GENERAL ARTICLES

Cross Country

B. C. Fishermen In the Money "Little America" Heads North Ontario Studies Miracle DDT Hunt Submarine Oil In P. E. I.

September 15 1944
GENERAL ARTICLES

Cross Country

B. C. Fishermen In the Money "Little America" Heads North Ontario Studies Miracle DDT Hunt Submarine Oil In P. E. I.

September 15 1944

Cross Country

B. C. Fishermen In the Money "Little America" Heads North Ontario Studies Miracle DDT Hunt Submarine Oil In P. E. I.

British Columbia

BRITISH COLUMBIA fishermen hit the jack pot this year. Some made small fortunes. When the sockeye run started about 900 boats had nets out in the Strait of Georgia and for 20 miles up the Fraser River. Fish by the thousand were netted daily—and fishermen averaged about $1 per salmon.

One fisherman earned $1,000 in 14 hours. Several other boats working the mouth of the Fraser caught upward of 1,000 fish each. In a single day 125,000 salmon were brought in—enough for 10,000 cases.

Farther afield the fishermen were cleaning up, too. They were catching sharks and dogfish, valuable because their livers are rich in vitamins. One boat out of New Westminster brought in a month’s catch valued at $24,547. After the usual deductions each man in the five-man crew got a $3,000 slice of the profits.

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Hungry grasshoppers have cut milk production in B. C.’s Okanagan Valley by 20%.

The pests have cleaned out pasture lands, leaving very little grass for the cattle. Some dairymen had to begin using winter feed in July. Thero are 10 different kinds of grasshoppers preying on the district, the worst the red-legged variety. Among them they have cut the alfalfa yield anywhere from 25 to 80%.

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Footnote to the housing shortage in war-jammed Vancouver: within a week after a double murder no fewer than 18 persons applied for the victims’ apartment. The telephone in the apartment occupied by the two slain women started ringing almost before the police left.

Prairie Provinces

THIS fall farmers in two districts near Calgary and one near Edmonton will discard kerosene lamps to participate in an experiment that may usher in a new era of rural electrification in Alberta. The experiments are being conducted by private power companies but the question of rural electrification is

In the three faim districts selected, cheaper methods of power line construction will be tried out. If successful the project may radically alter farm life in Alberta. At present only 5,500 of Alberta’s more than 100,000 farms have electric power. And scarcely more than 100 of these are on power lines. The others use power developed by their own generating systems. * * *

“Little America,” headquarters of the U. S. Army’s Northwest Service Command, is being moved from Edmonton to Fairbanks where it will function on a considerably reduced scale. American service personnel stationed in Edmonton will be moved out of the city. Canadian and American civilian employees of the Service Command have been notified that they will be out of a job after Sept. 30. Buildings used by

regarded by the province’s new power commission as an important factor in postwar plans. the command in Edmonton and on which the Americans spent more than $1 million will be turned over to the Canadian Government.

Newcomers to the polls in Alberta’s recent election were the province’s 19-year-old “Hepcat” voters. When the provincial legislature lowered the voting age from 21 to 19 years, several thousand had their names added to the voters’ lists. One grizzled political veteran wasn’t happy about the change. Said he: “They’re listening to juke boxes instead of election speeches.” * * *

To perpetuate the memory of the late famous editor of the Winnipeg Free Press a John W. Dafoe Memorial Foundation is to be established at the University of Manitoba where he served as chancellor. More than $150,000 has already been contributed to the steadily growing fund which will be devoted to furthering international understanding and co-operation. The Foundation Committee hopes to attract to Canada outstanding men and women in international nfTairs to deliver Dafoe Memorial lectures; also hopes to establish travelling fellowships for outstanding students and teachers and memorial grants to organizations fostering international understanding.

Ontario

THE GOLD fever that swept Ontario this summer was showing signs of renewal with the approach of fall. Market-wise observers were predicting an autumn boom in golds similar to that which sent, the market

zooming early in July when trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange brought back memories of 1929 with daily turnovers of 1,800,000 shares. In August trading fell off to about 500,000 shares daily, but no one was worried and mining syndicates continued to splash the financial pages with more ads than they had carried in years. Some persons attributed the midsummer slump to Toronto’s heat wave; others blamed summer vacations which had taken speculators out of the board rooms. But many competent observers thought it was merely a bad case of indigestion brought on by the flood of new stock issues which confronted summer speculators. Once investors had a chance to assimilate the merits of various offerings, said these observers, the scramble would likely be on again. Since it was a bull market in pennies, renewal of the fever would be governed to some extent by diamond drilling news from the various properties now being explored.

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Cross Country

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Meanwhile, some speculators had already made fortunes. One man’s paper profits were said to be $500,000; another, who invested in a low-priced gold stock, was said to have made $2,000 in a single day.

But the interest in gold wasn’t confined to the stock market. The Ontario Department of Mines reported 5,570 mining claims were recorded during the first half of 1944, compared with 1,799 for the corresponding period of 1943. One official called it the “biggest gold rush in the history of Ontario mining.”

There had been no advance notice of the fireworks until late in the afternoon of the day Premier George Drew of Ontario was to speak over a provincial radio network. Then, when it was too late to catch the afternoon editions, word seeped out of Queen’s Park that it might be a smart idea for editors to have their top political reporters handle the speech.

The Premier didn’t disappoint. He came out flatly against the King Government’s “baby bonus.” Mr. Drew claimed such legislation by the Federal Government invaded the provincial social service field; that the Ottawa administration can’t collect enough money to pay the bonuses without continuing to keep its hold on taxation fields yielded by the provinces only for the duration; and that while Ontario will pay nearly half the initial annual cost of the plan ($200,000,000;, Quebec will benefit more than any other province, “while it refuses to bear its full share of the burden of war.”

He hit Quebec harder than any Ontario politician during this or the last war and spoke of Quebec’s isolationism as its “shameful role” before the world.

Reaction to the speech was as varied as the political opinions of those who heard it. In Ottawa it brought a fiery retort from Prime Minister Mackenzie King, who later told Parliament that because of Mr. Drew’s avowed antagonism to the Ottawa regime it would be useless to call a Dominion-Provincial conference until after the next federal election.

Informed of Mr. King’s explanation for delaying the conference, Premier Drew retorted: “It reaches an all-time high in pure, unadulterated hypocrisy.”

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A thorough study of the effects of dichloro - phenyl - trichloroethane — DDT—on fish, birds, bees and small mammals is being made in Ontario before any general use of the new miracle insecticide is undertaken in the province’s timberlands. On the special DDT committee set up by the Ontario Government are seven experts—three biologists, a chemist, an entomologist, an aeronautical engineer and a meteorologist. Chiefly, they are studying the effect DDT has on fish, water insects, etc., when it is sprayed over an area from the air. Though it is still too early to report on the committee’s findings, tests have shown that in the concentration used DDT has little ill effect on fish, though when it settled to the bottom of a stream it did kill crabs, etc. Tests, however, disclosed that the oil with which the DDT is mixed had a bad effect on some fish, killing them if it got in their gills.

One of the big problems facing the experts is to determine whether DDT can be used to kill harmful insect life without injuring or killing other animal and insect life likely to corne into j contact with it.

Quebec

Montreal’s recent tram strike—-the third in 17 months—explodet! a myth popular among motorists everywhere. Most people who drive cars like to blame traffic jams in the large cities on the big, lumbering streetcars. But during the Montreal strike, with not a tram on the streets, the city experienced the worst traffic tieups in its history. Everything that had wheels was pressed into service by the population and the volume of traffic swelled to unheard of proportions. Harried police officials did everything possible to relieve the congestion. They ignored minor traffic violations, lifted parking restrictions, even removed hundreds of posts ordinarily used to mark tramboarding safety zones. Sweating, swearing taxi drivers—arch enemies of the streetcars in ordinary times— could be heard praying for the return | of the trams so street traffic could get back to normal.

Work on Montreal’s $5 millions j apartment house development, largest ! ever undertaken in that city, has begun. Designed to ease Montreal’s acute housing shortage, the project will comprise more than 40 apartment buildings located on the eastern slope of Westmount mountain. These will provide accommodation for about 1,100 families. The first seven buildings will be ready this year.

The Maritimes

Oilmen in Prince Edward Island are inclined to think Munitions Minister Howe was somewhat optimistic when he told the House of Commons recently that the Island is likely to become an important oil producer. But they’re keeping their fingers crossed—though none of the black gold has yet appeared.

At any rate Mr. Howe’s statement focused attention on what is Canada’s first and only submarine oil project. The drilling rig has been set up on a man-made island in Hillsborough Bay, more than a mile from land, near Charlottetown. The tiny isle of rocks, concrete and logs stands in water 16 feet deep at low tide. The drills have bitten down almost 8,000 feet through the bed of the Bay and equipment is on hand to run the hole down to 10,560 feet. But drillers hope they won’t have to go that far. Formations encountered so far are described ‘‘as expected.” An American company is financing the venture which involves extraordinary difficulties from tide, ice and wave action.

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Everything from bunkers to barracks are to be utilized by civic authorities at Saint John, N.B., to ease that city’s wartime housing shortage. Bulging at its seams, the city has bought the Portland Place golf course and plans to divide it into 200 homesites for prospective builders. In addition authorities have asked the Department of National Defense for the use of any vacant Army huts so that these could be turned into temporary quarters for homeseekers.

The acute—sometimes acrimonious -—rivalry between Halifax and Saint John for port business has been modified, though not completely quenched, by wartime exigencies. But a revival of pre-war belligerency between Canada’s two greatest Atlantic ports is being anticipated for the early days of the peace. Helping touch off the new rivalry will be the shipment of UNRRA supplies to Europe. E. J. Wadley, chief executive officer of the Canadian Export Board, recently gladdened Saint John hearts by revealing that that port will be one of the chief points for embarking food and other supplies. Haligonians are girding their loins for a battle which, they hope, will give them a share of the business.