May 24, 1933

LIB
CON

Onésime Gagnon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GAGNON:

I am not at all offended

because the hon. gentleman insinuated that I have not been brave in arranging a county. I merely want to point out to this gathering of gentlemen, this committee, that some hon. gentlemen opposite have defended their so-called just cause by using insulting remarks with regard to gentlemen on this side.

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LIB

Vincent Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. DUPUIS:

I should like your honour

to decide the point of order. I want a ruling on my declaration that I never said what the hon. gentleman has attributed to me. I have asked him to withdraw the remark and I should like to have the decision of the chair.

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LIB
CON

Onésime Gagnon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GAGNON:

This afternoon we heard

my hon. friend from Temiscouata-

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LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

On a point of order, an hon. gentleman has asked the chairman to give a ruling. Will not the chairman declare on the point of order?

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CON

William Ernest Tummon

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Tummon):

Unfortunately, being unable to understand the language in which the hon. gentleman was speaking, I do not know whether or not he used the word attributed to him. At any rate, the hon. gentleman says he did not say it.

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CON

Onésime Gagnon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GAGNON:

Mr. Chairman, I am

ready to comply with your ruling and withdraw anything that may have displeased the hon. member for Laprairie-Napierville (Mr. Dupuis). However may I say that my ears are still in good shape and I think I can hear.

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LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

The correction should

be made without any reservation.

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CON

William Ernest Tummon

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Tummon):

I think the withdrawal is satisfactory. It is satisfactory at least to the chair.

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CON

Onésime Gagnon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GAGNON:

The hon. member for

Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot), who is always a very interesting speaker, began the exposition of his case by throwing insulting remarks at the members of the committee. He said that they were insipid and ignorant. He

Redistribution-Mr. Gagnon

referred to their ignorance in erroneously describing the constituency of Gaspe as being composed of the counties of Gaspe East and Gaspe West. He said also that they had erroneously described the constituency of Lake St. John-Roberval by saying it was composed of the counties of Lake St. John East and Lake St. John West. I would refer the hon. member to the redistribution bill of 1024 which was drafted by the skilful engineers of the Liberal party. I refer hon. members to 14-15 George V, 1924 at page 229 where the county of Gaspe is described as follows:

Gaspe consisting of the counties of Gaspe East and Gaspe West and the Magdalen islands.

The constituency of Lake St. John is described as follows:

Lake St. John consisting of the counties of Lake St. John East and Lake St. John West.

If the members of this committee have been ignorant and insipid because they have described the constituencies of Lake St. John and Gaspe in the manner in which they are described in the bill, they have only followed the language used in the act of 1924. I think it would be proper to throw back at hon. gentlemen opposite the expressions which have been used in referring to the members of this committee. It seems to me that this committee should be able to discuss a question like the bill now before us without entering into personalities and using abusive epithets and making insulting insinuations.

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LIB
CON

Onésime Gagnon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GAGNON:

The seventh interruption.

The bill which was prepared by this committee is a fair one. It gives fair representation to all the counties in the province of Quebec. This afternoon the hon. member for Charlevoix-Saguenay (Mr. Casgrain) made a clever exposition of his views by trying to quote only one part of a speech made by the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) in 1924. I was happy to hear the hon. member for Laurier-Outremont (Mr. Mercier) quote the whole speech to-night. If we refer to the remarks of the hon. member for Laurier-Outremont we will see that in 1924 the hon. member for York-Sunbury criticized the method employed by the government of that day in setting up the constituencies in the province of Quebec.

I refer hon. members to page 4518 of Hansard of 1924. The hon. member stated that he was not conversant with the geography of Quebec, but he pointed out that there were many constituencies where the population

was under 22,000 while in others the population exceeded 60,000 and went as high as 70,000. He gave the following constituencies as having a population under 22,000:

County- Population

Argenteuil 17.165

L'Islet 17.859

Richelieu 18.764

Yamaska 18.840

Wright 21.850

Vaudreuil-Soulanges 21.620

Laprairie-Napierville 20.065

Beauharnois 19.888

Montmagny 21,997

Bagot 18.035

Bellechasse 21.190

Kamouraska 22,014

In showing the discrepancy which existed between the rural and urban constituencies, he quoted the following constituencies with their respective populations:

County- Population

St. Denis 78 920

Hochelaga 73.526

Laurier-Outremont 72.047

Jacques Cartier 68.000

Maisonneuve 64.933

St. Mary 63.975

George Etienne Cartier 54.800

Beauee 53.841

St. Ann 52.049

Three Rivers 50,845

A reference to the map and the act of 1924

will show that hon. gentlemen opposite shirked their duty at that time to a large extent. They did not make a proper, a just and a fair redistribution. I think I have demonstrated that the new bill is more just and more fair towards the province of Quebec. I have studied attentively the work of the committee and I have divided the constituencies in this province into three groups. The first consists of those in the cities of Montreal and Quebec, the second of the rural constituencies and the third of the semi-rural and semi-urban constituencies.

The first group would include the constituencies in the oity of Montreal but I shall not touch upon those because I am informed that certain changes will be made when the schedules are being considered. Anything I might say might prove to be superfluous. In connection with the city of Quebec, I was pleased to hear the hon. member for Quebec East say yesterday that on the whole the redistribution of the city of Quebec was fair. If I am not mistaken those were his exact words. If the hon. member for Temiscouata was right when he said yesterday that the Solicitor General (Mr. Dupre) had made a bed for himself, he was contradicting his leader, the hon. member for Quebec East, who was fair enough to pay homage to the

Redistribution-Mr. Gagnon

generosity and justice of the redistribution of the city of Quebec. But, on the other hand-

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LIB
CON

Onésime Gagnon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GAGNON:

The eighth interruption. The Solicitor General was careful enough to keep his constituency as it ought always to have been, as an urban seat, and to send away to the neighbouring county the rural parishes which belonged formerly to the counties of Quebec and Portneuf, and which parishes ought never to have been merged in the ward of St. Sauveur in the city of Quebec.

Let us take, for instance, the county of Quebec East. The hon. member for that constituency (Mr. Lapointe) cannot complain, because only very few minor changes have been made there. Yesterday I heard him trying to be very clever and funny in criticizing the map which was drafted by the committee and to explain that it was more or less like a jigsaw puzzle. Let me show some exhibits of the maps which were prepared by hon. gentlemen opposite in 1924 and let hon. gentlemen of the committee judge for themselves. Let me take first the map of Quebec East. Look at the beautiful map that was set up by the hon. member for Quebec East in 19241 Look at those curves, those protuberances and at the needle point! Was it a kind of dagger with which to stab Conservatives or was it rather a safety pin to try to retain the Liberals who were deserting the Liberal flag? I leave it to the committee to judge for themselves.

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LIB
CON
LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Does he not know this delimitation of Quebec East was made in 1914 by the Conservative government and retained?

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CON

Onésime Gagnon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GAGNON:

It might have been. I have not studied the matter, but I use that argument to show that if there has been a jig-saw puzzle, this puzzle has satisfied the hon. gentleman for three elections and he did not change it in 1924.

Let us look at the jig-saw puzzle of Richelieu, the seat of the former Minister of Marine (Mr. Cardin), who is going to interrupt me, and this will make the tenth interruption. Look at this beautiful little thing which I hold in my hand, and look at the needle points, protuberances and curves! Look at this protuberance! Is it a river, a mountain or a brook?

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LIB

May 24, 1933