Sgd. Geo. H. Van Allen,
A notary public in and for the Province oi Alberta.
I have read this affidavit to show the kind of enumerators who were appointed by the returning officers under this Act. This affidavit shows that they were able to spend many hours in a canvas in order to persuade voters to cast their ballots in a certain way. Surely that is not a fair way to carry out the provisions of the Act, surely it is contrary to the intention of the Act and it cannot be pretended that such a procedure was calculated to secure a fair vote of the electors. .Many other cases of a similar character have been brought to my attention. I have several affidavits, but I think the one which I have quoted will suffice to show that partisan returning officers will naturally appoint partisan enumerators who will use their positions to further the ends of the party in whose interest they are acting. This case shows that if a man would not promise to vote for a particular candidate, the information would be passed on to the deputy returning officer and the returning officer would not allow the ballot to go into the box in the regular way. I want to protest against the provision of the Bill that places such a power in the hands of a partisan returning officer.
Probably the worst feature qf the Bill is that which permits discrimination against certain classes of women, as was mentioned by the hon. member for Kamouraska (Mr. Ernest Lapointe). Every one who comes from the Western country, and particularly the hon. the Minister of Immigration and Colonization (Mr. Calder), knows that there were thousands of foreign-born young men, so-called alien enemies, who enlisted in the service. The mothers and sisters of these soldiers, under the War Time Elections Act, were entitled to vote, hut I can prove by many affidavits that these mothers and sisters were refused the right to which they were entitled. In one case where the enu-erator had put them on the list, some one
in the interest of my opponent travelled around the district, and at seven or eight polling divisions, red-lined the lists.. Next day the returning officers took these lists that were so revised by some outsider, no one knew whom, and would not give any of the mothers or sisters of soldiers a ballot, or allow them to vote.
We have a large population of Scandinavian people in our country, particularly in the district of Camrose, and the young men of these people enlisted as freely as people of other nationalities. We find that the mothers and sisters of those soldiers are going to be discriminated against, are going to be put on the Indian list, and treated as people who have no rights of citizenship. This Act will unfairly disfranchise thousands of the mothers and sisters of men who volunteered and served at the front. The majority of the Scandinavian people have been in this country for a great many years. They are very progressive. They have a Scandinavian young ladies' college in the town of Camrose, they are taking a great interest in education, and many of the young people who have taken advantage of the educational facilities there provided, are acting as teachers throughout the district. I think it is unfair to these progressive people that the mothers of these young ladies and of these men, other than soldiers, should be discriminated against. The same thing applies to others, and we have several from France and Belgium, allies of ours.