Volume #25 - 230.|
RELATIONS AVEC LES ÉTAT-UNIS
VOIES INTERLACUSTRES DES GRANDS LACS
Note du sous-secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures|
pour le secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures285
le 17 janvier 1958|
U.S. PROPOSAL TO CONSTRUCT NEW CHANNEL AT SOUTHEAST BEND IN THE ST. CLAIR RIVER|
A new channel in that section of the Great Lakes system joining Lake Erie to Lake Huron, known as the Southeast Bend, is considered essential by both Canadian shipping interests and officials of the Department of Transport so that larger ships capable of using the facilities in the lower stretches of the St. Lawrence-Great Lakes Waterway may reach the waters of Lake Huron and beyond. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has obtained authority and funds from Congress to construct this new channel. However, work cannot begin until mutually acceptable terms covering all aspects of the operation have been worked out between Canada and the United States. These terms, once agreed upon, will be embodied in an exchange of notes.286
2. On May 3, 1956287Cabinet agreed that the United States might be authorized to construct the proposed channel subject to certain conditions.288 There have been exchanges of views with the Americans on the conditions that are to be included in the eventual exchange of notes. Most of our original conditions have been accepted by the Americans. Our latest proposals, embodying the conditions already accepted and suggesting alternatives where necessary, have been worked out interdepartmentally and are set forth in paragraph 5 of the attached memorandum to Cabinet, which is being submitted for your signature. If Cabinet agrees, we shall seek to have these terms incorporated in an exchange of notes with the U.S.A.
3. Condition (g) specifies that "the work carried out in Canadian territory shall be without prejudice to the sovereign rights of Canada." At all times, therefore, Canadian sovereignty will be respected and maintained in the area where the work is being carried out. Furthermore, when the work has been completed, the improved channel will belong to Canada and we will be responsible for its operation and maintenance.
4. Condition (h) outlines the requirement that Canadian contractors will be given equal opportunity with American contractors to bid on any portion of the work; in addition, there is the stipulation that, even should U.S. contractors be successful in securing the tenders, "Canadian technicians, supervisory staff and workers should be given employment in so far as those of necessary qualifications are available...".
5. These two aspects of tendering for contracts have arisen in another context, that of Canada-U.S. defence facilities on Canadian soil. In the defence field we may be successful in our attempts to insist on the inclusion of a clause stipulating that Canadian contractors and Canadian labour only be used for the construction of these facilities because it is the Americans who are anxious to have them installed. On the Southeast Bend, on the other hand, the proposed channel is something which we are anxious to see completed because it will provide an essential facility on the route to the Lakehead. On this occasion, therefore, Canada stands to gain immediate and tangible benefits; in consequence, it would be unrealistic to seek more than an equal opportunity clause permitting Canadian contractors to tender bids along with American contractors for the necessary construction jobs. The Minister of Public Works has held very strong views in the matter of restricting bids on defence contracts to Canadian firms. However, the attached draft has been submitted to him by his Department, and we are informed he has raised no objection.
6. It would be extremely difficult for us to enforce a condition whereby Canadian labour only would be employed on the Southeast Bend project where, although on Canadian soil, the operations would be so close to the boundary that U.S. citizens would be aware of all that was taking place. Unemployment in the Detroit area has increased since the United States originally agreed, in July 1957, to our employment conditions — para. 5(h). However, we expect to be able to retain the provision giving preference to Canadian labour other than certain contractors' key personnel.
[Ottawa], January 9, 1958
U.S. PROPOSAL TO CONSTRUCT NEW CHANNEL AT SOUTHEAST BEND IN THE ST. CLAIR RIVER
The United States Embassy has proposed an exchange of notes to provide for the dredging and disposal of soil in the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair for the purpose of deepening the Great Lakes connecting channels in those areas.
2. The Embassy has pointed out that in the interests of the growing needs of commerce and the safe operation of iron-ore and other vessels it is considered necessary either to widen and deepen the existing channel at Southeast Bend or to construct a cut-off channel through the marshy area on the Canadian side of the river. Canadian Government officials consider that because the proposed cut-off channel would eliminate the sharp reverse curve which is combined with a relatively narrow channel for two-way traffic through the Bend, this project would be preferable to widening and deepening the existing channel.
3. It has been the practice for the United States Government to assume responsibility for the cost of improving the connecting channels in the Upper Great Lakes. Canada has, of course, assumed responsibility for the Welland Canal and for the improvement of the channels in the St. Lawrence River at and below Montreal. In 1956 Congress authorized the entire programme of Great Lakes connecting channel improvements, of which the St. Clair River project is a part, to be prosecuted under the direction of the Secretary of the Army and the supervision of the Chief of Engineers, United States Army Corps of Engineers.
4. The cost of constructing the proposed cut-off channel at Southeast Bend is estimated at $8 million, exclusive of navigation aids. This amount is $5,491,000 more than the estimate for improving the present channel. The annual cost of dredging maintenance in the new channel would be approximately $100,000. The principal local interests in Canada which would be affected by the construction of the new channel are the Indian Band of the Walpole Island Reservation and the St. Clair Shooting Club, which has acquired a lease from the Indian Band for duck shooting. The cost of compensation to the local interests in Canada would probably be not less than $200,000 according to information supplied by officials of the Department of Public Works and the Indian Affairs Branch of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration who have held preliminary discussions with the Walpole Island Indian Band. In addition, some disturbances may be caused to the migratory birds which use this area for breeding and feeding grounds and to certain species of fish.
5. It is proposed that conditions be attached to the Canadian Government's approval along the following lines:
(l) Administrative arrangements concerning this project may be made from time to time between authorized agencies of the two Governments.
6. In order to facilitate the construction of the new channel, the Canadian Government should undertake to make the following arrangements:
The Secretary of State for External Affairs, with the concurrence of the Minister of Public Works and the Acting Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, recommends:
285Note marginale:/Marginal note: American Division: approved by the Minister. M. C[adieux]
Recueil des traités, 1959, no6.
288Voir/See Volume 23, Document 300.
289Le 3 février 1958, le Cabinet a reporté à plus tard le
suivi de ces recommandations en attendant l'issue des négociations relatives à des terres appartenant à la
bande indienne de Walpole Island.