May 24, 1933

LIB
CON
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Perhaps the hon. member has forgotten, just as he has forgotten the name of the constituency of the hon. member for Lotbiniere (Mr. Verville). But I know the parish of St. Hermenegilde in the township of Hereford which is part in Compton constituency and part in Stanstead. What I say is that the township of Hereford has belonged to

53S0

Redistribution-Mr. Pouliot

the electoral district of Compton since before confederation, and it is still there. The reason why it is still there is that the boundaries of the constituency of the hon. gentleman have not been changed since 1853. If he does not know that he can learn it now, it will foe beneficial to him.

There is another thing. He repeated after the big guns, the hon. Solicitor General (Mr. Dupre) the hon. Minister of Marine (Mr. Duranleau) and others, that municipal and provincial lines did not count. Did he say that or did he not? Yes, he admits it.

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CON
LIB
CON
LIB
CON
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Well, we call that hairsplitting, and as I am not a barber, I am not fond of it. Sir, let us say that the hon. gentleman contends that in a federal redistribution provincial and municipal lines should be overlooked. I take an entirely different point of view. It is a matter of mandate. The hon. gentleman has received a power of attorney from each one who voted for him.

I say it is only fair that he should give an account of the way he has fulfilled his mandate, and that he will do, because there is no change in his constituency. The electors said to the hon. member for Compton, to the Solicitor General, to the hon. member for Levis (Mr. Fortin), to the minister of Finance (Mr. Rhodes) and to others, "Go to the House of Commons and represent us there." It is only fair, sportsmanlike and just that a man who has received such a mandate should go back to the same people and have the courage to face them, as the hon. member for Richelieu (Mr. Cardin) said yesterday. One who is not afraid to meet the people who accorded him such an honour will go back and tell them what he has done. What will my hon. friend from Compton say? " I recommended my brother to the Canadian National Railways, the Canadian government and others so that he could sell his jam." That is a fine way to fulfil a mandate, but that is what the hon. gentleman has done. The hon. member for Compton read a letter which he had received from a man named Vaughan or some other official of the Canadian National who is ready to lick the boots

of any member on the government side in order to keep his job; in that letter information was given up to July of last year. Then my hon. friend the Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Manion), who is listening to me now, refused to give the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. Boulanger) the further information for which he was asked. I hope the hon. member for Compton, who was so busy selling jam for his brother to the Canadian government and the Canadian National Railways, will tell his electors how much time he devoted to that purpose, and how many of the 15 cent and 25 cent jars of jam were sold after the Canadian National complained that the quantity was not sufficient and that a larger jar must be sold for 25 cents.

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CON

Frank Thomas Shaver

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Shaver):

Order. I think the hon. gentleman is getting away from the question under discussion.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I have just finished that portion of my remarks, sir. I say this is why my hon. friend from Compton was in a jam when he discussed the matter in committee. I believe in sportsmanship, in fairness, in justice and in equity; that is why I say a man should have the courage to face those who sent him to the House of Commons without putting some of them in another constituency so that he may not have to face their wrath.

We have heard a good deal about the redistribution of 1924 from one of the executioners who were put on that committee for a special purpose. What happened in that redistribution? Yesterday I heard my good friend the hon. member for Quebec East (Mr. ILapointe)-and I will ask my hon friend the Solicitor General to keep quiet and listen to me, because it may bring good results ask the members on the government side jointly and severally what change made in 1924 has been rectified in 1933. My hon. friend was unable to get an answer. In 1924 the boundaries of the counties were rectified so that they might remain the same for federal purposes. If we look at the description of the county of Dorchester we see that the line of demarcation made in 1924 has been very materially changed in the bill now before the house. I think it is rather needless to continue the discussion along these lines, but I shall be ready to meet any hon. gentleman opposite when we come to discuss the schedules to tire bill. To-day the boundaries of the county of Dorchester are the same as they were before confederation. We were toll yesterday that this electoral district was

Redist ribution-Mr. Pouliot

created in 1791. That may be so; I do know that since 1853 those boundaries have been unchanged. To-day the population of Dorchester is 33,000, but by this redistribution it will be reduced to 27,000 in order to protect a friend of the government. That is what has been done, and for that change any hon. friend from Compton, my hon. friend from Quebec-Montmoreney (Mr. Dorion) and every hon. member opposite who supports this bill is responsible.

I have before me, Mr. Chairman, some petitions coming from my constituency protesting against the changes proposed in this bill. The constituency of Temiscouata is the same to-day as it was in 1853; the only changes that have taken place have been made in order to rectify the ancient boundaries. When we go back to 1924 we see this description of Temiscouata county:

Includes the county of Temiscouata, with the exception or that part of the municipality of Notre Dame du Portage formerly comprised in the parish of St. Andre.

Now let us go back to the statute of 1860, which includes the act of 1853 :

The county of Kamouraska will include that part of the parish of Notre Dame du Portage formerly belonging to the parish of St. Andre.

The county of Temiscouata will include that portion of the parish of Notre Dame du Portage formerly belonging to the parish of St. Patrice de la Riviere du Loup. C.S.L.C. (1860), c. 75, Secs. 38 and 39.

The provincial statute is to the same effect. (13 Geo. V, c. 13.)

The provincial statute of 1922 and the federal statute of 1924 are to the same effect. No change has occurred from 1853 to date in Temiscouata or Kamouraska, either provincially or federally, except the splitting of Temiscouata division in two counties for provincial purposes.

I pointed out to the Solicitor General yesterday that the Quebec Liberal bloc of 1921 elected 27 Tories at the last general election. In 1867 a Liberal was elected by acclamation in Temiscouata, and in 1872 a Conservative was elected. In 1874 my grandfather was elected by acclamation. From 1882 to 1896 the constituency was represented by Mr. Grandbois, a Conservative. In 1896 my father was elected, but he died the following year. Then from 1897 to 1924 the constituency was represented by Mr. Gauvreau, a Liberal. In 1924 I was elected a member of this House of Commons at a by-election; I have represented this constituency since that time, and I shall continue to represent it notwithstanding any carving that may be dome by hon. gentlemen opposite.

Now let us consider the old act of 1853. This morning I looked up what was done at the session of 1852-53,

and I will read it to the house in order to show the care that was taken by the old statesmen in order that no injustice should be done and in order that everyone might receive fair play, justice and equity in the redistribution of seats made that year. Mark you, sir, this is of the utmost importance, because there are several electoral districts which never have been described in full in a federal statute. That is well known, so let us go back to that year. On October 5 the house ordered the printing of 500 copies of the bill in order that all members might familiarize themselves with its provisions, and it was until March 2 that the debate was adjourned after the second reading. On March 2 the debate continued and Mr. Brown, seconded by Mr. Langton, proposed that the representation of the people in parliament shovdd be based on the population and that the number of members of the legislative assembly should be gradually increased in accordance with the progressive development of the population, on a fixed proportion of the population, without regard to any line of division between Upper and Lower Canada. That amendment was negatived, 15 voting for and 57 against. The French speaking members who voted against it were: Cartier, Cauchon, Chabot, Chapais, Chauveau, Dubord, Dumoulin, Fortier, Fournier, Gouin, Jobin, Lacoste, Laterriere, Laurin, Leblanc, Lemieux, Mongenais, Morin, Polette, Poulin, Prince, Sicotte, Taehe, Tessier, Valois, Varin, Viger.

Sir John Macdonald did not vote.

The second reading was carried the same day by 58 to 14. No Quebec member voted against it. On the same day Mr. Morin proposed. seconded by Mr. Hincks, an English speaking Canadian, that the bill be sent to the committee of the whole, and that motion was adopted. On March 3 petitions to amend the bill were sent to the committee of the whole house. The house resolved itself into committee and considered the bill in committee for five days. On March 4, 15, 16, 18, and 20, five days, the house studied the whole bill and on March 21 the committee reported it with amendments. On the same day several motions to send it back to committee of the whole were negatived. Finally, on the motion of Mr. Lemieux, seconded by Mr. Fournier, it was ordered that the bill be referred once more to the committee of the whole to have it amended for the purpose of annexing the parish of St. Nicholas to the county of Levis and the parishes of St. Sylvestre and Ste.

Redistribution-Mr. Pouliot

Agathe to the county of Lotbiniere. The house resolved itself into committee, considered the bill, and it was reported with amendments which were adopted. On March 23 a motion to send the bill back to committee of the whole was negatived and the third reading of the bill was carried by 61 to 16. Sir John Macdonald and Sir Allan MacNafo were among those who voted against the motion.

This, Mr. Chairman, is one page of history which shows us with what care these men in the old days drafted legislation affecting the electoral districts of Canada. It must be observed that at that time the constituencies were much less numerous than they are now and those statesmen gave all their time to the study of the problem. Mark you, sir, in 1872 Macdonald and Cartier had a majority in the house; in 1882 Macdonald had a majority behind him in the House of Commons. But, as I said yesterday, very slight changes were made in our electoral law, the main changes having been made in 1892. I will not dwell on this point for the moment. I will only repeat the flaming words of Sir Wilfrid Laurier with respect to the abominable gerrymander of 1892 by a moribund government-"This i s a gerrymander with a vengeance." I hope that we shall not be able to say for very long, " This is a gerrymander with a vengeance, the gerrymander of 1933."

I observed the Prime Minister as he listened yesterday to the speeches which were delivered by my hon. friends, the member for Quebec East and the member for Richelieu. Those gentlemen made admirable speeches, and as the right hon. gentleman listened to them he had under his hand the census book and the Parliamentary Guide. He was following their remarks very closely and I am sure they made a good impression upon him. Now, let me say this. I do not appeal to the fairness of the Prime Minister; I do not make any appeal to him. I know very well however that he wishes to be posted on the facts-the real facts, the facts as they are-and that is why I am giving them to the house. I am giving the facts in order that the right hon. gentleman may have an opportunity to acquaint himself with them.

In 1903 Laurier had a majority behind him in the House of Commons. What did he do? The only thing he did was to rectify the gerrymander of 1892 by putting back old parishes into constituencies where they had been for a considerable length of time. In 1914 Sir Robert Borden, the greatest man alive of the Conservative party, had a major-

ity behind him in the House of Commons. What did he do? Let me quote his words:

I am entirely disposed to follow the course which my right hon. friend pursued in 1903.

Those words will be found at page 617 of Hansard of February 10, 1914; they are the exact words of Sir Robert Borden. In 1924 the right hon. gentleman who is now leader of the opposition and my revered leader had a majority behind him in the House of Commons and he gave fairplay; and the evidence that he did so is the fact that these executioners of 1933 did not change one iota of the rectification of the boundaries made in that year.

Now, I put a question to the Solicitor General yesterday and I put it to him again to-day, because I want to have a direct answer from the hon. gentleman. He will be able to reply to me when I am through, because I have not much time and I must hurry on. We have been told that changes have been made in the rural seats because three new seats are needed in Montreal, and I want to know why this has been done. I do not wish to have the statement, in reply to this question, that it has been done. That is not an answer. I want to know the reason why. As reported at page 5314, of Hansard, May 23, I made this statement:

I ask the Solicitor General why it has been decided by the government to create two new rural seats, one in the Ottawa and the other in Three Rivers district. If three new seats in Montreal were too many, why did the government decide to create two new rural seats when there was no necessity for so doing?

W e have heard the hon. member for Compton complaining like an infant about the difficulties he encountered in his redistribution. What was the matter? There was an increase, in t'he seats in Montreal from thirteen to sixteen, that is all. And what did they do? They annexed Laprairie to Beauharnois, Montmagny to L'lslet and L'Assomption to Terrebonne. The problem was solved. Had they stopped there it would have been all right. I am tired of hearing so much about the unit of population. If there is a population unit let it be fixed for good from Gaspe to Ontario; if such is the case, let them divide' the province by 44,000 and I am ready to accept it provided everyone is put on the same footing.

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CON

Maurice Dupré (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DUPRE:

If that theory were accepted it would mean that the urban representation would be very great and the rural representation very small.

Redistribution-Mr. Pouliot

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I am very glad to receive that answer because it shows the absurdity of this scheme. I wanted the hon. gentleman to give that answer.

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CON

Maurice Dupré (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DUPRE:

My hon. friend does not seem to understand. He may be all right in theory, but if we followed that theory we should have to do as he suggests. But we do want to do so because we want to keep a fair and just representation in the rural centres.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Yes, that is all right. I

say however that everyone should be treated exactly on the same basis. That is my view of the matter. Now, in 1931, according to the census, the unit figure was 44,186. In 1931, according to the redistribution of 1924, in 49 constituencies 12 had a population larger than the unit, and thirty-seven had populations of less. In 1933, after the wonderful work of the brother of the jam manufacturer, there were forty-six constituencies, eleven of which had larger populations and thirty-five, smaller. In 1931, twelve had more than the unit and in 1933 with three constituencies less, eleven have more than the unit. In 1931, thirty-seven have less than the unit and in 1933, thirty-five have less. The unit of population did not count at all in their minds.

I shall not read the list of constituencies with less than 33,000 population which I gave yesterday, as this list may be found on page 5352 of Hansard. The following are the constituencies with populations of more than 33,000:

Beauee.

Charlevoix-Saguenay.

Chicoutimi.

Drummond-Arthabaska.

Gaspe.

Lake St. John-Roberval.

These constituencies had more than the unit in 1931 and in 1933 they still have more than the unit. What did the brother of the jam manufacturer do about that? In 1931 Matane, Pontiac, Temisoouata and, Three Rivers-St. Maurice had more than the unit. They then created a new constituency called Lafleche-St. Maurice and another one called Three Rivers, both of which have more than the unit. What is the fairness in that? In 1933 Megantie-Erontenac will have more than the unit through receiving part of another constituency. A great mess!

I think I have time to show just what kind of a mess has been made in the province of Quebec by this committee and how ignorant of Quebec laws its members have proved to be. They have forgotten all about the provincial enactments. Although they have

spent much time discussing this, that and other things in connection with the bill, there are fourteen provincial constituencies which have not been changed. These are Berthier-Maskinonge, Brome-Missisquoi, Chicoutimi, Drummond-Arthabaska, J oliette-M ontcalm- this is a transposition but the provincial boundaries remain the same-Lake St. Johnr Roberval, Shefford, Sherbrooke and Stanstead. There are three constituencies which have been carved up. If the hon. member for Compton (Mr. Gobeil) does not like that word I will use it again-carved, carved, carved! These are Champlain, Levis and Temiscouata. There are two electoral districts in the latter for Quebec but they have forgotten about those.

Let us see the extent of the gross ignorance of the members of this committee in connection with the legislation of 1931-32, 22 George V, Chapter 16. They have a constituency called Lake St. John-Roberval. That is all right, but the description is wrong. It is stated that this constituency consists of the counties of Lake St. John East and Lake St. John West. I ask my hon. friend not to spend so much of his time in recommending his brother's jam and study the legislation. The names of the provincial counties are Lake St. John and Roberval. I regret that a man so unfamiliar with the law was appointed by the government to sit on this committee. He was not qualified. Temiscouata is mentioned, but not the provincial counties of Riviere du Loup and Temiscouata. This committee ignores that. What about the provincial county of Gatineau? Is it in whole or in part in Hull, Wright, Labelle and Chapleau? That is not mentioned here. In Gaspe they put Gaspe East and Gaspe West, while in the province it is Gaspe North and Gaspe South. These people would be unable to vote. Does Laviolette belong to Lafleche-St. Maurice or Champlain? There is no excuse for such mistakes being made because now the name of the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) appears on the bill. I said yesterday that the bill did not contain the name of a junior member, but that it contains the name of the right hon. the Prime Minister himself. How can he trust these men who sat on the committee when their work is full of such gross mistakes of form and fact?

Does the committee realize how many fractions of constituencies have been put together to form thirty-seven constituencies in the province of Quebec? Ninety-nine fractions have been put together to form thirty-seven constituencies. That is the work of the hon. gentleman. That is the gerrymander; that is the jig-saw puzzle, the casse-tete

Redistribution-Mr. Pouliot

chinois. That is what they have been working on for such a long time. They wanted to take a little parish from this one and a little one from that one. The Solicitor General (Mr. Dupre) thought it would be just as well to put certain electors in Levis as he might decide to run there. It was just like a bunch of children running after some candy or jam. They were all asking for something, they were all rejecting something else. They were asking for something and grabbing something. That is how they did this very fine work. It is the most stupid thing that has ever been submitted to any parliament in any country.

Here is how they used the fractions to make up the constituencies. In Argenteuil there are three fractions; the county of Argenteuil, part of Two Mountains and part of Papineau. In Beauce .there are three; county of Beauce, part of Dorchester and part of Frontenac. In Beauhamois-Laprairie there are four; part of Beauharnois, part of Laprairie, part of Chateauguay and part of Huntingdon. In Bellechasse there are four; part of Bellechasse, part of Levis, part of Dorchester and part of Montmagny. In Bonaventure there are two; county of Bona-venture and part of Matapedia. In Chambly-Rouville there are four; the county of Chambly, part of Rouville, part of Vercheres and part of Laprairie. Champlain is part of a whole. In Chapleau there are three; part of the county of Abitibi, part of St. Maurice and part of Ohamplain. In CharlevoiX-Saguenay there are four; the two Charlevoix, Saguenay, New Quebec and the island of Anticosti and Montmorency. In Chateau-guay-Huntingdon there are four; Chateauguay, Huntingdon, Beauharnois and St. Jean. In Compton there are four; Compton, part of Stanstead, part of Sherbrooke and part of Frontenac. I do not blame the hon. gentleman for this for as it is it represents the federal boundaries.

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CON
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

For eighty years. I do not blame the hon. member for that, but it is an exception to the rule. In Dorchester there are two; Dorchester and part of Bellechasse. In Gaspe there are two; the counties of Gaspe East and Gaspe West and part of Matane. In Hull there are three; part of Hull, part of Papineau and part of Laval. In Kamouraska there are three; Kamouraska, part of Temis-couata and part of ITslet. In Labelle there are two; part of Labelle and part of Papineau. In Lafleche^St. Maurice there are two; part of St. Maurice and part of Champlain. In

L'A.ssomption-T errebonne there are two; L'Assomption and part of Terrebonne. In Laval-Two Mountains there are three; part of Laval, part of Two Mountains and part of Terrebonne. He seems to have forgotten about the Laurent parcel post contract. I wonder if the Prime Minister sent anyone to the court house in Montreal to look over the files and obtain more details. I think they would find out the truth and what was well known to the public.

Levis consists of part of the county of Levis. In Lotbiniere there are five; Lotbiniere, part of Nicolet, part of Levis, part of Megantic and part of Beauce. This is the winner of the race. Then there is Matapedia-Matane, two fractions, part of Matane and part of Matapedia. Why not put those two counties as a whole together? Then there is Megantic-Frontenac, three fractions, part of Megantic, part of Frontenac and part of Wolfe; Mont-magny-L'Islet, two fractions, part of Montmagny and part of L'lslet; Nicolet-Yamaska, two fractions, part of Nicolet and part of Yamaska; Pontiac, three fractions, Pontiac, Temiskaming and part of Abitibi, and I wonder whether there is not something else.

Then we have Portneuf, two fractions, part of Portneuf and part of Quebec; Quebec-Montmorency, three fractions, part of Quebec, part of Montmorency and part of Portneuf; Richelieu-Vercheres, three fractions, part of Vercheres, part of Yamaska and part of St. Hyaointhe; Richmond-Wolfe, two fractions, Richmond and part of Wolfe; Rimouski, two fractions, Rimouski and part of Temis-couata; St. Johns-I'berville, three fractions, Iberville, part of St. Johns plus the county of Napierville; St. Hyacinthe-Ragot, three fractions, part of St. Hyacinthe, part of Rouville, and Bagot; Temiiscouata, a fraction; Three Rivers, two fractions, part of St. Maurice and part of Three Rivers; Vau-dreuil-Soulanges, two parts, Yaudreuil and Soulanges; Wright, two fractions, part of Hull and part of Labelle.

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CON
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT (Translation):

I hope the hon. member for Berthier-Maskinonge (Mr. Barrette) who retains his counties complete, shares our indignation at the partitioning of the other counties of the province. It is an unwarranted indignity. I trust this iniquity will not be consummated and that the Prime Minister will look into it, as he will look into the affairs of Mr. Laurent, of Montreal, who has a contract for the transportation of postal parcels.

Redistribution-Mr. Barrette

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Intact counties number

fourteen; fractional counties, three, and added fractions, ninety-nine, making a total of 116. This is without counting the electoral seats for the city of Quebec and Montreal. This is a fine mess. Have you, Mr. Chairman, ever seen anything like it. Would you, sir, who come from Ontario, stand for it? How is it that the hon. member for Ber.thier-Maskinonge (Mr. Barrette), whose favoured constituencies are not touched, does not stand with us to condemn the awful and abominable work that has been done by the hon. member for Compton who is bold enough to smile When I cut his suspenders with the scissors of truth? He was so mixed up that when he had to address the hon. member for Lotbiniere (Mr. Verville), who now has parts of five constituencies, he could not remember the exact name of that hon. gentleman's constituency and he confused it with Nicolet; his mind is dizzy; let us pray for him.

I will conclude by saying this, that in 1917 we had the Wartime Elections Act and in the sister provinces there was a united cry: Let us be through with Quebec; Quebec shall not dominate Canada. But there was a comeback to this. In 1921, who gave the majority to my revered leader? It was the province of Quebec. There is a comeback; there is sometimes an. appeal to prejudice, but it never lasts long; it is a straw fire. Opinions change; the constituencies that have existed for years and years in Quebec have at different times elected members of different political faiths, but the electors were the same people who were judging the parties on their programs, their promises and the way in which they had fulfilled expectations. In 1930, twenty-five constituencies in Quebec chose to elect twenty-five members on the government side, but I am sure that if this bill is passed as it is, correcting the errors of form but leaving in it the gross error of facts, the province of Quebec will assuredly not elect a single member for the Conservative party.

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May 24, 1933