September 11, 1903

LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

It is refreshing to hear the hon. gentleman (Mr. Clancy), make such statements about the working of the committee. He says that the minority members on the committee were forced to accept the propositions of members on this side. How is it that they were not forced to accept the propositions, they were appealed against. They were forced to nothing. As an independent member of that committee

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear. hear.

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LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

Hon. gentlemen may say ' Hear, hear,' but as an independent member of that committee, and not knowing Ontario, I say that on the mere justice of the two propositions, and deciding on the arguments adduced, I would be forced to decide that the propositions of the Liberal members were the fairest and the most honourable. These gentlemen opposite gerrymandered the country some years ago, and they have forgotten that they have lost the power to gerrymander again. If some of the plans they submitted to the committee were adopted it would be a gerrymander indeed.

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Item agreed to.


CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

24-the territorial district of Nipissing.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I wish to call attention to a representation which has been made to me since the report of the committee has come to the House. It is represented to me that the townships of Clara, Head and Maria have a population of 483. Under this Bill they are added to the constituency of Nipissing, but these three townships have always belonged to North Renfrew for all judicial purposes. They were added to Nipissing in 1901, under an Act of the legislature of Ontario, because it was intended to give to that electoral district two members instead of one. That has been represented to me as the reason for the adding of these three townships to that electoral district. But under the federal representation Act no such reason exists, because Nipissing is to have only one member. Now, Nipissing, as constituted by this Bill, would have a population of 36,551.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

No, my hon. friend is mistaken. The population, according to the census, is 28,309.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

The figure I have named has been given to me; but even taking the Sgure of the Minister of Public Works, the population of North Renfrew would be 24,558. Therefore, the reasons which existed for adding these three townships to Nipissing under the provincial statute do not exist here. These three townships belong to North Renfrew for judicial purposes, and it has been represented to me that there is no valid reason for adding them for electoral purposes to the county of Nipissing. As I may not be here when this subsection comes up for consideration, I would ask my right hon. friend to take this suggestion under advisement. I have communicated to my hon. friend the letter which I have received1 in reference to this proposed change, and I would like to lay before you, Mr. Chairman, a motion in these terms :

That the following words, after the word ' Nipissing,' in subsection 24, be omitted : * with the townships of Clara. Head and Maria.'

In order to make that amendment effective, I would move for the reconsideration of section 48, which I understand we have already adopted, and that the following words in that subsection be omitted ; ' exclusive of the townships of Clara. Head and Maria.' The object of these three motions is to leave these three townships in North Renfrew.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

I may say that the townships of Clara, Head and Maria lie along the Ottawa river, and they are geographically much better connected with Nipissing than they would be with Renfrew. They are not connected with Renfrew now for electoral purposes, and it would be against the wishes of the people, I understand, to so connect them. I

tliinlc my hon. friend from South Lanark (Hon. Mr. Haggart), who was a member of the committee for Ontario, will agree with that view, as he did in the committee. Originally, having a considerable settlement along the river, these townships were taken municipally into the county of Renfrew, For electoral purposes, both in the province and in the Dominion, they are now connected with Nipissing, and their people have petitioned the local legislature to add them municipally and judicially to that district. So that we would be doing a great injustice to these people to add those townships to North Renfrew against their wish. The matter lias no political significance; and if my hon. friend looks at the map, lie will see that they are closely connected with the more thickly part of Nipissing, while they are a long distance away from the main towns or settled parts of the county of Renfrew. It is the opinion, I think of the leaders of both parties from Ontario that they should remain as the Bill provides.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Well, I deemed it my duty to bring this matter to the notice of the Committee, because the representation has been made to me since the committee sat. There is no political significance at all attached to this motion. The population of these three townships is given to me as 483, and I am informed that they are connected judicially with the county of Renfrew.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

Their petition has been before the provincial legislature, praying that they should be municipally and judicially connected with Nipissing. I understand that their prayer has not yet been granted, but there is no doubt that the Act will be passed in a few months.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Of course, my hon. friend knows that in certain cases we have not adhered strictly to the rule which was laid down by the Prime Minister, and I am informed by a very respectable citizen of North Bay that the interests of these people lie in North Renfrew.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

That is a mistake, I am sure.

Mr. MACIvIE. The people living in these townships have applied to the Ontario government to have them connected with Nipissing. The Hon. Peter White had them added to North Renfrew in 1892.

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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

Are these townships not connected judicially with the county of Renfrew ?

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Mr. MACK IE@

They are, but they have appealed to the Ontario government to be added to Nipissing.

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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

Simply for the purpose of electing members for the local legislature.

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Mr. MAOICIE@

No. They are Liberal townships, and the Hon. Peter White applied to have them struck off in 1892.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

My hon. friend is, I think, mistaken when he says there is a political consideration in this matter, because the information which I have is that the voters in these townships are equally divided between the two parties, and my correspondent referred me to Mr. I'roulx, Mr. Champagne and Mr. Ethier to support this application, which he would not have done if there was any polities in the matter. At any rate, I place this application before the Committee. The population of Nipissing is greater by several thousands than that of North Renfrew, and therefore, if this application were granted, it would only have the effect of balancing the population.

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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

I think it is only necessary to look at the map to see that geographically these townships form a narrow fringe of country on the east side of Lake Nipissing, and they have very little if any geographical connection with Renfrew.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I do not think my hon. friend has looked at the map lately.

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September 11, 1903