Roc-d’Or’s poverty and unsanitary conditions troubled the government investigators – much more than the illicit businesses. Several quotes underscore their reactions during their 1942 visit. Some homes were so filthy “that, next to them, an ordinary well-kept pigsty would look clean”. These homes “are meant for demolition. Or, better yet, to burnt down due to the vermin therein.”
Not only did the dilapidated dwellings lack running water and sewers. But they were often overcrowded. The sordid living conditions urged the investigators to write: “The majority of the children living in these slums […] are now stupid and dazed. And [without government intervention, would be] destined for the asylum or penitentiaries.”
It’s possible that incorporation or annexation to Malartic could have solved Roc-d’Or’s prostitution problem. But, the investigators believed it would do nothing to erase poverty and misery. What’s more, building sewer and water systems to improve their situation would be too expensive for squatters’ limited means.