Marie Joseph DEMERS

DEMERS, Marie Joseph, K.C., B.S., LL.B., B.C.L.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
St. Johns--Iberville (Quebec)
Birth Date
May 31, 1871
Deceased Date
July 28, 1940
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Joseph_Demers
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=b3353817-23f7-4cc0-9364-973411f9b454&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer

Parliamentary Career

October 16, 1906 - September 17, 1908
LIB
  St. Johns--Iberville (Quebec)
October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
LIB
  St. Johns--Iberville (Quebec)
September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
LIB
  St. Johns--Iberville (Quebec)
December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
L LIB
  St. Johns--Iberville (Quebec)
December 6, 1921 - July 21, 1922
LIB
  St. Johns--Iberville (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 30 of 31)


March 12, 1909

Mr. JOS. DEMERS (St. John and Iberville).

(Translation.) Mr. Chairman, as this vote interests particularly my county, I desire to say a few words on this important subject. I am somewhat surprised to see that we have yet to discuss this item to-night, an item which is not new to this House. During the years 1907 and 1908, this parliament voted different sums of money to improve the situation of the farmers of

that district. Last year the honourable Minister of Public Works has given very plain statements on this subject. However, as there are in the House this year many new members who might take an interest in this question, I will take the liberty to add a few explanations to those already given by the hon. minister.

For a" great many years, that is to say,

. since the construction of the Chambly canal, the farmers of the counties of St. John, Missisquoi, Iberville, have complained to the federal government about the grievous situation in which they were put by a construction of this canal. The lands in the vicinity are very low and their irrigation is naturally very difficult. A very small obstruction will sometimes prevent the flowing of the waters and will cause very disastrous floods. The natural difficulties of the irrigation of these lands have also been increased by the construction of the Chambly canal which had the effect of narrowing the width of the river by 200 to 300 feet. Since the deepening of this canal other obstructions have been added to those already existing: First, the construction of the two bridges, one by the Central Vermont and the other by the Canadian Pacific railway, two companies incorporated by this parliament. Secondly built on each side of the river, with the authorization of the federal parliament ; important fisheries were established, and this has necessitated the construction of new weirs which prevented the flowing of the water, so that we have opposite St. John a most complete dam.

For a very long time, as I have said, the farmers of the district have sent petitions signed by every inhabitant of the vicinity. Numerous deputations were sent to Ottawa year after year at large sacrifices. These representations were all unsuccessful up to 1900, when the federal government gave instructions to competent engineers to make a survey of the flooded lands and an estimate of the damages. These engineers were also asked to find the cause of the floods, and to indicate the means of stopping them.

Upon their report the government placed an item of $5,000 in the estimates to begin the works. But this sum being evidently too small, no money was expended. In 1907 another vote was granted, the government admitting thus, and for the second time, their responsibility in the matter. The vote at that time was $10,000. When the government was about to spend that money came another objection. We had to submit the question to the International Commission on Waterways, because the proposed works might affect the waters of Lake Champlain. The commission decided on the 24th of October, 1907, that this work could go on without any prejudice to the 81

rights of the United States on Lake Champlain.

Following this decision the government placed in the estimates of last year for the preliminary work to be done, an item of $30,000, out of which $18,000 have been spent up to the present. This year, besides the amount voted last year, the additional sum of $30,000 is asked to continue the deepening of the River Richelieu opposite St. John, on a length of 4,000 feet, a width of 700 feet and an average depth of 5 feet. As this dredging will hinder the navigation because it will open a wider passage for the waters, it will be necessary to build a movable dam that will be opened and closed whenever needed. For instance, in the spring, during the month of April, the dam might be opened so as to allow a rapid effusion of the water, but it will be closed gradually after that so as to have always in the river, for the needs of the navigation, during the low water season, more water than we have presently in that season.

These works will not only stop the floods, but will save the government the expenditure of $75,000 or $100,000, a sum which the dredging of the River Richelieu between St. John and Rouse's Point to supply the needs of the navigation would have come to. Besides that, these works will save to the government considerable expenditure which we would be obliged to make for the dredging of the Chambly canal, which is not deep enough for the needs of navigation because you will have then in the canal an additional foot and a half of water during the low waters. I take those figures from the calculations made by the engineers themselves.

The lands flooded are of considerable extent. These engineers estimate that there are 25,000 acres completely lost for agriculture. These lands are of first quality; they are alluvial soil of the best kind and of the most fertile that there! are in the country. I think I am not mistaken when saying that the farmers of that district are losing annually and since a very long time more than $125,000 by reason of the obstacles created by the different railway companies and other causes of which I have snoken a few minutes ago. The government three or four years ago, set itself to perform an act of justice which, I hope, it will have no difficulty in completing.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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March 12, 1909

Mr. DEMERS.

(Translation.) I have never heard of it.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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February 10, 1909

Mr. JOSEPH DEMERS (St. John and iberville).

(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, if [ intend to say a few words upon this question, it is not because the hon. member from Jacques Cartier has apparently reproached the Liberal member for not having spoken before about repatriation. It may have been that we have not discussed that matter but the government have taken measures and deeds are worth more than

WThe hon. member from Jacques Cartier, it seems, has made a poor reply to the statement of the Postmaster General who said that since 1896 the government had put a stop to our fellow countrymen towards the United States. The minister, the hon. member says, should not make that statement because he had himself noticed that the houses vacated before 1896 m the ties of Jacques Cartier and Rouville were still unoccupied. That reply is not con-

ClWe have never contended that he had

caused every Canadian to return from the United States. In order to make a satis factory reply the member from Jacques Cartier should have been able to assert that a great number of houses have been dosed since 1896 on account of the departure of the inmates for the United States, a statement which would not have been founded on facts.

So far as the member from L Islet is concerned I do not think that he was actuated by the unworthy desire of iattacking the administration, but we have heard so many accusations against the policy of the government, so many reproaches about the lick of k policy that I think te Postaa, ter General was in duty bound to put the facts in their true_ hght so as toJ^ispe\ erroneous impression which it was sought to create among the people.

Bv his motion the member from L Islet

asks for: ,

A copy of all correspondence, returns and documents between the Department of the Ulterior and the immigration agents in the United States, and between the Department of the Interior and the colonization societies

. . , - , o t_______ 1 flAQ

I am at a loss to understand how we could deny such a request. On the contrary, we should grant it for I believe that the hon. gentleman, if he carefully peruse those documents, will be enlightened and have a better opinion of the government policy on that matter. He will be able to notice what the government have done and to amend his ideas as to their desire as far as our fellow countrymen are concerned.

For several years past our government has made with foreign countries arrangements with a view to restricting immigration, and by restriction of immigration the return home of our fellow-citizens is not at all meant. If we are bound to congratulate the government for having thus restricted foreign immigration, we are also bound to congratulate them for the inducements extended to our fellow-citizens in order to bring about their return to Canada. We are in need of more men with strong bodies and large brains to help in the development of our great national heritage, and I am aware that no better settlers will ever be found than the sons of Canada, though unfortunate circumstances may have compelled them to emigrate to the United States.

Let us hope that the government will not depart from the policy they have been following heretofore in the country's greater interest.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   RENE DUPONT.
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April 28, 1908

Mr. DEMERS.

12 x 8 acres.

St. John's public buildings, $10,000.

Topic:   SUPPLY-MURDER AT WOLSELEY BARRACKS, LONDON.
Subtopic:   $23,400, REVISED EDITION COMMONS
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April 28, 1908

Mr. DEMERS.

Topic:   SUPPLY-MURDER AT WOLSELEY BARRACKS, LONDON.
Subtopic:   $23,400, REVISED EDITION COMMONS
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