June 25, 1951 (21st Parliament, 4th Session)

LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

I do not think I should attempt to prophesy as to what the decision of the government will be. Because of a remark made when the hon. member for Lake Centre was on his feet previously, I believe I should say that I do not think the decision or advice of the committee, no matter which way it may be, must necessarily be taken by the government. It is one of those cases that often arises. I myself, for example, have had more to do with this dam than anyone else. I instructed the engineers in the first place to study the possibility of building a dam on the South Saskatchewan river. For three or four years before anybody discussed the matter publicly we were discussing it from week to week in the department. Therefore I feel I am under some obligation personally to the taxpayers of Canada to say: If you are going to spend $68 million, you are going to get something for it.
As I said previously when we were discussing this matter, I am convinced that a lake in the middle of Saskatchewan would be a good thing, even if it did not produce any power or any water for irrigation at all; from some other points of view a lake there might easily be worth a great deal of money to the whole of Canada. But even so, I have been in politics for a long time, and I do not believe I have any white elephants hanging around yet; therefore I would prefer to be absolutely certain before asking the government of Canada to arrange to spend $68 million, together with $33 million of the province's money, to develop a project of this kind. I should like to feel absolutely certain, as near as one can, that it will be a success when it is built. I can hardly think of anything the committee can say which would make me more convinced than I am now.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM REHABILITATION
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF ACT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT AND SUPERANNUATION OF CERTAIN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES, ETC.
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