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PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Progress of the Fraser Valley Rehabilitation Authority INTERIM REPORT to… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly [1949]

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Progress of the Fraser Valley
Rehabilitation Authority
to the Hon. Byron I. Johnson
Chilliwack, B.C., W. L. MACKEN.
January 31st, 1949. D'ARCY J. BALDWIN.  Premier B. I. Johnson,
Province of British Columbia,
Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C.
Honourable Sir,—Herewith we beg to submit Interim Report of the Fraser Valley
Rehabilitation Authority.
Yours faithfully,
Chilliwack, B.C.,
January 31st, 1949.  FOREWORD.
For ease of reference this Interim Report is segregated in two
main sections. The first section deals with rehabilitation of homes
and farm buildings; the second with agriculture. The two problems
are interrelated. Each main section is further subdivided into suitable subsections.
This Interim Report is as complete as it is possible to make it
up to the time of compilation. In view of the large number of cases
treated, it is not possible to submit a report on each individual case.
However, permanent records of each case have been established
on a common basis, and complete reports on such cases are available.  REFERENCE  INDEX.
Administrative Areas  10
Agriculture, General  16
Appraising  11
A—Instructions, Committee  21
B—Instructions, Appraisers  22
C—Rates for Appraising  23
Bridges  13
Bulb-growers  18
Case Records  13
Commercial Buildings  14
Completion of Work  15
Dairy-farmers  17
Damage  12
Dislocated Buildings  13
Fencing  14
Flood Period  16
Flood-fighting Claims  15
Fruit-growers  18
Buildings  15
Agriculture  19
Hay Purchases  17
Homes and Farm Buildings  13
Hop-growers  19
Instructions '.  11
Inspection  11
Labour  12
Material  12
Nurseries  18
Nut-growers  18
Order in Council 1     9
Organization  10
Poultry-feed  17
Poultry-farmers  17
Post-flood  16
Pre-flood  16
Progress  12
Progress Reports  15
Records  15
Rehabilitation Committees, Scope and Responsibility of  24
Replanting : -_  18
The Order in Council from which authority was derived reads as follows:—
" The Authority is hereby empowered to expend such sums of money as it may
deem necessary to carry out rehabilitation-work in the Fraser Valley as hereinafter
stated, and that the Government of the Province of British Columbia shall honour the
vouchers approved by the Authority in the carrying-out of their work concurrently
with the submission of progress reports.
" That the Authority shall organize in each area affected by the flood such volunteer citizen committees as may be deemed necessary in order to secure the voluntary
co-operation of the people in each community in the work of returning persons and
families to their homes.
" That the Authority set up such other organizations, administrative or otherwise,
as may be deemed necessary to undertake the general work of rehabilitation.
" That ' rehabilitation ' shall be interpreted to mean such work and expenditure of
money as may be necessary in the opinion of the Authority to achieve the following
"(a) Restoration of houses, farm buildings, and fences to as near the same
condition as existed prior to the flood.
"(b)  Provision of feed to live stock driven from farm lands by the flood until
such time as they are returned to their farms, and for such period thereafter as may be deemed necessary on the basis deemed most advisable by
the Authority.
"(c)   Provision of seed, plants, fertilizer, and cultivation as may be deemed
advisable by the Authority for placing the land in a condition as near as
possible to its former usefulness in order to enable farmers to resume
their agricultural pursuits.
" That hop-growers and nurserymen shall be considered as coming within the
category of agricultural pursuits.
" That rehabilitation values be established for the plantations of fruit-growers, and
in the event of the grower's desiring to become established in some agricultural industry
other than fruit-growing, the credit accruing to such grower may be used by the
Authority to provide such other agricultural income source as the grower may decide
upon, with the approval of the Authority. In this connection it is to be clearly understood that no cash payment will be made to such growers.   *
" That the premises of such business concerns as traders, garage and; service-
station operators be restored to as near as possible their pre-flood condition. This
provision, however, shall not include rehabilitation of fixtures or other equipment, or
stock-in-trade, or the rehabilitation of manufacturing enterprises.
"And further to recommend that pursuant to the provisions of subsection (5) of
section 9 of the ' Flood Relief Act' the action taken by the Fraser Valley Rehabilitation
Authority, together with all expenditures to date, be hereby ratified."
J II 10
At the outset there was not available an accurate record of the number of buildings
affected by the flood. However, based on early estimates, the decision was made to
divide the valley into twelve geographical areas for ease of administration. These
areas were:—
Popcum-Lytton:   Included both sides of the Fraser River between these two
communities in the land district of Yale.
Chilliwack:  Included the Municipality of Chilliwhack, City of Chilliwack and
adjacent unorganized territory, except in the land district of Yale.
Matsqui:  Matsqui Municipality, less that portion to the west known as Glen
Valley (to which access was difficult during early weeks).
Langley Prairie:   Included Municipality of Langley Prairie, all of Glen Valley
and Barnston Island.
Surrey: Municipality of Surrey.
Delta: Municipality of Delta.
Burnaby:   Municipality of Burnaby, City of New Westminster and adjacent
unorganized territory (that is, islands of the Fraser River).
Coquitlam:   Municipality of Coquitlam, not including City of Port Coquitlam.
Port Coquitlam:   City of Port Coquitlam.
Haney:   Included the Municipalities of Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.
Mission:   All that area on the north bank of the Fraser between Silverdale,
inclusive, and the west bank of Harrison River.
Agassiz:  Municipality of Kent (all that area on the north bank of the Fraser
between Harrison River and Ruby Creek, including Harrison Mills, Harrison Hot Springs, and Agassiz).
In order to secure the co-operation of local citizens whose knowledge of the district,
its individuals, and problems as to pre-flood, flood, and rehabilitation experience would
be useful, local volunteer committees were formed in each area. The actual administration was performed by staffs which varied in size in the respective areas according to
the relative problem.    Committee chairmen and attached staffs were:—
Committee Chairmen.
Appraisers and Inspectors.
W. F. Robertson and C. McGhan..
W.   F.  Robertson,   G.  D.  Reid,
and C. McGhan
0. T. Jacobson and G. C. Curry....
George Hamilton, W. F. Robertson, and M. Hanson
F. L. Smith 	
C. A. Barber and A. I. Andrews, co-chairmen
Reeve Lloyd W. Beharrell	
Councillor J. Roberts   (until
Aug. 7)
Oct.   31)    and   W.   F.
Rowley (from Oct. 6).
H. N. Bishop.
J. P. Smith.
P. A. Bradford
L. F. Gosse	
J. H. Shaw.
G. W. Brightwell	
C. S. Davies	
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.
J. M. Heselton	
George F. Owen and A. B. John-
A. E. Watkins, E. A. Watkins,
M.   Hanson,   and   A.   Marche-
H. Young, G. Bostrum, and W.
Due to an outstanding flood-fighting effort in Richmond Municipality under direction of Reeve R. Grauer, no cases of damage to buildings by flooding occurred in that
On June 30th instructions common to all areas were issued to ensure an identical
approach to the problem throughout the valley. Copy of the initial instruction is
attached as Appendix A.
Appraisers selected were in all cases men who were familiar with the local district.
The majority were local contractors or municipal assessors. All were qualified
Initial sampling appraisals were made and recorded. All appraisers were then
called in to a conference where problems and information obtained to date were pooled.
As a result of this conference, appraisers' instructions were issued (see Appendix B).
A chief appraiser, Mr. L. Hay, was appointed. His main task was to continually
tour the areas checking work, ensuring that the common policy was being followed, and
that work was progressing as speedily as possible.
Rates established for appraisal allowances were Fraser Valley rates for material
applied.   Copy of the rate schedule is attached as Appendix C.
Wiring, plumbing, and furnace appraisals required, in most cases, an estimate of
cost by specialists in these trades.    Where necessary, this assistance was hired.
An example problem is in electrical-wiring damage. The majority of valley homes
affected were not wired to electrical code prior to the flood. It was necessary to
establish proper rehabilitation costs and yet ensure the work would pass the necessary
electrical inspection when completed.
Provision was made for appeal by the building-owner in event the individual was
dissatisfied with the appraisal allowance. It is interesting to note that no official
appeals have as yet been made. Some inaccuracies were brought to attention and
The onus of ensuring satisfactory repair was placed on the building-owner, who
also selected the suppliers of material and skilled workers required (if any).
The principle established for appraising buildings was that no furniture or fixtures
or removable items were repaired. Permanent items of a home, such as furnaces and
kitchen cabinets, were repaired. For example, in a barn, damage to stanchions was
When appraisals were completed, the appraiser or members of the local committee
discussed the basis of appraisal with the owner and cleared outstanding points before
work was authorized. Frequently minor items overlooked in the original appraisal
were brought to light as work progressed, but no difficulty was experienced in adjusting
these satisfactorily.
All appraisers were carefully instructed to render such aid to owners as would
guide them in obtaining proper quantities of materials and skilled craftsmen where
required. However, all appraisers were warned to carefully refrain from involving
either the Authority or themselves in the actual hiring of men or purchase of materials,
in order that the policy of the owner making his own selection of material, supplier, and
craftsman could be meticulously followed.
When work on a building was completed, the owner called for inspection of such
work before final payment was authorized. Inspectors used were a group selected
from the appraising staff. In this manner, inspection was made by men completely
familiar with the various problems. This proved a most satisfactory arrangement to
both owners and the Authority. II 12 INTERIM REPORT.
Where it was helpful to the owner, authorization of payments for labour performed
was given during progress of the work.
All material requirements were routed through normal trade channels. In order
to ensure proper distribution of short-supply items such as nails, flooring, plumbing,
etc., a system was devised in co-operation with the Federal Department of Reconstruction and Supply which enabled release of these items in fair proportion. Excellent
co-operation was received from all suppliers. Some two thousand kegs of nails and
nearly one million feet of flooring were controlled in this manner.
The policy followed was to encourage the owner to do as much of the labour on his
buildings as possible. The majority of flood-affected persons welcomed the opportunity
to earn this quick income. Taxes and other debts required payment; many of those
affected required a cash income of some sort.
A further factor in formation of this policy was that the majority of cases were
farmers who worked long hours each day to re-establish their pursuits. It was considered they would not relish the prospect of having relatively short-day workers on
the premises during the period of re-establishment.
Another important factor was that if contractors and craftsmen were to be brought
in from other points, no adequate accommodation existed to house them. In the early
stages of rehabilitation, communities where major damage was incurred were hard-
pressed to find sufficient accommodation for those families who had been forced to
evacuate their homes.
It is interesting to note that the majority of work was done by the home or building owner, except where a skilled tradesman (that is, furnaces) was required. Some
repair-work was partially contracted out;   in a few cases all work was contracted.
The water created a variety of problems throughout the Fraser Valley and within
the various administrative areas. For example, in the Chilliwack area the depth of
water ranged from a few inches to 25 feet; on the other hand, in Matsqui practically
the entire area was submerged and the water lay on the land and in buildings for some
time. The Hatzic area in Mission was subjected to not one, but three floods, thus
preventing replanting of land and delaying work on buildings until late fall. Agassiz
area was the first to suffer flood damage, but the water did not attain a great depth
over the whole area, and it was the first area clear of water. In one case a prosperous
farmer lost all but one of his buildings and all his personal belongings as a result of
the flood. Many large and hundreds of small buildings floated from their foundations;
scores of bridges floated away; miles of fencing were flat; and the general picture was
one of desolation as the water receded.
Once the affected people recovered from the initial shock of seeing the devastation
of their homes and property and became properly acquainted with the procedure of
rehabilitation, work of restoration progressed rapidly.
The first essential in each case was cleaning up the mass of flood debris and residue
in each building.    Toward this work, a labour allowance was made.
As soon as possible after a building was reported ready for appraisal, the appraisers were on the job.    From appraisers' field-notes, the office staff compiled completed FRASER VALLEY REHABILITATION AUTHORITY. II 13
appraisal information. This was reviewed and authorized after discussion with the
owner. Progress was slow initially, but the work gathered momentum as autumn
On July 30th, 22 cases had been completed; on August 31st, 127 cases; on September 30th, 365 cases; on October 31st, 902 cases (46 per cent.) ; on November 30th,
1,639 cases (80 per cent.); on December 15th, 1,842 cases (90 per cent.); and on
December 31st, 1,942 cases (97 per cent.).
The number of cases of building rehabilitation handled in the Fraser Valley total
2,003. The following table shows the number of cases in each area and the number of
buildings affected.
Area. Cases. Homes. Other Buildings.
Popcum-Lytton   45 45 32
Chilliwack   480 437 842
Matsqui   385 411 999
Langley Prairie   87 71 168
Surrey   29 27 8
Delta   23 22 1
Burnaby   52 47 3
Coquitlam   19 19
Port Coquitlam   5 5                	
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows  50 49 29
Mission   424 424 504
Agassiz    405 411 552
Totals, Fraser Valley  2,004 1,968 3,138
Buildings which floated off their moorings ranged from small family outhouses up
to large homes and barns. In one farmer's yard a collection of twelve buildings not
owned by him was strewn around as the water receded. One building is estimated
to have voyaged some 12 miles.   A few buildings disappeared entirely.
A summary by districts of the number of buildings which have been moved back
to their proper locations is given hereunder:—
Area. Dislocated Buildings moved.
Popcum-Lytton         3
Chilliwack   212
Matsqui   178
Langley Prairie        4
Mission      73
Agassiz        1
Total, Fraser Valley  471
Work of repairing or replacing private bridges, which in the majority of cases
served farmers, proved eventually to be a major undertaking.
A large proportion of these bridges crossed small streams or sloughs on farms.
Many of them, however, crossed quite wide bodies of water. Length of bridges varied
from 6 feet to 182 feet.    In many cases piles had to be driven to effect replacement. II 14 INTERIM REPORT.
Where it was more economical to do so, culverts were used to replace former
In some areas bridge crews were organized. Some bridge-work was done by contract, but this method was not found satisfactory.
Following is a table showing numbers of privately owned bridges repaired or
Area. Bridges.
Popcum-Lytton   2
Chilliwack   137
Matsqui  157
Langley Prairie   43
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows   7
Mission   61
Agassiz    89
Total, Fraser Valley  496
One hundred twenty-two cases of rehabilitation for commercial premises were
approved.    Individual records have been maintained for each case.
Area. Cases.
Burnaby   1
Surrey   1
Langley Prairie   3
Mission   20
Matsqui   21
Agassiz   39
Chilliwack   35
Popcum-Lytton  3
Total, Fraser Valley  123
Initially, arrangements were made to distribute two rail-cars of barbed wire for
the repair of fences.
Distribution was as follows:
Area. Spools.
Coquitlam   15
Chilliwack*   445
Matsquif  265
Langley Prairie   280
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows  75
Mission   440
Agassiz   395
Total, Fraser Valley  1,915
Subsequently, in October, a reallocation of steel supplies by the Federal Government made it impossible to obtain further barbed-wire supplies. At date of this
Interim Report it is not known if or when further supplies will be available.
Over 15,000 fencing-posts have been provided.
* Popcum-Lytton area supplied from this point.
t Matsqui also drew on Mission supplies. FRASER VALLEY REHABILITATION AUTHORITY. II 15
So far as was possible, distribution of wire was made on an equitable basis. Due
to the lack of supply, some fencing has not been replaced.
All authorizations for labour and material were made by government requisition.
By arrangement with Treasury officials, accounting records were maintained at Chilliwack under supervision of Mr. F. J. C. Ramage, chartered accountant. Excellent
co-operation from the Treasury office enabled rapid payment to be made of accounts.
In each area an identical filing system has been followed, and information can be
provided on every case.
A variety of claims consequent upon the flood-fighting period have been presented
to the Authority. While no power existed for the Authority to settle these claims and
they did not properly concern us, every effort was given to assist settlement where
Throughout the whole period your Board kept continually on the move, frequently
visiting each area to ensure work proceeded expeditiously. This involved considerable
travel until recent weeks, when the general good progress of the work lessened this
Loyal co-operation and efficient work have been given to the Authority by a staff
which was hastily assembled and which, like ourselves, required to move through
a variety of new problems.
Every effort has been made to ensure that all flood victims have been treated fairly
and equitably. No guide existed prior to the establishment of the rehabilitation programme for such a plan, except in a general way. It was therefore necessary to create
precedents and fashion policies on a basis suitable to the problem.
For a variety of reasons a number of cases are incomplete at date of this Report.
These are:—
Area. Cases.
Langley Prairie      2
Mission   16
Chilliwack      6
Matsqui      1
Agassiz  .,     9
Popcum-Lytton     1
Total, Fraser Valley   35
It is anticipated that all except six of these cases will be complete by February
10th, 1949.
Excellent co-operation has been given the Authority by the Fraser Valley Dyking
Board, particularly in the clearing of debris from the land, and by municipal bodies
and all other agencies throughout a very trying period.
Progress reports have been submitted to the Government each week. Twenty-six
such reports have been made. II 16 INTERIM REPORT.
Assistance given agriculture was provided over three periods—pre-flood, flood, and
post-flood. The responsibility of the Authority in this connection dates only from
June 24th, but what was done prior to that date had a distinct bearing upon the work
of the Authority, and this Report would not be complete without a brief reference to it.
In most districts this was a period of organization, during which preparation was
made for moving live stock from areas that might be inundated to places of safety.
For future guidance, what was done in Chilliwack along this line might be useful.
In that district a live stock committee was set up under the general flood-fighting
organization. This committee made a complete census of all live stock and poultry in
the threatened areas and arranged suitable locations to which cattle could be moved
if necessary. Tethering and feeding arrangements were made at selected points, and
roads leading from threatened areas to these points were marked. Bridges across
intervening streams were weighted with rock and sand-bags. The effectiveness of this
arrangement was such that within twelve hours of the break in the Cannor Dyke over
600 head of milk cows were tethered, fed, and milked in one location. In some parts
of the valley where breaks occurred almost simultaneously in* different places, it was
largely a case of each farmer taking care of his own live stock. The wonder is there
was so little loss of cattle by drowning. Undoubtedly, assistance rendered by the armed
forces, Provincial Police, and hundreds of volunteers was responsible for this meagre
loss.    It is estimated that less than 100 head of cattle, horses, and sheep were drowned.
The evacuation of poultry was much more difficult. The problem here was the
shortage of crates. Everything that could contain birds was pressed into service, and
poultry and egg dealers worked the clock around in their effort to save stock. It is
estimated that 5,000 mature birds and 10,000 growing stock were drowned.
As areas were flooded, the problem of feeding arose. This was attended to by local
committees in each district acting under the authority of the Army Sector Commander.
Sustenance rations were issued on army requisitions. Green feed and hay were purchased wherever available. A large quantity of grass was donated, and much green
feed was gathered from roadsides.    During this period feed was free.
Upon the appointment of the Authority a conference was held with the Minister of
Agriculture, and an over-all programme of assistance was decided upon in keeping with
the powers granted your Board.
To administer this programme, the Authority set up an agricultural section and
placed Mr. William MacGillivray, Director of Extension, Department of Agriculture,
in charge. Working under Mr. MacGillivray, representatives, for the most part District Agriculturists, were attached to all local rehabilitation committees. From time
to time these representatives were gathered together for general discussion of problems
and instruction.
People engaged in agriculture, requiring assistance, were classified as dairy-
farmers, poultry-farmers, fruit and nut growers, nurserymen, bulb growers, and hop
II 17
Programmes arranged for and assistance given these classes included the follow-
Free feed (hay, mill-feed, and pasture) was provided during the period of evacuation of herds, and free hay and mill-feed for twenty-one days following the return
of herds to their home farms. Following the expiry of the twenty-one-day period,
hay was made available at $15 per ton for mixed hay and $20 per ton for alfalfa;
mill-feed at 25 per cent, off retail prices.
As flood-waters receded, dairy-farmers were urged to plant fodder-crops, and to
encourage the maximum production of such, your Board provided free grain and grass
seed, fertilizer, and, where owners were without adequate equipment, ploughing and
disking of land in preparation for seeding. A subsidy of $10 per ton on hay and $3
per ton on ensilage (silo measure) was granted to farmers purchasing such on their
own account. Transportation of cattle back to farms was provided where owners were
without facilities for doing this themselves.
Under this programme there has been provided up to January 22nd, 1949:—
A total of 987 farmers, owning 23,472 head of live stock, participated in this aid.
Hay Purchases.
Believing that hay would be required by dairy-farmers outside of the flooded areas
and that buying by the Authority might tend to boost prices, it was decided to go outside of British Columbia for most of our hay requirements. The Province of Alberta
furnished by far the larger portion of our supply. In arranging for the purchase of
this, we were given excellent co-operation by the Alberta Department of Agriculture
and the several suppliers from whom purchases were made. About 1,600 tons of hay
were purchased in Manitoba. The price of hay f .o.b. cars at point of shipment ranged
from $16 to $41 per ton (alfalfa), with an average delivered price at the various points
of distribution of $34. About 85 per cent, of purchases was mixed hay; 15 per cent,
Free feed was granted from time of evacuation of flocks until September 30th, and
a subsidy of 25 per cent, off list price for the month of October. In the case of poultry-
farmers who sold or lost poultry during the pre-flood and flood periods, the same feed
privileges are being granted as they re-establish their flocks.
Up to January 22nd, 1949, under this programme there has been provided poultry-
farmers 2,030,749 lb. of free poultry-feed and 544,400 lb. of subsidized poultry-feed,
a total of 2,575,149 lb.
A total of 266 farmers, owning 110,821 birds, participated in this aid. II 18 INTERIM REPORT.
Fruit and Nut Growers.
A survey by the Authority revealed there were 697 growers engaged in these
industries on a commercial basis, with an acreage of 2,450. Two choices were offered
these people:—
(a) To have their plantations replanted;   or
(b) Be given a conversion credit based on the cost of replanting, which could
be used for converting to any other form of agriculture assuring an
To date 83 per cent, of the fruit-growers, owning 79 per cent, of the acreage, have
accepted the conversion programme and have been supplied with 567 cattle, 9,695
poultry (5,000 chicks on order), 179 swine, 2 chinchillas, 1,921 fruit-trees, material for
buildings to house live stock and poultry, $49,824.40.
In accordance with the terms of reference, no cash payments were made to growers
under the conversion plan.
A noteworthy feature of the conversion plan is that it not only re-establishes
flooded-out fruit-growers in a position where they are getting an immediate income,
but it will also assist growers who continue in the industry by removing from the
market what had become a burdensome surplus.
For growers who desire to replant, the programme provides:—
(a) Land-clearing labour allowance of $25 per acre (depending upon type of
plantation destroyed).
(b) Ploughing and disking labour allowance of $5 per acre.
(c) Planting labour allowance of $25 per acre.
(d) Plants (strawberry, raspberry, bush-fruits, fruit-trees, nut-trees).
(e) Seed for cover-crop (if desired).
(/)  Fertilizer (one year only).
Cg)  Posts and wire (where necessary).
Arrangements have been made with fruit-marketing organizations to supply and
distribute replanting stock to growers who will re-engage in the fruit industry.
Approximately 520 acres are being replanted. Orders have been placed for the following plants and bushes: 1,482,000 strawberry plants of proven varieties, 203,000
Washington raspberries, 138,700 bush-fruits of various kinds, 260,000 rhubarb plants,
362 tons of fertilizer, 39,000 asparagus roots, and 2,200 grapevine roots.
A few growers have stated they will not be able to replant their entire acreage
until 1950. Arrangements can be made with the various marketing agencies to take
care of these.
The programme for bulb-growers is essentially the same as for fruit-growers.
Fifteen people were engaged in this industry.
Farm-owners assisted.
Apart from nurseries and hop-growers, 1,652 farm-owners were assisted. Many
of these participated in all phases of the agricultural-aid programme.
Our plan of assistance to nurseries was to provide them with replanting credits,
which would enable them to get into production and sale with the least possible delay.
These credits were established in a manner similar to that followed in dealing with FRASER VALLEY REHABILITATION AUTHORITY. II 19
small-fruit growers, with due regard to the volume and variety of plants destroyed.
There were three large and three small nurseries. Final credits have been set up for
all of these, and they are well advanced with the restocking of their gardens.
Plants, fertilizer, clearing and planting labour were allowed. Two operators,
with three yards affected, were given assistance in clearing and replanting 147 acres.
Before deciding upon the programme of assistance for dairy-farmers, consultation
was had with the Minister of Agriculture, agricultural experts, and experienced dairy-
farmers, both within and outside of flooded areas. It was felt that as dairy-farmers
would be receiving an income from their milk shipments, they should be able to bear
part of the cost of feeding their herds following the free-feed period. Some criticism
has been voiced because of the prices fixed for hay and mill-feed, and the rations set,
but in the main the programme has given satisfaction. A large number of dairy-
farmers have volunteered the information that they received much more than they
Criticism has also been made by farmers who were able to do their own ploughing
because payment was not allowed for such work. Regarding this the Authority wishes
to point out that the idea of preparing land for seeding for farmers who had no equipment was born of a desire to get all the land possible into crop quickly so that fall and
winter fodder would be produced, thus reducing the amount of feed that would have to
be purchased. In other words, it was part of the feeding programme. Much of this
ploughing was done by equipment owned outside of flooded areas so as not to hinder
farmers within the flooded areas who had their own equipment. It is a fact, however,
that many of the latter participated in this ploughing programme and, of course, were
paid for doing so.
A feature of the reseeding programme worthy of note is that thousands of acres
of worn-out pasture-fields have been given new life, and hay-crops next year should
be abundant.
In arranging the feed programme for poultry-farmers, consideration was given to
the fact that the moving of laying hens caused a substantial reduction in the output of
eggs and a consequent loss of income out of which to sustain both laying and growing
stock. Poultry-farmers also suffered heavy losses by having to dispose of laying birds
at the peak of their production and through drowning. Poultry-farmers have expressed
general satisfaction with the programme.
Uniform Treatment.
In planning and administering the programme of assistance to those engaged in
the various agricultural pursuits, the Authority realized that some people would be
given help which their circumstances might not appear to justify. The Authority felt,
however, that, as it was expending public money, it would have to follow a uniform
course as far as possible, treating all flood sufferers alike. The only deviation permitted from this course consisted of special consideration for residents of Hatzic
Prairie, which had two inundations following the main flood. It is possible that
special treatment may have to be accorded individuals in other areas before the winter
is over, but this will only be done after thorough investigation of each case.
Individual Records.
Immediately following the appointment of the Authority, instructions were issued
to all agricultural representatives to set up and maintain records of all people engaged II 20
in agriculture to whom assistance was given. These records show the basis on which
aid was given and the cost of such aid. Agricultural representatives are now engaged
in a careful inspection of all farms on record for the purpose of determining feed and
seed requirements for the balance of the winter and for spring planting, and of assuring the Authority that misrepresentation has not been practised. When completed,
these records will form part of the Authority's final report. FRASER VALLEY REHABILITATION AUTHORITY. II 21
Chilliwack, B.C., June 30th, 1948.
Local Rehabilitation Committee.
We forward for your information and guidance:—
a. Suggested make-up of local rehabilitation committees.
b. Method of committee procedure.
c. Appraisal form.
d. Accounting procedure for guidance of committee chairmen and secretaries.
In the suggested make-up of a committee it is felt all phases of rehabilitation and
relief have been encompassed. Experience has shown that small committees with
definitely assigned duties are the most effective bodies. Local committees may feel
free, however, to expand to whatever extent the situation may require.
Regarding committee procedure the Commission desires as much direct action as
possible, and to this end as much freedom as seems consistent with sound practice will
be allowed. Committees are expected to make immediate contact with the Commission
on any matter of doubt.
The Commission's accountant will make a personal call upon all committee secretaries for the purpose of going into such further detail as may be found necessary, such
as registering owners, preparing necessary files and keeping accounts.
The Commission will make frequent visits to all affected areas and will keep in
close touch, through its head office at Chilliwack, with all local committees. The Commission's secretary will know at all times where members of the Commission may be
contacted when away from the head office.
W. L. Macken.
D'Arcy J. Baldwin. II 22 INTERIM REPORT.
General Appraisal Instructions.
The following general instructions are issued to guide appraisers:—
1. Note in detail the type of construction, interior and exterior finishes, and the
approximate age of the building.
2. All material considered sound from a constructional point of view should not be
removed or replaced. (Example: A fir baseboard, finished with clear varnish and not
warped will be considered sound. Although the finish has been whitened and stained
by water, the damage can be repaired with two or three coats of enamel.) Dry wall
finishes and plaster which might, in the opinion of the appraiser, be termed as slightly
damaged, or where the material is not loose on the framework, will be considered sound,
except where the removal of sound material will prevent the spreading of dry-rot.
3. In the drained-off areas a request should be broadcast to the owners to open
windows or remove earth, and allow for ventilation under the building, and, where possible, a general clean-up is desired to allow for a thorough appraisal.
4. All material and labour costs should be quoted from Fraser Valley prices and
rates, and, as far as possible, all men employed should be residents in the valley.
Materials should be requisitioned through local resources.
5. Appraisers will make an allowance for cleaning up homes. Each individual
case must be treated on its merits.
6. A division of the scheme is as follows: A building remaining on its foundation,
but damaged by water, will be referred to as " damaged," and will be considered in the
above recommendations and at the present method of figuring. A building that has
floated or has been undermined to the extent of breaking the foundation and wrecking
the building should be considered and described as " wrecked " and appraised as such.
After this building has been placed on a new foundation and straightened, a further
appraisal will be made under the " damaged " system.    (See paragraph 11.)
7. A chief appraiser has been appointed by the Authority, who will cover the district in the shortest possible time, and assist in the work to enable occupation of dwelling before winter months set in.
8. Each owner should have the right of appeal as regards his appraisal. An arbitration board should be set up, if necessary, consisting of the owner, the appraiser, and
a third party conversant with the building trade and whose appointment should be
approved by the owner and the appraiser.
9. The only reappraisal to be made on any property, other than through arbitration, will be on items brought in by the owner, where such items, in the opinion of the
local board, total $10 or more, and where such items are not included in the original
10. All appraisers and assistants should be warned against voicing opinions on
anything other than their own specific work.
11. Where buildings are wrecked (see paragraph 6), the appraisal should be based
on replacing the building to its former state, plus cost of moving the wrecked building
to its original site. The value of this appraisal may be applied against a new building
if the owner and appraiser consider it necessary. This should be based on " National
Housing Act " rates of construction.
12. It is recommended that floors be allowed to thoroughly dry out before being
appraised. (Flooring is in very short supply and any saving of flooring material will
assist the entire rehabilitation plan.)
W. L. Macken.
II 23
Standard Rates for Homes, giving a Common Basis of Calculation
throughout the Fraser Valley.
Strip hardwood to border per sq. ft.
Without border 	
Blocks extra 	
Remove subfloor backing	
Fir complete 	
Fir laid	
Finish old floors
Rough sanding _
Paint and paper—
. per sq. ft.
04 and .06
 per roll 1.00
Paint one coat per sq. yd. .45
Paint two coats     ,,    ,,   „ .60
Paint three coats     „    „   „ .75
Velio  per room 7.00
Wood lath .
Gyroc lath
percu.yd. 22.00
. per sq. yd.
Stucco two-coat finish
Double these prices for patching.
All the above prices include application and labour. II 24 INTERIM REPORT.
It is the desire of the Provincial Government that homes and farm buildings of
citizens who have been visited by flood-waters be restored, as nearly as possible, to
their pre-flood condition. To this end, the procedure will be to have buildings appraised
by the Committee's appraiser and the estimated cost of restoration laid before the
Committee for approval and action.
Limits of local Committee jurisdiction in respect of estimates to be approved by
such Committees will be $500 (subject to adjustment).
Upon approval of estimate by the Committee, or the Commission, the Committee
will forthwith order the work to be done either by contract or by the employment of
day-labour. Committee chairmen will be given power to authorize the undertaking of
such work.    (See Accounting Procedure.)
Wherever possible, the actual work of restoration should be done by people in the
area, to the end that those who have suffered flood damage have an opportunity of doing
work both on their own and on their neighbours' properties.
Should it transpire that any property-owner is capable of doing his own repair or
rebuilding work, it will be in order for the Committee to give the job to such owner
for the estimate approved; all work to be done under the supervision of the Committee's appraiser and to be paid for as the appraiser may direct.
Owners of flood-damaged properties must clear with the Provincial Health Department and the Provincial Electrical Inspection Department before taking up occupancy.
Owners should be urged by Committee to do as much cleaning of premises as
possible before asking for an appraisal.
The scope of the responsibility of the Commission does not include:—
(a) Repair or construction of dykes or removal of water.
(b) Repair or reconstruction of roads or bridges.
In addition, the Government's policy on agricultural matters will be communicated
to you fully, shortly.
Committees should feel free to consult with the Commission on any point.
It is recommended that Committees have local painters, electricians, etc., establish
a common rate for work. This will ensure that criticism of varying rates of compensation is minimized.
The object of the accounting procedure in the districts is to ensure a proper control
of public funds without entailing a great deal of detailed work for the Committees,
and to dispense with a paid accounting officer in each district.
Printed by Don McDiabmid, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.


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