May 14, 1964

LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but his time has expired.

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

Gérard Laprise

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Gerard Laprise (Chapleau):

Mr. Speaker, a few observations only on the motion for papers now before us, to say that I agree with the hon. member for Pontiac-Temiscamingue (Mr. Martineau) that we should be made aware of the true facts concerning the sketches or drafts being made in relation with the boundaries of electoral districts in every province.

It goes without saying that the purpose of having those maps tabled in the house is precisely to enable hon. members to have a better idea of what will be the new boundaries of the districts. I also agree with those who would like to know why this redistribution will entail changes in the boundaries of certain ridings. But, between that and the fact that the changes I had the opportunity to see in the offices located on O'Connor street have to be made, there is certainly something that is not conformable to the situation of certain districts.

Moreover, the idea of following only mathematical systems is completely ridiculous, and we should adhere to the existing circumstances in economic areas.

Mr. Speaker, I particularly studied one district that concerns me, my own district of Chapleau, which is the second largest in the province of Quebec. According to the sketches or the maps I have seen, it is the intention to cut out a large slice right in the middle of the riding so as to leave only the two ends to the riding of Chapleau.

Undoubtedly, Mr. Speaker, the one who prepared those plans might have had good intentions, but I think he does not know anything about the region for which he made a sketch, and he should have asked for advice or obtained information on the spot, in order to know what it was all about.

I should also like to refer to an observation made by the Minister of Transport (Mr. Pickersgill) two weeks ago, that is on April 30, when he indicated that those maps would not be used when the provincial commissioners would be called upon to make a final decision. Therefore, I wonder why that work has been done, if it is not to be used? Why were requests made to prepare plans or sketches if the commissioners who will set the boundaries of electoral ridings do not use them?

Mr. Speaker, I feel that if they do not know what to do with the chief electoral officer, they should merely pay him a holiday. That would not upset the applecart as it is said that the work he was requested to prepare will not be used.

Mr. Speaker, I am convinced that those maps will have a considerable influence on the decision of the commissioners, and that is why I support the motion of the hon. member for Pontiac-Temiscamingue to the effect that those maps should be placed at the disposal of the hon. members, so that each may see them and know not only where we stand but also what will be the result.

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

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. L. J. Pigeon (Jolielle-L'Assomplion-Montcalm):

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

Guy Favreau (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Favreau:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

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

Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

Order. The Minister of

Justice has a point of order.

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

Guy Favreau (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Favreau:

I shall ask the hon. member whether he allows me to put a question, and if not, I shall raise a point of order.

Can the hon. member for Joliette-L'As-somption-Montcalm tell the house at which caucus such indiscretion is supposed to have been committed and from whom he holds such information?

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

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pigeon:

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to reply to the Minister of Justice that the caucus was held a month ago and it was a Wednesday caucus; I know it from a reliable source and I wish the minister would not oblige me to tell from whom; besides, I am not going-

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

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pigeon:

-to mention anybody.

Electoral Boundaries Maps

In other words, it was reported that members on the government side were told: "Make your choice, make your recommendations." So that the opposition members would take what remained after the members on the government side had helped themselves.

That is one of the reasons why the Minister of Transport refuses to produce those maps before the House of Commons; simply, he is afraid public opinion in Canada may revolt against the attitude taken by the government, who would apparently discriminate against opposition members.

On this side of the house, we have reason to worry, because we know the kind of politics practised by the Minister of Transport. Moreover, this bill, which should normally be sponsored by the Secretary of State (Mr. Lamontagne) is being sponsored by the Minister of Transport.

We are aware of this kind of petty politics in which the latter so often indulges even in the house. This is why, it would be in the public interest if these maps were produced, in order to prove once for all to the Canadian people that we, on this side of the house, are justified in being concerned and asking questions in connection with the redistribution bill.

It is not without reason, as I said earlier, that the Minister of Transport refuses to produce these maps in the house; there is some kind of agreement between members on the government side. Moreover, Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Drummond-Arthabaska (Mr. Pepin) and even the Secretary of State have admitted that the Liberal conventions are packed. But we, on this side of the house, do not want the redistribution to be made at the expense of the opposition.

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

Joseph-Alphonse-Anaclet Habel

Liberal

Mr. Habel:

Union Nationale.

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

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pigeon:

We want it to be made with justice and fairness. That is why we ask that the maps be produced in the house, in order to prove to the Canadian people that we were justified in wrangling over this matter and in asking for the production of those maps.

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

Joseph-Alphonse-Anaclet Habel

Liberal

Mr. Habel:

Union Nationale.

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

Guy Favreau (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Favreau:

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I wish to caution the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm against his source of information.

The charge that he made a moment ago in the house is certainly one of the most serious which can be brought in this place, where the hon. members, who represent the people of our country, fulfil their duties and perform their functions daily. He accused the government of having introduced a piece of legislation while offering in caucus, that is secretly,

Electoral Boundaries Maps to his members to choose their ridings or their limits. This means that the government would have proposed to the members to use a measure passed in the public interest in order to cheat the Canadian people and to abuse their own privileges.

I say that this, connected later on with the name of the Minister of Transport, becomes a charge that the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm has no right to maintain, unless he tells the house that he assumes the responsibility for it.

Now I assert as a member of the Liberal caucus of Canada and as a minister of this government that such a proposal or such an offer has never been made to the Liberal members of Canada or to any Liberal group. I say that the hon. member for Joliette-L'As-somption-Montcalm must take my word for it and I tell him that the person who gave him that information-

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

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

Will the minister permit a question?

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

Guy Favreau (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Favreau:

Yes.

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

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

Will the Minister of Justice deny that all members of his caucus have not seen these maps and are well aware of them?

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

Guy Favreau (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Favreau:

I do deny that. I just want to assert that those who informed the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm (Mr. Pigeon) of this have uttered a falsehood, a lie, and that he must take my word for that and now withdraw.

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

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pigeon:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. My word is surely as good as the word of the Minister of Justice-

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

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pigeon:

I will not give the names of the two Liberal members who made allusions to that matter.

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