September 6, 1917

THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.

INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.


Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Secretary of State) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 133, intituled, "The War-time Elections Act." . He said: Mr. Speaker, this Bill is in the name of the Prime Minister; it is very much to be regretted that owing to his illness he will not be here to expound its provisions. As it is not probable that he will return to the House for some little time at least, I have been asked to make the necessary explanation in his place. The Bill is of such importance that I think a departure might well be made from the usual custom of Parliament, and that I might state very fully to the House not only the scope and purpose of the Bill, but also, in very brief terms, what we deem to be its justification. As the title would indicate, the scope of the Bill, SO' far as the period of its operation is concerned, is limited indeed. Its provisions are to operate only during the period of the present war and of demobilization thereafter. That is to say, so far as the Bill amends the Dominion Elections Act, it amends it only to cover the now apparently certain event of an election during the war or before demobilization. After that the Bill ceases to affect the Dominion Elections Act; the general law becomes the same as it was before, the same as it is today. The necessity for the Bill arises out of the precipitation of an election in time of war. But for that becoming inevitable, there would be no justification for the measure; therefore we must reflect first of all on the conditions that we find ourselves in, facing, as we do, an appeal to the electorate under the wholly unprecedented circumstances of this fearful war. The first consideration that presents itself is the absence overseas of a ls>rge section of our male population. Some 300,000 of the foremost and bravest of our sons are abroad, engaged in the strife, the turmoil, the ordeal of war. A Military Voters' Act has been passed, the purpose of which is legally to enable those men to exercise the franchise should there be a contest in their absence. In that Act machinery is provided that goes as far as Parliament can go to make it physically possible for these men to avail themselves of the electoral privilege. Nevertheless, it is inevitable that a large number of them-nobody oan say how large; it may be proportionately large, and it may not be so large as we anticipate-will not be able, no matter what machinery we have provided, to exercise that franchise. There are as well many thousands who are enlisted overseas, not in the Canadian overseas forces, but in the British forces. These men, though under the Military Voters' Act, they have, I understand, been given the right to vote, will inevitably in the main find it impossible to exercise that right. There are, besides, many thousands more who before the war were reservists in Canada-and some who were not reservists-who are to-day fighting in Europe or other continents the same battle in which we are engaged, but who are doing so as members of the Allied armies. They have not the legal right to vote; if they had it, they could not possibly exercise the franchise. An election is to be held at a time when the most deserving, the bone, sinew and virility of our country, are only partially at least enabled to take part in the contest by way of voting. There are also thousands who have fallen in battle, whose voices are stilled. There are, 'besides these, some thousands who are prisoners of war. Their voices also are silent; under no imaginable circumstances could they take advantage of the Military Voters' Act. Nor can we forget what is a more potent fact still; that each and all of the men overseas are stripped of the influence which under normal circumstances they could exert among their fellows in an election contest. Tnat personal force, that persuasive power, that electoral influence which, particularly appertaining to men of the nature of those who are overseas, is indeed a potent factor in any contest. That great factor is eliminated. On the contrary those at home-those who should be here and those at home who should not be here, are normally left in the full enjoyment of their electoral rights and



privileges, and are enabled to exercise them to exert a control over the destinies of our defenders overseas. Very briefly stated those are the main facts of the situation that confronts us, and they are sufficient, I think, to bring home to the mind of every member of this House the certain truth that on the franchise as it stands to-day, on what may be described as a peace franchise, a very grave and a very gross injustice will be done to those men. The injustice is done not only to them but it is brought home to Canada. The injustice really is done xo the Canadian nation, should an election take place on the franchise as it stands to-day, eliminating the influence of these men, eliminating entirely the voice of those who have fallen and are prisoners, eliminating entirely the voice of those who fight in the Allied forces but were formerly citizens of this country, stripping entirely thoseAnen of the personal force which they should of right exert. It is mainly to meet those conditions that the Bill, which I now have the honour to move to introduce, is brought before this House. The measure constitutes an attempt to repair, so far as Parliament can repair, the injustice which I have described as falling under present legislation on our overseas forces, and ultimately on Canada herself. The only method of Teaching a result that may be said best to represent or to re-echo the voice of our soldiers abroad is to reach their representatives at home. If the direct vote cannot be obtained, if the direct influence cannot be obtained, then the best way to repair that injustice, at all events the only way that seems available, is to reach such of their kin at home who can best be said to be likely to vote in sucn a way and to influence the electors in such a way as they themselves would do were they upon our shores. Consequently, this Bill provides a measure of woman enfranchisement which endeavours to attain that end. It will be remembered that earlier in this session the Prime Minister intimated to the House that there would be a measure of woman suffrage should an election appear in sight, a measure of woman suffrage granted under such conditions and limitations as Parliament might provide. Parliament is now facing the necessity of providing those limitations. In this connection hon. members should keep especially in mind the fact that a very substantial portion of the women of this country who are now British subjects, and who, under any general scheme of enfranchisement would be entitled to vote, have become British subjects by a process of constructive naturalizaton, by the naturalization of a parent, or by marriage. Remembering this, it seems very plain, indeed, that it would be unfair and unreasonable at this time, and under the shadow of this war, that an unlimited woman suffrage should be granted. The necessity, then, of drawing a line is at once upon us, and it has been decided, and it is embodied in this Bill, that the line so to be drawn shall be the line of service. Not only do those who are nearest of Kin to the overseas forces more likely represent in sentiment and in purpose the voice and will of those who are fighting for us, out also those whose sons, whose brothers, and whose husbands have gone to the battlefield, have given a service and made a sacrifice in this war of a character higher and greater than that which any other person is -able to give or to make. Consequently, on the ground not only of their representative capacity, but of the service and sacrifice which they have rendered, it is not unjust or unfair that those nearest of kin to our soldiers overseas should be given special recognition at this time. The Bill, therefore, provides that the wives, the widows, the mothers, the sisters, and the daughters of the members past or present of the actual overseas force shall have the right to vote -in the war-time election. This privilege does not extend to euch relatives of those of our expeditionary forces as have not gone overseas. They are still with us, and the same reasoning does not apply to them. They, of course, can vote, but their relatives are not enfranchised. The Bill has another aspect which I shall now explain. In- this country we have a substantial portion of our population who are of alien enemy birth, or alien enemy blood, or near extraction. Many of these people have been citizens of Canada for a great number of years; many of them have become accustomed to our institutions, and as years have gone by they doubtless have been more arid more divorced in sympathy from the land of'-their nativity. But, on the other hand, there are a large number who are comparatively recent arrivals in this country, and who consequently have not the same sense of Canadian and-British nationality as have we, and who cannot be expected to have wholly separated themselves from the sympathies and predispositions which governed them in the land whence they came. Furthermore, inasmuch as war service should be the basis of war franchise, -and inasmuch as from the commencement of this war, not only in Canada, but in Great Britain, it has been found undesirable and unwise to accept those of the citizens of the class I have described for the highest service of war, it does not seem unreasonable that they should not exercise, during the war, that control of our destinies which is vested in the franchise. It is in a sense unfair to those men themselves, many of whose sons and brothers are fighting in armies in Europe against us, that they should be asked to take up the real war burden and go to battle against their next of kin. It is also unfair to them that in the midst of such a war they should be called upon to determine by their vote the vigour, or the direction, which that war should take, while their next of kin and their brothers, or their sons, are fighting in the armies against us. That argument has been advanced to usbysome of this class themselves. Not only is it unfair to them that they should be asked to decide the destiny and the vigour of a war against their brothers in Europe, but it is unfair to the rest of the population that they should have the right to so decide. I am quite free to admit, that, taken all in all, those who come from alien enemy countries have, in the main, during the progress of this war, conducted themselves satisfactorily within lines of obedience to the laws of Canada. It is not based on any complaint of that kind that the principle embodied in this Bill is adopted. It is because of the reasons I have mentioned, namely, that those who cannot in the nature of things be absolutely divorced in sympathy or sentiment from the peoples from whom they come should not be permitted, in justice to the rest of the population, to exercise a measure of control over the destinies of the war against those peoples, because it would be unfair to them to ask them to go to the polls and vote on an issue which decides to a degree the vigour, the purpose and the destiny of that war. It is also because war service should be the basis of war franchise. The two should go hand in hand- the obligation and the privilege. If, for reasons special to themselves, these people are not in a position to render war service of the highest kind they should not be entitled to the franchise while the war is on. There has not occurred as yet in any great country engaged in this struggle of 343i unprecedented dimensions a general election. Where democracy governs nations in this war, it has not as yet left to individualism, by means of the ballot, the determination of the conduct of the war, save in one country alone. That country is Australia. When they were, in Australia, facing a situation such as we face to-day, but by no means as aggravated as ours, they prepared by legislation for the contest along lines similar to those of this Bill. They, however, disqualified for the war time election all of their citizens who were of alien enemy birth no matter how long they had been in Australia or how long they had been naturalized. This Bill does not go that far. This Bill disqualifies, for the war time election, those of alien enemy birth, or of other European birth and of alien enemy mother tongue or native language, who have been naturalized since the 31st March 1902. All who were naturalized prior to that date remain in the enjoyment of the exercise of the franchise. In Australia they made exceptions of any who had sons or brothers enlisted in the overseas forces engaged in the war. In Canada we allow the exception to go further and we admit to the franchise any whose sons or grandsons or brothers are enlisted in the overseas forces. There was an exception also in Australia of Armenians and Syrians known to be entirely out of sympathy with Turkey. We are making the same exception here. But, for the wider exceptions which I have named, our law in this regard follows the lines of the Australian law. Aa far as the franchise is concerned, these constitute the two fundamental changes brought about by this Bill. It is further to be noted that -whosoever is disqualified from voting by this measure is at the same time exempted entirely from combatant service in the war. Heretofore the Dominion franchise has been, in seven provinces of Canada, the provincial franchise. Whomsoever the provincial legislatures admitted to the franchise was admitted to the fran chise in a Dominion contest, save in Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Yukon. In those provinces and that territory, there has always been a Dominion franchise; that is a Dominion qualification for admission to the franchise at Dominion elections. By this Bill the provincial franchise is adopted in every province of Canada including Alberta and Saskatchewan. It cannot, of course, be adopted in the Yukon as there is no Yukon franchise.


L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Sir SAM HUGHES:

The provincial franchise?

Topic:   THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.
Subtopic:   INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.
Sub-subtopic:   ARTHUR MEIGHEN.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada; Minister of Mines; Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The provincial franchise, subject to the operation of the two principles I have described in the foregoing part of my address, is adopted in every province including Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Franchise, of course, is one thing and list making is another. The alterations in the franchise, described in that portion of the Bill dealing with the franchise which alterations I have endeavoured to explain so far, were such that there had to be variations an the elections' Act to enable the lists to be made. For example, in British Columbia and Manitoba, the lists that are now made contain the names of all women as well as of men; consequently we have addressed ourselves to the task of providing for the making a list to meet the franchise requirements*" of this legislation. In the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan there are no provincial lists and by our own Dominion Elections Act, which has been in force since 1905- indeed, I think before-the Dominion provides machinery for the making of the lists. By this Act the machinery which heretofore has been applicable only to the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan is made applicable to all those provinces where the present lists are such that new lists are necessary; namely to the four western provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and as well to Prince Edward Island. It was impossible to use any lists to be found in those provinces and consequently the machinery which has been in force for twelve years as to the provision of lists in Alberta and Saskatchewan is made applicable to the other three provinces.

This application, however, is subject to certain safeguards that have not heretofore existed. In the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan the lists are made by enumerators appointed by the Governor in Council or by returning officers, and are posted up eight days before the polling day-arid then are subject to certain revision by enumerators up to two days before the polling day when they are final, save with this proviso, that any voter can go to the polls on polling day and by taking the oath that he has the right to vote, cast his ballot in the same way as can any other voter who is on the list. That has been the law all along in these two provinces. In the province of Alberta there has been for provincial contests a partial safeguard provided

against the practice of swearing in votes on election day.

We adopt in principle the safeguard so provided, but we extend it. I shall describe that safeguard as we adopt it. Wherever a voter is not on the list as made up by the enumerator and olaims a right to vote and swears that he has a right to vote, he is on being refused able to go in and vote on election day. He is first entitled to and receives a certificate of refusal from the enumerator. He makes an affidavit of his right, His vote, however, is placed in an envelope, and on any recount, should it appear that there are enough votes placed in envelopes to affect a recount, the right to that vote is reviewed by a judge, and the vote is allowed if the voter had the right. Snch is, substantially, the safeguard that has heretofore obtained in provincial elections in Alberta,.

We, however, extend that safeguard much further. Not only may a man vote to whom the enumerator has refused a vote-his vote to go in an envelope and be afterwards judicially reviewed, but the vote of any man who is put on by an enumerator and whom the agent of .any candidate claims should not be put on may be challenged by that agent by affidavit asserting his belief that the voter has not the right to vote *and giving the reasons. If the agent does so that vote also goes in on envelope and is subject to the very 'same review. Consequently it will be seen that, while we adopt the provisions of the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta which have been in effect by Dominion legislation since 1905, we adopt safeguards against any work of the enumerator that might be objected to, with the ultimate result that the whole of the enumerator's work may, if desired, be subjected to judicial revision. It will, I think, appear to all that the objections that have heretofore been levelled, with some force, against the list-making provisions enacted in this House and applicable to Alberta and Saskatchewan, are eliminated in this Bill, and that such safeguards are provided as will render the making and operation of those lists absolutely fair.

I have covered the method so far as it applies to the four western provinces and Prince Edward Island. There are left the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, in those provinces the women are not on the list last made up. In the province of Ontario the list last made up was prepared last fall and completed, I believe, in December. It

is only a male list. That list h.a6 also been judicially reviewed according to the Ontario law, -and there is noreason for throwing it away land making a new list by enumerators. -My words in that regard apply only to the counties of Ontario and to towns up to 9,000 population. In towns over 9,000 -and in cities, there are no completed lists. Consequently, as to towns and cities in Ontario, another method of making the list has to be devised. First let me deal with the counties oc Ontario. In the counties of Ontario there is a' list covering all places except towns and cities over 9,000 population. That list has been made up a-nd was revised judicially last December.

In Quebec, in the cities of Montreal and Quebec, there are also completed lists, and in all the rest of Quebec there are lists now approaching completion, and to be completed this month. Those lists should be kept in mind in conjunction with the Ontario lists in counties, because all are treated the same. Similarly in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia there are lists now complete.

Tihe lists so made up of male voters all judicially revised in Ontario and Quebec and revised by the provincial methods in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, are by this Bill adopted, so far as they go. The only requirement as to them is to add such of the women as by this Bill are to be entitled to vote and to substract such of the men, if any, as, by reason of alienage, should not be entitled to vote. This is done by means of a system of enumeration similar to that adopted in the other provinces. The names of women are enumerated along the lines of the present Ontario Act. I am not speaking now of the cities of Ontario; I shall ask hon. members to forget the cities of Ontario until I get through with the counties of Ontario and with the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. .As regards these latter the lists are adopted and the enumeration only goes to the adding of the names of the additional women now entitled to vote and to the striking off of those who by reason of alienage, and nothing else, are disentitled to vote. That is the province and duty of the registrars or enumerators, whatever you call them, and that alone. They cannot in other respects affect Those lists.. The work of the enumerators to that extent, namely the adding of the women and the taking off of the men by reason of alienage, is subject

to the same safeguards on election day as obtain in the four western provinces and in Prince Edward Island. That is to say, any one who is taken off by the enumerator and claims -the right to vote, may, by taking the necessary oath on election day, vote, and his vote goes in an envelope; and if any one has not been put on by an enumerator and claims the right to vote -and it must be a woman of course because no one else has the right to be put on-she may go and assert her claim, and if the enumerator refuses it -she may vote and her vote goes in an envelope. The vote of any one claimed to be wrongfully put on may be challenged, and it will then go into the protested lists and be subject, as all other protested votes, to revision.

I now come to the cities of Ontario. But perhaps I should first repeat that there is no review of what has already been reviewed; that is to say, of the lists as already made up in the counties of Ontario, in Quebec, in New Brunswick, and in Nova Scotia. There is no review of those lists except, of course, so far as the work of the enumerator goes, and the enumerator has power only to add the women vote and to 'strike off by reason of alienage. He can strike off for no other cause.. That work and that alone is subject to final review by a judge. The rest of the list is already completed and revised, and that stands for jjais election.

Coming to the cities of Ontario, the lists made up for those cities are only partial. Under the Ontario law towns and cities of over 9,000 population make up what they call part one and part two, which do not ' contain the manhood suffrage voters. Consequently, those lists cannot be used in any sense as final lists, the same as in the counties in Ontario, and the lists for the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Therefore in Ontario, in cities of over

9,000, lists have to be made. The method adopted is virtually that provided by provincial legislation. Men are appointed whose duty it is, similarly as under the provincial legislation, to enumerate the voters in those cities, and to make out lists, and those lists so made out are revised immediately they are completed toy a Board of Revision, precisely the same Board of Revision as now revises in Ontario. I think it is composed of a judge and some other of the higher officers. At all events, there is judicial revision. That is to say, in towns and cities of Ontario of over 9,000, where

the lists are to be made, they are made up entirely, and they are subjected to the same judicial review as now obtains in those towns and cities under provincial legislation.

I may add further-and this applies to the whole of this list making from coast to coast-that wherever the enumerators have the duty of making up lists they are permitted by the Act to use as a basis any lists already made up, so far as they can be used. Using these, so. far as they go, as a basis, of course, is one thing, and making the lists complete is another thing.

Looking over the whole measure, so far as these list-making provisions are concerned, it has subjected the existing law to as little change as possible, and only where it is essential that such change should be made in order to get lists conforming to the franchise requirements of the Bill. Such is the spirit of the measure that there can be no lists for this contest that will not be, either before or after, in the method I have described, judicially revised.

I may add that the desire has been-and if the Bill does not fully carry out that desire, amendments to that end will be-welcomed-that all provision for list-making shall be absolutely fair, and that no party advantage shall be taken. We have to make provision- for the making of these lists within such reasonable time as will make the period of the election contest not unconscionably long. Consequently it is necessary, in the cities of Ontario particularly, that while we adopt the provincial plan, we make more expeditious the preparing of the list and the .revision.

Subject to the necessity of not extending too long the turmoil and too far the expense of a contest, and, therefore, the necessity of bringing the list-making to an end as so-on as could be done consistently with fairness and thoroughness, this Bill has, I think, omitted no safeguard.

I repeat, that the necessity of the Bill is brought upon us by the precipitation of a contest in time of war. That,.in our judgment, necessitates the changes in the franchise which this Bill proposes. These changes necessitate provision for a method of making the lists where no lists at present are in existence that can be of any practical value in this contest, and to supplement lists where necessary, and only to that extent is there any change whatever.

The purpose of the Bill is to endeavour that this contest shall be conducted in such a way, and by such a method, as will do

justice to those to whom the best of justice must be done, namely, the defenders of our country; to see to it that the voice of lOanada, as heard in this contest, shall express the real views of the Canadian people, and that such injustice as would be done by the present franchise to the best of our sons and'to the nation itself, is repaired, so far as Parliament can repair it.

Topic:   THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.
Subtopic:   INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.
Sub-subtopic:   ARTHUR MEIGHEN.
Permalink
LIB

Hugh Guthrie

Liberal

Mr. GUTHRIE:

Does the Bill make any provision in regard to that class of people who may be known as conscientious objectors to military service?

Topic:   THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.
Subtopic:   INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.
Sub-subtopic:   ARTHUR MEIGHEN.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada; Minister of Mines; Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Yes, I said that we had endeavoured to frame the Bill on the principle that war service or the obligation of war service should be the foundation of war franchise, and, that principle has a bearing on that class of our population known as conscientious objectors. The Bill provides that all those exempted from military service by the section of the Military Service Act -which applies to certain Doukhobor and Mennonite immigrants shall be disqualified for this contest, and also, that all others who have applied for and have not been refused exemption from combatant service in the war on conscientious grounds are disqualified from voting. If, of course, such men are refused they have the right to vote. The Bill further provides that any who vote in the contest shall not thereafter be entitled to exemption on conscientious grounds. It seems entirely unfair that those who, for reasons special to themselves, are freed entirely from the burden and sacrifice of this war, in so far as the real sacrifice of war goes, should have a say in deciding the character and turn the war^may take.

The Bill goes further and provides that any who have been convicted of an offence under the Military Service Act shall thereafter for this election be disqualified.

I have now enumerated the main features of the legislation. I should have said that, as there are no lists in the unorganized districts of Ontario, it is deemed best that the unorganized districts of Ontario should have lists made up, on the same basis as the four western provinces.

Topic:   THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.
Subtopic:   INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.
Sub-subtopic:   ARTHUR MEIGHEN.
Permalink
LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Is there any provision as to the age limit for the women voters?

Topic:   THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.
Subtopic:   INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.
Sub-subtopic:   ARTHUR MEIGHEN.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada; Minister of Mines; Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

All women voters must be as to age, race and residence, qualified in accordance with the laws of the provinces where they reside.

Topic:   THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.
Subtopic:   INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.
Sub-subtopic:   ARTHUR MEIGHEN.
Permalink
CON

Samuel Francis Glass

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GLASS:

I should like to ask the minister if any provision has been made in

regard to the. female relatives of soldiers who are overseas, some 50,000 or so?

Topic:   THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.
Subtopic:   INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.
Sub-subtopic:   ARTHUR MEIGHEN.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada; Minister of Mines; Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

That matter has been fully explained. They have a right to vote.

Topic:   THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.
Subtopic:   INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.
Sub-subtopic:   ARTHUR MEIGHEN.
Permalink
LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I do not rise on this occasion to discuss the merits of the measure which has just been introduced by the Secretary of State; I simply rise for the purpose of asking questions on some points which I think I have rightly understood, because the statement of my hon. friend was lucid, but I desire to be doubly sure.

I understand from my hon. friend that he has taken the provincial franchise qualifications as the basis of the measure which he has just introduced. If I understand him aright, he has made quite a departure from those qualifications, because, in five provinces, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, women have now the franchise, but, under this legislation/ the women of those provinces, with the exception of those who happen to be relatives of men who have enlisted, are deprived of the franchise. Am I right in that?

Topic:   THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.
Subtopic:   INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.
Sub-subtopic:   ARTHUR MEIGHEN.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada; Minister of Mines; Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Yes. Except for the two main features of the Bill, the enfranchisement of women relatives of soldiers and the disfranchisement of recently arrived persons of alien enemy birth or extraction, and conscientious objectors, the provincial franchise is adopted.

Topic:   THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.
Subtopic:   INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.
Sub-subtopic:   ARTHUR MEIGHEN.
Permalink
LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Am I right in this: that while the women of Ontario and the western provinces have to-day, under the laws of those provinces, the right to vote, they will, with the exception of those who are qualified as the relatives of men who have enlisted, not have the right to vote in this election?

Topic:   THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.
Subtopic:   INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.
Sub-subtopic:   ARTHUR MEIGHEN.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada; Minister of Mines; Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

That is correct.

Topic:   THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.
Subtopic:   INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.
Sub-subtopic:   ARTHUR MEIGHEN.
Permalink
LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

It was understood on this side of the House, when my hon. friend from St. John (Mr. Pugsley) drew attention to the matter, that, in the next election, the women would have the franchise. Under this legislation, in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, where women have not the right to vote, those women who happen to be relatives of soldiers will have the right to exercise the franchise. To this extent the provincial franchise is interfered with. I thought I understood the measure correctly, and I see I am right. Did I

understand my hon. friend to say that Assyrians and Armenians, who are naturalized British subjects, were to be deprived of the franchise? -

Topic:   THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.
Subtopic:   INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.
Sub-subtopic:   ARTHUR MEIGHEN.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada; Minister of Mines; Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

No. They will have the franchise.

Topic:   THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.
Subtopic:   INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.
Sub-subtopic:   ARTHUR MEIGHEN.
Permalink
LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I am glad to hear that. In regard to Ontario, I understand that my hon. friend takes, as the franchise list, the list made up in the month of December of last year under

4 p.m. the Act which was repealed recently by the provincial legislature. The province of Ontario has provided for a new franchise, the vote being given to the women, and for a new method of making up the list. I understood from a cursory reading of this Act that the former Act was abolished and was no longer in force; but my hon. friend, if I understand him aright, takes the list made up in the month of December last and makes it the basis of this measure.

Topic:   THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.
Subtopic:   INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.
Sub-subtopic:   ARTHUR MEIGHEN.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada; Minister of Mines; Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

That is correct.

Topic:   THE WAR-TIME ELECTIONS ACT.
Subtopic:   INTRODUCTION OF THE BILL BY HON.
Sub-subtopic:   ARTHUR MEIGHEN.
Permalink

September 6, 1917