May 23, 1918

L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I am very serious in my representation to the hon. the minister that this clause does not restore the seven days at all. Every lawyer in this House knows that once an Act is repealed, if the repealing Act is taken away, that does not restore the old law unless it is specifically restored. The result is that if this section passes there is no time at all fixed for holding the elections.

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L LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I think it would be well to assure ourselves upon the point made by my hon. friend (Mr. McKenzie) that the Act of 1917 would be repealed, and that by the section as it now stands the former Act would not be restored.

At one o'clock the committee took recess.

The committee resumed at three o'clock, Mr. Boivin in the Chair.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

When the committee

rose we were considering Bill No. 73, to amend Chapter 39 of the Statutes of 197. Section 1 had been read and is being discussed. Is it the pleasure of the committee to adopt the clause?

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L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. E. LAPOINTE:

Has the Minister

of Public Workis given any consideration to the objection raised by the member for North Cape Breton (Mr. McKenzie)?

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

I will give my view of the matter. I must confess I have not had much time to study it, because I have been very busy since the House rose at one o'clock. But I would like my hon. friend to go back to. the War-time Elections Act, section 2, which I will read to my hon. friend. [DOT]

M.r. BUREAU: Amending -section 131?

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

Not even that. That is not in the pamphlet at all. Section 2 of the War-time Elections Act reads:

During the present war and until demobilization after the conclusion of peace, Part III of the Dominion Elections Act shall operate and apply as if amended, and shall be deemed to he amended in the following respects:

That is the theory of the War-time Elections Act, that the operation of certain portions of the Dominion Elections Act was suspended. First, 'I think, Part I was suspended entirely during the period of the war and demobilization. Then Part II was suspended in part. Part III was suspended in part. And by paragraph (g) of section 2 of the Act, section 131 was amended by striking out of the second line of section 131 the word "seventh" and inserting instead the word "twenty-eighth." Now, the original idea was that the operation of section 131 would be suspended during the pendency of this Act.

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L LIB
UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

"Amended, and shall be deemed to be amended."

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L LIB
UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

It is amended, not repealed-that is the point exactly. It "shall be deemed to be amended." It is not actually repealed; it is not actually amended, but during a specific time it shall be considered as if it were amended. When that time arrives, it goes back to normal conditions just as though this Bill had never been passed. Then the present proposal says that " Paragraph (g) of section two of the War-time Elections Act.... shall only apply to a general election," that is, the suspension is removed so far as by-elections are concerned. I put that forward to my bon. friends; and my sole object-I will tell him frankly-that as I view this thing I think this section is properly drafted. I admit it is somewhat involved; I admit that you have to go back to the whole theory of the operation of Part III of the Dominion Elections Act under the War-time Elections Act. But if my hon. friend would prefer it, I am prepared to propose an amendment.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I think it would be

better to use such language as would restore " seventh " for " twenty-eighth." I have no purpose in the matter except to be as scientific as we can.

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

But there is the other side to it. I have had some discussion in

the last two hours with the gentleman who prepared this Act. I will give his views. His idea is, and I think there is a great deal in it, that the War-time Elections Act wras a lot of changes that were deemed to exist for a given time, and that if the war ceased and the time of demobilization arrived, then the War-time Elections Act would cease to exist and the Dominion Elections Act would stand out exactly as it was without an amendment to it. Now, if we amend section 131, we are making a positive amendment, and when the time comes to change over then you would have a positive amendment or positive enactment, that would necessitate special legislation to Tepeal. I do not know that it makes very much difference, because I imagine that before another general election -takes place this whole election law must be redrafted and codified. Surely we can all hope that the war will be over with before there is another general election. When the w-ar is over, -certainly the Dominion Elections Act must come back into force. But in view of the fact that there is a change in the franchise, and -that female voters will have the right to vote, at least in all the provinces except two-and I think we can pretty safely say that in all the provinces except one-a change will be required in the Dominion Elections Act. And so I do not think the theory I am now putting forward amounts to very much in practice, because, before there can be another general election, new legislation will probably be required in order to modify the Dominion Elections Act as may be found necessary.

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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

Will the minister read the amendment he has prepared to show which of the two would be preferable?

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

The amendment suggested is:

Notwithstanding anything contained in Chapter 39 of the Statutes of 1917, Section 131 of the Dominion Elections Act, Chapter 6 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1906, shall be deemed to be amended only in the case of a general election and shall apply without amendment to any other election of a member of the House of Commons.

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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

That covers it. If 1 remember rightly, by the War-time Elections Act, in section 131, the words "seven" is struck out and the word " twenty-eight " substituted. Why not add at the end of the section: " This shall only apply to a general election." It is the same thing.

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

It is so involved that I would want to consider -that amendment.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

You cannot have the word " seven " in and out at the same time. '

Mr. 'CARVELL : This amendment states the proposal in positive language.

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L LIB
UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

And it has also the advantage that it does not interfere with what is supposed to be the general scheme.

'Mr. McKENZIE: The minister understands what I mean? It is a principle that a certain section repeals another; the repealing one may repeal itself.

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

I quite agree.

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May 23, 1918