Mr. J. R. MacNICOL (Davenport):
I listened with attention to what the minister said in introducing this bill. What I am worrying about is that the bill has not sufficient in it. Had the minister gone farther in his remarks as to what the redistribution committee should consider as rules or principles as guides to follow in determining the boundaries of the various seats, as did the minister in Australia and the minister in England in their last redistributions, the committee would have had more to guide them. The minister laid down only two rules or principles for the guidance of the committee. One of them was that municipal and county boundaries should be considered, and I presume he meant also ward boundaries within the cities.
The minister's second rule or principle was that some attention should be given to the difference between rural and urban populations. The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) said something about the last redistribution bill and, in doing so, I would judge he was speaking about Ontario. I shall not have any comment to make on the schedules sent in from any other province, but I can tell the hon. member that the Ontario schedule went through unanimously. There was some little discussion in the beginning, as the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) has said, about eastern Ontario. But when that was unravelled, all the other schedules went through unanimously. I was chairman of that committee, and I will say that when the late Hon. John Elliott, who was opposition chairman, and I sat down together to set up the rules and principles to be fol-
Business of the House
lowed, we got along most amicably. I cannot speak in too high terms of the cooperation of the late Mr. Elliott, who was a member of a former Liberal government.
We followed those principles as closely as possible, and perhaps I might mention them here, so that they might serve as a guide. Of course we could not control other provincial committees. The Quebec committees at that time were somewhat contentious, as were the committees for Saskatchewan.
But for Ontario I can say that in the end the schedule from that province went through unanimously. Some of the constituencies were small, and some large; but I will say now that one of the small constituencies approved last time by the Ontario committee was referred to tonight by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. I shall not suggest any change in that constituency this time. It is represented by the Prime Minister, and I am one who takes the stand that, in any redistribution, at least the constituency of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) should be left more or less as is. I am on the committee again this time, and I presume I shall be chairman of the Progressive Conservative group. As such, so far as I am concerned I will not advance any change with respect to the constituency of Glengarry, owing to the fact that it is represented by the Prime Minister.
Subtopic: READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS