June 24, 1938

CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

I should like to see this considered because its adoption would put our elections act on a par with other election acts. I think in the main it is one of the best anywhere, but in my opinion this would make it nearly one hundred per cent perfect.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

The objection raised by the hon. gentleman would appear to be a good one were it not for the fact that this section refers not to poll clerks but to election clerks who are assistants to the returning officers. Perhaps my hon. friend would indicate his objection when we reach the section referring to poll clerks.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

That will give me a double opportunity to express my objection.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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Section agreed to. Sections 10 to 13 inclusive agreed to. On section 14-Qualifications.


CCF

Charles Grant MacNeil

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacNEIL:

Might I have an explanation of paragraph (j) ?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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LIB

Charles Edward Bothwell

Liberal

Mr. BOTHWELL:

This paragraph is taken from the 1934 act, but its wording is made more definite. It deals specifically with a particular class of people, those who are dealt with under a certain order in council. This paragraph was discussed at great length in the 51952-268i

committee and its wording was agreed upon. It has to do with the Doukhobors who were disqualified by the 1934 act.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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CCF

Charles Grant MacNeil

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacNEIL:

What is their position at the present time?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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LIB

Charles Edward Bothwell

Liberal

Mr. BOTHWELL:

They are disqualified if they are disqualified by the province.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

I should like to make a few remarks in connection with paragraph (k). As I read this paragraph, it would disbar any person living in an institution maintained by any government or municipality; any person living in an old folks home would be disbarred from voting in certain provinces. I object to our elections act being chopped up in such a way as to make the application of its provisions different in one province from what it is in another. It would be an anomaly if a person living in an old folks home in Ottawa were disbarred from voting in Ottawa, but permitted to vote in Hull. Many of the people in these homes are quite capable of exercising their rights as Canadian citizens, and I do not think they should be disbarred from voting simply because they happen to be inmates of such an institution.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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LIB

Charles Edward Bothwell

Liberal

Mr. BOTHWELL:

The Dominion Franchise Act, 1934, contains the following provision:

Provided that the following persons are disqualified from voting at an election and incapable of being registered as electors and shall not be so registered, that is to say-

(x) every person who is an inmate of an institution which is maintained by any government or municipality for the housing and maintenance of the poor;

In this new bill we have limited the disqualification to those provinces where such persons are disqualified. Evidence was given before the committee that institutions have been set up in certain provinces by the provincial authorities, and it was almost the unanimous opinion of the committee that people in certain of those institutions were not interested in electoral matters and were not in a position to form an opinion as to how a vote should be cast. It was thought that if the province prohibited them from voting because of their being in a particular type of institution, then we should also restrain them under the federal act.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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CON

Richard Langton Baker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAKER:

Would it not be more correct to exclude them in the same way as the doukhobors are excluded?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
Permalink
CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

Many of these people take considerable interest in public affairs. Any one who has visited an old folks home knows that older people who have possession of

Elections and Franchise

their faculties usually take considerable interest in public affairs. During their spare time they discuss these matters at great length and with a great deal of understanding. There .may be instances where, because of their mental condition, they would not be able to vote, but I believe those cases would be covered by other sections of the bill. We are penalizing these people because they happen to be living in an institution of this kind. I know of many instances where an old person has preferred to live in such an institution. If he were living with his near relatives, he would be entitled to vote, but simply because he happens to go to an institution he is being denied that right. I think that is a most unfair discrimination against the older section of our population who have given the best years of their lives to building up this country. If a provincial government wants to take action of that kind, then we have no jurisdiction nor have we any cause to complain in this chamber, but I do not think this federal parliament should follow the lead of the provincial governments. I believe this is a retrograde step.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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LIB

Charles Edward Bothwell

Liberal

Mr. BOTHWELL:

If I might interrupt my hon. friend at that point, this clause has been worded in this particular way because in certain provinces there are certain institutions, the inmates of which the provincial authorities feel should not be given this right. We worded the clause in this way, rather than make the prohibition apply in all the provinces as was done by the old act.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
Permalink
CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

Simply that a provincial

government does a certain thing is no reason why we should follow the same course. The women in the province of Quebec are not permitted to vote in provincial elections, but that is no reason why we should say that they should be disbarred from voting in dominion elections. That is no excuse at all. In a federal law we should stick entirely to the federal jurisdiction and not follow what may happen to be done in a particular province. That is my complaint. These people may be entitled in every way to vote; they may have full knowledge of everything that is going on in the political field in this dominion. We spend thousands and thousands of dollars trying to get votes out on election day. We discussed the question of absentee votes, and in the last election we spent an enormous sum of money to get absentee votes recorded in different parts of this dominion; yet here are men and women quite capable of casting an intelligent vote, and we are depriving them of it simply because the provincial government says they are not entitled to

vote. We are simply following the lead of the provincial government, and that is my complaint. I hope the minister will see to it that these old people in the latter years of their life are not deprived of something which I know in many instances they prize very highly indeed.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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SC

Robert Fair

Social Credit

Mr. FAIR:

Two wrongs can never make

a right, and the fact that this paragraph was in the old act is no reason w'hy.it should be continued in this new measure, which the hon. member for Davenport (Mr. MacNicol) claims to be one hundred per cent perfect. But I say, Mr. Chairman, that with a provision such as this no electoral act can be one hundred per cent perfect. Many of the inmates of these old people's homes are there because of unscrupulous methods employed in many instances by other people who are outside and who are still privileged to vote, and I believe it is our duty to see that these old people in the homes are given the right to vote just as much as some unscrupulous people outside of whom they have been the victims. If you disfranchise these people, why not disfranchise those on relief in the cities, whose food and rent and clothing are paid for by the respective governments? This is just the thin end of the wedge, in my opinion, to disfranchise those who, through no fault of their own, are compelled to go on relief to-day, and no country which boasts of democracy-and this highest privilege of democracy can be exercised only on election day, once in every few years-should stand for any such paragraph being kept in the act. I trust that the committee will amend the legislation so that every legitimate Canadian shall have the right to vote.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

I wish to support everything that has been said on this question by the hon. member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Heaps). I do not agree with the hon. member who has just spoken (Mr. Fair), that this is the thin end of the wedge.

Section stands.

Progress reported.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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THE ROYAL ASSENT


A message was delivered by Major A. R. Thompson, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, as follows: Mr. Speaker, His Honour, the deputy of His Excellency the Governor General, desires the immediate attendance of this honourable house in the chamber of the honourable the senate. Accordingly, the house went up to the Senate. The Royal Assent And having returned, Mr. SPEAKER informed the house that the deputy of His Excellency the Governor General had been pleased to give in His Majesty's name the royal assent to the following bills: An Act for the relief of Gerda Ellen Morrison. An Act for the relief of Hilda Elsa Maeke Schneider. An Act for the relief of Margaret Robinson Mathieson Megee. An Act for the relief of Rachel Tencer Silberberg. An Act for the relief of George Brunet. An Act for the relief of Mary Elizabeth Fletcher Meigs Ballantyne. An Act for the relief of Ada Alice Burns. An Act for the relief of Marjorie Isabel Meldrum Andersen. An Act for the relief of Alice Pearl Shaver Booth. An Act for the relief of Mary Grace French Clarke. An Act for the relief of John Gerard Ahern. An Act to amend The Copyright Amendment Act, 1931, and the Copyright Act. An Act respecting The Restigouche Log Driving and Boom Company. An Act to amend the Exchequer Court Act. An Act to amend The National Harbours Board Act, 1936. An Act to amend the New Westminster Harbour Commissioners Act. An Act to amend the Railway Act. An Act respecting the Registration of Shop Cards by Labour Unions. An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 1934. An Act to assist Municipalities in making self-liquidating Improvements. An Act to amend The Manitoba Natural Resources Act, The Alberta Natural Resources Acts, and the Saskatchewan Natural Resources Acts. An Act to incorporate The Maritime Provinces General Insurance Company. An Act to incorporate The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Hudson's Bay. An Act respecting The Mail Printing Company. An Act respecting the Globe Printing Company. An Act for the relief of Paul Sanson White. An Act for the relief of Louise Maud Thomas Gregory. An Act for the relief of Emma Kathleen Lavery Forester. An Act for the relief of Edith Margaret Campbell Quinn. An Act for the relief of Dorothy Maud Doran Gay. An Act for the relief of Kathleen Barnsley Prichard Hartney. An Act for the relief of Thomas Russell An Act for the relief of Marie Marguerite Agnes Marcelle Dupont Ross. An Act for the relief of Wilfred Augustus Cottle Stead. An Act for the relief of Celia Caplan Tucker. An Act for the relief of Irene Thomas Smith, An Act for the relief of Sylvia Salzman Udashkin. An Act for the relief of William Dougald Stanley Campbell. An Act for the relief of Mildred Varner MacLeod. An Act respecting the High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom. An Act to amend The Excise Act, 1934. An Act to regulate the Inspection and Sale of Binder Twine and to establish Weight of Bushel for certain Commodities commonly sold by the Bushel. An Act to amend the Indian Act. An Act to amend The National Parks Act, and The Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island National Parks Act, 1936. An Act respecting the North Pacific Pelagic Sealing Convention. An Act to amend the Northwest Territories Act.


PRIVATE BILLS


Bill No. 165, for the relief of Aldege Nault.-Mr. Jacobs. Bill No. 166, for the relief of Muriel Gladys Jones Roberts.-Mr. Jacobs. Bill No. 167, for the relief of Virginia Amelia Loomis Wadsworth.-Mr. Walsh. Bill No. 168, for the relief of Jennie Erdrich Ettenberg.-(Mr. Jacobs. At six o'clock the house took recess. After Recess The house resumed at eight o'clock. PRIVATE BILLS


June 24, 1938