MD of Laurier # 543

M.D. LAURIER NO. 543

The first council meeting of the M.D. of Laurier No.543 was held on January 4, 1915, with Mr. F. Rousseau as secretary-treasurer.

One of the first concerns here was the damage caused by rodents; the council voted to supply strychnine to farmers free of charge and to pay 1/2 cents a gopher head that year.

Pay for roadwork was set at a higher rate here. A discount of 10 percent was permitted on current taxes if paid within thirty days of receipt of the tax notice. Collection of arrears of taxes merited early attention also.

By 1918 there was interest in forming a hospital district to include all adjacent municipal districts north of the Saskatchewan River.

Costs due to the flu epidemic in 1918 were high and the council found it necessary to borrow $1500 to meet these unusual costs.

Efforts to secure a railway were supported by the council in 1919. There was a Railway Committee in St. Paul at that time.

Condolences were expressed to Lady Laurier in a telegram on February 20, 1919, on the death of Sir Wilfred. It is not known whether the M.D. was named to honor him, but presumably this was the case.

By 1919 taxes had increased to 8 cents an acre, of which $4.80 must be in cash, but the balance could be earned in road work.

Several secretaries succeeded Mr. Rousseau: first Mr. F. Guertein, followed by Mr. J. Brady, who was paid $720.00.

In 1919 there was reference to a crop failure, and the 1919-20 winter was severe. As a result, the amount of $16,000 was borrowed by the municipal district to import hay, seed grain and provide other relief. A resolution was drafted to impress upon Members of Parliament and the Minister of Railways the urgent need for a railway into St. Paul des Metis to bring in hay and fodder.

Records of the next ten years are incomplete. In 1930 Mr. H. Montambeault was secretary at $150.00, and MW. Chester, auditor.

Collection of taxes was a concern in the M.D. Laurier, as elsewhere, and on occasion, demand letters were sent to rate-payers demanding 20 percent of arrears. In 1931 ratepayers were permitted to work out 50 percent of all arrears and 50 percent of the current levy.

In 1933 pound fees were reduced from 35 cents to 20 cents a day for cattle or horses; for a goose, from 5 cents to 3 cents a day. The reason for this was that people did not appear to claim animals that had strayed because the pound fees exceeded, in some cases, the value of the animal.

In 1935, Mr. H. Rice became secretary at $1600.

In August of that year a mass delegation came in to in-form the municipal district that a hail storm had destroyed both grain and feed, and even buildings had been damaged. Demands resulting from this catastrophe exceeded ability to pay and so unusually large loans needed to be secured. A delegation approached the department concerning the financial situation in the municipal district. The monthly financial statement, under Account Payable, tersely stated "Too numerous to mention". The mill rate rose to 20 for municipal purposes in 1936 with roadwork set at 40 percent of the current levy.

The following applications for business licences were approved:

May, 1934 - A.L. Stough, restaurant in Elk Point.
May, 1934 - Chas. Young, restaurant in Elk Point.
July, 1934 - H. Jacobson, restaurant in Long Beach.
July, 1934 - N. Scraba, restaurant in Elk Point.
Oct., 1936 - W.B. Miller, Pool Room in Elk Point.
Oct., 1936 - P. Stepa, Pool Room in Elk Point. Willow posts were worth 1 cents each in 1936.

A motion was passed in 1939 to forward a request to the Hon. W. A. Fallow, asking for the construction of a bridge over the North Saskatchewan River two miles south of Elk Point.

The control of bovine T.B. was also under consideration in 1939. The minister had been petitioned in 1938 to provide vaccine and immunization costs following the outbreak of equine encephalomyelitis.

The list of councillors in the M.D. Laurier is included herein:

Jose Brady - First Reeve S. Joyal
Oscow Porrier D. Joyal
Nelson Cleven H. Roberge
J.H. Earl H.D. McGinnis
Emery Labrie P. Charron
F.L. Basterach C. Ashworth
F.A. Lampert W. Holina
J.A. Forbin H. Letourneau
Augustine Brehen 0. Paquin
E. Labrie Herman Dupre
0.Selland J. Mackowecki
Arthur Lamothe H.R. Rice
Arsene Lamothe S. Passek
Aug Boriben H. Parker
J.K. Johnston Steve Demchuk
L.C. Ashworth O.A. Caskey
Harry Eskow W. Bergstrom
J. Faucher M. Paziuk