May 31, 1929

LIB
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That is very desirable.

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CON

Thomas Erlin Kaiser

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. KAISER:

I direct the attention of

the committee to the answer given by the chairman of the special committee (Mr. Power) and by the Solicitor General (Mr. Cannon) yesterday, which answer is correct, namely, that no record is kept of those who

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LIB

Amendment agreed to. Section as amended agreed to. 78594-196 pevised liition Dominion Elections Act



take oaths. They are permitted to vote on taking the oath as in form 25. Provision should be made in this bill for a record of the various oaths that are being taken by voters so that we may have access to them for future use in amendments to the Elections Act. I asked the electoral officer if he could give me information as to the number of votes polled under this section by virtue of the oath and he gave me the same answer as the hon. members gave me yesterday, that no record was kept. When you are appointing a permanent electoral officer or permanent returning and deputy returning officers, these experts should surely be able to give an intelligent account of the proceedings on election day. I think provision should be made somewhere in this bill whereby more information would be provided in regard to what takes place in the various polling booths on election day than is ascertainable at present.


LIB

Lucien Cannon (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

I do not know if it would be possible to devise a practical method of securing the further information which my hon. friend wishes to have, but I might suggest to him that in view of the fact that the committee has considered other amendments than those included in the present bill, with the idea of having the further amendments adopted at the next session of parliament, my hon. friend might take up this question with the committee so that it might be considered when the legislation is being prepared next year.

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LIB

John Frederick Johnston (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

There is an amendment before the committee. Mr. Power has moved that subsection 1 of section 16 be amended by adding the words "and shall name the same day for the poll."

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LIB

Lucien Cannon (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

The hon. member for

Cartier (Mr. Jacobs) drew the attention of the committee yesterday to the fact that on Mondays there are at times certain religious feasts observed by those of the Hebrew faith and that it might cause some inconvenience to those people if an election were held on a Monday on which one of those religious feasts was being observed. In answer to my hon. friend I may say that I have absolutely no doubt that if the attention of the government were drawn to such a situation the governor in council would see *to it that no such Monday would be chosen as election day, so any inconvenience such as that indicated by my hon. friend certainly would' be overcome.

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LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

I might point out that these fasts and feasts may occur on Mondays or Tuesdays; they are not definitely fixed.

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Amendment agreed to. Section as amended agreed to. On section 4-Polling day to be half holiday.


LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

Yesterday I asked that this

section stand in order to consider the question of the half holiday which, under the present bill, would be observed all over Canada. As I pointed out then, under the old bill employees were given two hours off with pay, but under this bill they would not be paid for this half holiday. In other words, they are to be denied certain rights they previously enjoyed, and I did feel that this was a retrograde step. I would be very much in favour of a half holiday, of course, if the employees received pay for that time off, but not otherwise. I do not think it was the intention of the committee to penalize employees in this way if they desired to exercise their franchise.

Yesterday I was under the impression that just before the one o'clock adjournment an amendment had been moved by the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Thorson), but on looking up Hansard I find that such was not the case. However, I see that the chairman of the committee accepted the suggestion on behalf of the government, for which I am very grateful.

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LIB
LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

My hon. friend shakes his

head; I will quote what he said:

I understand that the government have no objection to accepting this amendment-

Such being the case, I do not see now why the chairman of that committee should shake his head and object to the statement I am making. I think most members of the house [DOT]will remember that just before one o'clock yesterday the hon. member did make the statement as reported in Hansard.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

If I may just interrupt, I

may have made the statement but I have no recollection of doing so. I really did not intend to say that.

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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I will attribute it to the

heat, but I presume that the Hansard reporter took down exactly what the hon. member said, even though he does not remember making the statement.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I did not mean to Say it;

I think my hon. friend will permit me to

Dominion Elections Act

make that correction. I am quite clear in my own mind that I did not mean to attempt to bind the government, over which I have no power or influence, or even to bind myself, over whom I am presumed to have some influence.

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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I must say that the hon.

gentleman is very modest. However, Mr. Chairman, I intend to move an amendment to section 4 as follows:

That section 14 of the Dominion Elections Act be substituted for section 4 in the present bill, Ho. 313. except that the word "three'' shall be substituted in the second line for the word "two".

The effect of this amendment, which I hope will receive the support of the government, will be to give men and women Who are employed in factories and elsewhere three hours off on election day without any deduction from their pay.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Why not make the motion in the exact terms in which you wish it adopted?

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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I think that is what I have

done; I think this covers exactly what I wish. As a matter of fact I thought this amendment had been moved yesterday; only a few moments ago I learned that this was not the case, so I drafted this amendment hurriedly to cover the point. The only change from the old act I am asking is that the word "three" be substituted for the word "two," which would make the section read as follows:

Every employer shall, on polling day, allow every elector in his employ at least three additional hours other than the noon hour-

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May 31, 1929