June 4, 1908

LIB

Onésiphore Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. TURGEON.

population is beginning to increase, and in a few years we shall be in a position to recover our loss of I'epresentation. It is better for the representatives of New Brunswick to encourage a movement in that direction, to excite the patriotism of our young people, and induce them to remain at home and give the benefit of their labours to their own country instead of to a foreign land. If we have not made greater advance, the blame rests with ourselves, and I take my share of the responsibility. But if any efforts of mine in the district where I live have had the result of inducing our people to remain at home, if they have been the means of preventing some families from emigrating to the republic to the south, I think I have accomplished some good for my country. The present rate of emigration into the western provinces cannot continue, and I have no doubt that the maritime provinces, as their population increases, will be able not only to keep their present representation, but regain what they have lost. Let me, in this connection, draw attention to the fourth subsection of section 51 of the British North America Act, which provides :

On any such readjustment the number of members for a province shall not be reduced unless the proportion which the number of the population of the province bore to the number of the aggregate population of Canada at the then last preceding readjustment of the number of members for the province is ascertained, at the then last census, to be diminished by one-twentieth part or upwards.

'So that the representation of any province is to be determined by a comparison of the last census with the one previous. But I claim that with the increase of industry and population in the maritime provinces, we shall soon be in a position to recover lost ground and regain the representation we have lost.

I therefore submit to my hon. friend from St. John (Mr. Daniel) that he should join me in the patriotic endeavour to have our resources developed as rapidly as possible and thus keep our people at home. I would ask him to join me in calling the attention of the provincial governments, as well as the federal government, to the necessity of giving the maritime provinces all the transportation facilities to which they are entitled and which cannot fail to bring about a revival of industry and make our provinces the richest in the Dominion. I submit that we should direct our energies, not to obtaining a change in the constitution, but to the development of our own resources. Our resources are more lasting than those of the west because we have not only the resources of the soil but of the under-soil. We have the coal and the iron, which are every day becoming greater of greater ne-

cessity. Year after year larger quantities -will be required for the purposes of the west. Only lately an iron mine at Bathurst, in my constituency, which has been proved by the Department of Mines to be one of the most valuable in the country, was sold for $80,000, and will be developed, and we have other mines existing in other parts of the province, some of them close perhaps to the constituency of my hon. friend. We have also other sources of wealth and what we require is greater transportation facilities. Let us urge on the government the improvement of the Intercolonial Railway in every way possible. Let us urge the improvement of its road bed from Moncton to Halifax. Let us insist on the acquisition by the government of many small branches which should belong to the Intercolonial Railway in order that they may be better equipped and give better revenue and furnish greater facilities to the districts through which they run. Let us unitedly ask for the further improvement of our harbours along the sea coast, from which transportation can be made across the ocean. For my part I believe that whether we be twelve or thirteen or .fifteen members from the province of New Brunswick, we have no need to fear anything from the western representatives. I believe that every member of this House, whether from the east or the west, as soon as he enters this sanctuary of the Canadian people, feels himself animated with a sense of justice and British fair-play. I for one see greater danger in changing our consitution. If we change the representation in this House, we shall be called upon, in a few years, to change the representation of the upper House. In the upper House, we have our protection. A great movement has grown up lately for a change in the upper House. For my part I am as adverse to a change in the upper House as to a change in this House, for, as I have already said, our parliamentary representation is our representation in both houses of parliament: if we gain in one we shall lose in the other.

I do not wish to enter upoa n discussion of the question of maintenance of the Senate or changes in the Senate ; I say we should, first of all, maintain the protection which is given to the maritime provinces by our representation in the Senate-not that the Senate was created for the sole purpose of giving that protection, for it was created as the repository of mature wisdom, sober judgment and freedom from the turmoil of popular sentiment, but it was also so arranged that the smaller provinces should have in that body such representation as would afford them protection which they may lack in this House. Therefore, I say to my hon. friend from St. John that I, for one, as a representative of the province of New Brunswick, representing as I

do a constituency which stands equally rich in resources of the sea and resources ofi the land, that I care not whether the province of New Brunswick has twelve members or fourteen members provided that of the Canadian tree I get the shelter and the shade.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION OF THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Permalink
CON

Angus Alexander McLean

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. A. McLEAN (Queens, P.E.I.).

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Turgeon) that the representation of the maritime provinces in this House is a question of the utmost importance. The maritime provinces are suffering under a wrong which is no fault of their own. But our constitution is not unchangeable like the laws of the Medes and Persians. We already have four amendments to the constitution made by the imperial parliament, and there is no reason why, if circumstances have changed since confederation, further changes should not be made. I think that no harm would be done by giving to the maritime provinces the same representation they had at confederation and securing it to them for all time in the same manner as such representation was secured to British Columbia when it entered confederation. I do not think it will be necessary to make a change in the representation in the upper House. It is true that the last speaker has said that the gentlemen who composed that House are supposed to be men of mature wisdom and sober judgment. The probability is that the hon. gentleman (Mr. Turgeon) fills the Bill to a T and that he looks forward, when tired of the turmoil of elections, he will take his rest in the upper Chamber.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION OF THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Permalink
LIB

Onésiphore Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. TURGEON.

No hope.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION OF THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Permalink
CON

Angus Alexander McLean

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. A. McLEAN.

The hon. gentleman may not look for it now, but, perhaps, in the course of ten or fifteen years he may be glad to be clear of running around the country at election time. The constitution of this country, like the constitution of the United States, is quite different from what it was originally. Take the amendments to our constitution made since 1867-the amendments of 1871 and those following- and you will find that the changes made have been very important indeed. The constitution of the United States to-day you would not know to be the same as that which was passed by the first federal congress. The conditions changed and it became necessary to change the constitution to meet the new state of affairs. In the same way, it is necessary in the interest of the maritime provinces that, if the constitution allows their part of their representation to be taken away, the constitution should be changed so as to put them in the same position as that in which they were before. Prince Edward Island entered the confe-

deration in 3873/ That province would not enter in 1867, because the terms proposed for the admission to the union did not meet with the approval of its people, and so they kept out of confederation for nine years after the first proposals were made. And on what ground ? The ground was this very principle of representation by population, which they were not prepared to accept. They told the other provinces that they would not accept that proposition. The resolution which was adopted at Quebec by the conference based the representation in the House of Commons on the population as determined by the official census every ten years. It says :

The basis of representation in the House of Commons should be population as determined by the official census every ten years; and the number of members at first should be 194, distributed as follows:

Upper Canada 82

Lower Canada 65

Nova Scotia 19

New Brunswick 15

Newfoundland 8

Prince Edward Island 5

Now, the imperial government was very anxious that Prince Edward Island should come into the union, and despatches passed between the provincial government and imperial government with reference to the matter. The government of the Prince Edward Island informed the imperial government that they would not accept these clauses of the resolutions passed at the Quebec conference. The imperial government, being anxious, sent despatches to the government of Prince Edward Island, and, at the session of 1865 of the legislature of that province, the matter was threshed out carefully. The legislature, in the first place, passed a resolution which reads as follows :

18. Until the official census of 1871 should be made up, there shall be no change in the number of representatives from the several sections.

19. Immediately after the completion of the census of 1871, and immediately after every decennial census thereafter, the representation from each section n the House of Commons shall be readjusted ou the basis of population.

20. Por the purpose of such re-adjustments, Lower Canad-a shall always be assigned sixty-five members, and each of the other sections shall at each re-adjustment receive, for the ten years then next succeeding, the number of members to which it will be entitled on the same ratio of representation to population as Lower Canada will enjoy according to the census last taken by having sixty-five members.

21. No reduction shall be made in the number of members returned by any section unless its population shall have decreased relatively to the population of the whole union to the extent of five per centum.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION OF THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Permalink
CON

Angus Alexander McLean

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. A. McLEAN.

that matter upon their lordships in the Privy Council, but they saw fit to take the letter of the law as they found it and as I have read it from the resolution passed by the parliament of Canada and the legislature of Prince Edward Island. But, notwithstanding that fact we have the assurance of the Attorney General in his argument that it was the intention of the legislature and of this parliament that we should have that representation for all time to come. I think the evidence that he produced before the Privy Council was abundant to show to the government and the parliament of Canada that we lost that representation by the blunder of the man who drew the resolution, by a mistake, in the conditions and a wrong of that kind should be righted by this parliament. I do not think that the maritime provinces should lie any longer under this wrong which was committed when we entered confederation. Take this great province of Ontario with its vast resources ; every day we hear of new discoveries of minerals. It is the same in the province of Quebec. Their resources are illimitable. Priuce Edward Island is a province dependent altogether upon agriculture, and we will probably never be a great manufacturing country because we are shut out, as was stated by the gentlemen who were present at the conference in 1804, for six months in the year, by reason of the isolation which results from our being an island. There may be a time when we will be able perhaps to increase our population by a small amount when we get our tunnel,"but until that time comes I do not see any hope that our population will increase in proportion to the population of the other provinces of Canada, and I think, for the reasons which were given by the gentlemen who were present at the confrence of 1864 at Quebec, by reason of the facts which were adduced before the Privy Council by the Attorney General of Canada when he argued the ease for Prince Edward Island, and by reason of the other facts which have been stated to this House by my bon. friend from St. John (Mr. Daniel) and by other hon. gentlemen who have spoken during the last two sessions upon this subject, immediaate relief should be given to the maritime province by the government of Canada.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION OF THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Permalink
CON

Alexander Martin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. MARTIN (Queens, P.E.I.).

Mr. Speaker, this has been a profitable subject of discussion in this House since the days of confederation. I do not know that any subject lias created greater differences of opinion than the subject of confederation which we have before us to-day. I have with some little care, looked over the discussions of that day and I find that there were very great divergencies of opinion on the subject. George Brown, representing the large province of Ontario, was the great apostle of the principle of representation Mr. A. A. McBEAN.

by population. One of the greatest men of that day who hoped to round off confederation, Sir A. T. Galt, when the province of Prince Edward Island was taken into confederation, tried to consolidate the province. The province had held out strongly from entering into the confederation with a small representation. I have here some of the resolutions that were offered at that time. Sir A. T. Galt moved this resolution,

That the unit of representation be reduced and that the number of members for Upper Canada be ninety-nine, for Lower Canada, seventy-four, for Nova Scotia, twenty-one, for New Brunswick, seven, for Newfoundland, eight, and for Prince Edward Island, six.

That resolution was discussed at some length and, I will quote a few of the remarks that Sir A. T. Galt made in support of it. He said :

We have supposed that the population of Lower Canada, being tolerably equable in its character, would afford the best basis. But having respect to the rapid increase of Upper Canada, -we think the lower provinces should not be reduced if they do not increase in the same ratio.

I think that bears on the question to-day. That was the statement of Sir A. T. Galt, one of the fathers of confederation, a man who had done more, I think, to round off and complete confederation than any other with the exception, perhaps, of Sir George Cartier, Sir John Macdonald and a few others whose names I need not mention. Mark his words :

Do you think the lower provinces should not be reduced if they do not increase in the same ratio. Therefore the lower provinces would have the same as they have now unless in the very improbable case of any one falling off five per cent.

But the Hon. George Brown was not of the same opinion. Although Quebec and Ontario were united before confederation these two provinces had divergent views on many public questions and they never got along well together, and while Sir A. T. Galt held these views the Hon. George Brown, representing the great province of Ontario differed from him, and he moved a resolution in amendment to the motion of Sir A. T. Galt, to the effect that Upper Canada should have eighty-two members, Lower Canada sixty-five members, Nova Scotia nineteen members. New Brunswiick fifteen members, Newfoundland seven members, and Prince Edward Island six members. The disagreement between these two gentlemen shows that there was no great unanimity among the fathers of confederation as to fixing the representation. George Brown speaking in favour of his resolution said :

The practical result would be that while lower Canada certainly will not be less and the lower provinces may increase in population-

The central idea then was that the maritime provinces would increase in population. They at that time held a very prominent position ; they had resources in fisheries, mines, minerals, and agriculture and the central idea was that they would rapidly increase in population. Why they did not increase is a question for great speculation. And, Sir, the reason the maritime provinces have not increased in that rapid ratio that was anticipated hy George Brown and others is because the maritime provinces sipce confederation have not held the position it was supposed they would hold. Newfoundland refused to join confederation and compare her position to-day with the position of the maritime provinces. Newfoundland has made more progress out of the union than Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have made in the union ; Newfoundland has done more to make her fisheries a success than has been the case in any of the maritime provinces. I tell this House that you may ask Newfoundland to joint the union as much as you like, hut the record of progress in Newfoundland as compared with the record in the maritime' provinces will keep her out of confederation, and you have not terms enough to offer to induce her to join. If you expect Newfoundland to come into the union, for one thing you will have to act more generously with respect to the representation of the maritime provinces. George Brown continued to say :

-the lower provinces may increase in population; they cannot decrease in the number of representatives.

That was what the people of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia then believed hut that belief has not been justified by the events. One can hardly realize the time that has been spent in this House discussing this prolific question, and it is a question which will never be settled satisfactorily until a remedy is applied. Now, Sir, I purpose quoting the opinions of some other representatives from my province at the time the union was consummated, all of which go to show the importance 'attached to this matter by the people of the maritime provinces generally. The first confederation conference was held in Charlottetown, but Prince Edward Island did not enter the union at confederation, and I wish for ft few moments to refer to the views of the representatives of my province at that time. Here are some of the views expressed at that conference by gentlemen representing Prince Edward Island. I will not read the whole of them, but I will quote enough to show the great stress they placed on that province having a fair representation in this House. Some of those gentlemen were very prominent in their own province-such men as Colonel Grey. Mr. Haviland, Mr. Palmer, Edward Whalen and James Pope. Everybody who

knows anything about the history of Prince Edward Island knows that these men were men of no small calibre. Mr. Haviland said :

Prince Edward Island would rather be out of confederation than consent to this motion.

The motion .was to give Prince Edward Island a representation of five members. Mr. Palmer, who was afterwards Chief Justice of the province, said :

Our trade and revenue are rapidly increasing. Why give up so great certainties for an uncertain benefit where we have only a feeble voice. Looking first at the larger provinces, Canada has secured to herself a greater number of representatives than she had before. It may be said that we may join with the other maritime provinces in any matter affecting our common interests but even then our united strength would still be far below Canada's number of representatives.

On the same day that Mr. Palmer spoke, Sir Alexander Galt said :

. It would be a matter of the greatest regret that any difficulty should arise over this matter We request the Prince Edward Island delegates to reconsider their decision. It would be a matter of reproach to ns that the smallest colony should leave us.

Another who spoke on the same occasion was Mr. Whelan. Every one acquainted with the history of the maritime provinces knows something of the life of Edward Whalen. He began his studies in Halifax under the tuition of Mr. Howe, one of the most eminent men Nova Scotia ever produced, the man who did the most to introduce responsible government into that province; and Edward Whalen came over to Prince Edward Island and Introduced responsible government there, and his name is revered in that province from one end of it to the other. He broke up what was known as the family compact and established one of the most popular governments that ever existed in Prince Edward Island. Here is what he said :

We are in an isolated position. Our resources are large and our people would not be content to give up their present benefits for the representation of five members. It may be said that the confederation will go on without Prince Edward Island, and that we shall eventually be forced in. Better, however that than that we should willingly go into the confederation with that representation.

I am going to quote next the views of a man perhaps equally eminent, Colonel Grey, a man who as a statesman occupied a position perhaps second to none in Prince Edward Island, and who was honoured with great distinction. He said ;

I am instructed by my co-delegates to say that the provision of five members is unsatisfactory. Prince Edward Island is divided longitudinally in three counties, each return-

ing ten members (that is, to the local legislature.) But they have always been opposed to change in representation. You cannot divide the three counties into the five members.

I do not wish to tire the House, but this matter having come up, I think it my duty to place before the House these views. I am next going to quote Mr. Pope. I suppose every one at all conversant with the history of Canada knows something about the late James Pope. He was Minister of Marine and Fisheries in this country for a number of years, and was a man of great power and influence in his province. I do not know that there was one man, or even two or three men combined, who had as much influence in that province at one time as he. He was a practical man, a man of large vision, a man imbued with a desire to promote the best interests of his country and his province. This is what he said :

I agree with all that has been said by Colonel Grey and Mr. Coles.

I am going to refer to Mr. Coles. The most popular government we ever had in Prince Edward Island was a government known as the Coles and Whalen administration. They were Liberals of the old time and the old type. It was one of the most popular administrations and introduced some of the most advanced legislation ever known in the province of Prince Edward Island. The administration of Coles and Whalen did more for Prince Edward Island than any we ever had there. The names of Coles and Whelan will live in the hearts and memory of the people of that province for many years to come. They took hold of the educational question at that time. Coles and Whalen introduced a system of free education many years before it was ever thought of in any other part of Canada. We had a system of free education in the island, introduced by the government of Coles and Whelan, when such a system was not to be found in any other part of Canada. As far back as 1858, knowing that the youth of the province could never make any progress without an education, that government said : We will lay a tax on the land and provide a fund which will give a free education to every boy and girl in the province. And I do not know that at that time there was any other province in Canada so far advanced in education as the province of Prince Edward Island. The youth of that province rapidly took advantage of that system, and you will find in every part of the world, in every part of Canada and the United States, men from Prince Edward Island at the head of affairs, always associated with progress. Need I mention the names of Sir William Macdonald, of Montreal, Dr. Andrew Mc-Phaii, of McGill College, Professor Schur-man, of Cornell University. Time would Mr. MARTIN (Queen's, P.E.I.).

fail me to give a list of the men from; Prince Edward Island prominent in banking and commerce and in every thing that makes for progress. And these men will, I believe, admit that their great incentive was the educational system introduced by Coles and WThalen. At that time the gov-ernmept led by Coles and Whalen introduced an Act to release the' tenantry of that province from the oppression of landlordism. Landlordism had hold of that province. But the government of Coles and Whalen introduced what is known as the Fifteen Year Purchase Act. They practically made the tenants of the island free. These tenants are practically freeholders to-day. I merely refer to this to give emphasis to the opinions expressed by Mr. Pope. Mr. Pope said :

I agree in all that has been said by Col. Grey and Mr. Coles.

That was the late Hon. George Coles who led one of the most popular governments of Prince Edward Island. [DOT]

But the circumstances of Prince Edward Island are such that I hope the conference will agree to give it such a number as we can divide amongst our three constituencies. Nature as well as the original settlement of the island has made three counties and it would give rise to much difficulty if we have to adjust five members of the three counties. I cannot ask it as a matter of right, but one of expediency, as one without which it is impossible for us to carry the measure in Prince Edward Island. I therefore ask for six members.

Mr. Haviland. I fully agree with Mr. Pope.

I may quote one other gentleman. You know, Mr. Speaker, that there are only today two living out of the great galaxy of bright and able men who gather at the board to form confederation. One of them is Sir Charles Tupper and the other is the Hon. Senator A. A. Macdonald. Both men are very vigorous and healthy for their age. I have here the views which were expressed by these men at that time and as they are the views of men living to-day, I am sure they will have some force with the First Minister. I trust that something will be done to restore to Prince Edward Island what was taken from her very unjustly. The Hon. A. A. Macdonald, then a member of this House and now a Senator, spoke as follows :

We are not bound by the principle of representation by population laid down in Charlottetown. Our constituents will say and will speak of the increased representation of Canada and the decreased representation of the lower provinces.

There was the point at which the discussion rose. Later on Canada was very anxious that the province of Prince Edward Island should join confederation. The im-

perial parliament was also very anxious that it should. Our neighbours to the south then did not display that agreeableness which we thought necessary for good relations, and the imperial government wisely considered that the Canadian provinces should be united. But what followed? When those representatives reached Ottawa, there was an administration known in Prince Edward Island as the Haythorne administration. Mr. Haythorne was one of the delegates sent to Ottawa to try and negotiate terms. One of the principal elements in dispute was this one regarding representation. I have here copies of some telegrams which passed between Lieutenant Governor Robinson and Mr. Haythorne at that time. Mr. Haythorne telegraphed to the lieutenant governor on the 26th of February, 1875 :

Probably yield six representatives.

That had reference to the negotiations with Mr. Mackenzie. That was on the 26th of February, and the 6th of March, there was the following telegram :

Highly probably get six representatives.

Further on, in a document from the lieutenant governor to Mr. Haythorne on the same day, the governor says :

We hope six representatives will be conceded.

Later on he said :

Six representatives conceded.

And finally there came this one :

Six representatives conceded.

And Prince Edward Island was in the union. Prince Edward Island would not have entered the union without this. There had been negotiations for years, and the province never would have come into the union with less than six members. And the idea in the province was that Prince Edward Island was to have six members continually-there was to be no change. Why should I say that ? This world is a world of changes; there are changes every day, changes in everything.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION OF THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Permalink
LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

Tempora mutantur.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION OF THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Permalink
CON

Alexander Martin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. MARTIN.

There are changes in things temporal and things spiritual-and in things military too, I suppose the Minister of Militia (Sir Frederick Borden) would say. Well, there came a change. And why ? Is there a doubt about the law ? Was the Act of union indefinite ? Was there any doubt about it ? I believe there was grave doubt. I believe that there was such doubt about it that the present Minister of Justice (Mr. Aylesworth) accepted a retainer from Prince Edward Island to maintain before the Privy Council the right of the province to retain its six members.

I think I had the honour-or, I do not know that it was a very great honour; in fact, it was a great pain, I may say-to hear the Minister of Justice, a session or two ago (it was last session, I think) telling this parliament that Prince Edward Island had no claim to retain its six members. Why should he accept this retainer from Prince Edward Island? Does not the Minister of Justice know the law ? Does not he understand the constitution ? I suppose the constitution is written so that he who runs may read. The Minister of Justice may have run, but he could not have read very well. The hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Turgeon), a gentleman whom I respect, a gentleman who, I believe, is sincere and who is a credit to this House, made some remarks which I find it rather difficult to understand. He spoke of the constitution-he spoke of standing by the rock of the constitution. I know my hon. friend knows the constitution. I know also that he is student enough to be aware that this country has not stood by the constitution. The hon. member is ready to sacrifice New Brunswick in order to stand by the constitution, because he says that, while that province might benefit a little to-day, it would lose more some other day, and, for that reason, he would sooner stand by the constitution. It is not long since the constitution of this country was tampered with, and tampered with without any great benefit to the province of New Brunswick, and I do not know that the hon. gentleman (Mr. Turgeon) stood up in the House to maintain the constitution. It is not long since we had before this House the question of increasing the subsidies of the provinces-last year it was, I believe. The question came up in regard to the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, the two wealthiest provinces of Canada. The constitution said that they were to receive 80 cents per head of the population of 1861, and no more. Did they stand by the constitution in that ? No. And there was no such thing as appealing to the Privy Council, no such thing as giving the Minister of Justice a retainer to assist in interpreting the constitution. Not at all; for these provinces were to receive a great advantage. And I want to ask the hon. member for Gloucester, in all seriousness and generosity-for he is a gentleman whom I respect-a question which I think he will admit is a fair one. The constitution was changed so that, instead of receiving 80 cents per head of the population of 1861, these provinces were to receive 80 cents per head of the population of last year and on the increased population from time to time, and these provinces profited by this to the extend of over $1,000,000 a year. How much did my hon friend's own province get out of it? I question very much if it got a dollar.

Mr. TURGEON Same proportion.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION OF THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Permalink
CON

Alexander Martin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. MARTIN.

No proportion about it -they did not receive a dollar, and do not stand to receive many dollars for a great many years. And I will tell you the reason why. These two great provinces were equal to the occasion, as has been said, and as I myself said some time ago. They were very anxious to have these changes. There was no such thing as sending this to the Privy Council or retaining the Minister of Justice. Not at all; they simply said : We will snap the constitution, we will tear it to ribbons, we will treat it as so much waste paper. And why ? Because the province of Nova Scotia was getting the support of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), the province of Quebec was getting the support of the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), and the province of Ontario-well I suppose they gave it to that province in expectation of favours to come, in which I think they will be disappointed. Well, my province got nothing. My kon. friend's province got nothing, and still the hon. gentleman says that he is standing by the rock of the constitution. Mr. Speaker, if you will take up the little book containing the rules of this House, containing also the British North America Act and amendments thereto, you will find a statute known as 34-5 Vic., chap. 28, ' An Act respecting the establishment of provinces in the Dominion of Canada.' Here is a clause to which I would like the Minister of Justice, if he were in his place, to give some attention:

The parliament of Canada may from time to time, with the consent of the legislature of any province of the said Dominion, diminish or otherwise alter the limits of such province, upon such terms and conditions as may he agreed to by the said legislature, and may, with the like consent, make provision respecting the effect and operation of any such increase, or diminution, or alteration of territory in relation to any province affected thereby. I

I am not a lawyer, and I would like to have some of my legal friends interpret that clause. But it is so clear that I think it is sufficient to call attention to it. Here is another amendment, 38 and 39 Vic. chapter 38: An Act to remove certain doubts with respect to the powers of the parliament of Canada under section 18 of the British North America Act.' Now, Mr. Speaker, I call attention to this fact, that here thev amended the constitution because there were some doubts about it. Well, were there no doubts in regard to the interpretation of the British North America Act respecting the representation of Nova Scotia? And there were not very grave doubts, graver than in any other case, in regard to my own province? Did they proceed in the same way, by amending the constitution ? Oh, no. They said : We will send that over to England, and we will send the Minister of Justice, or the gentleman who has become Minister of Justice, Mr. TTJRGEON.

with it, so that we may be sure that you will lose your case. Well, here is another amendment, 49 and 50 Vic, chapter 35 :

An Act respecting the representation in the parliament of Canada of territories which for the time being form part of the Dominion of Canada, but are not included in any province.

I do not see- that there is even a doubt in this case, but they are going to amend the constitution and put something in it that is not in. In the other case they' are going to amend it because there are some doubts about it. When it becomes convenient to them to trample on the liberties of the people of a small province, oh, then they send it to the Privy Council in England, and they get an eminent lawyer to plead the case, and of course we know that you will lose it. But in the other instance, they amend the British North America Act. Well. I do not think it necessary for me to dwell on this question, because it must be apparent to almost every man that we are not getting the same kind of treatment as the other provinces. I was looking over the constitution to see if there was any amendment in regard to that. You will remember, Mr. Speaker, section 92 of the British North America Act, and if you will turn it up you will see that some questions are left under the control of the legislatures of the different provinces. Now, here is one to which I call attention because it bears directly on the question under discussion. Under section (10) we find among the exclusive powers of the legislatures:

Lines of steam or other ships, railways, canals, telegraphs and other works and undertakings connecting the province with any other or others of the provinces, or extending beyond the limits of the province.

Now, Mr. Speaker, if you look over the estimates you will find that the government is violating every item in that clause, violating it every day, violating it even without going to the trouble of passing an Act to amend the British North America Act. Why, there are telegraph lines in Nova Scotia galore, you will find one in every little corner of the province. There are telegraph lines all over the country which this constitution says belong exclusively to the jurisdiction of provincial legislatures. Take the next item, railways. We know that previous to 1883 no subsidies were granted to railways which did not extend beyond the limits of one province. But what do we see to-day? The smallest railway, wholly within one province, perhaps connecting two small villages together, is constructed by this parliament; and they come here and add to the Bill the words * for the general advantage of Canada.' So they jump over the constitution and trample it under foot ; but when it comes to a question of treating a small province with justice, oh, then we find that the

constitution is a very sacred thing, and we cannot tamper with the constitution.

Now. Mr. Speaker, I hope I have said enough to convince the House that this question is not going to subside, this question will be kept to the fore as long as there is a government in Canada until a remedy is provided. I tell you that this is a burning question in every one of those provinces ; it is a burning question in my province. When this question was up not very long ago I remember the Prime Minister suggested a remedy, and I have given it a little consideration. We know that in the United States Senate the smallest state has an equal representation with the largest [DOT]state. If I remember right, and if I do not, I hope the Prime Minister will correct me, he said that that idea was worthy of consideration, and that perhaps it would be well to give the smaller provinces increased representation in the Senate and thereby increase the influence which they would have in this parliament. Perhaps it may be; I do you know. X do not know that it would satisfy the people because we believe in the principle of responsible government. But, I am of the opinion that the Senate is a most useful body, a body that I would not wish to be done away with, a body that, in some respects, is far more independent than the House of Commons, raised up, as it is, above the turmoil of questions which may arise suddenly and which may cause a wavering in the public mind. I believe that the Senate is a more independent body. I am a member of the House of Commons and members of the House of Commons are very often governed by those who send them here. Sometimes the public will may not be the correct one. I think that generally it is pretty nearly correct although it may not be sometimes. It has erred and it may err again. It has erred in every part of the world. A body which will revise hasty legislation is a useful body, and if the premier would consent to equalize the representation in the Senate it would to some extent remedy the grievance, although T do not say that it would be entirelv satisfactory.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION OF THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Permalink
CON

Alfred Alexander Lefurgey

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. A. LEFURGEY (Prince Edward Island).

Mr. Speaker, after the very exhaustive discussion of the subject to which we have listened, by the hon. gentlemen who have preceded me, I do not propose to occupy very much of the time of the House. I Was here in 1903 when this question of representation was before the House and I at that time made as strenuous objection as I was capable of against the treatment which was being accorded Prince Edward Island in again reducing her representation to four members. It was objected by the government and by the right hon. first minister (Sir Wilfrd Laurier) that, as on several other occasions, we had allowed our representation to be reduced without any

apparent objection from the then members of Prince Edward Island, there could be no valid reason why it should not again be reduced upon that occasion. In so far as that 'argument is concerned it has very little weight. In 1882, when Prince Edward Island was entitled to only five representatives in the House, according to the unit of population, we were accorded our six representatives. Why was it that 'at that time the interpretation as to representation by population, within the strict letter of the terms of union, was not insisted upon ? Was not that a sufficient precedent that the terms upon which Prince Edward Island came into confederation were not to be interpreted in the manner in which they have been, but were to be interpreted in the manner that I have contended for ever since I have been a member of this House ?! Because representatives from Prince Ed-: ward Island and members of the legislature! of Prince Edward Island saw fit not to! protest against a reduction of representation is no reason whv the wrong which was done should not be rectified at the present time. The legislature of Prince Edward Island had presented to it a statement in the speech of His Honour the Lieu tenan't Governor dated March 19, 1903, in reference to this matter of representation in the following terms :

At the opening of the provincial legislature on March 19, 1903, the lieutenant governor referred to this matter of representation as follows :

The claims of this province that its representation under British North America Act, in the Dominion House of Commons should not be reduced below the number of members conceded to it at the time of our entry into confederation, have been pressed upon the federal government by my premier and representatives of my administration, and I feel confident that the province will be given an opportunity to establish its rights in this respect.

And the mover of the address in reply to the speech from the Throne spoke strongly on this matter. His opening remarks were :

We now come to the question of representation, this is to-day a most important question. In the very near future the Dominion parliament will be called upon to discuss a Redistribution Bill, and the House would be derelict in its duty if it should allow the central government to perpetrate another such error as inflicted on this province in 1891 without the strongest protests.

A false intei'pretation was put on our terms of union by the Dominion government, the words: 'the representation to be re-adjusted from time to time under the provisions of the British North America Act, 1867 ' were torn from their contest and made to do duty as law. Mr Speaker, these words do not apply and never have applied to this province by right-it was an iniquity and we should deny it and defy it.

What, Sir, are the principles laid down in the various Acts of confederation; is there one

essential principle or are there two distinct standards of representation, let us see. In 1861 a basis of confederation was adopted by the Quebec conference, in which the principle of representation was laid down, that principle was accepted after a time by the province of Ontario. Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, but it was not accepted- by us. We stood out for another standard and after a long fight we succeeded in securing a representation of six members for 95,000 of a population, this Sir, is quite another rule, and it is a rule of principle that has been acknowledged, accepted and applied to other provinces before and since that time, notably to Manitoba and British Columbia. One of the greatest obstacles to the scheme of confederation with this island was the insistence of the Canadian statesmen that representation by population should be part of the terms, while our people were quite as insistent of having not less than six members regardless of population.

Here was a protest from the provincial legislature at that time, and because other provincial legislatures had not seen fit to protest against the wrongs done to our province under the previous redistributions is Jio argument to be used by the right hon. first minister that they had acquiesced in it. In fact, we could not acquiesce in a situation of that kind without passing an Act in this House, in the provincial legislature and in the imperial parliament as we did In the ease of the subsidies. In the case of the subsidies it was put up to us in the opposite way because the representatives of Prince Edward Island had accepted the resolutions regarding the subsidies, therefore it was not in the mouths of the representatives of Prince Edward Island in this House to protest. The hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) speaking with regard to the increase in the subsidy, said that because the representatives from Prince Edward Island at tihe conference had accepted the terms, we, therefore, 'as representatives of that province in the Dominion House of Commons, have no word to say about it. Of course it was, to my mind, a most ludicrous position in which to place the members of this House. What was the attitude of the right hon. first minister when a question of this kind was up jin 1892 with regard to the province of British Columbia ? At that time there was some grave doubt expressed as to the interpretation of the clause under which British Columbia came into confederation, as to whether or not she retained the representation that was given to her when she entered confederation. What do we find the right hon. first minister saying in 1892 upon that occasion when he was plain Mr. Laurier and when he was standing up for fair play to tihe smaller provinces of the Dominion ? We find that it was then a different story altogether. Speaking with reference to the reduction of representation with regard to British Columbia he said.:

But at the same time I am taken by surprise by the objection raised, for it has always been 'Mr. LEFUR.GEY.

understood that British Columbia was entitled to six members.

Further on he says :

I have always understood that British Columbia was entitled to six members until such time as she was entitled to a larger number, but that she should never have a smaller number than six. For my part I would be very sorry to come * to any conclusion which would deprive British Columbia of that which the people supposed themselves to be their right.

Now. the case of British Columbia is on all fours with the case of Prince Edward Island, and if the right hon. gentleman wanted to treat this 'as a matter of fair play and justice he had only to refer ' back to the words he uttered in 1892 and if, to use his own words, he had given to the people of Prince Edward Island ' that which the people supposed themselves to be their right ' the case would have been easily settled. The whole history of the case, the speeches made at the conference, the speeches which have been made in the House of Commons by the representatives of Prince Edward Island, the speeches which have been made in the local legislature of Prince Edward Island and all the evidence we can get as bearing upon the terms of confederation go to show that the representatives at the conference at that time were absolutely convinced that they had six members |u perpetuity, We have had several expressions from the right hon. first minister and also from the Minister of Justice that would lead us to believe that in their opinion, while the representatives of Prince Edward Island expected that they were getting six members at that time, they did not have it in their minds that they were going to get them for 'all time to come. The Minister of Justice, speaking on this question in 1906-7, at page 2100 of ' Hansard ' sad :

The contrast between the language I have read in regard to Prince Edward Island and that which had been used- in the case of British Columbia only two years before, coupled with the circumstance that at that time Prince Edward Island was not, upon the strict basis of population, entitled to six members, but barely to five, makes it to my mind irresistible that the thing about which they were stipulating, and about which alone the parties then negotiating were thinking, was the population at that time, and the representation at that time and the number of representatives in this House with which the island should enter the union.

I do not for a moment mean to suggest that there was at that time present in the mind of the representatives of Prince Edward' Island the expectation that the island would 20 or 30 years later find itself in the position it is in to-day.

Well, I will endeavour to show that it was in the minds of the representatives of Prince Edward Island and very distinctly

in their minds, that in time to come the increased unit of representation in Quebec would be such that Prince Edward Island would be practically without representation in this House. The strong appeal made against the island going into confederation was based on the question of its not receiving six members in perpetuity. Sir Wilfrid Laurier apparently had the same idea as the Minister of Justice for on page 2196 of 'Hansard' 1906-1907, he said:

One thing is plain and that is that when the lathers of confederation framed the British North America Act they never contemplated there should he any discrepancy in the future career of the several provinces. They were of opinion that the provinces would march forward with equal pace and that as decade after decade passed the rate of progress would be found to be about the same in all.

That was not the case in connection with the entrance of Prince Edward Island into the union, and if the right hon. gentleman would familiarize himself with the language used by the Prince Edward Island representatives at the conference he will find they never contemplated that the island would go forward decade after decade in the same ratio of population as the pivotal province of Quebec. Speaking on a resolution introduced by the leader of the government, the Hon. J. C. Pope, against confederation and the terms of the statute, Mr. Duncan said:

Nothing could be more unjust to Prince Edward Island than representation on the basis of population as laid down by that scheme according to which Canada would have 100 representatives in the House of Commons more than the aggregate of all the colonies; the number assigned to us being only five Kepresentation on that basis might do well enough for Canada but as respects Prince Edward Island it would be nothing other than mere mockery.

The right hon. gentleman will find that Mr. Duncan did not contemplate that in the thirty years after confederation Prince Edward Island would go forward in the same ratio as Quebec and the other larger provinces. Does any one suppose that these representatives of Prince Edward Island were contending for representation only until the next decennial census ? Were they not contending for the broad principle, that for all time to come Prince Edward Island would have a representation of six members in the House of Commons. Every thing in connection with the history of the entrance of Prince Edward Island into confederation points to the fact that her representatives were contending for the broad principle of six members in perpetuity. It is not comprehensible that the island would have stayed out of confederation from 1867 to 1873 upon this one point, if the people of the island expected that 312

the population of their province would increase in the same ratio as that of the other provinces. They felt that in the following thirty years their representation would be decreased to five members, and eventually to four, and that is why they contended for a fixed representation of six members. It is only reasonable to suppose that these gentlemen foresaw what would happen and that they were endeavouring to safeguard the position of their province for all time to come. Mr. Pope used these words :

Among these objections I may mention the principle of representation by population. The statistics of Quebec warrant the belief that in a few years the population will be so increased by the introduction of the tide of immigration that the island would lose in the halls of confederation even the small voice * it raised at its entrance to the union.

Do you think that a man of Mr. Pope's ability would view the horizon in the limited scope that the right hon. gentlemen, the Prime Minister seems to think. These men knew that the population of the island would not increase in the same ratio as the population of the other provinces and they supposed they were protecting the is-island in her representation for all time to come. Mr. Howlan said :

The fact is best shown by illustration. Prince Edward Island with a population of say 85,000 it is said to have five representatives at the start. Suppose she increases at the rate of 20 per cent each 10 years, at the end of 20 years the population would be 126 000, but at the same rate of progress the population of Lower Canada would be 1,596,000 which divided by 65 would give one representative to every 2i,550 people, so that the island would not be able to claim an increased membership.

Here Mr. Howlan prophesied what actually has taken place. The unit of representation at the last decennial census was a little over 25,000 and Mr. Howlan in the speech he made before confederation pointed out exactly what has occurred. There is no doubt in the world that up to the very last moment the contention of the representatives of Prince Edward Island was that their province should have a fixed representation of six members in perpetuity. The whole history of the entrance of Prince Edward Island into the union goes to show that the construction placed upon the terms of the union by the House and by the Supreme Court and by the Privy Council, was not the construction the people of Prince Edward Island intended should be placed on these terms. I tell the right hon. gentleman that the case of Prince Edward Island should never have gone beyond the walls of this parliament, and that the right hon. gentleman was not fair to the province of Prince Edward Island when he sent the case to

the Supreme Court and the Privy Council. He was no more justified in doing that than he would in referring the question of provincial subsidies or any other alteration of the terms of the British North America Act to the courts, and declined to leave the responsibility with this parliament. This clause in the Act of union with Prince Edward Island should have been interpreted by this parliament But the Prime Minister, because Prince Edward Island is a small province and has not the same strength in this House as the larger provinces, referred the case to the law courts, whereas if a more powerful province were interested he would have left this parliament to decide. Had a case arisen where there was any ambiguity or doubt as to the interpretation of a similar clause with regard to the larger provinces of the Dominion, the case would never have gone outside this parliament, and the right hon. gentleman and his supporters would have interpreted it, as he has declared such cases should be interpreted according to the intention of the province at the time of entrance into confederation. A few years ago the Minister of Justice speaking in this House compared the case of British Columbia as being on all fours with the case of Prince Edward Island, except that in the British Columbia Act the word * increased ' was used while in the Prince Edward Island Act the word used was ' readjusted '. I submit to the good sense of the House, the Prime Minister should have applied to Prince Edward Island the principle he enunciated when he said in referring to British Columbia in 1892 : For my part I would be sorry to come to any conclusion to deprive British Columbia of that which the people supposed to be right. In the light of all the evidence, the case of Prince Edward Island should have been settled in this House when the right hon. gentleman was leader of the government in 1903, on the same principle as he declared should be the case when defending British Columbia in 1892. When negotiations for a number of years had failed to bring about the entrance of Prince Edward Island into confederation, there was a conference, and a number of messages were exchanged between the representative of the province at Ottawa and the lieutenant governor and the local government in Prince Edward Island, and I probably cannot do better than read those telegrams. On the 26th of February Mr. Haythorne, who was the representative of Prince Edward Island sent this message to the Lientenant Governor of Prince Edward Island :

Probably yield six representatives.

The matter was then under consideration. On the 6th of March this telegram was sent by Mr. Haythorne :

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION OF THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Permalink
CON

Alfred Alexander Lefurgey

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEFURGEY.

Highly probably get six representaties.

We have a telegram from the Lieutenant-Governor of the same date :

We hope six representatives will be conceded.

Later on the same day Mr. Haythorne wires his colleague in the government, Mr Edward Palmer :

Six representatives conceded.

Thus you find, nine years after the question had been first mooted, and six years after confederation had taken place, the point for which Prince Edward Island had contended was yielded, and she came in on the understanding that she was getting six representatives in perpetuity. I could go on and quote further from the people who were representing Prince Edward Island at those different conferences, and perhaps clear up the mists that seem to have settled on the government side of the House as to what the real intentions of the parties were at the different conferences. A debate arising upon a resolution in the Prince Edward Island legislature as to the representation of Prince Edward Island in this House, Mr. Palmer said :

Why give up so great certainties where we have only a feeble voice ? -

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION OF THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Permalink
?

Mr. WHALEN@

Our people would not be content to give up their present benefits for the representation of five members. It may be said that confederation will go on without Prince Edward Island, and that we should eventually be forced in. Better, however, that, than that we should willingly go into confederation with that representation.

COLONEL GREY. The provision of five members is unsatisfactory. Prince Edward Island is divided longitudinally into three counties. We cannot divide three counties into five members. Besides, to divide it into ridings would cut the capitals in two.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION OF THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Permalink
LIB

David Wesley Bole

Liberal

Mr. COLE.

Mr. Galt has proposed six members for Prince Edward Island. I approve that rather than Mr. Browns motion, because it allows us to give our counties two members each. .

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION OF THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Permalink
?

Rufus Henry Pope

Mr. POPE.

The circumstances ot Prince Edward Island are such that I hope the conference will agree to give us such a number as we can divide amongst our three constituencies. Nature as well as the original settlement of the island has made three counties, and it would give rise to much difficulty if ^we had to adjust five members to three counties. 1 cannot ask it as a matter of right but as one of expediency, as one without which it is impossible for us to carry the measure in Prince Edward Island.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION OF THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Permalink
?

Mr. HAVILAND@

Prince Edward Island would rather be out of confederation than consent to the motion. We would have no status, only five members out of 194 would give the island no position.

Now, why were all the men talking of giving two representatives to each of tjie three counties 0f Prince Edward Island if

they were expecting that every ten years those counties would be carved up again, and that they were not getting six members for the province in perpetuity ? The right hon. leader of the government knows this ; and if he has not abandoned the position of fair play he assumed in 1907,1 can appeal to him on this occasion. He hoped that the different provinces of the maritime provinces would go on and increase their population and regain their representation. This is what he said, as will be found at page 2196 of ' Hansard ' of 1906-7 :

If unfortunately my anticipation should not be correct; if unfortunately these provinces should not regain their lost ground, and if as has been said by some the representation of Prince Edward Island should come to the vanishing point. I have no doubt whatever that all the other provinces would only be too glad to come to the rescue and make the necessary provision to give that province the standing it occupied when it entered confederation. I say this to show that the remedy which is sought by my hon. friend (Mr. Hughes) to-day is an extreme one, and one which ought to be reserved as a last resort, if it shall be found that nothing else can be done.

If the right hon. gentleman anticipates that when Prince Edward Island gets to the vanishing point, we shall get back the representation we had at confederation, why delay till that time the doing of justice to Prince Edward Island ? It is simply a case of delayed justice. If the right hon. gentleman believes that the government at that time will step in and do justice to the province by putting us back to the place we occupied at confederation, why does he not move the will of his government to give us that justice at the present time ? I do not see how the right hon. gentleman can escape from that position. And during all that time we would have a disunited Dominion and a dissatisfied province in regard to her representation. When this subject was up a few years ago. the right hon. gentleman suggested that the proper method of bringing it forward was by some sort of address to the Throne. I cannot see why such an address as was submitted by the hon. member for Kings (Mr. J. J. Hughes) upon that occasion, if it were properly worded, should not have, as I believe it would have, the support of this House. Now, this question is one of very great importance to our province, and the Prime Minister himself regards it as such. He wanted to see the case argued out in 1906. He then said :

I understand that several members desire to speak on the question who are not present. It is one of great importance, and the government has no objection to an adjournment.

My hon. friend, the leader of the opposition (Mr. It. L. Borden) also said :

The subject is one of great importance and it is desired it should be discussed and brought 312i

to a conclusion. Therefore I trust the adjournment does not mean that we shall not hear any more of it. i

We did not hear any more of it that year but it was brought up last session, and I hope the First Minister is still of the opinion lie entertained then. The matter is one of paramount importance to Prince Edward Island and also, though in a lesser degree, to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The case of Prince Edward Island stands on much stronger grounds than theirs, and I trust the right hon. gentleman will not see this debate pass without expressing himself on the question and giving us some idea as to what action he intends taking to do justice to our province. If I can judge from the expressions he has used on several occasions in this House, I do not very well see how he can get up and throw cold water on the case which has been made out this afternoon.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION OF THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Permalink
?

Mr. O. S.@

CROCKET (York, N.B.) I

hardly know whether to say I am or am not surprised at the silence of the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Pugsley) on this question, because I am bound to say that those of us who are familiar with the political career and the methods of that hon. gentleman would require a great deal on his part to surprise us. I

say this in view of the position which that minister took on this question before his transference to the federal cabinet. There is no doubt that he professed a very profound interest in it for two or three years before he became a member of this government, an interest, I may say, which he valued as worth to the people of New Brunswick, $5,000, for that is the amount he took from the provincial treasury for his services in connection with the endeavour to obtain for the province of New Brunswick its rights in respect of its representation in this House-the same amount, which he obtained from-the treasury of New Brunswick for his services in connection with the eastern extension claim while he was Attorney General of that province. The Minister of Public Works (Mr. Pugsley) not only argued these cases before the Supreme Court of Canada and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, but after the judgment of the Privy Council disallowing the contention which he set up, he brought the matter up in the provincial legislature by a resolution which I believe my hon. friend from St. John (Mr. Daniel) has already read. Speaking to that resolution in the legislature of New Brunswick, the Minister of Public Works said :

I hope, as a result of this discussion, that members of parliament who are friendly to us, will stand up for our rights and try to do away with the injustice we have suffered in the past.

I That is the statement made by the Minister of Public Works in the legislature of

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION OF THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Permalink

C831 COMMONS


New Brunswick with reference to the duty of the New Brunswick members of this parliament.


CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

How many years ago?

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   C831 COMMONS
Permalink
CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

In the session of 1905. Yet when my hon. friend from St. John brings this matter before the House, we find the Minister of Public Works absolutely dumb. I was occupied in the Public Accounts Committee this morning and had not the pleasure of hearing my hon. friend from St. John when he introduced this subject and am consequently not able to say whether the Minister of Public Works was then in his seat. But I do know that he was in his seat fifteen or twenty minutes this afternoon while the hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Turgeon) was opposing the resolution of the hon. member for St. John (Mr. Daniel). He then left the House and has not since been seen in the chamber. This is the hon. gentleman who expressed, in so earnest and sincere a manner, in the legislature of New Brunswick, his hope that the members of parliament from that province would stand by its rights In the matter of our representation in this House and not let up until justice was obtained. In the course of the debate in the legislature of New Brunswick, I find these expressions used by the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Pugsley) :

I have faith in the sense of justice of those administering the affairs of the Dominion.

And again :

I feel that in passing this resolution we shall have done our duty, and after that the responsibility will rest with those who have the power to remedy this injustice.

The Minister of Public Works has since then become a member of the federal cabinet. He has become a colleague of those in whose faith he expressed such confidence in 1905. He is a member of that cabinet on whom, he then said, the responsibility would rest if justice were withheld from the province of New Brunswck. In view of those declarations, what can be said of the Minister of Public Works not so much as making himself heard in the course of this debate. He has been a minister of this cabinet for ten or eleven months and has sat as a member of this House for the past six or seven months without having once raised his voice on behalf of what he declared so solemnly he regarded as a matter of most vital concern to the province of New Brunswick. I must say-and I have no hesitation in expressing my surprise in this instance-that I was surprised to find my hon. friend from Gloucester (Mr. Turgeon) addressing the House this afternoon in opposition to the proposal of my hon. friend from the city of St. John. As that hon. gentleman himself said, this is a matter of the most vital concern to the Mr. CROCKET.

people of New Brunswick and has been recognized for some years past as one of the most important political questions that has been discussed in this parliment affecting the interest of the maritime provinces. I will venture to say his views are at variance with the sentiment of the entire province upon the question.

If I remember correctly, the board of trade of the maritime provinces, and the board of trade of the province of New Brunswick have both passed unanimous resolutions upon the question in favour of amendment of the British North America Act so as to provide that the representation of the maritime provinces should not be further decreased. I was not at a loss to understand upon what ground my hon. friend from Gloucester (Mr. Turgeon) opposed this proposition. As I understand him, it was because of the great admiration he had for the constitution and its framers, and his profound confidence in the resources of Canada. As my hon. friend the senior member for Queens * (Mr. A. Martin) said, the hon. member (Mr. Turgeon) took the position that he should stand by the rock of the constitution. But as my hon. friend from Queens has already pointed out, this constitution in which the hon. member for Gloucester expresses such great confidence has been amended on more than one occasion, and within the past year that constitution, on representations of this parliament was amended in its provisions respecting the subsidies to the several provinces. I did not observe my hon. friend from Gloucester at that time standing by the constitution as it was originally adopted; on the contrary he approved of the resolution which passed in this House changing the basis upon which the subsidies were appropriated to the different provinces, and changing them, as has already been shown, very much to the disadvantage of his native province of New Brunswick. At that time, I pointed out that New Brunswick came out at the small end of the horn, that it got the smallest percentage of increase of any province of the Dominion. And yet my hon. friend from Gloucester who tells us to-day that he has such a regard for the constitution as originally passed that he is willing, as a member of this House, that New Brunswick-should continue to suffer what is undoubtedly an injustice with respect to our representation here, rather than change the Act, did not raise his voice against that amendment of the constitution.

Now. as to the merits of this question, it seems to me there can be no two opinions. There can be no doubt that, although, at the confederation conference population was agreed upon as the basis of representation, as the guiding principle, yet this was expressly made subject to a limitation wb'ch is set out in subsection 4 of section 51 of the British North America Act. as follows :

On any such readjustment the number of members for a province shall not be reduced unless the proportion which the number of the Population of the province bore to the number of the aggregate population of Canada at the then last preceding readjustment of the number of members for the province is ascertained at the then latest census to be diminished by one-twentieth part or upwards.

It has already been shown by the quotations made from the proceedings of the confederation conference that the delegates representing the maritime provinces contended that there should be a provision that the representation assigned to the maritime provinc. s at the time they entered the union should not be subject to diminution. The clause which I have quoted was regarded as an absolute safeguard against that possibility. I believe that my hon friend fr m St. John (Mr. Daniel)-although i did not have the pleasure of hearing his speech-made quotations from the confederation documents proving that it was stated that if this clause were embodied in the Act there would be no possibility of the diminution of the representation of the maritime provinces in this House. That clause was accepted on that assurance and it is clear that had the conditions as they then existed and were in the minds of the confederation delegates not been altered by the admission of five new provinces and subsequent legislation with reference to which the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were not consulted, the clause would have operated to prevent any decrease in our representation down to this day. Now, that being the case, I ask could the delegates representing the maritime provinces reasonably have been expected to foresee these subsequent developments? I think it goes without saying that no man could fairly have been expected to foresee, in the year 1866 or 1867, the admission of the five provinces that have been since added to confederation and whose population has been counted in their entirety against the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the scheme of representation. There is no question that the bargain that was made between the four original provinces of confederation has been altered without the consent of these provinces. If that be so, is it unreasonable that the representatives of New Brunswick and the other maritime provinces should insist in this House upon that bargain being kept and their provinces restored to their original rights ? My hon. friend (Mr. I,e-furgey) who preceded me, quoted a section from the British North America Act providing that the boundaries of none of the provinces should be extended without the consent of the other provinces. But we know that the boundaries of the province of Quebec have since been greatly extended, so that the area of that province is now nearly double its size at the date of the consummation of the union. It has been stated in this debate that 150,000 square miles of territory has been added to the province of Quebec by virtue of the legislation of this parliament, thereby materially altering the unit of representation as laid down by the terms of the original Act Now, it was stated by my hon. friend from Gloucester as another reason for his position in this matter that the judgment of the courts had determined the case and that therefore there should be no further agitation of the question. Now, Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that is a statement which should not have come from a gentleman so intelligent and well informed as my hon. friend from Gloucester. Surely that hon. gentleman sees at once that had the judgment of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council upon this reference, been otherwise than it was, there would have been no necessity for the intervention of this parliament. If the judgment had been favourable to the contention of the provinces, then we would have had within the four corners of the Act as it now stands all we are contending for. It is for the very reason the judgment of the Privy Council is to the contrary effect that we are now asking the intervention of this parliament, and the passage of a resolution memorializing the Imperial parliament to make the amendment. Now I want to point out in this connection that the judgment of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council was based, not upon the Act as it was originally passed and accepted by the four original provinces of the confederation, but upon the subsequent amendments to the Act to which these provinces were not parties, and with reference to which they were not consulted. Last session I took occasion to examine the judgments of the several judges of the Supreme Court of Canada, and I find in them these extracts bearing upon that point. In the first place, I find this passage in the judgment of Mr. Justice Davies:

After careful consideration of the whole Act and its amendments I have concluded that the expression ' four provinces ' means and must he constructed as ' several provinces.'

That conclusion was based not upon consideration of the original Act, which embodied the agreement of the four original provinces, but upon subsequent amendments to which the original contracting parties were not privy. Further :

If any reasonable doubts did exist as to the true meaning of the sections under review, this subsequent Imperial legislation would seem to remove them.

Subsequent imperial legislation to which New Brunswick and the other maritime provinces were not parties.

Upon the whole, after careful consideration,

I am of the opinion that after the admission

of new provinces and territories into th union, the expression ' Canada and prov inces ' throughout the Act of 1867 must, unless specially restricted by the context, be necessarily given on interpretation different from that which they respectively bore before these provinces and territories were admitted.

Showing that the judgment of the court In this matter reposed entirely, not upon the orignial Act to which they were parties, but upon subsequent legislation and subsequent events. Then, in the judgment of Sir Elzear Taschereau, there is this passage :

.It may well be that the framers of the British North America Act have not foreseen or provided for every possible eventuality in the respective positions of the different provinces of the Dominion as to population or other matters; it may be that some provinces would have refused to join the union had they foreseen all the results that their adhesion to it is now ascertained to carry, but with such consideration we are not here concerned.

Of course Sir Elzear Taschereau sitting as a judge was interpreting in strictness of law the language of a statute that was before him. But I ask you. Mr. Speaker, and the members of this House, if that which iSir Elzear Taschereau said was not

Topic:   SUPPLY-CALGARY TOWN SITE.
Subtopic:   C831 COMMONS
Permalink

June 4, 1908