September 9, 1903

CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to deal in detail with the province of Ontario ; that would be an assumption on my part, because there are on both sides of the House, I have no doubt, members who are far more familiar with the divisions of that province than I am myself. But I would like to give an instance or two; others will be pointed out by my hon. friends and discussed at length. I would like to give an instance or two of the position in which we found ourselves when we came to that portion of the work in regard to which we had to guide us only the very general principle of fairness and justice to everybody. Take, as an instance, the county of Waterloo. That county has existed in its present state since before confederation. It has varied in its political allegiance. At one time it was devoted to the Liberal cause, then it became divided between the Liberals and Conservatives, and in later days, owing no doubt to the progress of education and enlightenment, it lias become completely Conservative.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

Then no matter how it may be divided, you cannot affect its vote, if it be completely Conservative.

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CON
IND

Leighton Goldie McCarthy

Independent

Mr. MCCARTHY.

What is the difference, between the two divisions as regards the unit of population ?

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

The difference at present, I understand, is 1,500. Under the proposed distribution, that difference is not diminished but increased by 500.

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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

It is now 1,700, and on redistribution it will be 1,300.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

That is not according to my information. According to my information the difference will be increased from 1,500 to 2,000. But that is not to my mind the most important point. The,county has always been divided as it is now, and no ground whatever can be alleged for changing that division. I would invite the attention of the House to these two maps-the one showing the present division of the county and the other showing the county after redistribution.

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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

Show us some maps under the Act of 1882.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I propose to keep to the subject in hand. The original of the word ' gerrymander ' is to be found in a debate which took place in the House of represen-

tatives of the state of Massachusetts, of which Mr. Gerry was governor. There was a division of the constituencies there, very much like the one under consideration. It was said of a constituency, which had been carved out in a manner exactly similar to this, that the constituency looked very much like a salamander, upon which some one remarked that it was not a salamander but a gerrymander. If any one will take the trouble of examining the map, he will see how irregular the constituency of South Waterloo is in the proposed division. Instead of running alongside the other, it goes all around North Waterloo. What was the consideration which guided a majority of the conference in making such an extraordinary division ? The idea is no doubt that whereas the two ridings of the county of Waterloo previously returned two Conservative members to parliament, under this proposed division, they will elect one Liberal and one Conservative. And we shall find North Waterloo returning a Conservative member, whereas South Waterloo will return a member favourable to the cause of my right hon. friend with a majority of 500.

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LIB
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

My hon. friend from Belle-cliasse (Mr. Talbot) should not treat the matter so lightly. He says it is not a bad idea. That depends on how it is worked out. We are considering a serious question, and certainly the idea which should govern us in this work is not the idea which my hon. friend calls a good idea. Not to pursue very much further the examination of the division of the province of Ontario which presented, in some cases, I venture to say, just as great, if not greater, anomalies than the very glaring one which I have brought to the attention of the House, let us take the case of Middlesex. In Middlesex we have a county-I speak under correction

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LIB
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

My hon. friend will correct me when the time comes-we have a county with a population of about 91,000.

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LIB

William Samuel Calvert (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. CALVERT.

Ninety-two thousand.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

^Wliat have we done in the case of Middlesex ? We have given to the city of London one representative. That city has a population, if I mistake not, of 37,000 or 38,000. Subtracting these from the population of the county of Middlesex, we have a population in the other part of the county of about 54,000. And, for that population of 54,000 we have given three members, and have made three divisions, which, if I mistake not, have returned to the local legislature three members favourable to the present government of the province. I may be wrong, hut that is my information. Now, on the other hand, taking the county of Victoria, represented by my

hon. and gallant friend Col. Hughes, and my hon. friend, Mr. Vrooman. We have in the county of Victoria, with the annexed provisional county of Haliburton, a population of 38,000, if not more, and to that county we give only one member. So, in the case of Middlesex, you have three members for 54,000, with a division to which some of my hon. friends have objected, and have objected for what seems to me very cogent reasons, before the committee, and, not far from there you have a division of 38,000, with only one member.

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LIB

Charles Smith Hyman

Liberal

Mr. HYMAN.

I am sure my hon. friend (Mi\ Monk) does not wish to be unfair. I do not know that any objection was made as to the county of Middlesex before the committee. There was no amendment handed in with regard to the division, except a proposal that it should be divided into two instead of into three.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I am glad the hon. gentle-may (Mr. Hyman) has brought that matter to my notice. There were representations made in the committee. I was present when a very lengthy discussion took place on Middlesex, and I was not present at every meeting of the committee, because, after Quebec was disposed of, I was obliged to be absent on several occasions, as the hon. gentleman knows, when Ontario was discussed. But I was there when Middlesex was discussed and when Victoria was discussed : and I remember that alterations were made, and I myself, though not immediately interested, pointed out to the committee the anomaly of this representation of three members for 54,000. My hon. friend from Montmorency (Mr. Casgrain) calls my attention to the fact that there was a proposition-

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LIB
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I would refer my hon. friend (Mr. Hyman) to page 5 of the amendments proposed with respect to the schedule to be added to this Bill. There are mentioned eighteen counties entitled to two members each. and. in this list I find Middlesex, which is indicated as having a population of 54.725. That is the counter proposition.

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LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

That is what the hon. gentleman (Mr. Hyman) said.

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September 9, 1903