June 25, 1925

LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

There is no definite provision

in regard to it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
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UFA

William Thomas Lucas

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCAS:

Did I understand rightly in

the debate the other day that an election might be held within forty-five days after

proclamation?

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LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

Forty-five days would be the

shortest possible time.

Amendment (Mr. Kennedy, Edmonton) negatived: Yeas, 28; Nays, 66.

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

In order to carry out the views which I have expressed-

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I think I can make an

explanation which will meet my hon. friends objection. Rule 15 says:

On the twelfth day before the polling day the revising officer shall,-

(a) initial all changes or additions...

(b) deliver or mail by registered letter to each of the candidates a statement of such changes or additions as he has made in the lists of voters on appeal;

Elections Act

(c) cause to be printed such number of such lists a3 the returning officer may advise will be sufficient for th<* purpose of the election.

These are preliminary lists. Rule 16 says:

Upon completion of printing the revising officer shall carefully compare the printed lists with the originals in h-s hands, and make all necessary corrections. . . .

And twelve copies of such printed lists shall be sent to each of the candidates or their agents-that is, after the printing is done. Then, rule 17 says:

The revising officer shall so provide that the printing of such lists shall be completed and copies thereof be delivered to the candidates or their agents at least four days before the polling day.

These are the complete lists. I would point out that under paragraph (b) of section 2 of the act, the word " candidate " does not necessarily mean one who has been formally nominated on nomination day; it means one who has announced himself or has been announced as a candidate by his friends after the writs are issued. Under paragraph (b) of rule 15 these alterations and changes are to be sent by mail to persons who are known as candidates by the revising officer, and the printed lists are sent after nomination day to the candidates who are in the field. I do not think there is any conflict in the matter.

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

How can the

returning officer know who is to be the candidate before the official nomination?

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

The bona fide candidate will let it be known to the revising officer that he is a candidate.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

I submit that that is not the meaning of the act. We must have something definite; we cannot leave it in the hands of the revising officer to send this to whom he desires and then say he did not know who were candidates. If we are going to have the seven-day term we will have to amend these rules, and that may be possible. But do not let us have a slipshod, slovenly way of dealing with a very important clause in the Elections Act.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

The word "candidate"

under that rule has the same interpretation as it has in all the other clauses of the act.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

I understand that, but

there is no candidate legally until the nomination is made, and the act has been drawn with that end in view.

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

The returning

officer is required to print a certain number of lists which he may think necessary for the election and he is to do that on the

twelfth day before polling day. That provision was put in on the assumption that he knew fourteen days before the election day how many lists would be required or whether there would be a contest at all. He cannot know until the nominations are made whether or not any lists are going to be required.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

It says:

-cause to be printed such number of such lists as the reiurning officer may advise will be sufficient for the purposes of the election.

Surely that is broad enough.

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

Why should he

incur the expense of printing if one candidate is nominated?

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PRO

Alan Webster Neill

Progressive

Mr. NEILL:

Rule 15 applies only to urban districts; therefore the contention that seven days is not enough in country places does not appiy. It would be in order, therefor, to change " twelve " to " six ". That would meet the objection of my hon. friend.

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

I move that

section 21 of this bill be struck out.

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Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

George Newcombe Gordon (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

A motion cannot be

made to strike out the whole section. Hon. members who desire to do so may vote against the motion of the minister that the section be carried.

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

The effect of

doing away with the section would leave it as it is in the act, namely, fourteen days before polling. .

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PRO

George Gibson Coote

Progressive

Mr. COOTE:

Do I understand that the

amendment of the hon. member (Mr. Stewart, Leeds) is not accepted?

The CHAIRMAN: He suggested an

amendment to strike out the entire clause.

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PRO

George Gibson Coote

Progressive

Mr. COOTE:

Then I would move that

section 21 be amended by striking out the word "seven" in line 25 and substituting therefor the word "fourteen." My only reason for submitting this amendment is because I have not yet heard any suggestion from the government as to how the difficulty is going to be met in the large constituencies that are not included in the schedule. I am very much afraid we are going to have trouble there, that it will not be possible to get the ballots printed and in the hands of the returning officers within seven days after nomination, and I do not see any better way in which I can put my views before the committee than by presenting this amendment. I do not see why it should not be accepted.

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

My hon. friend's views will be met by striking out this section

Elections Act

altogether, because it would then be fourteen days in all constituencies.

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June 25, 1925