May 14, 1964

MOTIONS FOR PAPERS

MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES


The house resumed from Thursday, May 7, consideration of the motion of Mr. Martineau: That an order of the house do issue for a copy of all maps drawn up or deposited with the chief electoral officer or the representation commissioner pertaining to the proposed redistribution of electoral boundaries in Canada.


PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Eldon M. Woolliams (Bow River):

Speaking in support of this motion, and as one who seconded the motion, I may say frankly, at the outset, that I should like to be a little better prepared than I am this afternoon. We have in the last few days been busy in the committee on privileges and elections.

Nevertheless, I should like to say a few words in relation to these documents-some call them maps; others call them mathematical exercises-and in so doing I wish to refer to the provisions of the Representation Commissioner Act which was passed in 1963 and assented to around December 21, 1963 just before the Christmas recess. I doubt that even when another related bill, the bill dealing with redistribution, was before the house-and it passed second reading-many hon. members realized just what that bill said, for that matter, what the Representation Commissioner Act said. Section 8 of that act is right to the point:

As soon as possible after the completion of any decennial census, or in the case of the census taken in the year 1961 as soon as possible after the coming into force of this act, the commissioner shall prepare maps showing the distribution of population in each province and setting out alternative proposals respecting the boundaries of electoral districts in each province, and shall thereupon supply such maps to the appropriate electoral boundaries commission.

Thus, the act provides that the representation commissioner shall provide maps referring to electoral districts and, in particular, maps related to the year 1961. There have been a great many words spoken about these maps. In fact, the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) had this to say-and I know we are not supposed to quote from Hansard during debate if an hon. member objects. However, if he will waive the rule I will read the exact words which were used by him on April 30, as reported at page 2780:

I am told there are no maps so far.

This was said in answer to a question put by the hon. member for Rosthern (Mr. Nasserden).

Therefore one cannot say he has seen the maps. However, in response to the suggestion that was made I have seen some of the sketches that are referred to as transparencies, consisting of lines drawn on transparencies that are put over old maps.

The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre is a very meticulous man in the use of his language. He has set out that he has absolute confidence in the representation commissioner, as I think we all have, as far his duties are concerned, provided those duties are free from any political bias or prejudice, or from any influence exercised by

Electoral Boundaries Maps any minister by whom he takes his directions. So that when hon. members come before the house and say to you, Mr. Speaker, and through you to the house, that there are no maps, then I do not know what kind of argument they are prepared to present. The hon. member says in one breath that he has seen something. To me he is just mincing words. I know that on many occasions the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre gets very pious, particularly on this subject. He is one who has said down through the years that he wants to take redistribution out of politics. I think there is one thing about which this party can be proud, and that is that we have stood for that for a long time. The reason-and I might as well make this point now-is-

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Batten):

Order. I must point out to the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Woolliams) the very narrow limits of the debate at the present time. The question we have to decide is whether or not the maps in question should be tabled.

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

I appreciate the rules and the narrowness of debate, Mr. Speaker, but I read the debate thoroughly at noon, and with the greatest respect the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, as reported at page 2778 of Hansard, took up two pages, if that can be translated into time, dealing with taking redistribution out of politics. I am just answering his argument. He having opened up the subject I am sure, in all fairness to the Chair, that you would not want me to narrow the debate beyond the limits of the debate at the present time.

Throughout the years the Conservative party has stood for independent redistribution and for taking the matter out of politics. The reason of course is that either in 1953 or just before, the province of Saskatchewan lost one, if not two constituencies, including that of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Diefen-baker), who was the only Conservative member of the house at that time outside of Calgary in western Canada. So we have had some experience of this kind of gerrymandering, and when we have to rely on the minister who is piloting the particular act in question, and who is behind the drafting of these maps, we are naturally a little suspicious as to what might occur in the future, and have to look into the matter very carefully.

Coming back to the point about the maps, I say that there are maps and that every hon. member in the house who has seen these sketches, or whatever my hon. friend from Winnipeg North Centre wants to call them, he himself, as I say, having seen them, will

Electoral Boundaries Maps say that they are maps; make no mistake about that. If they are not maps, then the taxpayers of Canada are paying the representation commissioner money for something he should not be doing, because clause 8 of the bill requires that maps be drawn.

The next question is this. If these maps are going to be withdrawn, what is the secret behind it? Why did the minister in the last debate and during the debate on the redistribution bill, when asked whether there were maps, become white hot? Why does he lose his temper on so many occasions? He loses his temper because he has something to hide, and that is why he is opposing this motion at the present time.

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Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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LIB

George James McIlraith (Minister of National Revenue; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. Mcllrailh:

May I ask the hon. member a question?

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

Yes, I would be pleased to answer it.

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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LIB

George James McIlraith (Minister of National Revenue; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. Mcllraith:

In the hon. member's last reference to losing tempers, is he speaking for himself?

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

No, I am speaking for the Minister of Transport (Mr. Pickersgill), the man who was secretary of state but was demoted. He is the man I am speaking about. I am not speaking about the member for Bow River or about the minister who has just interrupted me.

Many of us have seen these maps. I should like to ask who hired the staff of the representation commission? Was there any influence exercised by the Minister of Transport, the former secretary of state, in that regard? Did he recommend these people as staff? Is this matter above politics? These are questions we would like answered. There are also other questions I should like to ask. I have been interested in the attitude of certain newspapers with regard to their suspicions about these maps, and I will read from an editorial in that regard in a minute or two. Why are these maps being hidden? Why are we suspicious? The answer is that about 65 to 75 per cent of the constituencies of this country are going to be affected, some more than others.

I have not had an expert go over these maps, and that is why I want them placed before the house so that experts can take a look at them. It would be a strange thing if we were to see that the constituencies of the frontbenchers of the Conservative party have either been wiped out or so altered that they cannot be recognized. One perfect example in this regard is the constituency of Perth, which is an old, historical riding. Would it not be strange if that constituency were wiped out?

What makes it so strange is the sales job which has been done by the former secre-

tary of state who was demoted to Minister of Transport. He keeps telling the newspapers of this country: "Oh, don't worry; we believe in a tolerance". This tolerance, Mr. Speaker, is a lot of tommyrot. I say that, because it may be as low as 1 per cent, or as high as 20 per cent, or as low as 20 per cent, or be a decimal point of 1 per cent, or exist not at all. I am dealing with just one map, in spite of what my hon. friend from Winnipeg North Centre has said, and I suppose he will want to hear what I have to say.

The fact is that there are maps. I looked up the word in the dictionary, and it means a geographical area with boundaries. Maps show boundaries, places and populations. They show geographic descriptions of various parts of the country, including mountains, and I will have something to say about mountains later.

What about the constituency of Perth? The constituency of Perth is populated by about

70,000 people, so you would not expect it to have been changed at all. But when we ask about this the government say they have either applied the metropolitan method, whatever method that is, or the other method. The other method is the urban method or the corporation method.

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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PC

Reynold Rapp

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rapp:

The corporate method.

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Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

Yes, the corporate method; I thank my hon. friend from Humboldt-Mel-fort-Tisdale. But whatever method it is we want it described. Why are the members of this house denied this information? I think the Liberal members of this house would also be most interested in that question, and I trust that they will raise it at their caucus. If they have not been permitted to see the maps their opinions might change. Many hon. members have seen them. Why should I have the privilege of seeing them, when you are denied that privilege?

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Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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?

An hon. Member:

I don't want to see them.

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

If you don't want to see them, you may be very fortunate. I do not know the details of the riding you represent. The riding of Perth has the exact population; many of these ridings have the exact population. I have always taken this position. Certainly there are many places which have a population as low as 15,000 or 20,000. Highly populated constituencies exist in the city of Toronto and in the city of Montreal, while some of our farm communities and some of our rural communities in Ontario and Quebec are less highly populated. If you want to change the situation to bring the formula closer to representation by population, why change those constituencies which fit into the

formula? How strange it is that these constituencies happen to be represented by the front bench members of the Conservative party.

That is the reason I ask the ex-secretary of state, now the Minister of Transport, to produce these maps. I say to him, what has he to hide? I am sorry he is absent today-in fact, many of his colleagues seem to be absent-because I would have liked him to explain to the house at this time what he is hiding. How can we believe that this redistribution is above politics, prejudice and bias? I know the newspapers say that no one will question Mr. Castonguay. That may be very true. But in all fairness to that Canadian- and I have expressed my views about Mr. Castonguay, and there is no question that he is above reproach-the fact is that he has a job to do and under the act he is to be paid $25,000 a year. What influence may be brought to bear on him? What influence has the Minister of Transport, formerly the secretary of state, exercised in this regard? Who influenced the hiring of the staff in that respect? Who decided whether we would apply the metropolitan or the corporate method when bringing about a redistribution in this country? What consideration has been given to the historical value or the historical facts of these constituencies?

Mr. Speaker, let me go back to the constituency of Perth, the place where the plays of Shakespeare are to be relived on this continent. Even the United States, including Hollywood, is looking to that area in which to relive Shakespeare's plays. My colleague represents that constituency. If its borders are correct; if it has the proper population; if it fits into the formula, why wipe out that constituency? What influence has been exercised in this regard? Let us take into account the factors of geography. One may say these ten commissions which are to be set up will be above prejudice and bias and will solve the matter; but the fact is that there will be no hearings before those commissions until judgment is rendered.

I have the greatest respect for members of the judiciary. As a member of two bars in this country I have respect for judges of this country, but surely when the matter comes before them and somebody steeped in the atmosphere of redistribution, who understands the subject, lays on their desks maps drawn and prepared without proper scrutiny, or at least the scrutiny necessary to find out what influence might have been exercised, they are going to be mere rubber stamps. Therefore we say they may not even take into account the geographical features involved.

Let us consider my own riding. The newspapers say one must not mention his own riding. This is said by the Calgary Albertan.

Electoral Boundaries Maps This newspaper says one must not mention his own riding because a member has a personal interest in the matter. Well, Mr. Speaker, I have a personal interest in the matter and I have a personal interest as far as all members of parliament are concerned who agree with my point of view, because I do not think this matter is above politics at the present time.

One map includes Jasper, stretched right out to the constituency of the hon. member for Jasper-Edson (Mr. Horner). The centre of Bow River is the city of Calgary. If an election was called in the winter, the only way you could get into Jasper from Calgary, Alberta, or any other part of Bow River, would be by helicopter; and we have not those fat electoral sums of money that other parties appear to have and boast about in this regard. Therefore the only way I could get into my own riding to electioneer or process the work I have to do would be to drive to Edmonton, and then through Edmonton come into Jasper through the back door. I say, Mr. Speaker, these maps should be subject to scrutiny and laid before parliament so we may look at them.

Supposing the commission set up in Alberta does not understand the geography of certain ridings? No one man in any province can understand all these things. They have hired a group of university students in the city of Ottawa. When I asked two or three of them if they had university degrees, they said they had no particular training. They just took a group of people living in a certain spot-they did not care whether you had to cross the Cascade mountains-and the idea was, "There are so many people living in this area. Go to it". If this is the kind of redistribution we are going to have, one may well ask whether it is above politics.

I have the greatest respect for some newspapers of this country. I am not saying that about all of them, and I am going to attack particularly some of the western newspapers which have not yet grasped what is involved in this question. I read an editorial which appeared on May 6, 1964 with reference to this particular subject. It said, "Mr. Wool-liams protests too much". I intend to protest on this subject today and tomorrow and continually, Mr. Speaker, if necessary, because it affects not only my riding but, I repeat, probably 85 per cent of the ridings in this country. The main thing for which they spanked me in the editorial was this. They said that surely if the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Pearson) is to appoint one member to the commission to look at these maps, and

Electoral Boundaries Maps the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Diefen-baker) is to appoint one member to the commission to look at these maps, the member from Bow River and other Conservative members will be protected. The Calgary Albertan does not even know we have been supporting that section of the bill and we are opposed to the amendment of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles), so how can they be unprejudiced and unbiased? They are very quick to come to the support of the former secretary of state, now the devoted Minister of Transport, but they wrote this editorial without knowing the facts. Everything I read here in reference to this matter shows they are not in possession of the facts.

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

How about reading the editorial?

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

I do not want to take the time to read it. You can go into the reading room and read it for yourself. It is an editorial in the Albertan of May 6, 1964. It says that members of parliament will be looked after because the member for Bow River and the other Conservatives will have a member appointed to the commission by the Leader of the Opposition, and the Liberals will be looked after because the Prime Minister will appoint a member to the commission. We support that; but that is not the section of the bill about which we are concerned and which the government, having reversed their position, are now supporting.

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Read the last two sentences.

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

I have not time to read them. You can read them later, if you wish. I am very glad, Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre has raised this problem. Why has he put his finger in the pie? I know why he is so anxious to rush this thing through. It is because, if I may use the word, they have stolen the best part of the constituency of the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Churchill) and put it in his constituency. It is that area that might perpetuate the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre's right to sit in this House of Commons. That is just how comfortable he is.

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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?

Some hon. Members:

Shame.

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

Let me point this out, Mr. Speaker. There were 85,000 people in the constituency of Winnipeg South Centre. That is greater than the 70,000 required; it is probably even greater than the tolerance figure. Why was this constituency so readjusted? They changed it from west-east to north-south.

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   MAPS SHOWING ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES
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May 14, 1964