Photostory #294: Wise Men Scan the Land that has Everything: How Shall We Use These Gifts?
National Film Board of Canada
September 19, 1961
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
Once there was a country that had everything, vast reaches of tall forest, mile on mile of rich black prairie soil, sparkling lakes, broad rivers and fish-abundant seas. But as the years went by the people of this country, having so much, became careless with their riches. They misused the land and were prodigal with water and forest. The wise men of the country grew alarmed and one day they said to the people: "If this extravagance and waste continue, we shall soon no longer be a wealthy country but a poor one. Therefore, let us hold a great meeting and plan how we shall use our gifts that they may continue forever." The 11 governments of Canada gather in Montreal October 23-28, 1961, for the most important meeting of Canadian governments since the Fathers of Confederation sat down around a table in Quebec City 97 years before and decided that millions of square miles of virgin land and lake were to become a nation called Canada. The first truly national conference on "Resources for Tomorrow" has been two years in preparation. Co-sponsored by all the provincial and the federal governments, its purpose is to discuss common problems, pool information about resources and determine "how we shall use them". Discussing the seven topics of agriculture, forests, wildlife, water, fisheries, recreation and regional development, the experts at Montreal will assess the kind and value of Canada's renewable resources, work out guidelines to action by governing bodies. In their hands, on their plans, depends the future of the country that "has everything". . . . and lo! the people prospered, because they worked together to make the land and the water work for them.