April 9, 1923 (14th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)



The report of the Wreck Commissioner who investigated the wreck of the Alaskan has not yet been received. My information is that the stenographer who took the evidence had been ill and was unable to transcribe his notes; then, the commissioner himself has been ill. But we are informed that the report will be submitted in the course of a few days. Meanwhile, this matter has been brought to my attention on several occasions by my hon. friend himself and by various bodies in British Columbia, and I think that something should be done to improve the conditions there. I have decided, in fact, that something should be done this year, first, by establishing small wireless telephone stations in the various lighthouses so that communication may be had at any time with the life saving stations at Bamfield and Tofino. It has also been decided that the department shall have a station at Bamfield during the winter months and a ship suitable for the work which shall be equipped with all the necessary life-saving appliances and be in communication with all the lighthouses. As I have already said, we have in the Fisheries department two or three boats any one of which I think would serve the purpose.
I am glad to congratulate my hon. friend from Battleford (Mr. McConica) on his reappearance in this House.
It is also intended to place notice boards alongside the telegraph lines running along the shore to indicate the nearest place where survivors from a wreck can find food and shelter.
My hon. friend has suggested to me at various times that boats over one hundred tons register should be subject to the same inspection as boats of one hundred and fifty tons and over, and that the Shipping Act be amended accordingly. That matter is engaging the attention of the department.

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