With respect to clause C of section I, which does away with the use of voters' lists within sixty days previous to the election, I mean to allow the law to stand as it is, so that clause C will he struck out.
Has the Solicitor General any provision in this Bill with reference to lists which may have been quashed after they have been sent to the office of the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery ? On or about the 24th of December in each year, in New Brunswick, the list is filed with the proper officer, and is forwarded by him to the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery. Suppose that list is quashed in the meantime, is there any provision whereby a new list shall be ordered to be forwarded from the custodian to the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery ?
Under the law as it now stands, the custodian forwards the list to the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery after it has become law within the limits of the province. It is impossible that a list subsequently quashed should go to the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, because it only goes to him after the delay for the appeal has expired, or after the appeal has been disposed of.
The circumstances are somewhat different in the county of King's, N.B. The lists were completed in that county and filed by the secretary-treasurer with the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery. It was completed on the 24th December last. After that date, and at the February term of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick, that list was brought before the court in connection with the parish of Rothesay and quashed. The right hon. the premier, in answer to a question I put on the Order paper, stated that the government had no notice of the quashing of that list. As a matter of fact in this list that was quashed there were over 400 voters' names added. According to the answer of the premier, that list is now on file with the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery. The seat I have the honour to hold in this House is protested. There is a petition filed against me, and suppose that petition were successful, and I were unseated, and that a new election would take place during this summer,
and before the filing of the new list, this bogus list is the list which would be used in the election.
Why not? The Clerk of the Crown in Chancery sends down the list to the returning officer, but if there is no official notification of the quashing of that list, and if the officer in charge of the list in King's has done his duty, there is nothing in the law to require him to send the amended list.
I do not see anything in the law to that effect, and I propose you should amend it to cover that point. Here are the facts. This list was quashed in February. A new list has been made up, but it is not the list which is on file here. You adopt the provincial list, but send it out as a Dominion list; and the list is the one which was on file on the 24th of December last.
would call the hon. gentleman's attention to section 10 of the Franchise Act, which provides :
Within ten days after the final revision of every list of voters for the purposes of provincial elections, it shall be the duty of the custodian thereof to transmit to the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, by registered mail, a copy of such list, certified under the hand of such custodian.
If he has sent a list which was subsequently set aside by the courts, and a new list has been declared by the courts to be applicable to the particular district, the new list is the list in force, and that is the list Which he must send to the Clerk of the Grown in Chancery. The previous list, which was set aside, is absolutely waste paper.
But at the time the old list was set aside, the time for filing the list had expired for the present year.
Not at all. There is no time limit, except that it must be filed within ten days after the final revision takes place.
Mr. FOWLER, Still, the list which was filed on the 24th of December is the list which exists at present.
That is no list iat ail.
There is no other list than that.
Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
Is the new list prepared under the general law or under a special enactment of the provincial legislature ?
It is prepared under a special enactment. The voters' list was
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stuffed by the wrongful act of the reviser. It was a most .scoundrelly piece of business, and no honest or decent Liberal would attempt for a moment to defend it. By collusion with the reviser, after the list went from the revising board and before it reach ed the secretary-treasurer, it was taken to an office in St. John and altered. Some 400 names of parties who had no right to vote in the county of King's were added to it. The sworn certificate, which was on a separate piece of paper, had been taken off, the new list was made up, the certificate attached to it again, and then it was sent forward to the secretary-treasurer. That list came before the Supreme Court, and the court at once, on a presentation of the facts by affidavit, set it aside.
Therefore that list ceased to exist.
By a special Act of the local legislature it was ordered that the revisers of the parish prepare a new list, but the list as prepared is not on file in the office of the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery.
That is the list in force.