March 24, 1915 (12th Parliament, 5th Session)


Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)


I should like to give the House some information which, in reply to an inquiry made a day or two ago either by my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition or by the hon. member for St. John, I promised to bring down with regard to the work which is being done in regard to the Lake of the Woods.
The Lake of the Woods Technical Board was formed by Order in Council on the 2nd of March, 1914. It consists of five permanent officers of the various departments: Mr. Chapleau, representing the Department of Public Works; Mr. Fraser, representing the Department of Marine and Fisheries; Mr. Challies, representing the Department of the Interior; Mr. Stewart, representing the Department of Naval Service; and Mr. Acres, representing the Ontario Hydro-Electric Commission. The work assigned to it is a study of conditions on and around the Lake of the Woods both before any artificial works were placed in the watershed and since, with a view to advising the Government as to the best course to pursue in the interests of Canada itself. For this purpose it is necessary to gather all the available information from dominion, provincial and private records, relating principally to the water levels, to ascertain what may be called high water, what may be called low water, and what may be called mean water. So far as possible, records for discharges and supply must be carefully examined so that the board may know what is the available supply of water, and what quantity may reasonably be expected for power purposes. When the hoard has sifted these records and the information, it will be expected definitely to fix the range within which the level of the various lakes of the watershed will be controlled, and of course advise as to whether the conservation of all the water will necessitate the flooding of any of the shores, and, if so, to what extent.
So far, the board has had the services of only one engineer and an assistant gathering this data. It has fortunately been able to avail itself of old records and surveys made by various departments. The gauge records, which are of course of the utmost importance, have not been very well kept in the past, and their co-relation has necessitated a great

deal of labour, but it is hoped that during the coming year everything will be straightened out.
This information has been furnished me in the shape of a memorandum by Mr. William J. Stewart, who is a member of the commission, and who is acting in a special capacity, as has been explained to the House, with the purpose of assisting the Government in connection with matters that come under the consideration of the International Joint Commission.

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