I rise to support the amendment moved by the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid). I was not a member of the committee that considered this bill, but I am not unmindful of the reasons that prompted it in trying to remedy the situation complained of by the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) and the hon. member for Leeds (Mr. Stewart). If it is intended to remedy this situation by the change now suggested, the result will be the disfranchisement of a great many people in British Columbia. Any one who has any understanding at all of the conditions under which the manual labourers work must realize that it would be quite impossible for them to get away from their work and reach the
polling booths before five o'clock. It will mean the disfranchisement of thousands of people all over the province. It will take many of these people two or three hours to reach the polling booths in order to exercise their franchise. I have no objection to the suggestion made by the hon. member for Vancouver South, provided, as the minister said, you can keep the maritimes down. Being a maritimer myself, I know that they take their politics more seriously than their religion, and it may be rather difficult to hold them down. I do not think the solution of this problem is the one provided in the bill, and I am whole-heartedly in support of the amendment moved by the hon. member for New Westminster.
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