May 23, 1933

LIB
CON
LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Dorchester has always

been an old county by itself and this seems to be a clever distinction made by the hon. member for Dorchester. After all, I think he must have suggested these changes. The municipality of Honfleur is part of the county of Bellechasse but why was it not sent to Bellechasse? It is a Conservative commun-

CMr. Lapointe.]

ity, as is Ste. Sabine, which is partly situated in the county of Bellechasse.

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CON

Onésime Gagnon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GAGNON:

May I ask my hon. friend a question? If he will read the act of 1924 he will see that there was no change made in the bill which is before the house with respect to the municipality of Ste. Sabine. The same thing applies to Honfleur.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

The hon. member has not asked a question. He states that no change has been made but these places are Conservative. They are situated partly in Bellechasse but they have been allowed to remain in Dorchester.

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CON
LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

We were compelled to

listen to my hon. friend in the committee and he will have to listen to us now.

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CON
LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

If my hon. friend from Compton will kindly let me proceed, it will be much better. The county of Beauee has been altered to include the parishes which I have mentioned. For the riding of Lot-biniere they took part of the county of Nicolet, but I suppose the hon. member for Richelieu will deal with that matter. In the case of the riding of Megantic, certain Liberal parishes of the county of Wolfe have been thrown in. The voters there have been opposed to the hon. member for Richmond-Wolfe (Mr. LaFleche). As far as the north shore is concerned, I have nothing to say about the three seats in Quebec city. A change has been made in the seat of the Solicitor General (Mr. Dupre). A rural section was added in the redistribution of 1914 but I agree that this should be a city seat altogether. I am quite agreeable to the change being made.

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CON

Maurice Dupré (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DUPRE:

By this change I am losing a normal majority in the rural part of about sixty.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I do not know about

that. My hon. friend might wait to make his remarks a little later.

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CON

Maurice Dupré (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DUPRE:

I wanted to point that out.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I am quite sure my hon. friend is generous enough to give that up. In the case of the riding of Quebec South, the municipality of St. Colombian de Sillery is being taken away, but I have no objection.

Redistribution-Mr. Dupre

This is naturally part of Quebec county to be represented by the hon. member for Quebec-Montmorency (Mr. Dorion). I have been told that a small addition is to be made in Quebec East. I do not see this in the bill and I will reserve my remarks until later. As far as the constituency of Quebec-Montmor-ency is concerned I do not think the changes will effect any result. But why take away Ste Brigitte de Laval and put it into the county of Charlevoix-Saguenay, which is a province by itself and contains a larger population? I am quite sure when we reach the schedules my hon. friend will give some good reasons for this change. I should like some explanation in connection with Yalcartier. This is part of the county of Portneuf but it has been included in my hon. friend's constituency. Has this change been made because there is an unemployment camp situated there where the men selected by the hon. member for St. Antoine (Mr. Bell) are sent? Is it intended that these men shall be in the constituency of Quebec-Montmorency? I do not see any reason why Valcartier which is part of Portneuf should be sent back to Quebec county. There is no population worth mentioning outside of the unemployment camp. The vote in that particular area may not be exactly as my hon. friend desires it to be. The riding of Charlevoix-Saguenay is changed by the addition of Ste Brigitte de Laval. The riding of Portneuf is changed by including Donnacona and some other places which were in Quebec West and by excluding La Tuque. There is a new constituency formed called Lafleche-St. Maurice, which is being made out of Three Rivers, St. Maurice and Champlain. This is very ingenious strategy. The strong Liberal communities of Shawinigan Falls and Grand Mere are being added together in a strong Liberal constituency. The hon. members for Three Rivers-St. Maurice. (Mr. Bourgeois) and Champlain (Mr. Bari-beau) will benefit by being rid of these thorns in their flesh. These are the changes which have been made in the district of Quebec.

If these changes can be justified I am quite willing to listen very attentively to any explanations which may be given. This whole thing is considered as a tremendous gerrymander not only by the Liberal members of the house but by the population as a whole. It is going contrary to elementary political morality. No one in a democracy has the right to lend himself to the loading of the dice in such an obvious and glaring manner. Even newspapers which are usually Conservative have been criticizing this scheme which has been submitted. Even the Montreal Gazette said the other day that they

could not understand why this wholesale change had been made in the province of Quebec. They were curious to know the reason. L'Evenement of Quebec which has alwayH supported this government, had a strong editorial in yesterday's issue protesting against this action. They asked why do this? Why create this embarrassment to the Prime Minister whom we love-

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I have a great respect

for my right hon. friend, but I am speaking the language of L'Evenement. They are blaming his advisers from Quebec for having done that and they predict that instead of its having the effect which those gentlemen wish to produce, a contrary one will result. This is my initial speech; I have some further remarks to make and if the province of Quebec is sacrificed as is proposed in the bill as submitted, I shall have some frank, honest words to say on the third reading. I think I have given a bird's-eye view of the changes which are proposed to be made in the Quebec district, and I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, that you listen to my hon. friend from Richelieu who will give the rest of the story so far as the province of Quebec is concerned.

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CON

Maurice Dupré (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. MAURICE DUPRE (Solicitor General) :

I have not been very much associated with the committee on redistribution nor with the committee of elder statesmen which dealt with this question in the last few days. I intend only to answer, to a certain extent, some of the remarks made by the hon. member for Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe). If I may divide his speech into two parts, I may say that he objects on two counts, first, on account of municipal lines, and second, on account of electoral results. I do not know whether I am mistaken, but this is approximately the division I can make of my hon. friend's speech.

Of course when changes occur, they cannot be made unless somebody on either side of politics is hurt to a certain degree; but speaking generally, and thereby answering my hon. friend by a sweeping statement, I may say that the federal distribution has nothing to do with municipal lines. Provincial constituencies are not changed; we do not and we cannot touch them and it is on provincial demarcations that the county councils and judicial districts are based. Therefore all the arguments of my hon. friend about tampering with constituencies and the harm that can be done to every one of them, municipally or provincially, by the changes he describes, falls to the ground.

Redistribution-Mr. Dupre

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LIB
CON

Maurice Dupré (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DUPRE:

May I point out again to

my hon. friend, since I think there are eighty-two provincial ridings-

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LIB
CON

Maurice Dupré (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DUPRE:

Thank you-ninety provincial ridings and only sixty-five federal constituencies, necessarily the demarcations and lines of the provincial constituencies have to be changed; we cannot do otherwise.

But there is another aspect and it is to consider the changes in a general way. I deplore the fact that in the district of Quebec we had to lose one constituency on account of the adjustment based on urban population.

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May 23, 1933