February 24, 1965

PRIVILEGE

MR. DOUGLAS-ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER "PROVINCE" RESPECTING FRAUDULENT VOTING

NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. T. C. Douglas (Burnaby-Coquitlam):

rise on a question of privilege, Mr. Speaker, affecting the members of this party who represent constituencies in British Columbia. My specific question of privilege relates to an article which appeared in the Vancouver Province of February 22, written by Mr. Ormond Turner. This copy of the Vancouver Province only came to my hand this morning. I am therefore raising this matter at the very earliest opportunity that was practicable.

The article reads in part as follows:

A local union official has privately admitted that at least six B.C. unions have conspired to get N.D.P. candidates elected fraudulently by entering fictitious names on the voters' lists.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DOUGLAS-ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER "PROVINCE" RESPECTING FRAUDULENT VOTING
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?

Some hon. Members:

Shame.

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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

The article continues:

He said that union members (and others) then went to the polls and used the phony names to help elect N.D.P. candidates.

He didn't seem proud to have been involved in this illegal and shocking subversion of Canada's election laws; he agreed that a conspiracy to fraudulently affect the outcome of an election was an affront to democracy-no matter what the candidate stood for.

Here's how it works;

A union hiring hall in Vancouver gets a call for 25 men to go to a job at Nanaimo . .. While there an election is called and registration begins. The 25 workers are registered at Nanaimo (quite legally) but, by the time the election day comes around, they have either returned to Vancouver or gone on to another construction site. There are 49 days set aside for registration and they could be registered anew at each site, often without their knowledge. Remember, when the enumerator comes around, you can be registered by the landlady.

At each site a list is kept by the local union giving the names and addresses used in the registrations. On election day, some one casts these votes. Some of the names are fictitious, some have phony addresses, some are legitimate-but there is no doubt that illegal votes are cast.

In every riding where this has been proved to happen, the NJD.P. has benefited, with or without that party's knowledge.

20220-738J

I shall quote one other sentence in which the writer says:

-the evidence I've got weighs about three pounds. It's conclusive, it's shocking, and it will provide a good deterrent to anyone who intends to play around with our form of democracy at the next election.

I shall be quite prepared, Mr. Speaker, to place with the Clerk a full copy of the article because I have not taken the time of the house to read all of it. This article casts a serious reflection upon the trade unions in the province of B.C., and calls in question the legality of the election of certain members of this party.

The president of the international woodworkers of America, who drew this to my attention, has written me a letter a copy of which I shall also place with the Clerk. It is dated February 22, addressed to me, and says:

Please find enclosed a press clipping from the Vancouver Province of February 22, 1965 written by one Ormond Turner in which he, by inference, accuses trade unions in the province of British Columbia of conspiring to elect fraudulently members of the New Democratic party.

I am alarmed at these accusations because our union, the international woodworkers of America, being the largest in the province of British Columbia and having a social and political policy at this time of supporting the New Democratic party, and because our policy is so well known to the general public may be tainted by these innuendoes and accusations.

If any unions did indeed, conspire to fraudulently elect anyone I would like to know what unions and which officers did such conspiring. If there is any truth-which I sincerely doubt-in these accusations, then it is only fair that the public and the government know who and which organizations are involved.

It is quite true that there may be duplications of some of our members in federal elections; but this would come about mainly among their transient loggers who could be resident in one of the Vancouver ridings but who at the time of an election gets a call for work in one of the up-coast logging operations and, as there is no absentee voting in federal elections, must either register in the up-coast camp and vote in that riding or be denied a vote. We have always encouraged our members to vote, regardless of who they wish to vote for.

If it can be proven that someone has cast a ballot in a Vancouver riding under the name of an I.W.A. member who legitimately votes in a up-coast riding, then I for one want to know who would perpetrate such an unscrupulous act and on whose behalf it was done. We in the I.W.A. have long recognized that democracy can

Question of Privilege

only work if the people elected to represent various ridings are elected by the majority of votes legitimately cast on their behalf; and -we will strongly deplore any individual or group in society who would attempt to rig elections-whether they be union elections, federal, provincial or municipal elections.

Because of the fact that trade unions have been accused in public of nefarious deeds and because of the fact that so much is at stake, I would request that you do whatever you can to have this whole matter turned over to the proper authorities so that either the culprits (if they exist) are exposed by name, or these scurrilous accusations are publicly laid to rest.

Fraternally yours,

J. A. Moore, President.

I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed by Mr. Moore. They represent the views of this party. If there are persons who have voted illegally, if there are persons who conspired to commit fraud in the last general election or in any other general election, we say such persons should be named and punished to the full extent of the law. On the other hand, if these allegations are not true they should be proven untrue in order that the good names of the unions and of the elected members of this party from British Columbia may be cleared of the allegations made by Mr. Turner on February 22.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Would the hon. gentleman permit me to ask him a question?

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Subtopic:   MR. DOUGLAS-ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER "PROVINCE" RESPECTING FRAUDULENT VOTING
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

Yes, but it will not have much to do with the question of privilege.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

It has directly to do with it. Has the hon. gentleman seen the Province for February 23 and the article by the same author; if so, would he read the first paragraph to the house?

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Subtopic:   MR. DOUGLAS-ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER "PROVINCE" RESPECTING FRAUDULENT VOTING
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

I have not seen the article in question.

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Subtopic:   MR. DOUGLAS-ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER "PROVINCE" RESPECTING FRAUDULENT VOTING
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Would the hon. gentleman

permit me to read it, because it seems very relevant to the point?

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Subtopic:   MR. DOUGLAS-ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER "PROVINCE" RESPECTING FRAUDULENT VOTING
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

Certainly.

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Subtopic:   MR. DOUGLAS-ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER "PROVINCE" RESPECTING FRAUDULENT VOTING
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

It says:

What's the NJD.P. mad about? I never said that their party was involved in a conspiracy to get phony votes-I said that at least six trade unions were involved in a bid to get phony votes for the N.D.P.

Ernest Hall, N.D.P. secretary, says if I have any evidence of fraudulent registration I should send it to the chief returning officer. Hall's a little late-most of the evidence has already gone to CJl.O. Nelson Castonguay.

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Subtopic:   MR. DOUGLAS-ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER "PROVINCE" RESPECTING FRAUDULENT VOTING
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

I see very little value in the interruption by the Minister cf Transport.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DOUGLAS-ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER "PROVINCE" RESPECTING FRAUDULENT VOTING
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DOUGLAS-ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER "PROVINCE" RESPECTING FRAUDULENT VOTING
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

The fact remains that the gentleman in question, Mr. Ormond Turner, made certain charges to the effect that persons had conspired to fraudulently elect New Democratic party members.

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Subtopic:   MR. DOUGLAS-ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER "PROVINCE" RESPECTING FRAUDULENT VOTING
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Well, there is no question of privilege.

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Subtopic:   MR. DOUGLAS-ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER "PROVINCE" RESPECTING FRAUDULENT VOTING
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

That may not touch the somewhat insensitive susceptibilities of the Minister of Transport, but it certainly touches mine.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DOUGLAS-ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER "PROVINCE" RESPECTING FRAUDULENT VOTING
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DOUGLAS-ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER "PROVINCE" RESPECTING FRAUDULENT VOTING
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I am rising on a point of order. My point of order is this. The hon. gentleman rose on an alleged question of privilege. A question of privilege has to affect the house or some member of the house. But the author of this article has indicated clearly that he is making no accusations against the house or any member of it.

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Subtopic:   MR. DOUGLAS-ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER "PROVINCE" RESPECTING FRAUDULENT VOTING
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

May I read again to the hon. member the following words:

In every riding where this has been proved to happen, the N.D.P. has benefited, with or without that party's knowledge.

I can see no reason why the Minister of Transport should attempt to resist an investigation into these allegations. If any member of this party or of any other party in the house has been elected by fraudulent means, either with or without his knowledge, this house and the country have the right to know. This attempt to muddy the waters by bringing in something, coming from the Minister of Transport, irrelevant has a very strange aroma.

I wish to move:

That the chief electoral officer be requested to investigate the charges of irregularities in the federal election of 1963 made by Ormond Turner in the Vancouver Province of February 22, 1965, and in any subsequent issues thereof, and to make a full report thereon.

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Subtopic:   MR. DOUGLAS-ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER "PROVINCE" RESPECTING FRAUDULENT VOTING
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February 24, 1965