauses in the Health Act and sanitary regulations of the Board distinctly
forbid it, and makes such pollution an offence against the law of the Province ; yet despite of
the law, in defiance of the terrible experience of the past, in utter disregard for the lives
of themselves or their neighbours, some of the towns of British Columbia are making every
effort to be allowed to pollute the beautiful rivers, lakes and streams of this Province, and
convert them into open sewers to sow disease, suffering and death broadcast. Such ignorance
and selfish shortsightedness is not creditable in a progressive and rising country like British
Columbia. The Provincial Board of Health has a plain duty to perform, namely, to carry out
the Health Act in this matter, and it has determined to do so. Sanitarians throughout the
civilized world will uphold them in this their duty. 1112 Provincial Board of Health. 1898
A tour of inspection of the Province as to sanitary matters was made during the past
year by the Secretary of the Board and C. P. Wolley, Esq., late Sanitary Inspector to the
Board. These gentlemen not only inspected various localities visited, but inaugurated
sanitary reforms wherever needed. The result of their work cannot fail to benefit the public
health at large.
No serious epidemic has occurred in the Province since the last report of the Board.
Several commencing epidemics have occurred, and cases of contagious disease have been
imported into the country, but by the faithful enforcement of the regulations of the Board
disease of this character has been kept within very narrow limits.
All sanitary reform is of necessity greatly educational in character. Education can only
be a gradual process. A fair beginning has been made by the Board of Health, and if allowed
to continue the good work, British Columbia will remain what it is naturally—a Province
where life should reach its full duration.
I have, etc.,
John C. Davie,
Chairman Provincial Board of Health.
In presenting my Annual Report to the Chairman and members of the Provincial Board
of Health, I have adjudged it proper to review briefly the work of the Board during the year
in which my duties as Secretary have been performed, and, as well, to outline its history from
the commencement.
For the latter purpose I have taken the liberty, with the consent of the author, to adopt
the pages of the British Columbia Year Book dealing with the subject of health legislation, in
which there is an admirable compilation of the leading facts in connection therewith. The
portion dealing with the matter in question is as follows:—
"On the 23rd of February, 1869, the 'Health Ordinance, 1869,' was passed, the preamble
reciting : ' Whereas it is necessary to adopt measures with the object of preventing or guarding against the origin, rise or progress of endemic, epidemic, or contagious diseases, and to
protect the health of the inhabitants of this Colony, and for the purpose to grant to. the
Governor-in-Council extraordinary powers to be used when urgent occasion demands.' This
Act remained in force at the time of the consolidation of the Provincial Statutes in 1888, and,
with the exception of the preamble, was incorporated into that consolidation as Chap. 55. Its
provisions were found to be inadequate when put to the test at the time of the small-pox
epidemic in 1892.
"The development of health legislation in British Columbia has followed the same course
that such legislation has usually followed in the several Provinces, States of the Union, and
other countries. The incentive of every improvement in the laws concerning the health of the
people has been a visitation, or threatened visitation, of some dread disease.
"In the summer of 1892 the disease was on several occasions imported from the Orient,
and on one of those occasions the infection seems to have been sown broadcast.    The sudden
outbreak   caused   a   panic   throughout   the   Coast   cities.    Over   150   cases
Smallpox     occurred, and there were thirty deaths.    The money lost to the community,
Epidemic,     direct  and  indirect,  was very great.    The money paid out by the City of
Victoria alone was some $60,000.    It also affected more or less severely all
the Coast cities. 61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1113
" The need of a better Health Act was made apparent by this epidemic, consequently at
the next session of the Legislature the then Attorney-General and Premier, Hon. Theodore
Davie, introduced an Act modelled on the Ontario Public Health Act which was very much
more comprehensive and complete. An important feature of the new Act was the establishment of a Provincial Board of Health, consisting of five members.
"Previous to the epidemic of 1892 very little work had been done under the old Act.
Many of its provisions could not be made use of until action had been taken by the Lieutenant-
Governor in Council in the direction of making rules, regulations, etc.   Until
Regulations the year mentioned no important Order in Council had been passed under this
by Order-in- Act.    But at the beginning of the outbreak in the summer of that year, a
Council.        popular demand induced the Provincial Government to take the necessary
action to prevent the further spread of the disease.    Dr. Davie was then
appointed  as Provincial Health Officer, and acting under the regulations that were quickly
drawn up and proclaimed under authority of the Act, he was able to effectually check the
spread   of the  epidemic.    Of course, under the authority of the Municipal Act,  Municipal
Councils were empowered to legislate on health matters, but action taken by virtue of such
authority  was   necessarily restricted  in  scope  and  lacked  unanimity when uniformity and
concertness were required.
"During the same year cholera had been prevalent in many of the cities of Europe,
particularly Hamburg, and this continent was seriously threatened, several infected ships
arriving at the New York quarantine station. The approach of this plague served a good
turn, since it, too, influenced the growing opinion as to the necessity of more effective legislation regarding the public health. As one result of this opinion a set of sanitary regulations
were promulgated by Order in Council.
"The 'Health Act, 1893,'was broader in its provisions than the old one, and contemplated bringing into existence an efficient Board of Health for the Province, which was to
study the causes and labour to prevent disease, not merely to deal with, should it unfortunately
make its appearance. Local Boards of Health were also created, consisting in Municipalities
of the Council, and in outlying districts of the Government Agent or of such other constitution
as the Lieutenant-Governor in Council might see fit.
"When the bill was passed by the Legislature the excitement in connection with the
epidemics of smallpox and cholera had subsided and the Act was not brought into force at
once. Owing, however, to the widespread prevalence of cholera in Japan and its arrival at
Honolulu, the Act was proclaimed on September 26th, 1895. Probably serious outbreaks of
diphtheria, typhoid and scarlet fever in various parts of the Province also influenced the
taking of this step. Among the duties assigned by the Act to the newly appointed Board
were the following: To take cognizance of the interests of health and life among the people;
to study the vital statistics of the Province; to make sanitary investigations and enquiries
regarding the causes of disease, and especially of epidemics; also of the
Scope Of the causes of mortality and the effects of localities, employments, conditions,
Health Act. habits, and other circumstances, upon the health of the people; make
suggestions regarding the prevention and limitation of contagious and infectious diseases, inquire into the action to that end being taken by local Boards of Health ;
also to inquire into the sanitary condition of public institutions and buildings; to acquire and
disseminate information concerning the public health and distribution of sanitary literature;
to issue regulations (subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council) for the
prevention, treatment, mitigation and suppression of epidemic, endemic, infectious, or contagious disease. Speaking broadly, it is, in fact, the duty of the Board to concern itself with
all things affecting or likely to affect the public health. A consideration of the duties thus
imposed upon the Board makes it apparent that the Provincial Board of Health has a most
important work to perform.
" The Board at once commenced the work of organization. It prepared regulations
regarding smallpox, scarlet fever and diphtheria, and supplemented them by a well-digested
pamphlet on disinfection. The regulations embody provisions for the enforcement of modern
methods of isolation and quarantine, disinfection, vaccination, etc. They provide for the
appointment of medical and other health officers, establishment of isolation hospitals and
suspect stations.
" There was at first a disposition to underrate the usefulness of the Board, more especially
as the expense of carrying the work on on the scale contemplated by the Act involved con- 1114 Provincial Board of Health. 1898
siderable expense during the ' time of peace,' and as a consequence the appropriation made by
the Legislature was limited. A series of events occurred, however, to call for active interference, and the unexpended balance of the previous year was called into requisition by Order in
Council, which enabled the Board to perform its functions more fully than would otherwise
have been possible.
" The most important of  the forces  united  to  demand  this  action  on  the  part  of the
Government was what threatened to be a  serious outbreak  of typhoid  fever in the mining
region of the Kootenay country.     A great number of people had lately been attracted to these
districts, but there had practically been  no attention  paid  by  any  one  to  sanitation.    The
inevitable consequences of neglect, of proper sanitary supervision and lack of previous preparation to cope with an outbreak of disease soon became manifest.    The condition  of affairs was
alarming.     His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, after a visit to this portion
Typhoid in   of the Province, brought the facts to the attention of the Premier in a letter
Kootenay.    dated May 27th, 1896, in which it was recommended that the 'Health Act'
be put in force without delay.    This letter was laid before the Board, with
the request that the necessary action be taken immediately.     The information placed before
the Board from this and other sources made it apparent that many places in the Province were
in a condition favourable to the spread of disease should it make its appearance.    The Board,
after full discussion and consideration of all these facts, prepared a set of sanitary regulations
applicable to the whole Province.
"The main features of these regulations are as follows:—Provision is made for the effective
abatement of nuisances injurious to the public health.    The pollution of all classes of drinking
water and running streams is made punishable.    Public water supply, drainage and sewerage
is dealt with, and the duty imposed upon local health authorities of constructing the necessary
works.    The abolition of the unsanitary  privy-pit  and cess-pool  system  and  substitution  of
earth closets is called for.    Improved  methods for  the  disposal  of waste waters is required.
The adoption of an efficient  scavengering  service  must  be  inaugurated, or
Sanitary     other effective means, such as burning or burying, employed for the disposal
Regulations, of fascal  matter,   garbage  and  refuse in  each  community.    Inspection and
regulation  of slaughter-houses,  dairies,   piggeries   and  market  gardens are
provided for.    The sale of food and drink unfit for use is prohibited.    Duties  of local Boards
of Health, Medical Officers and Sanitary Inspectors are prescribed.    Other subjects  affecting
the public health are comprehensively dealt with.    In fact,  between the 'Health Act, 1893,'
and the various regulations of the Board, the range of preventive  medicine has been covered
to considerable extent.
" The Board also passed a resolution instructing the then Secretary, Dr. A. T. Watt, to
prepare pamphlets dealing with various sanitary topics, infectious diseases, etc. A resolution
was likewise passed suggesting that the Government instruct the Secretary to visit the
different towns and settlements of the Province for the purpose of acquiring information as to
the sanitary needs of those places and giving instructions to local Health Officers. A trip
was subsequently taken, with very satisfactory results. Many matters in much need of
attention were examined into and action taken thereon. After his return, Dr. Watt pointed
out the necessity for the appointment of a Provincial Sanitary Inspector, who should devote
his whole time to organising the sanitary services in the various parts of the Province. Capt.
Clive Phillipps-Wolley was accordingly appointed, and proceeded at once to the Kootenay
country, where he spent the latter part of the summer and the fall. He succeeded in placing
the towns he visited in a greatly improved condition.
" As to the political issues involved, or the personal work of the members of the Board of
Health, however meritorious, it is not within the scope of this volume to discuss, except to
say that as an officially constituted organisation its usefulness and necessity have been demonstrated. Efficiently controlled, it is a guarantee of protection against epidemic forms of
disease which, by contact with the Orient through steamship communication, are frequently
imminent. The Board has been but a short time in existence, and in addition to the efforts
already put forth towards improved sanitary condition, it has made numerous suggestions
which will doubtless be shortly incorporated in the health code."
With regard to the work performed during the year just completed, I may say that I took
office in February last. My first serious duty was to prepare and publish the Supplementary
Report containing the various returns of the Local Boards of Health throughout the Province. 61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1115
Shortly after taking office a case of small-pox was reported from Metchosin, which, however, upon investigation proved to be unfounded.
Until the month of July nothing of special importance transpired, and the work of the
office was chiefly of a routine character.
Three regular quarterly meetings of the Board were held subsequently, the first being
early in July, at which all correspondence was submitted and formally approved.
At the July meeting referred to, three subjects of importance were discussed and dealt
with. These were :—Tuberculosis ; the transportation of corpses on railways; and a tour of
inspection by the Secretary.
The subject of tuberculosis was introduced by Dr. Davie, Chairman of the Board, who
read a paper which was freely discussed. As a result of this, the Chairman was requested to
prepare a circular on the nature and spread of the disease, for general distribution, which was
agreed to, and subsequently carried into effect.
The salient facts of interest and importance to the public, brought into prominence by the
discussion, were that the disease of animals now so familiarly known as tuberculosis is identical with tuberculosis or consumption in the human family, and is easily transmissible from one
to the other by the ordinary avenues of infection, and, therefore, a close relationship is established between the necessary regulations for the prevention of this disease, often referred to in
its ravages among mankind as the " White Plague," and the special work of the Board. In
other words, tuberculosis in animals is one of the subjects coming within the purview, and
properly belonging to the category of diseases within the jurisdiction and under the supervision of the Provincial Board of Health, and one which should be transferred to its exclusive
control. It may be stated as a matter of information to the public, that the usual channels
through which tuberculosis may be transmitted from animals to man are the milk of cows, the
excreta, and the sputa.
Apropos of these remarks, a mass of correspondence between the Board and Mr. J. R.
Anderson, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, was submitted at a subsequent meeting of the
Board, which included reports of different Veterinary Surgeons of inspection among various
herds, the main inference from which strongly confirmed the conclusion already referred to as
to the necessity of supervision by health authorities in the premises.
Transportation of Corpses.
The transportation of corpses was introduced by a letter from the General Baggage Agent
of the C. P. R., Mr. MacTier, in which was enclosed the regulations enforced in Ontario.
Regulations were drawn up by the Board (see Appendix) suitable to the conditions in this
Province. The particular in which the latter differ from those elsewhere is the presence of
Chinamen, who die from diseases which are not prevalent among other classes of the community, and which are practically unknown in the eastern part of Canada. For this reason
their bodies should not be allowed to be raised, as is the custom some time after burial, without a special permit from and the exhumation being made under the supervision of the Board
of Health.
Inspection of the Province.
With reference to a general inspection of the Province, it was decided to authorise the
Sanitary Inspector and the Secretary of the Board to visit all parts of the Province and to
report on the general conditions, as well as to assist the local Boards of Health in initiating
and carrying out sanitary reforms.
At the meeting in question arrangements were made for permanent offices in the new
Government buildings. During the absence of the Secretary, provision was made for clerical
assistance for the Chairman, Dr. Davie.
Pursuant to the resolutions of the Board, I left on my tour of inspection, and was absent
for about two months and a half, during which time I visited the canneries of the Fraser
River, various points on the Cariboo Waggon Road, Ashcroft, Revelstoke and Golden, and
towns in East and West Kootenay, off the main line of the C. P. R. In fact, between myself
and the Inspector, Captain Wolley, the whole of the Interior of the southern part of the
Province was gone over. 1116 Provincial Board of Health. 1898
You will permit me in this connection to state the general impressions obtained in regard
to sanitary matters in the districts visited.
The general health was good, due primarily to pure air and water and good food, for
which blessings the people of the Province may in particular congratulate themselves. When
disease was found in epidemic form it was due to the disregard of the ordinary laws of sanitation. I might cite many cases in point. For instance, I may point to the typhoid in
Slocan City, which was of a malignant form. Here wells were found sunk in a porous soil
contiguous to habitations a little higher up the hillside, from which the excreta and other filth
left exposed was washed into the former during heavy rainfalls, a condition similar to that
which existed in Nelson in 1896. In every case the epidemic yielded to sanitary reform
immediately entered upon.
Referring to contagious diseases, scarlet fever occurred in epidemic form in Kamloops.
The local Health Officer, Dr. Furrer, acting under the Sanitary Regulations, stamped it out in
a short time. In a few of the other cities cases were reported, but were checked by the
enforcement of the regulations. The peculiarity of the disease was that it existed in a very
mild type, and it may be remarked that this, for obvious reasons, made it all the more difficult
to handle, the principal difficulty being to enforce proper quarantine under such circumstances.
Diphtheria made its appearance in Revelstoke, New Westminster and Saanich, but
being dealt with promptly it was checked before it reached the epidemic stage. This was not
only due to the promptness with which the Regulations were put into effect, but to the fact
that the Board had kept on hand a supply of anti-toxine for immediate use. The anti-toxine
is supplied to medical men to be supplied gratis to poor patients, and at cost price to those
who can pay. Steps are being taken to supply isolated districts with this remedy, so that
advantage of its use will not be lost by reason of the time otherwise necessary to reach a
distant point after the disease has broken out.
Although the Province has enjoyed fortunate immunity from small-pox, I would desire to
draw attention to, and during my visit I everywhere emphasized, the necessity of providing
for the establishment of isolation hospitals, and the urgency of vaccination. In British
Columbia this is particularly incumbent upon the Health Authorities on account of our
contact with the Orient, where small-pox is epidemic. I pointed this out long ago when
Medical Health Officer of the City of Victoria, a warning which had abundant justification in
the subsequent small-pox epidemic, and the lesson of that visitation should not soon be
forgotten. In this connection, the Board has been investigating the merits of the new
disinfectant, Formaldehyde. The old method of disinfection by sulphur dioxide entailed a
heavy loss through destruction of property, as well as being very offensive by reason of the
vile odor which it emits. These disadvantages naturally prevented people from reporting mild
cases of such diseases as scarlet fever. Now that it may be known that Formaldehyde is
inexpensive and efficient as a germicide, and at the same time is neither offensive nor
destructive to property, the public will not be so averse to the presence of a Health Officer in
their houses. Consequently the efforts of the authorities in quarantining disease will be
greatly facilitated.    Later on full particulars of this new disinfectant will be forthcoming.
Darcy Island Leper Station.
Two cases of leprosy among the Chinese population have been reported. These were
taken to Darcy Island. This station is owned and controlled by the City of Victoria, and
through the courtesy of the City authorities leprous cases in other parts of the Province have
been taken care of. Here I venture the remark that the matter of a station for the care of
lepers is one that properly belongs to the Dominion Government, and should be taken in hand
by it the same as is done on the Atlantic side. It is all the more incumbent on that
Government from the very nature of the disease, which, on account of its long period of
incubation, cannot be made subject to the ordinary laws of quarantine, and is difficult to
diagnose. It is usually years in the process of incubation, and is invariably imported from
the Orient, where it is indigenous, so to speak, and always prevalent. It is a matter of
external rather than internal quarantine, and the responsibility attaches to the carrier, who is
in the constitutional sense the Federal Government. It is anomalous, to say the least, that
the City of Victoria should have the care of this station, a duty forced on it by humanitarian
considerations rather than by right. The fact that the Dominion Government alone assumes
control of external quarantine, and regulates laws allowing Chinese immigration, is sufficient 61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1117
to fix the responsibility for treatment and supervision after leprosy has been imported, and my
suggestion in this regard is that the per capita tax on Chinese should be increased say five
dollars. This would provide a fund sufficiently great to admit of a station being properly
equipped and maintained with regular medical attendance, without entailing extra expense
on the Government. Certainly greater care should be taken of these poor unfortunates after
having been exiled on Darcy Island. The location itself is a suitable one. The cost of maintenance has been, yearly, about $1,200 so far, while there is an average of about three hundred
immigrants on the station.
Reverting to the question of the sanitation of the interior towns and cities of British Columbia, I have this criticism to offer : there is too great a rush to adopt a sewerage system,
without proper regard for, or knowledge of the conditions that are being created to affect their
own and the health of a future generation. The dry earth system of closets is quite adequate
and efficient if properly carried out, and should be the only one adopted until the finances of a
city will justify the construction of a proper system of sewers, and then only after a sufficient
and pure water supply has been provided.
The common idea of the inhabitants of cities is that of dumping the sewage in the rivers
or lakes. I need not remind the medical profession, while telling the general public, that this
is a most dangerous and pernicious practice—that the germs of typhoid, for instance, will live
for an indefinite period in running water, and survive under extreme changes of temperature.
Mining towns spring up in a day, and may even be said to be co-existent with the discovery of
a rich ledge. Sanitation, unfortunately, is not always a consideration of first importance, and
it is not necessarily a reflection on the intelligence of a community to say that it is one, the
requirements of which are imperfectly understood. So that under such circumstances there
should be a report made by a sanitary engineer of reputed ability on each locality, before any
definite steps are taken towards the establishment of a sewerage system, and a copy of such
report should be laid before the Board of Health for approval. There is often a misconception
as to the raison d'etre of a Board of Health, and the scope of its authority. The object, let it
be understood, is to conserve the public health, and not to antagonize or harrass the public as
many seem to imagine.
Before leaving this subject, I wish to refer to the influence of the prospectors in the
spread of disease. Scattered over the hills, in all directions, they are liable in cases of typhoid
to contaminate the mountain streams, and to develop an outbreak where it is least expected.
This condition of affairs, which is incident to all new mining districts, can only be overcome by
liberally educating these people on a subject so fraught with importance to the interests of
their own class. I feel sure, with my knowledge of prospectors and miners, that no element
of the community would be more inclined to give heed to earnest and honest advice, and none
more willing to do what is required in the general interests of the public, once the subject is
properly understood.
Canneries and Sanitation.
I now come to what is really the most difficult and delicate feature of the work of the
Board during the past year. I refer to the sanitary condition of the canneries of the Fraser
River and their surroundings. It must be duly kept in mind that the salmon canneries constitute one of the most important industries of the Province, and that in carrying out the
regulations it should be solely with a regard to the exigencies and conservation of the public
health, and not in any spirit of antagonism to the canners. In my report to the Board at its
last regular meeting I dealt with this subject to some extent, but expressed the opinion, to
which I still adhere, that the problems presented are of such a character that only a lengthened stay, which I was unable to make, could enable one to come to a determinate and, at the
same time, intelligent conclusion as to the whole requirements of the case. In fact, it is a subject that demands very careful, and to some extent expert, investigation before finally advising
as to regulations, which have important and economic effects on the industry itself. My own
views, arrived at in a general way from my observations while on the Fraser River last
season, and from my consideration of the subject since, are, that to the Dominion Government
belongs, until at least the question of the jurisdiction of the fisheries is settled, a large share
of the responsibility—that is to say, that while the regulation of conditions affecting the
public health is undoubtedly wholly within the jurisdiction of the Province, and consequently
within that of this Board, the fishery industry itself is within the control of the Government
at Ottawa, which also is the main beneficiary in regard to the revenue derived therefrom. 1118 Provincial Board of Health. 1898
The problem as presented to my mind divides itself into two parts—one, an on-shore, and the
other an in-the-river consideration, if I may be permitted to so express it. The former is the
more serious of the two, and the one over which this Board has undoubted and exclusive
jurisdiction. The other is the result of an industry being carried on in navigable waters,
licensed to do business by the Dominion Government, which receives a large revenue therefrom. It appears to me to be very clearly the duty of the latter to deal with that portion of
the problem which is known as the offal question. In other words, the cannery industry is
one controlled by the Dominion Government; arises out of the resources of a navigable river,
over which the latter has exclusive jurisdiction; is excluded from the interference of the
Province by coming under the head of trade and commerce; and is licensed to carry on
business, one of the resultants of which is the creation of offal. The offal thrown in the cold
running water of the Fraser is not in itself a nuisance or hygienically objectionable; but it
becomes so by the action of the wind and tides which carry both the decomposed and the
undecomposed portion back on the land, where it becomes a detriment to the public health.
The whole subject is one, therefore, which properly pertains to the Dominion Government,
and to it attaches the responsibility.
Regarding the other features of the case, viz.:—The on-shore regulations, the duty of the
Board of Health in the premises is perfectly clear. Undoubtedly much of the sickness is due
to the unsanitary conditions existing as a result of five or six thousand people being suddenly
brought together without any sanitary precautions whatsoever being taken. There are three
things absolutely required for the preservation of health under such conditions :—(a) Dry earth
closets, to prevent the contamination of the river or the water of the wells by the excreta and
other filth which accumulates in such a community, (b) A supply of pure water for drinking
and cannery purposes ; this could be brought about by an extension of the water system of
either Vancouver or New Westminster, for which the canneries and others using it might be
charged an equitable rate, (o) A thorough system of inspection and enforcement by officers
appointed for the purpose. They should not be local officials but outside appointees, in order
that as pointed out in my report elsewhere, the possibility of creating ill-will should not interfere with the discharge of necessary duty. The expense incident to the carrying out of the
regulations as well as the securing of a proper water supply, might be borne by assessing equitably the municipalities, employees and cannery owners. It is only fair to the rest of the Province that conditions specially created should be specially provided for, and for this purpose I
would suggest amendment to existing legislation. I am satisfied that the only satisfactory
way to deal with this problem is to do it on a comprehensive scale and settle it once for all.
Vital Statistics.
Still another subject has occupied the attention of the Board, and that is the collection of
vital statistics and the effective registration of births, deaths and marriages. This is a very
important matter, not only with reference to proper registration, but the equally important
matter of compilation and analysis. It appears to be the duty of no one in particular to give
it the attention it deserves, and in this connection I would beg leave to recommend that the
matter of the compilation of vital statistics should be relegated to the Bureau of Statistics,
the experience of the officers of which would specially qualify them to deal with it satisfactorily
and scientifically.
In each of the city municipalities I visited I drew the attention of the city authorities to
the necessity of maintaining an accurate register of births, deaths and marriages, and in some
the result was the passing of a cemetery by-law, modelled on that of Victoria. In districts, I
directed the attention of the Government Agents to this matter. I would suggest that
Mining Recorders and City Clerks be appointed Deputy Registrars, and that these report to
the Board of Health, and that public notices be posted in conspicuous places to educate the
public as to the requirements of the law in this respect.
Sanitation of the Interior.
With regard to the sanitary conditions prevailing in the interior towns, the same evils
exist to a greater or less extent in them all. Everywhere it seemed sufficient for the Government Agent to have a spring and fall cleaning of premises, and the re-accumulations afterwards
allowed to go on.    But I do not doubt that after discussing the danger  of these unsanitary 61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1119
conditions with these officials they will evince greater interest in everything pertaining to
sanitary reforms.    Some of them remarked, "Give us the orders and we will carry them out."
The substitution of dry health closets for the reprehensible privy pits necessitates a
This, again involves the appointment of a scavenger, and here a difficult arises. Some
residents would wish to do their own scavenging in order to save the cost. A second scavenger may make his appearance and by competition kill the business.
Here, also, it would seem that legislation is required by which the Government Agent of
the village or town may be authorised to call for contracts and exercise his judgment in letting
the work to the most reliable man as well as having the power of settling the rate to be levied
on each individual householder.
The contract should call for bonds on the part of the scavenger of sufficient value to
secure the thorough and efficient fulfilment of the work. It should also contain a minute
specification of the work to be done.
That the negligence of health matters on the part of the few mining towns should cast a
shadow as it were over the reputation of the whole district is much to be regretted and unjust.
People on the outside say, "Don't go near those mining towns, they are plague spots, full of
typhoid and other contagious diseases."
Now, as a matter of fact, my visit through the upper country convinces me that, with the
exception of a few spots which were rendered unhealthy by sanitary neglect, the health of the
community was excellent.
Rossland, Nelson, Sandon and Slocan City had acquired the reputation of being unhealthy
places, and while this was quite true as applied to them in 1896, it is not true as applied to
them at the present time. In these places, the sanitary arrangements have been greatly
improved, in fact, almost completely altered through the zealous efforts of the Provincial
Sanitary Inspector, assisted by the local officials, so that the visitor now need not fear anything
more than a mild attack of gastro-enteritis that might ensue from a change of air, food and
A point that suggests itself to me as one of vital importance is a necessity for the introduction of proper sanitary arrangements at the time of the springing into existence of a small
mining town.
This can only be effectually accomplished through the presence of an active, intelligent
officer, who will not only visit and instruct the people, but who will also remain in the town
until the work is carried out.
It requires time for such work. An officer visiting a town for a day or so may to some
extent instruct the people, but if it be left to the people themselves to carry out those instructions, there would rarely be anything accomplished.
I would therefore suggest for this purpose that mining countries be divided into natural
divisions, and the work in each of those districts be done by the Provincial constable, who
would make regular reports to the Provincial Board of Health, to whom they would be
directly responsible for the proper fulfilment of their duties, the executive work devolving
upon them, while a regular inspection of their work be made by the Provincial Sanitary
Inspector, who should be relieved of detail executive work in order that his necessarily limited
time be devoted wholly to supervision. In this manner only is it possible for him to satisfactorily get over the Mainland districts during the summer months.
I would indicate the following as suitable divisions, and suggest that a local inspector be
appointed for:—I. The towns on the Canadian Pacific Railway. II. Fort Steele, Cranbrook,
Wardner, the Mission, and the Chinese village on Wild Horse Creek, in a word, East Kootenay. III. Districts in the West Kootenay having Nelson as its centre, with the United
States boundary line at the south, and to include on the north, Kaslo, Sandon, New Denver
and Slocan City. IV. District—Having Trail as its centre, with Rossland on the south and
Arrowhead on the north. V. Boundary country. The present Provincial constables in each
of these districts north of Ashcroft, owing to the distance between the towns, are the only persons
who can do the work without heavy expense to the Government. Some constables experience
a difficulty, I am told, in procuring the services of a Justice of the Peace to hear cases of
infraction of the Health Regulations. I therefore think that recommendation should be made
to the Government to make sufficient appointments to obviate this difficulty.
In consulting the various Health Officers, I found that many of them disliked exceedingly,
in fact, some refused absolutely to take any active practical part in health matters owing to 1120 Provincial Board of Health. 1898
the fact that it caused ill-feeling towards themselves among the people with whom their daily
practice brought them in contact. Indeed, some say the odium engendered would militate
against, if not entirely kill their practice.
I believe therefore that for efficient work the Health Officer should be purely a consultant,
and that the actual work to be done should be performed by sanitary officials under the directions of the Provincial Sanitary Inspector.
There is one point I should like to refer to, viz:—Doctors appointed as Medical Health
Officers often in a mining town shift about; some even go out prospecting, so that the power of
calling in any medical practitioner in case of infectious diseases should be given to the Government Agent, or in his absence to his representative, and that this practitioner be paid by fees
according to the scale adopted by the B. C. Medical Council, the Government Agent certifying
to the bill before payment.
In adopting a water supply scheme for such places as Quesnelle, Golden, New Denver,
and other small mining towns similarly situated, when the cost would be too great for them to
bear unaided, I may ask, would it not be well to construct a water works system, with the
Government Agent as executive officer, who would be empowered to assess the property owners
in proportion to the value of their property in order to meet the expense, the Government
loaning the money to them, to be refunded by this tax 1
I took care to explain, not only to the Government Agents, but also to the Provincial
Constables with whom I came in contact, the requirements of the Health Act, and what
should be done in case of the appearance of any infectious diseases.
In addition, following this, all that is required is to educate the people upon the dangers
of the neglect of the ordinary laws of sanitation and I feel sure that with this knowledge they
will be readily governed. As a step in this direction a few pamphlets have been prepared for
distribution upon "Dry Earth Closets," "Vaccination," and "Tuberculosis" which will soon be
followed by more.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
Geo. H. Duncan,
Minutes of the Sixth Meeting, July 5th, 1897.
First Day—First Session.
The address of the Chairman, Dr. Davie, in which he reviewed and outlined the work of
the Board, and remarked on the conditions which, from a sanitary point of view, existed in
the Province.
First Day—Second Session.
P. M. Present—Dr. Davie, Chairman; Dr. Walker, Dr. Davis and Dr. Duncan,
The question of obtaining a bacteriological apparatus and engaging a bacteriologist was
taken up, and after discussion it was decided that there was not enough work at the present
time to warrant the expense involved, but it was resolved that in the case of a bacteriologist
being required, the matter should be referred to Dr.  Fagan, of New Westminster. 61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1121
A letter was read from Mr. Win. Adams, M. P. P., for Cariboo, drawing attention to the
necessity of sanitary inspection in certain portions of that district. Ordered to be acknowledged and resolved that Cariboo should be included within the tour of inspection by the
The recommendation of the Hon. Attorney-General that Osoyoos be further divided for
the purpose of better supervision by the health authorities, was considered.
Attention was directed to a Resolution already passed by the Board: Resolved, that the
Land Registry Office be requested to alter the map accordingly.
A letter from the General Baggage Agent of the C. P. R. was read respecting the transportation of corpses. It was decided that the Secretary should communicate with the Deputy
Attorney-General for the purpose of procuring a copy of the Ontario Regulations in regard to
births, deaths and marriages, and arrange a meeting of the Board with the Deputy Attorney-
General at its next session, with reference to this matter.
The Resolution of the Canadian Medical Association with regard to opthalmia, after some
discussion was received and filed.
It was resolved that Dr. McLean, Health Officer for Vancouver City, should have the
supervision of the Hastings Townsite, Moodyville and Westminster District east of Vancouver,
and that Dr. Fagan be appointed Health Officer for the out-lying district east of Hastings
The subject of infectious diseases was taken up and the Secretary of the Board was
instructed to prepare Report Forms to be sent to each Medical Officer and Government Agent
in the Province, in order that the particulars of all cases of infectious diseases should be
brought to the attention of the Board.
School Hygiene was next discussed, and the Secretary asked to make an examination of
the Regulations of other Provinces with respect thereto, and report at the next meeting of the
A discussion ensued with regard to the enforcement of the law of vaccination.
The Secretary was instructed to ascertain from Dr. Watt, the late Secretary of the Board,
what Municipalities had not reported in regard to sanitary matters, with a view to completing
the returns at an early date.
Meeting adjourned at 10.30 p.m.
Second Day—First Session.
July 6th, 1897.
Present: Drs. Davie (Chairman), Walker, Davis, Watt (Dominion Quarantine Officer),
and Duncan (Secretary).
The matter of transportation of corpses was again taken up, and after discussion it was
decided that the transportation or shipment of bodies of persons who had died of small-pox,
cholera, leprosy, typhus fever, yellow fever, diphtheria, anthrax or scarlet fever, should be
absolutely forbidden, and the Secretary was directed to draft Regulations similar to those in
force in Ontario for the transportation or shipment of bodies of persons dying of diseases other
than those enumerated.
The Committee appointed to report on the Revelstoke diphtheria outbreak submitted the
following :—
"We, your Committee appointed to report on the correspondence, re the recent diphtheria
outbreak at Revelstoke, beg to report as follows: 'We consider that definite rules should be
drawn up for the guidance of the Local Medical Health Officers in various parts of the
Province, and also that proper forms should be adopted and printed and supplied to all
Local Health authorities upon which to make daily reports to the Secretary of the Provincial
Board of Health.'"
The report was discussed at some length, and upon motion, was adopted.
The Board then took up the matter of a complete sanitary inspection of the Province and
the proposed tour of the Secretary, Dr. Duncan, and the Provincial Sanitary Inspector, Capt.
Wolley. After lengthened consideration, it was resolved, that these officers should begin
their work at the Fraser River canneries, and work together until the inspection was completed; then proceed to East Kootenay to inspect the new towns and growing communities,
which had been reported in a bad sanitary condition;   and after completing the inspection 1122 Provincial Board of Health. 1898
there, Dr. Duncan to proceed to West Kootenay and subsequently through Cariboo, leaving
Captain Wolley in Kootenay to inaugurate and carry out the reforms recommended by Dr.
The appointment of District Health Officers was next taken up, and it was deemed advisable after discussion to postpone final consideration until after the return of the Secretary
from his proposed visit of inspection, when the Board would have more definite information as
to the requirements in that behalf.
The matter of obtaining offices for the Provincial Board of Health in the new Government
Buildings was considered, and it was decided to communicate with the Hon. the Premier with
a view to an appointment for the discussion of this and other subjects.
The subject of the transportation or shipment of corpses was again taken up, and an outline of the proposed Regulations drafted and referred to the Secretary to finally complete after
consultation with the Hon. the Attorney-General.
A discussion took place regarding compulsory vaccination, and after the subject had been
fully considered it was on motion decided that a pamphlet should be prepared by the Chairman
and Secretary, and printed for general distribution, the same to set forth the advantages of
vaccination, and to call the attention of the public to the statutory provisions making vaccination compulsory, and urging compliance with the law.
Dr. Watt, Dominion Quarantine Officer, invited the members of the Board to accompany
him the following afternoon to the Dominion Quarantine Station for a tour of inspection,
which invitation was duly accepted.
Meeting adjourned.
Third Day—First Session.
11 a.m. July 7th.
Present: Drs. Davie (Chairman), Davis, Walker, Lefevre, and Duncan (Secretary).
Hon. J. H. Turner, Premier, was present by appointment.
The necessity for permanent offices and proper accommodation for the Board was brought
to his attention, and after the matter had been discussed the Hon. the Premier promised that
the matter would be arranged satisfactory to their wishes.
The proposed tour of the Secretary and the Provincial Sanitary Inspector, together with
the mode of inspection of the canneries on the Fraser River were also fully discussed with the
Premier, and the meeting adjourned at 8 p.m.
Third Day—Second Session.
The Board met pursuant to adjournment.
All members present.
The Committee appointed to draft regulations dealing with the transportation of corpses
presented a written report embodying the draft regulations formulated.
These were discussed clause by clause and adopted, and the Secretary was instructed to
have the same forwarded to the Hon. the Attorney-General with the request that the necessary
steps should be taken to have them duly enforced.    (See Appendix.)
The Chairman (Dr. Davie) introduced the subject of tuberculosis, and spoke at some
length on the importance of this matter engaging the serious attention of the Board.
A lengthened discussion followed in which the whole subject was reviewed, and it was
moved by Dr. Walker, and seconded by Dr. Davis, that the Secretary should communicate
with the Hon. the Premier, asking that the Inspectors of Contagious Diseases of Animals
should be required to report regularly to the Provincial Board of Health the results of their
inspections, with full particulars.    Carried.
The pamphlets issued by the State Board of Health dealing with tuberculosis, and also a
recapitulation of the findings of the Boyal Commission in England, were read by the Secretary
and Dr. Walker for the information of the Board.
After discussion it was resolved, that the next meeting of the Board of Health should be
held subsequent to the completion of the proposed tour of inspection by the Secretary and the
Provincial Sanitary Inspector. 61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1123
It was moved and seconded that the thanks of the Provincial Board of Health be tendered
to Dr. Watt (Dominion Quarantine Officer) for his courtesy to the Board in the inspection of
the Dominion Quarantine Station, and that the Secretary be directed to communicate the
same to Dr. Watt.
The Board then adjourned.
Seventh Meeting—Monday, October 18th, 1897.
First Day—First Session.
2 p. m. The Provincial Board of Health was convened at the new Provincial Board of
Health offices in the Parliament buildings.
Present—Drs. Davie, Chairman; Lefevre, Vancouver; Walker, New Westminster ;
Davis, Nanaimo; and Duncan, Secretary.
Minutes of last session read and adopted.
Some discussion ensued as to the most advantageous method of keeping the Minutes of
the Board, and it was decided that a stenographic report of the meetings should be transcribed
and preserved in book form.
The Chairman delivered an address and reviewed at considerable length the subjects that
would engage the attention of the Board at the present meeting, in which was considered the
sanitary conditions of the canneries on the Fraser River, and the question of the leprosy
station on Darcy Island.
The following communications were received :—
From J. G. Mullins, New South Wales, asking for sanitary publications. The Chairman
reported that these had been forwarded.
From the British Institution of Preventive Medicine, stating that the supply of anti-
toxine had been forwarded, and a like quantity would be sent every three months. The
Chairman reported that the supply had arrived, and had been placed in cold storage.
From G. E. Drew, reporting case of scarlet fever.    Filed.
From Ching Shing, Vancouver, stating that Chinese arriving at Vancouver complained
of sore eyes after having been disinfected at the quarantine station. The Chairman stated
that he had replied to the letter that the Provincial Board of Health had nothing to do with
Dominion quarantine.    Approved.
From the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, inclosing copies of the " Contagious Diseases
Act"; also letter drawing attention to correspondence in the Vancouver "World" in reference
to cattle inspection.    These were laid over for further consideration.
From Dr. G. F. Bodington, Superintendent of the Asylum for the Insane, New Westminster, reporting case of scarlet fever in an insane person. The Chairman's course in approving
Dr. Bodington's action was confirmed.
From the Health Department, reporting passengers ex S.S. "State of California." Chairman stated that he had notified the local health authorities at point to which passengers were
going.    Approved.
From P. S. Scharschmidt, reporting a case of scarlet fever.    Filed.
From J. Westwood, Union, stating that there was no Health Officer at Union. Chairman explained that the absence of the Health Officer was temporary.    Filed.
From G. W. Walker, Steveston, asking for an official visit by Dr. Davie.    Laid over.
From Dr. Langis, Vancouver, reporting cases of typhoid fever at Steveston. Chairman
stated that Dr. Langis had been asked to report to Dr. Clendenning, local Health Officer,
Richmond.    Approved.
From the Deputy Attorney-General, enclosing copy of verdict of the coroner's jury on
death of a man at Steveston.    Laid over.
From J. K. Wilson, re selection of local Health Officer.    Filed.
From A. H. Thomas, Vancouver, re appointment of a Bacteriologist. Chairman had
answered that the Board was not in a position to make an appointment.    Approved.
From the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, enclosing report of Inspector of Contagious
Diseases.    Laid over. 1124 Provincial Board of Health. 1898
From Thomas Kidd, M. P. P., Secretary of the Board of Health, Richmond municipality,
re health matters.
From the B. C. Smelting Company, Trail, enclosing copy of notice to employes re drinking water. The Secretary explained that this was the outcome of action taken by him while
on his tour of the Province, stating the particulars.    Action approved and letter filed.
From Alex. G. Hamilton, Silverton, reporting on the Slocan City fire.
From W. McKinley, Steveston, re disposal of offal. This, the Chairman explained, was
a private letter, but was submitted for the information of the Board.    Laid over.
From the Mayor of Kaslo, re pollution of river water used for the city by the erection of
a concentrator.    Laid over.
From A. Sproat, New Denver, re appointment of a Registrar of Vital Statistics. Laid
From Sister Teresa, Rossland, re payment to Hospital for care of indigent.    Laid over.
From A. Williams, M. P. P., Vancouver, asking for pamphlets re disinfection.
From James Norcross, Spokane, re Sanitary Regulations.    Laid over.
From A. Young, Edinburgh, stating that calf lymph had been forwarded. Chairman
explained that a regular supply of vaccine had been arranged for.    Approved.
From Dier, Davidson and Russell, Fairview, re the best method of sewering Fairview.
The Chairman stated they had been asked to forward plans of the proposed sewerage.
From D. Patterson, of Iowa, asking for pamphlets.
From G. Bebee, Agassiz, reporting a case of supposed leprosy. The Chairman stated
that upon investigation the report had been found to be incorrect.
From F. Fauquier, Nakusp, asking if the Government had power under the " Health
Act," to levy a tax for sanitary purposes. The Chairman had replied in the negative.
From the City Clerk of Kaslo, enclosing copy of Health By-law.     Filed.
From the City Clerk of Rossland, enclosing plans of sewerage.    Laid over.
From Mr. Mountain, Three Forks, enclosing sanitary reports.
From Mrs. McDougall, Nakusp, asking permission to dig an artesian well. The Chairman had written that if the well were dug in the manner prescribed, there could be no
objection.     Approved.
From Dr. Clendenning, two reports re sanitary conditions of Steveston.    Laid over.
From Dr. Clendenning, re leper station at Darcy Island, and reporting having placed a
leper there. The Chairman stated that this matter had been dealt with in his opening
remarks, and that he had no doubt Dr. Clendenning thought he had a perfect right to act as
he had done.
From Health Officers at Vancouver, Nanaimo, Nelson, and  Rossland, reporting.    Filed.
From Capt. Phillipps-Wolley, re Fairview.    Laid over.
From the Chairman submitting copies of telegrams to the San Francisco " Examiner,"
denying report of cholera at Sandon.
The Chairman stated that his attention had been called to a sensational report in the
" Examiner " of the existence of cholera at Sandon. He had immediately wired that paper
denying the report.
After a number of accounts had been presented and dealt with the meeting adjourned.
Second Day—First Session.
Present—Drs. Davie (Chairman), Lefevre, Walker, Davis, and Duncan (Secretary).
The matter of newspaper reports of the proceedings was introduced by the President, and
after some discussion it was decided that in order to avoid inaccuracies in the reports of the
proceedings the representatives of the newspapers should be permitted to have a copy of the
typewritten report of the same for perusal, and to make what extracts they chose.
The matter of the scarlet fever epidemic at Kamloops was discussed in relation to the
necessity of obtaining regular reports of the progress from the local Health Officer.
It was considered mandatory on the part of the Health Officer in the case of outbreak of
infectious diseases that the sanitary regulations should be strictly enforced, and that regular
reports should be obtained as to the exact condition and progress of the epidemic. 61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1125
A resolution was passed instructing the Secretary to send pamphlets containing the
regulations to the local Medical Health Officer at Kamloops, and requesting him to carry them
out and report daily.
A letter was read from the Deputy Commissioner of Lands and Works, with reference to
the plans and specifications of the new school-houses being erected at Trail and Clinton. The
Secretary had written to the Deputy Commissioner of Lands and Works drawing his attention
to clauses 37 and 38 of the Sanitary Regulations, asking him to see that they were carried out.
The matter of the selection of a site for the dumping ground for the Town of Revelstoke,
about which some difference of opinion had been expressed, was taken up and discussed.
After the matter had been fully gone into, a resolution was passed confirming the site
selected by the Provincial Sanitary Inspector.
The Secretary made a verbal report upon his trip of inspection throughout the Province,
stating that as all the reports from local Health Officers had not been sent back to him, he
was not in a position to present a full report in detail. He, however, submitted a written
report on his inspection of the Fraser River canneries.
It was decided by the Board to lay over the Sanitary Inspector's report submitted until
the next meeting, when the Secretary's report in detail could also be presented.
The subject of the sanitary condition of the canneries was discussed at considerable length.
It was suggested that the Deputy Attorney-General should be requested to be present at the
evening session to advise the Board in respect to the regulations that could be enforced, and
the Secretary instructed to arrange for his presence at that time, after which the Board
Second Day—Evening Session.
The Board met pursuant to adjournment.
The Deputy Attorney-General, Mr. A. G. Smith, was present by appointment, with whom
was discussed at very considerable length the situation in regard to cannery regulations, and
the powers of the Board in relation thereto affecting the matters of a pure water supply,
disposal of offal, etc., etc.
Mr. Smith gave his opinion to the Board on the various matters referred to him by the
members, after which he retired.
A series of Resolutions was then passed dealing with the subject.
A series of Regulations adopted by the Committee appointed by the Board was then submitted and formally adopted.
A communication was read from Dr. F. F. Underhill, of Vancouver, respecting the
appointment of a Bacteriologist to the Board. The subject was discussed, after which it was
moved and seconded that Dr. F. F. Underhill be appointed Bacteriologist to the Provincial
Board of Health, and that he be paid by fees for work done by him for the Board.    Carried.
The Chairman drew attention to the subject of cattle tuberculosis, and, after expressing
his views, a resolution was passed making provision for the testing of dairy herds by the
tuberculin test.    (See chapter on Tuberculosis.)
Board then adjourned.
Third Day—First Session.
The Board met pursuant to adjournment.
All members present.
The subject of scarlet fever at Kamloops was taken up in connection with the reported
outbreak there.
The matter of obtaining regular detailed reports from Medical Health Officers in regard
to infectious diseases was discussed.
It was resolved that all local Health Officers in the Province of British Columbia be
written to by the Secretary, drawing attention to clause 3 of section 98 of the " Health Act."
The Committee on dry earth closets reported that they would recommend the adoption of
a pamphlet accompanied by a drawing. The report was adopted, and the Secretary was
instructed to have the pamphlets printed and distributed. 1126 Provincial Board of Health. 1898
The Deputy Attorney-General attended the meeting of the Board, and reported having
examined the proposed sanitary recommendations re canneries, and suggested certain alterations.
The Board adopted the suggestions of the Deputy Attorney-General, and amended the regulations accordingly.
Dr. Duncan, Secretary of the Board, reported verbally on the outbreak of typhoid fever
at Slocan City, and the report was discussed at length. Action was delayed until a written
report on the tour of inspection was received.
The Chairman submitted a letter from Mr. McKinlay and associates, re the disposal of
fish offal and dead fish from the Fraser River canneries by converting the same to manure.
After consideration it was moved and seconded that while the Provincial Board of Health
approves of the disposal of the salmon by its conversion into manure, it is outside its jurisdiction to recommend to the Provincial Government any scheme involving financial considerations, and suggesting to Mr. McKinlay and associates that he make his proposal direct to the
Government and to the canneries interested.
The Chairman introduced the matter of the control and management of the Darcy Island
leper station, which had been brought to his notice by the fact that Dr. Clendenning had sent
a Chinese leper from Steveston and deposited him on Darcy Island.
After consideration, the following Resolution was passed: That in the opinion of this
Board the leper station and lazaretto on Darcy Island should be taken under the exclusive
management and control of the Dominion Government, so that lepers from all parts of the
Dominion may be sent there at any time.
The question of the appointment of sanitary police was next discussed without definite
action being taken.
The Chairman again brought up the question of the ultimate disposal of sewage, more
particularly with reference to the towns of Rossland, Nelson, Kaslo, and Kamloops. He
thought the Board should formulate some general principles. The subject was discussed at
very considerable length.    As a result the following Resolution was passed :
That the Secretary be, and is hereby instructed to communicate with the City Clerks of
Rossland, Nelson, Kaslo and Kamloops, notifying them that the discharge of sewage matter
into any body of fresh water within the Province is absolutely prohibited by law, and that the
Provincial Board of Health suggests and recommends that these cities in considering and
adopting a sewerage system should employ a competent Sanitary Engineer to report as to the
best method of disposing of sewage in each particular city, and that the report of such Sanitary
Engineer be submitted to this Board before being acted upon, and that the Sanitary Engineer
so appointed must be a person satisfactory to this Board, and suggesting the names of E.
Mohun, C.E., of Victoria, and Geo. E. Warring, of Newport, Rhode Island, Sanitary Engineers, approved of by this Board.
The Secretary drew attention to letters which had been received from the Mayor of
Kaslo, in reference to the threatened pollution of the water supply in that city by the erection
of a concentrator on Kaslo River, about a mile above the intake pipe of the city water works.
After some deliberation it was moved and seconded that the Secretary be, and is hereby
instructed to communicate with the Corporation of the City of Kaslo, informing its officers
that for the purpose of preventing the pollution of the water supply of the City of Kaslo by
tailings from the concentrator now in course of erection above the intake pipe of the Kaslo
Water Works, this Board would recommend that the intake pipe should be extended above
the concentrator, or that the discharge pipe or flume of the concentrator should be extended
below the intake pipe of the water works.
Eighth   Meeting.
First Day—First Session.
The Provincial Board of Health convened for its eighth meeting at the Board of Health
rooms, Government Buildings, on the 26th January, 1898.
Present: Dr. Davie (Chairman), Drs. Walker, Lefevre, Davis, and Geo. H. Duncan
(Secretary), and Captain Clive Phillipps-Wolley (Provincial Sanitary Inspector).
The Minutes of the previous meeting were read by the Secretary and adopted. 61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1127
After the adoption of the Minutes, the Chairman inquired if the Resolutions passed at the
last meeting of the Board had been given effect in the interim.
The Secretary then submitted a list of subjects seriatim, and explained the action that
had been taken as follows :—
The Cannery Regulations referred to the members of the Provincial Executive.
Re appointment of Dr. Underhill as Bacteriologist. Dr. Underhill had been notified and
a letter of acknowledgment received.
Re tuberculin test of cattle.    Forwarded to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture.
Dry earth closets pamphlet. Laid over for the present meeting to consider some suggestions which had been made by Mr. E. Mohun in reference to it.
Transportation of Corpses Regulations gazetted and pamphlets printed for circulation.
Letter from Mr. McKinlay and others respecting disposal of offal. Mr. McKinlay notified of the action of the Board.
The Darcy Island leper station case.    Resolution forwarded to the Provincial Secretary.
Pollution of rivers at Rossland, Nelson, Kaslo and Kamloops. Letters written to each
of the cities enclosing copies of the Resolution.
Pollution of the water supply at Kaslo by the erection of a concentrator. City Clerk
notified of the action of the Board and copy of Resolution forward to him.
The Board adjourned at 8 o'clock.
First Day—Second Session.
All members present.
The Chairman delivered an address, in which he dealt with a number of subjects to be
considered by the Board, including the report of the tour of inspection, the disposal of sewage,
scarlet fever at Kamloops, etc.
The following communications were read and dealt with as indicated :—
Weekly statement of Medical Health Officer, Victoria, re scarlet fever. Received and
Report of Medical Health Officer, New Westminster, re diphtheria.    Received and filed.
Report of Medical Health Officer, Vernon, re typhoid fever.    Received and filed.
Report of Medical Health Officer, Vancouver, re a case of leprosy. Laid over for further
Telegram from Medical Health Officer, Kamloops, re scarlet fever outbreak, inquiring as
to the length of time quarantine was to be enforced after the recovery of patients. The
Secretary had replied, referring him to the Regulations of the Board.
Circular from the British Institute of Preventive Medicine re the supply of diphtheria
anti-toxine. The reading of this circular gave rise to a discussion as to the best source of
supply, opinion being favourable to Park, Davis & Co., Windsor, Ontario, as the most
economical; also a discussion as to the value of the remedy.
The Secretary was instructed to write to the British Institute of Preventive Medicine,
instructing them to discontinue the present supply, and to order the same hereafter from Park,
Davis & Co.
Dr. Furrer's telegram, in reference to the length of time necessary to quarantine scarlet
fever and diphtheria, introduced a further discussion on the present Regulations of the Board
with respect to these diseases. The matter was finally referred to the Chairman to draft new
Regulations for diphtheria and report at the next meeting.
A letter was received from the Secretary of the Quebec Board of Health, reporting on the
subject of formaldehyde generators. The Chairman referred to the advantages of this new
method of disinfection, and it was resolved that the Secretary write to the inventor and ascertain the particulars, and the Chairman was authorised to purchase a generator if, upon
inquiry, he deemed it desirable.
Letter from A. Young & Co. re calf lymph was filed.
Further reports from Dr. Furrer, Kamloops, filed.
Letter from Dr. Mullins, Sydney, acknowledging receipt of Report, received and filed.
Letter from John Honeyman, Rossland, re connection with incomplete sewerage system,
was laid over.
A letter from Dr. Millard, Comox, re sample of water sent for analysis, was laid over. 1128 Provincial Board of Health. 1898
Letter from the Sanitary Engineer, Rossland, re sewers, was laid over.
Letter from Deputy Attorney-General re Slocan Hospital account was read. The Secretary reported that he had answered the letter in accordance with the report made to this
Board at last meeting.    Filed.
The Deputy Attorney-General acknowledged the receipt of the Board's resolutions re
Darcy Island leper station.
Letter from the Government Agent, Revelstoke, re dumping ground, was read.
Dr. Sanson, Clinton, reported, re leper case, that upon investigation there was no truth
in the report.
A letter from the Quebec Board of Health re small-pox at Montreal was filed.
Letter re Health Reports from Chicago was filed.
Letter from F. S. Hussey, Superintendent of Provincial Police, re reported case of scarlet
fever at Oak Bay.    Filed.
Letter from Dr. Clendenning, Steveston, re sanitary matters, was filed.
Letter from the proprietor of the Loland Hotel, Nakusp, re inspection of water.    Filed.
The Attorney-General sent a letter enclosing file of correspondence re Finmore. The
correspondence was filed, it being pointed out that the Board had nothing whatever to do with
the case.
Letter received from the Government Agent, Midway, re typhoid, Greenwood, and
sanitation of public schools. Secretary reported that both matters had been attended to.
Letter from the Secretary of the Revelstoke Board of Trade re dumping ground was filed.
Letter from the Provincial Secretary, advising of the appointment of a Medical Health
Officer, was received and filed.
The Board adjourned until the following day.
Second Day—First Session.
The Board met at 2 p. m.
All members present.
Mr. S. M. Okell, by permission, explained to the Board his patent method of packing
salmon in porcelain jars covered with tin.
The reading of communications was continued.
Letter from the Cumberland and Union Water Works Company, asking to have all the
i/ wells at Cumberland and Union closed and the persons using them compelled to connect their
premises with the public water supply.    Laid over for discussion.
Re passengers ex SS. State of California, the Secretary stated that he had notified the
Health Officers at the various places to which these passengers were bound.
A lengthy report was submitted by Dr. Furrer, Kamloops, giving full particulars of the
recent epidemic. It was suggested among other things that the source of infection might
have been an infected cow. This theory gave rise to some discussion. Dr. Furrer's report
was ordered to be published in the Annual Report.
Letter was received from Dr. Williams, Ashcroft, re Circular on Tuberculosis issued by
the Board. The Secretary was instructed to inform Dr. Williams that the circular was
intended for the general public and not for medical men.
In this connection the desirability of instructing the Indians in regard to sanitation had
The City Clerk of Vancouver wrote re the recent case of leprosy there, enclosing Dr.
McLean's report. The Secretary was instructed to write to Dr. McLean, Medical Health
Officer, stating that in the opinion of the Board the shack occupied by the leper should be
destroyed as well as its contents.
G. W. Henry wrote requesting permission to remove corpses. The Secretary informed
the Board that Mr. Henry had been furnished with a copy of the Regulations.
The Sanitary Inspector wrote enclosing letter from H. K. Prior and Leonard Solly, re
alleged nuisance within the limits of Victoria City.
J. D. Sibbald, Government Agent, Revelstoke, wrote re health district. Laid over for
discussion. 61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1129
Dr. Sutton asked for forms and calf lymph. Secretary reported having answered letter
and forwarded forms.
Dr. Corsan, Trail, wrote re his appointment as Medical Health Officer. The Secretary
was instructed to notify him that all Local Medical Health Officers held office during favour.
T. L. Hoffman wrote asking for pamphlets.    Secretary had forwarded these.
Clerk of the Municipality of Surrey wrote asking what the Municipality should do in
respect to vaccination. The Secretary was instructed to reply, stating that, by law, vaccination is compulsory, and requesting the Municipal Council to carry out the law. Some discussion ensued.
Dr. Reddie, Rossland, wrote requesting a copy of the Health Act, which the Secretary
reported having sent.
J. J. Carment, Kamloops, wrote asking if an application was made to the Provincial
Board of Health for making sanitary regulations apply to Kamloops. The Secretary reported
he had sent the reply drafted by the Deputy Attorney-General.
H. D. Philpot wrote re disposal of salmon offal. It was moved that a copy of the
Regulations re disposal of salmon offal, as formulated by the Board at its last meeting, be sent
to Dr. Philpot, informing him that these Regulations were before the Government, and
suggesting that he communicate with the Government direct.
Government Agent wrote re appointment of a Medical Health Officer, Golden. Laid
over for discussion.
The Chairman read a letter which he had received from the B. C. Inland Board of Trade,
Kamloops, in reference to the proposed disposal of sewage matter by having the outlet pipe
of the system run into the North Thompson River; also a telegram from the Secretary of the
Board with reference to the matter. A long discussion ensued, as a result of which it was
resolved that the Secretary reply to the Kamloops Board of Trade in accordance with the
suggestions of the Chairman, subject to the approval of the Board, and the views of Mr.
Mohun on the subject.
Meeting adjourned.
Third Day—First Session.
All members present.
The discussion of the previous day with reference to the disposal of sewage in the North
Thompson River was again resumed, Mr. Mohun, Sanitary Engineer, being present, with
whom the matter was discussed at some length.
A draft of a letter to the Kamloops Board of Trade was then submitted and approved by
the Board and ordered to be sent at once.
The subject of Cairnery Regulations was again taken up, and the Chairman reported the
result of his interview with the Hon. the Premier in reference to their enforcement.
Further discussion as to the powers of the Board for their enforcement took place, and
the Deputy Attorney-General was invited to appear before the Board to explain their legal
position in the matter. No Resolution was framed, but it was understood that copies of
regulations should be sent to the Municipalities of Surrey, Delta, Richmond and South Vancouver, and to all canners in the Province, with a letter intimating that the Board proposes
to enforce the Regulations during the coming season.
The communication from the Union and Cumberland Water Works Company with reference to the closing of the wells at Union was taken up and discussed, and the local Health
Officer at Union was instructed to compel the closing of all wells at Union and Cumberland,
and the connection of all premises with the public water supply without delay.
The letter from John Honeyman, Rossland, and the matter of the proposed use of the
Rossland sewerage system, the same being incomplete, was considered, and the Secretary was
instructed to send a copy of Mr. Honeyman's letter to the Council at Rossland, and also copy
of the Resolution passed by the Board at its last meeting, and to ascertain what steps had
been taken in reference to them; also to inform the Council that if it allowed the connections
to be made and the sewerage system to be used before its completion and approval by the
Board, the Board will be compelled to take legal action in the case.
It was ordered that a copy of the Resolutions be sent to Mr. Honeyman. 1130 Provincial Board of Health. 1898
Upon further consideration of the letter from the Government Agent at Revelstoke,
• asking to have Revelstoke made into a separate health district, it was decided without Resolution to reply, stating that Bevelstoke is now in a health district, and that Dr. McLean is the
Medical Health Officer.
In the matter of the overflow at Golden, reference to which was made in the letter from
the Government Agent at Donald, it was resolved that the Secretary should reply to the
letter, stating that if the Government Agent thought it necessary to have the services of a
medical man in connection with the trouble at Golden, he was authorised to call in Dr. Taylor
or any other medical man there.
An account of $30.00 for secretarial duties, in the absence of the Secretary of the Board
in the Upper Country, was ordered to be paid.
After some discussion in the matter of the Fraser River canneries, the Secretary read the
Annual Reports of the Medical Health Officers that had been received.
The Board then adjourned until 8 p.m.
Third Day—Second Session.
The Board met pursuant to adjournment.
All members present.
The Secretary presented his report of his tour of inspection of the Province during the
summer months of 1897.
The report was received and read, and upon motion laid upon the table for further
The Secretary presented a draft of a pamphlet ordered by the Board to be prepared on
vaccination, which, after being read, was laid over for further consideration.
The Secretary presented a pamphlet on dry earth closets.
After some discussion the draft was referred to a Committee consisting of Drs. Lefevre,
Walker and Davis, to report upon at the next meeting of the Board.
Board adjourned at 11 p.m.
Fourth Day—First Session.
The Board met pursuant to adjournment.
All members present.
The committee appointed to prepare and decide regarding the pamphlet on vaccination
submitted a draft which was read and adopted, and ordered to be printed for general distribution.
Dr. Mellard, local Medical Health Officer for Comox Health District, was present on the
i/ invitation of the Chairman, and explained the situation at Comox with reference to the wells
used and the public water supply now available from the Union and Cumberland Water-
Works Company's works. The subject was deliberated upon for some time, and the matter
was finally laid over until the next meeting.
Further discussion took place with reference to the transportation of corpses, which
resulted in the following Resolution being carried:—
" That the Secretary send out a number of copies of the Regulations governing the shipment or transportation of corpses to the Health Officers in the different municipalities, or
medical men in the Province, local Boards of Health, railway and steamboat companies,
undertakers, and also to the newspapers, with the request that notice be made of it."
The attention of the Board having been called to the system of septic tanks for the
disposal of sewage matter, the Secretary was instructed to write to the inventor and get what
information was available, and lay before the Board at its next meeting.
The resignation of Captain Clive Phillipps-Wolley, Provincial Sanitary Inspector, was then
considered, and it was moved, seconded, and carried : " That this Board learns with regret of
the resignation of Captain Clive Phillipps-Wolley, Provincial Sanitary Inspector, and desires to
place upon its record its appreciation of his valuable services during his incumbency of the
Before putting the Resolution, the Chairman said he was sure the result of Mr. Wolley's
work would be felt in years to come even more fully than at the present time.    The Board 61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1131
could hardly hope to have so efficient a Sanitary Inspector again, as it was too much to expect
that a man of Mr. Wolley's qualifications and standing would again be available.
Mr. Wolley returned thanks for the Resolution and the expressions of regard.
The meeting then adjourned until the next regular meeting, or until the call of the Chair.
Compulsory    Vaccination.
Dr. Walker opened the discussion by saying that he would like to see the law of compulsory vaccination enforced.
Dr. Davie agreed with him and thought some active steps ought to be taken in this
direction. He was of the opinion that not more than 5 per cent, had any objection to be
vaccinated, the only reason that the other 95 per cent, were not vaccinated was from gross
carelessness. He further stated that several boxes of vaccine had been ordered and thought
that it could be kept for a long time if properly stored.
Dr. Davie said the first point to be decided was whether vaccination was compulsory or not.
Dr. Walker said that under present regulations it was, and all that was needed was to
enforce the law. If this was done British Columbia would never suffer from an epidemic of
Dr. Davie said he was sure it was not generally understood by the people that vaccination
was compulsory. He thought it would be a good plan to have the regulations printed and
Dr. Walker pointed out that by the regulations the Local Health Board was required to
make arrangements for general vaccination with some qualified medical man, and to have the
compulsory vaccination clauses posted in a public place.
A discussion followed as to the advisability of enforcing the vaccination laws, which ended
upon a motion by Dr. Walker, seconded by Dr. Davis, that a pamphlet should be prepared by
the President and Secretary and printed for general circulation, setting forth the advantages
of vaccination and urging the people to comply with the law.
On January 27th, 1898, a letter was read from the Clerk of the Municipality of Surrey
asking the Board what the municipality should do about vaccination.
On motion of Dr. Walker, seconded by Dr. Davis, the Secretary was ordered to reply to
the communication stating that by law vaccination is compulsory and requesting the Municipal
Council to carry out the law.
In discussing the subject Dr. Walker said it was a great shame that so many of the
children of the Province were unprotected from small-pox. Not one in five was vaccinated.
The Board should not deal arbitrarily with the question, but steps should be taken to show
the public the consequences of neglect.
Dr. Davie agreed and said that the pamphlet on Vaccination would be sent out first and
later on means could be adopted for carrying out the law throughout the entire Province.
On January 29th the Committee appointed to prepare the pamphlet on Vaccination
reported on same. A draft of pamphlet was read and adopted by the Board, and ordered to
be printed for general distribution.    (See Appendix.)
Upon the subject of obtaining a bacteriological apparatus for the use of the Provincial
Board of Health being taken up, Dr. Walker thought the discussion premature as they had
not any qualified bacteriologist in the Province, and there was not enough work to keep a
man occupied. If the department needed such an apparatus he suggested that it would be
better to obtain the services of a competent man and pay him by fees.
Dr. Watt said that the fees at the end of a year would amount to as much as a fair
salary and the work would not be satisfactory. He had heard of one M.D. who had offered
his services for $1,200 or $1,400 per year. 1132 Provincial Board of Health. 1898
Dr. Davie said that some local man might know enough about the subject to do all that
was required for the present.
After further discussion it was decided that the Board was not warranted at present in
expending money for a bacteriological apparatus, and it was resolved that anything requiring
the services of a bacteriologist should be referred to C. J. Fagan, M.D., New Westminster.
On October 18th, a letter was received from A. H. Thomas, M.D., Vancouver, asking
about appointment of a bacteriologist to the Board. It was answered, by the Chairman stating that the Board was not at that time in a position to make an appointment.    Approved.
On October 19th, Dr. Davie read a communication which he had received from Dr. F. F.
Underhill, of Vancouver, respecting the appointment of a bacteriologist to the Board. The
Chairman and Dr. Walker had also a conversation with Dr. Underhill. The suggestion was
now made that Dr. Underhill be given the appointment of Honorary Bacteriologist to the
Board, and that he be paid by fees for any work required. This simply meant that the Board
would recognise Dr. Underbill's qualifications for the work.
Dr. Walker inquired if a private practitioner would be required to pay for an examination ordered by himself.
Dr. Davie replied affirmatively.
Dr. Davis moved, seconded by Dr. Walker: That Dr. F. F. Underhill be appointed
Bacteriologist to the Provincial Board of Health and that he be paid by fees for work done
by him for the Board.    Carried.
Transportation of Corpses.
The Secretary read a letter from Mr. MacTier, General Baggage Agent, C. P. R.
respecting the transportation of corpses.
Dr. Davie considered the suggestion contained in the letter a good one—that this Board,
in drawing up their Regulations, make them as far as possible uniform with other Provinces,
and suggested that Rules and Regulations be drawn up following as nearly as possible those
of Ontario.
There was a discussion as to the possibility of disinfecting a body so as to allow it to be
transported, but this was considered to be a dangerous proceeding.
It was resolved that the Secretary communicate with the Deputy Attorney-General with
regard to procuring a copy of the Ontario Regulations of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, and
arrange for the Deputy Attorney-General to meet the Board at the next meeting.
Dr. Davis reported from the Committee appointed to interview the Attorney-General.
Accompanied by the Secretary, he had waited upon Hon. Mr. Eberts and drawn his attention
to the letter received from Mr. MacTier, and informed him that the Board thought it would
be desirable to frame some Regulations upon the subject.
The Attorney-General had replied that any Rules and Regulations which the Board
might see fit to frame would be laid before the Executive Council and brought into force under
the Provisions of the " Health Act."
After a discussion participated in by Drs. Watt, Walker, and Davie, the latter suggested
that the Board should say what diseases were of such a character that they would not allow
persons dying of them to be transported.
The Board then decided that the transportation or shipment of bodies of persons who
should die of small-pox, cholera, leprosy, typhus fever, yellow fever, diphtheria, anthrax, or
scarlet fever, should be absolutely forbidden, and referred it to the Secretary to draft Regulations upon the lines of those in force in Ontario for the shipment of bodies of persons dying of
diseases other than those enumerated. The Regulations to be submitted to the Attorney-
The Secretary on July 7th presented a written report embodying a draft of the Regulations formulated. They were discussed clause by clause and adopted, and a copy was forwarded
to the Attorney-General, with a request that the necessary steps should be taken to put them
in force.
On January 29th it was moved by Dr. Walker and seconded by Dr. Lefevre that the
Secretary send out copies of Regulations to all Health Officers, Medical Men, Local Boards of
Health, Railway and Steamboat Companies and Undertakers, and also to the newspapers with
a request that notice be made of them.    Carried. 61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1133
Regulations Governing the Shipment and Transportation of Corpses and
Disinterred Bodies.
Approved by His Honour the Lieutenant-G over nor in Council on the 6th day of January, 1898.
1. The transportation or shipment of bodies of persons who have died of smallpox, cholera,
leprosy, typhus, yellow fever, diphtheria, anthrax, or scarlet fever, is absolutely forbidden.
2. The bodies of persons who have died of diseases other than those enumerated above
may be transported and shipped under the following regulations:—
(a.) The body must be wrapped in a sheet thoroughly saturated with a strong solution of
bi-chloride of mercury, in the proportion of one ounce of bi-chloride of mercury to one gallon
of water, and the body so wrapped must be enclosed in an air-tight zinc, tin, copper, or lead-
lined coffin, or in an air-tight iron casket hermetically sealed, and all enclosed in a strong,
tight wooden box; or the body must be prepared for shipment by being wrapped in a sheet
saturated as aforesaid, and placed in a strong coffin or casket, and said coffin or casket enclosed
in a hermetically sealed (soldered) zinc, copper or tin case, and all enclosed in a strong outside
wooden box of material not less than one and a half inches thick :
(b.) The body must be accompanied by a certificate signed by the Local Medical Health
Officer, or by some duly qualified medical practitioner, that the person whose body it is did
not die of any of the diseases enumerated in clause one (1) of these regulations; the body must
also be accompanied by a statutory declaration, made by the undertaker or other person who
has prepared the body for shipment, that the provisions of sub-section (a) of this clause (clause
2) have been complied with, and identifying the body with that of the person referred to in
the Medical Certificate accompanying.
3. No body of a person who has died of any of the diseases enumerated in clause one of
these regulations, shall be transported or shipped into the Province of British Columbia.
4. The provisions of clauses one and two shall apply also to disinterred bodies.
5. The provisions of clause two of these regulations shall not apply to cases in which
bodies of persons who have not been dead for a longer period than thirty-six hours, are transported or shipped from the place of death to a point within the Province, not more than twelve
hours travel distant by rail or water from such place of death, for the purpose of burial.
6. No coffin or box containing or enclosing any corpse or disinterred body prepared for
transportation or shipment as aforesaid shall be opened under any circumstances, except with
the written permission and in the presence of the Local Medical Health Officer, or some other
duly qualified medical practitioner especially authorised for the particular purpose by the Local
Medical Health Officer.
7. The forms hereto annexed, or forms to the like effect, may be used for the purposes of
these regulations.
8. These regulations may be cited as the " Regulations Governing the Shipment of Corpses,
Transportation Certificate.
"insert name. I hereby certify that the death of*
tAddress and descrip-      q£4-
tion or occupation.
was not caused by or due to any of the diseases referred to in clause 1 of the
"Regulations Governing Transhipment of Corpses, 1898."
{Name of town, day. Dated at t
month and year. +
Medical Health Officer. 1134 Provincial Board of Health. 1898
Statutory Declaration.
Province of British Columbia./
"Name of undertaker or
other person who has
prepared the body for
♦"Address and descrip-     of**
tion or occupation.
solemnly declare as follows:—
1. That I have this day prepared for shipment and transportation the
tName of person whose    body of t
body it is with descrip- -t
2. The said body was so prepared by me in accordance with the provisions of the  "Regulations Governing the Shipment of Corpses,   1898." by
wrapping it in a sheet thoroughly saturated with a solution of bi-chloride of
mercury in the proportion of not less than one ounce to one gallon of water,
JD^lbrc^ketrfuifllt   anc* suc^ b°dj s0 wrapped was placed by me in a$
lIName of person whose 3   rpneii aforesaid, is one and
body rt is. "
§Name of Medical tne game person referred to and described in the certificate ofi>
Health Officer or other r o
person who has signed
And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing it to be
true, and knowing that it is of the same force and effect as if made under
oath and by virtue of the "Evidence Act, 1894."
{Signature. £  	
Declared by the above named \
before me, this day of , 189    . J
Second Day—First Session.
July 6th, 1897.
Outbreak of Diphtheria in Revelstoke.
Dr. Davis, from the Committee appointed to deal with the correspondence in reference to
the recent diphtheria epidemic in Revelstoke, reported :—
" We consider that definite rules should be drawn up for the guidance of local Medical
Health Officers in various parts of the Province, and also that proper forms should be adopted
and printed and supplied to all local health authorities, upon which to make daily reports to
the Secretary of the Provincial Board of Health."
Dr. Walker said that with such forms in use the Board would be able to get definite
information regarding any outbreak of disease which might occur in the Province.
Dr. Davie said that already instructions had been prepared and issued to local Health
Officers for their guidance in cases of outbreak of disease. The difficulty was to get Officers
to carry out the Regulations. There were sets of these Regulations for small-pox, cholera,
scarlet fever, typhoid fever, and diphtheria, and they gave the most minute instructions.
Dr. Walker thought that there should be a Regulation requiring local Health Officers in
time of epidemic to report daily to the Provincial Board of Health, and Dr. Davie agreed
with this.
The report was adopted.
Sanitary Inspection of the Province.
At the meeting of the 6th of July, Dr. Davie said it had been suggested, for the purpose
of a complete inspection of the Province, that Dr. Duncan should visit one section and Capt.
Wolley another, but he thought the question was one for the fullest discussion. 61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1135
Dr. Walker thought the two should go together.
Dr. Davis understood that one of the difficulties met with by the Provincial Sanitary
Inspector was that ho had no power to enforce his orders. Mr. Wolley had said that if the
Board would give him authority to back up his suggestions, he would undertake to carry out
Dr. Davie did not wish to see the work of the Board carried on in this way, except in
cases of emergency. We do not wish to antagonize the people, but to show them the reasonableness of the reforms and their necessity, and trust to their good sense to carry them out.
In cases of epidemics and outbreaks where the whole community is threatened, we can and
must use compulsion, and the people will uphold us ; but sanitary reforms must be carried out
on a totally different principle. We must educate people up to the point where they shall see
that our suggestions and Regulations are for their own good. We must go as missionaries,
with copies of these Regulations in our hand as Bibles, and preach to them the gospel of
sanitation and health. These men in their tour should inspect all sources of water supply, the
method of disposing garbage and liquid and other waste, the position of cemeteries, and a great
many other matters.
They ought also to observe the conformation of the country and the environments of the
various centres. They should meet with the local Health Officers and instruct them when
necessary in the Regulations to be carried out.
Another matter that the Secretary should give his attention to was that every town and
village should have some place, however small, where infectious diseases could be isolated.
Dr. Walker said that the neglect of the simplest sanitary precautions was often due to
ignorance. Water for drinking purposes was often placed in a polluted atmosphere. In some
cases where people had a pure water supply from a running stream they would make a sewer
of it and dump all their waste matter into it, utterly regardless or ignorant of the fact that by
so doing they were putting themselves in the greatest possible danger.
After further discussion, it was moved by Dr. Davis and seconded by Dr. Walker, and
carried, that the Secretary, Dr. Geo. H. Duncan, and the Inspector, Capt. Clive P. Wolley,
should begin their work at the Fraser River canneries, then proceed together to East Kootenay
to inspect the new towns, which were reported to be in bad condition. Dr. Duncan from
thence to go to West Kootenay and Cariboo, leaving Capt. Wolley to complete the work in
Kootenay and carry out reforms decided by the Secretary.
Dr. Davie introduced this subject on the 5th of July, and prefaced his remarks by saying
that he offered no apology in drawing their attention to this subject. He quoted from the
last report of the Board of Health as follows :—
" Among the preventable diseases which may be mentioned are diphtheria, typhus and
typhoid fever, scarlet fever, measles, cholera, small-pox, and all diseases having tubercidar
infection as their cause. Among this last class is the disease commonly known as consumption.
Now, statistics compiled by careful sanitarians show that tuberculosis alone causes the death
of one-seventh of the whole human race. It has been computed that in the United States of
America the loss of life from this cause represents to the country an annual loss of $500,000,-
000. It attacks alike rich and poor. At present no one is safe from this dire scourge.
Contrary to formerly accepted ideas, this disease is not inherited, but acquired by each
individual. Tubercular disease in all its forms results solely from the transmission of
infectious material from the sick to the well. In contrast to other diseases of a communicable
character, while diseases commonly known as such, vide small-pox, diphtheria, and typhoid,
occur only at long intervals, tuberculosis is a disease which is continually among us, constantly
doing its deadly work. It has been estimated that it causes one-half of the total death rate in
New York City which arises from preventable disease. It is also the opinion of the health
authorities of New York City that from thirty to fifty people are daily infected there by
tuberculosis. Now we know the exact cause of this disease. We know how this cause is
sown broadcast, and know also how to arrest this. We have immense power by our knowledge to prevent this disease, and, as well known, comparatively little or no power to cure it.
It is a disease to be controlled only by central Boards of Health, and in the near future it will
be so controlled." 1136 Provincial Board of Health. 1898
Fully one-half of the human race is more or less affected by this disease, which is as communicable as small-pox. Professor Koch, of Berlin, some few years ago discovered the cause
of this disease in the " tubercle bacillus," and more recent investigation by eminent scientists
confirmed his theory.
There are two main ways by means of which this disease is propagated by human beings.
The first method is by expectoration from those having the disease. Whole families have died
of consumption, and people thought it was inherited, but modern research tells a different tale.
What actually occurs is this : One member of the family contracts tuberculosis in the form of
consumption, and expectorates on the floor, walls, clothing, etc., and when it dries the
thousands of tubercle bacilli are inhaled by some other member of the family and he contracts
the disease, not by inheritance but by communication. Others are exposed in the same way
and die, and the cause of their death is not due to the general belief of inheritance.
Now the method of dealing with this source of disease is mainly a matter of education,
and in the pamphlet which has been prepared definite instructions are given which, if followed
out, will destroy the risk of contagion.
The second source from which this scourge arises is from beef and dairy cattle. The
great part of the infant mortality in America and Europe arises from feeding children on milk
containing tubercle bacillus, as the milk obtained from a cow infected with tuberculosis, and
also the flesh is unfit for consumption. And while boiling the milk and thoroughly cooking
the meat kills the bacilli, the true remedy is to be found in regular periodic inspection of herds
to ascertain whether they are infected with this disease. When in a herd 5% of the cattle
are found to be tuberculous there is only one remedy—destruction. This seems a harsh
measure as regards the owners of the cattle, but in reality it is an economic one for the simple
reason that the unhealthy cattle communicate the disease to the healthy in the same manner
as human beings do, consequently if the owner at once destroy the diseased cattle, he keeps
the herd clean and healthy, and their milk and flesh is safe to sell to consumers. If the precautions indicated are put into force, in 50 years the disease would be very rare.
Dr. Lefevre agreed with Dr. Davie in his remarks and thought that every care should be
taken to disseminate the pamphlet throughout the entire Province, because it was a very
important thing to give the people such knowledge as would enable them to guard against
what was undoubtedly one of their greatest dangers. In his opinion the disease was, when
once contracted, a difficult one to cure and the chief object of the Board was, therefore, to
teach people how to prevent it. One point to which reference has not been made was that
although the disease was not hereditary, it was a fact that the tendency to disease was.
Tuberculosis was not transmitted from generation to generation as syphillis was for
instance, but there was no doubt that the children of consumptive people had a tendency to it
from the fact that they were born into the world having, to a great extent, the weaknesses of
their parents, and were therefore fruitful soil for the germs of the disease. If it were possible
to do it, the intermarriage of consumptive people ought to be prevented, because the offspring
would be particularly sensitive to the ravages of the disease.
Dr. Davis thought that education on the subject was the only process of prevention.
Prohibition as regards marriage would not avail. He wished to know if there was any State
or Province where spitting was prohibited in public conveyances 1
Dr. Walker replied that in Los Angeles, Cal., it was made an offence punishable by fine
for anyone to expectorate in a public conveyance.
Dr. Lefevre moved, seconded by Dr. Davis, that the Chairman and Secretary prepare a
pamphlet for distribution, conveying in the simplest language possible what information they
thought should be given to the public concerning this disease.
Dr. Walker thought this was putting too much work on the President.
Dr. Davie said he did not object'to the work, as the matter was one of great importance.
He would send proofs to each of the members for revision and approval before having it
printed. He wished to add a word to what Dr. Lefevre had said concerning the greater
susceptibility of some persons over others to this disease. This, of course, was true; but it
must be remembered that the absolute cause of the disease was the tubercle bacillus, and
everybody was more or less exposed to the risk of infection. The difference lay in the fact
that the strong person with healthy tissues and powers of vigorous resistance could throw off
the germs, while the weak and vulnerable, perhaps with only half the exposure of the other,
would contract the disease. 61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1137
With regard to the question of the marriage of consumptives, he did not think that any
attempt to interfere would be tolerated. Education would dispel the ignorance, and then
people would understand for themselves how great the danger was.
Dr. Lefevre said he did not think the Board could do anything compulsory, nor would it
be judicious; but he thought that people of that class should clearly be told of their position.
Attention should also be drawn to the necessity of the inspection of cattle and the danger
from infected cattle.
Dr. Walker suggested that the question of using milk from infected cattle should be
dealt with in the pamphlet, and Dr. Duncan thought it would be a good idea to inform the
public that they were entitled to ascertain from the milk dealers whether the cows from which
the milk was taken had been properly inspected.
Dr. Davie said that every dairyman in the vicinity of the City of Victoria, and he
thought the same system obtained all over the Province, should have a certificate from the
Inspector of Animals chat the herd was not infected.
Dr. Duncan was sure that if people only knew they were entitled to demand the production of such certificates they would ask for it always. The handling of the Chinese and the
Indians would present difficulty.
Dr. Davie was of the opinion that the disappearance of the Indians on the Pacific Coast
was due to tuberculosis more than anything else. They lived in wooden huts with earth floors,
and the bacilli was scattered all over from the sputa, so that you could scarcely find an Indian
that was not infected with the disease. But from his experience of the Indians on this
Coast, who were rather an intelligent class of people, he was sure that once they became
cognizant of the facts concerning this disease they would take steps to prevent its spread.
Dr. Walker moved, seconded by Dr. Davis, that the Secretary communicate with the
Hon. the Premier, asking that the Inspectors of Contagious Diseases in Animals should be
required to report regularly to the Provincial Board of Health the results and full particulars
of their inspection.    Carried.
At a meeting of the Board October 18th, Dr. Davie stated in his address that the
Pamphlet on Tuberculosis was now in print and being distributed throughout the Province.
Dr. Walker inquired how it was being distributed, and it was explained by Mr. McNeill,
Clerk to the Board, that the pamphlets were being sent out by mail to persons whose names
were taken from the Directory of the Province. A discussion followed as to the best methods
of distribution, and on motion of Dr. Walker, seconded by Dr. Lefevre, it was resolved that the
Secretary send out single copies to each head of a family in the Province, taking the addresses
from the Directory.
Dr. Davie drew attention to the correspondence on the subject of the inspection of cattle
for tuberculosis. He said it simply showed that there was no regular system for the inspection
of herds. In his opinion there should be a quarterly, or at any rate a semi-annual, inspection
of all dairy cows and an annual inspection of other herds throughout the Province. The
tuberculin test was found by sanitarians to be almost infallible, and all cattle should be tested
by it.     A certificate should be issued after the inspection to the owner.
Dr. Walker moved, seconded by Dr. Lefevre, that the Secretary be instructed to communicate with the Minister of Agriculture, stating that in the opinion of the Provincial
Board of Health all cows used for dairy purposes should be tested with tuberculin at least
once every six months. Any cow found to be tuberculous should be destroyed, their drinking
troughs and stalls disinfected, and a certificate should be issued to the owner that the
remainder of the herd was free from infection; also, that all other herds of cattle and swine
throughout the Province should be tested by the tuberculin test at least once every year, and
that all animals found to be tuberculous should be destroyed.    Carried.
Pollution of Water and Sewage Disposal.
In the opening remarks of the Chairman, he stated that one of the most terrible sanitary
mistakes made by any new community is the pollution of water. Very frequently some river
or stream runs through a new city or town and is immediately converted into a sewer. That
seems to be the natural thing for people to do. Two or three hundred people camp on the
bank of a stream and at the point where they drink out of the river they put all kinds of filth
into it and still go on drinking the water. He held very decided opinions upon this matter
and believed that the Board of Health should exercise its powers in putting a stop to the
discharge of sewage into any clean body Of water, be it river, stream, or lake.    Such pollution 1138 Provincial Board of Health. 1898
was absolutely opposed to the whole sanitary spirit of the age. Older countries were now
trying to remedy the results of this practice in the past by trying to clean some of their
polluted rivers and making the most stringent laws against further pollution. British Columbia is a new country, full of rivers and streams and lakes, and new towns are springing up all
over and the necessity for immediate action is great.
Perhaps the most difficult question that sanitarians have to decide is the question of the
disposal of the sewage and liquid waste of a community. It is not a simple question. While
there are some methods which have been carried out in Great Britain, the United States and
Germany have proved efficacious, the whole question is still in a state of evolution. Dr. Davie
believed, however, that the fundamental principle at the bottom of the whole subject was
contained in the statement that "the sewage should go to the soil," and at the present time
there are three chief methods of effecting this. This principle is practically agreed upon by
the best authorities, and the scientific fact upon which it rests is that in the first twelve or
eighteen inches of the soil (to a certain extent in the first three or four feet, but to a far
greater extent in the first 12 or 15 inches) the bacteria of purification exist. The soil is full
of them. They are nature's scavengers, and this fact is the basis of the treatment of sewage
by soil. These bacteria by a method of oxidization thoroughly purify the sewage and rob it
of its noxious qualities, and the effluent or resulting fluid which passes away is pure and
contains no noxious matter.
The three methods which he simply enumerated were, first, broad surface irrigation, or
what is commonly known as a sewage farm ; second, intermittent downward filtration ; third,
sub-surface irrigation. Each of these processes demands that the discharge of sewage be
This whole subject will require most careful consideration from the Board in order to
arrive at some practical solution of the question.
Bearing on this question, a letter was read from the B. C. Smelting Co., Trail, enclosing
copies of notices to employees concerning drinking water.
Dr. Duncan explained that this was the outcome of action taken by him while on his
tour of the Province. While at Trail he had, in company with Dr. Corsan, Local Medical
Health Officer, ridden along the Trail Creek and from what he saw and learned he was convinced that the water was impure and contained germs of typhoid. This water was used in
the smelter at Trail for industrial purposes and none of the employees were supposed to drink
it, as a good supply of pure water was provided, but he had ascertained that the water from
the creek was being used for drinking purposes by the employees, and had therefore considered
it advisable to write to the manager of the smelter and ask him to put up notices informing
the men of the danger of drinking Trail Creek water and forbidding its use for that purpose.
Dr. Duncan's action was approved by the Board, and the letter filed.
Dr. Davie on the 20th October again brought up the question of the disposal of sewage,
more particularly with reference to the towns of Rossland and Nelson.
Dr. Lefevre said that each place would have to be treated separately ; he did not know
of any system that would cover every town. From what he knew of Rossland for instance,
there were some places near there which might be used for a sewage farm or dumping ground
without letting the sewage run into the Columbia River. He did not know what objection
there was to emptying the sewage of Rossland and Trail into the Columbia River. It was
a big river with only a few small towns on its banks. The question was one for a Sanitary
Engineer to thoroughly investigate and report upon. With regard to Nelson, the case was
different. There was very little available land round Nelson. It was nearly all owned by
private individuals, consequently they might be required to carry the sewage some distance
away from Nelson before they could get a proper dumping ground.
Dr. Davie thought that the Board at any rate should decide that the discharge of unpuri-
fied sewage into any body of fresh water must not be allowed. The Board should also consider
and recommend some system for the purification of sewage matter by its application to the
earth. He agreed with Drs. Lefevre and Walker as to the inutility of general measures to
any particular place, but thought the Board should commit itself to the general principles of
keeping all lakes, streams and rivers unpolluted by sewage.
Dr. Lefevre thought the duty of the Board was to prevent pollution of any fresh water
body from which drinking water was taken, or was likely to be taken.
Dr. Duncan read his report to the Rossland City Council, re the sewerage system proposed
there. 61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1139
Dr. Davie pointed out that the Rossland sewerage system was practically finished. The
sewage of several places in the Province was now being discharged into fresh water bodies, a
system which all sanitarians knew to be wrong, and which would be continued if the Board of
Health, in the interests of public health, did not put a stop to it. The discharge of sewage
into a river was not only a menace to the health of that particular place, but to all places
along the river. In the case of Rossland they proposed to empty their sewage into the Columbia River.
Dr. Walker said they could stop that.
Dr. Duncan explained that on a visit of inspection to Rossland he found that the City
Council had just constructed a system of sewerage for the town, that it was their intention to
discharge the sewage matter into Trail Creek, which leads into the Columbia River; that the
plans had been prepared by the City Engineer and the work done under his supervision. No
connections were made with private houses. He pointed out to the Council that the whole
thing had been done in contravention of the Board of Health Regulations, that sewage
matter could not be thus thrown into a body of water. He asked them to forward plans
together with description of the topography of the land about the outlet of the sewer. When
these were in possession of the Board the latter would be prepared to assist them in providing
plans for the ultimate disposal of the sewage matter so that the inhabitants could have the
benefit of a sewerage system at as early a date as possible.
After further discussion the following resolution was moved by Dr. Walker, seconded by
Dr. Lefevre, and carried : That the Secretary be and is hereby instructed to communicate with
the City Clerks of the Cities of Rossland, Nelson, Kaslo, and Kamloops, notifying them that
the discharge of sewage matter into any body of fresh water within the Province is absolutely
prohibited by law, and that the Provincial Board of Health suggests and recommends these
cities in considering and adopting a sewerage system, to employ a competent Sanitary Engineer
to report as to the best method of disposing of the sewage of each particular city, and that the
report of such Sanitary Engineer be submitted to this Board before being acted upon, and that
the Sanitary Engineer so appointed must be a person satisfactory to this Board, and suggesting the names of E. Mohun, C. E., of Victoria, B. G, or Col. Geo. F. Waring, Newport, R. I.,
as Sanitary Engineers approved of by this Board.
Kaslo  Water Supply.
Dr. Duncan drew attention to the letters which had been received from the Mayor of
Kaslo with reference to the threatened pollution of the water supply of that city by the erection of a concentrator on Kaslo River about a mile above the intake pipe of the city waterworks. While he was in Kaslo he had gone into the matter very carefully but was unable to
arrive at any definite conclusion, though he was of the opinion the effect of the concentrator's
tailings in the water would be to pollute it.
Dr. Lefevre thought there would be danger of lead in suspense poisoning the water, or at
least making it impure.
He moved, seconded by Dr. Walker: That the Secretary be and is hereby instructed to
communicate with the Corporation of the City of Kaslo, informing them that for the purpose
of preventing the pollution of the water supply of the City of Kaslo by tailings from the
concentrator now in course of erection on Kaslo River above the intake pipe of the Kaslo
water-works, this Board would recommend that the intake pipe of the water-works should be
extended above the concentrator, or that the discharge flume or pipe of the concentrator
should be extended below the intake pipe of the water-works.    Carried.
The Chairman on January 27th read a letter which he had received from a Committee of
the B. C. Inland Board of Trade at Kamloops in reference to the proposed disposal of sewage
by having the outlet pipe run into the North Thompson River; also a telegram from the
Secretary of that Board with reference to the same matter.    (See Appendix.)
Dr. Lefevre drew attention to the resolution passed at the last meeting in reference to
this subject. There were reasons, he said, why a general rule should not be made to apply in
all cases, that each particular town should be dealt with according to its own individual
surroundings and requirements. In his opinion the original resolution should be modified so
that instead of forbidding the discharge of sewage into any body of fresh water absolutely, it
should be to the effect that sewage should not be discharged into any body of fresh water
unless so advised by a Sanitary Engineer that such discharge will not pollute the water for
drinking purposes.    He had been in Nelson since the last meeting of the Board and when the 1140 Provincial Board of Health. 1898
people there found that he was a member of the Provincial Board of Health they were very
severe in their comments on the Board's resolution. They had studied the question and had
taken advice on the matter, and were going to run their discharge pipe into the Kootenay
River. He confessed that they had brought forward some strong arguments in support of
their position which had, to a certain extent, modified his own views on the subject. For
example, the Kootenay River is not used for drinking purposes by any town on its banks from
Robson down. He thought this condition also applied to Nelson, Rossland and Kaslo, and
he was consequently of the opinion that the Sanitary Engineers should decide the question of
sewage disposal. Toronto, too, drained into fresh water and yet obtained their water supply
from the same source.
Mr. Wolley said that to his knowledge prospectors camped on the Kootenay River below
Nelson, and on the Columbia River below Trail, and drank the water from these rivers. He
did not pretend to say what the effect of the pollution of the water would be, but only wished
to point out the fact that it was an error to suppose that the waters of these rivers were not
used for drinking purposes.
Dr. Davis pointed out that the resolution says that there shall be no discharge of sewage
into a body of fresh water, and that is the law.
Dr. Walker said that the question had to be looked at from two sides. He wanted to
know what the cost of filtration beds would be. If they were economically possible, the
towns should be compelled to use them.
Dr. Davie committed himself absolutely to the resolution as passed at the last meeting.
The question was a most important one. We have a country full of lakes, streams and rivers;
the Provincial Board of Health is entrusted with the sanitary condition of the Province, and
the position is this :—Are we to maintain these bodies of waters pure and clean and fit for
human use, or are we to allow them to become contaminated from one end of the country to
the other ? That is the question for settlement, and upon our action depends its ultimate fate.
As a member of the Provincial Board he would oppose, and continue to oppose as long as he
was connected with the Board, the pollution of fresh water bodies. Sanitarians in all parts of
the world are now trying to remedy this very evil at the expenditure of large sums of money.
Are we, because our country is new, to perpetuate the blunders which have been committed
through ignorance in other countries in times past ? He distinctly said no. A wise man
endeavours to learn to do what is right by the mistakes and failures of the past. He cited
the case of the cholera epidemic at Hamburg, and said that it arose from nothing else than
the pollution of their river. England to-day is free from the possibility of cholera obtaining
any serious foothold because she carefully conserves the purity of her water courses, having by
bitter experience in the past learned the lesson that this must be done if the public health is
to be maintained. With regard to the remarks made by Dr. Lefevre concerning the water
supply of Toronto, he said he was at a meeting of Sanitarians in Ottawa some time ago when
the subject of draining Toronto into Lake Ontario was discussed and criticised by every Sanitarian present as a most flagrant violation of every known principle of sanitation. And the
result is, that they have typhoid fever there continually. It is not epidemic but endemic in
that city. Nor do we need to go outside our own Province for illustrations of that kind; we
have had typhoid fever here, there and everywhere throughout the Province, particularly in
the new towns which are springing up; typhoid fever in Kamloops, Rossland, Nelson, Kaslo,
Sandon and Steveston. Why 1 Because of the pollution of the rivers, and now we are asked
for the sake of saving a few dollars of expense to let them go on and make the same mistakes,
only on a permanent and much larger basis. Kamloops had an epidemic of typhoid fever not
very long ago. What was the cause ? After investigation it was proved that the cause was
the pollution of their drinking water by allowing the sewage to go into the river above the
intake pipe of their water-works. Now they want to discharge their sewage where it won't
hurt them, unmindful of consequences to any one else. They tell us that if they cannot
discharge their sewage into the Thompson River they cannot have any drainage system at all.
That is a bold statement. I understood from one of the gentlemen forming the Board of
Trade Committee that they have $30,000 or $40,000 which they could apply for sewerage
purposes. By resolution of this Board, we distinctly told them what to do, to submit their
specifications to a competent Sanitary Engineer and let him formulate for them some plan for
the ultimate disposal of their sewage. They have neither done this, nor attempted to do it.
Let them get the advice of some Sanitary Engineer as to what it will cost them to get a proper
sewerage system, and then let them come to us.    We cannot do this for them, but as a Board 61 Vict. Provincial Board of Health. 1141
of Health we have special knowledge of this matter. He did not deny that there was something in the self-purification of water, but he found that the best authorities did not speak
very highly of that idea.
Stevenson & Murphy's Treatise on Hygiene, vol. 1, p. 266, says :—"Observation appears
to show that a flow of 20 miles in a river does not destroy the germs of typhoid fever." Dr.
Barry in a recent report to the Local Government Board, expresses his opinion that a flow of
40 miles at least is necessary after an eruption of sewage to render the river water a desirable
supply for drinking purposes. People do not understand that discharging sewage into a body
of fresh water is just the same as putting so much strychnine into it.
After further discussion Dr. Walker moved, seconded by Dr. Davis : That a letter of
reply be drafted by the Secretary, in accordance with the suggestions of the Chairman, to the
Kamloops Board of Trade and submitted to the Board for approval.    Carried.
It was also suggested that Mr. Mohun should meet the Board and state his views as to
the possibilities for plans of the ultimate disposal of sewage at Kamloops.
The following day Dr. Davie referred to the telegram from the Board of Trade at Kamloops in reference to the prohibition placed upon the City of Kamloops as to the emptying of
their sewage into the North Thompson River.
Dr. Walker wanted to know to what extent filtration works at Kamloops would increase
the cost of a sewerage system 1 If the Board could get say an approximate cost of such works
and the practicability of them, so as to satisfy the people of Kamloops, he thought it would
strengthen the hands of the Board. The trouble at Kamloops was that a by-law had been put
before the people to raise a certain sum of money for sewerage purposes. They had no plan or
idea of what was to be done with the sewage except that in general it would run into the
North Thompson River. The by-law has been defeated and now the people who had supported
it were trying to make out that it had been defeated because of the action of the Board of
Health, when as a matter of fact it was their own lack of a specific plan that cause