May 4, 1966

LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order; I understand that in addition to the objections relating to the province of Manitoba there are still two specific objections from the province of Quebec to be considered. I assume that if hon. members want the house to make an order respecting these particular objections, that order should also include a reference to the two objections from Quebec. Is this agreed?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Sub-subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF OBJECTIONS TO COMMISSION REPORTS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

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Sub-subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF OBJECTIONS TO COMMISSION REPORTS
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PC

Eric Stefanson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Eric Slefanson (Selkirk):

Mr. Speaker, I know that the tasks that were assigned to the redistribution commission were difficult. It is essential, however, that the best maps possible should be submitted for final approval. It is desirable that as few people as possible be left dissatisfied. It is for this reason I propose to make a few remarks on the objections before us, in an endeavour to be helpful to the commission. If, during my comments, I use some strong words about some of the things proposed by the commission, it will be because I have the strong feeling that some people are not getting fair treatment. I feel that I have to speak on behalf of these people. I feel, too, that it is of major importance to get started on the right foot and produce a map that will be acceptable to most people.

Before I deal with the map proposed by the commission, I want to point out that the four original ridings were Provencher, Lisgar, Marquette and Selkirk. These are historic ridings. It does not seem right or fair that

one name should be dropped and three retained. The historic name of Selkirk certainly deserves to be retained, but this should not be done in a meaningless way. It should be done in such a manner that the town of Selkirk would remain an important hub of such a riding. The name of the constituency should not be a hyphenated name.

In dealing with the map proposed by the federal Redistribution Commission for the province of Manitoba, I should like to say that I have some serious doubts concerning the redistribution act itself. I also question the knowledge that the members of the Manitoba Redistribution Commission have regarding the community interests of people located in rural Manitoba. The commission, in fact, completely ignored the geographical, cultural and economic interests of Manitoba's rural people. In addition, they have ignored the basic lines of communication throughout the province. With due respect to the members of the commission, I ask why there was not a professional geographer on the commission and why there was not one person from rural Manitoba on it.

I have heard rumours that the maps were actually sketched by university students at Carleton University in Ottawa and that the Manitoba commission merely chose one of those maps and made slight alterations thereon. If this is true, I consider it an insult to the people of Manitoba. The opinion of a great number of Canadians who have studied this problem is that the members of the provincial commissions are dominated, and in some cases actually afraid of, the representation commissioner. The rumour in Manitoba is that the commission has decided their choice of maps is final, and that no evidence produced by members of parliament will change their minds. This is precisely the same arrogant attitude which they took at the public hearings last fall.

There were many excellent representations made by people from the interlake area and the northern part of the province. The arguments presented by those people would certainly have convinced an independent judge that there are serious faults in the proposed map. In addition, a brilliant presentation was made by Mr. J. A. MacKay of Winnipeg. Mr. MacKay presented a map that is far superior in all aspects to that of the commission. If the people of Manitoba had their choice in the matter, I predict they would take Mr. Mac-Kay's map. Why do the members of the commission not go out to rural Manitoba and

May 4, 19S6

obtain the opinions of the people? Should political maps not be the ones which the people want? It appears that we do not have this, but instead we have a dictatorship that is unwilling to accept the opinion of the people. Is this what we want? Is this what is meant by an independent commission? If this is the situation, and it appears that it is, we have gone backwards rather than forwards. Instead of satisfying the people's wishes we have put the redistribution of federal seats in each province into the hands of a four man dictatorship rather than in the hands of 265 elected representatives of the people.

What were the most frequently mentioned complaints at the hearings last fall? For the record, they were as follows:

1. That it is completely unnecessary to have rural areas in a Winnipeg seat or to have a Winnipeg area in a rural seat. The reasoning is quite clear. People should not be dominated by others who have completely different interests.

[DOT] (4:50 p.m.)

2. That the interlake area forms a natural unit and should not be divided into three parts but should form one constituency. If it must be divided, it should be divided along the highways system. There are three main highways running through the interlake, all of which run in a north-south direction. One highway, the St. Laurent-Ashern line, is situated on the west side, and the other two are close together on the east side.

3. The Churchill constituency, which has been extremely difficult in the past, has become impossible by the addition of the northern interlake. In addition, complaints were heard from the people of the northern interlake who feel that they do not belong in Churchill.

What did the commission do about these complaints? First of all, they moved the people of Gimli and Riverton into the Win-nipeg-Selkirk seat, making this seat more impossible in that they have allowed additional domination, and in that they have given this seat, which is one third rural, the second largest population of any seat in Canada.

Second, they moved the dividing line between Portage and Churchill a few miles north, reducing Churchill's population by some 3,000 people. Do they actually think that this has eased the Churchill situation? Well, I have represented this area for eight

Redistribution

years and I know that it has not. The member still has to travel three lines, and whether or not he must cover a few extra villages makes no difference. It appears to me that all they saw was population figures and they were determined to reduce the population of Churchill.

It is true that population was an argument, but there is much more to redistribution than population. In making the change, they have cut through two municipalities which were originally included in one constituency. The people of Fisher Branch, Broad Valley and Poplarfield are one family and the commissioners have worsened the situation by drawing a line through that area.

What could they have done without redrawing the map? They could have made great improvements by making changes as slight as they did. First, Brooklands could have been transferred into Winnipeg North from Portage; Old Kildonan and West St. Paul could have been moved from Winnipeg North to Winnipeg-Selkirk. The result is an increase of 1,000 people in Winnipeg North.

There were complaints at the hearings from the town of Brooklands. Those who are almost in the centre of Winnipeg do not want to be dominated by a rural area. Everything in the municipality of St. Andrews that is north of the town of Selkirk could have gone into Portage. If these changes were now made, Portage would have a population of approximately 65,000 and Winnipeg-Selkirk would have a population of approximately 77,000. This minimum of change would have eliminated most of the domination which now exists. The commission could then have redrawn the Portage-Churchill line in order to ease the Churchill situation. This would have little or no effect on the populations of the constituencies concerned.

As I see it, the major faults in the proposed maps are as follows:

1. Lines of communication and community interests have been completely ignored in the Churchill constituency.

2. Metro Winnipeg has not been given its fair share of Manitoba's 13 seats.

3. Lines of communication and community interests have been completely ignored in that the interlake area has been divided into three.

4. The proposed map allows certain areas to dominate other areas which are completely unrelated.

May 4. 1966

Redistribution

5. It is quite clear that my complaints are the same as those presented by the people of Manitoba.

On the first point, the reasons for objecting to the proposed Churchill constituency are so numerous that an entire volume could be written on it. The Churchill constituency as it was before redistribution had sufficient population and should be left as it was. The argument put forth by the commission for not doing this is that the farming district in the Swan River valley should not come under the same representation as the northern towns of Flin Flon, Thompson, etc. They have therefore placed it with the northern interlake. The same argument applies to the northern interlake in that the largest industry in the northern interlake is mixed farming.

In addition, there are numerous other arguments as to why the Swan River valley should be in Churchill. First, Swan River has come under Churchill representation in the past and is therefore accustomed to it. I have heard that these people would prefer to be in Churchill. Second, the main highway to the north goes through the Swan River area and not through the interlake. Third, the distance between the northern towns to the Swan River valley is much closer than it is to the northern interlake.

Fourth, the Churchill constituency is one of the largest in Canada and therefore difficult enough to represent without making it much more difficult. The northern interlake area is out of the way and loosely connected. Fifth, by including a part of the interlake in Churchill, the commission has split the natural, economic, cultural and political interlake unit.

As I have already stated, the interlake is a natural unit bordered by lakes on both sides. Someone stated at last fall's hearings that the commission claims to advocate natural boundaries and that they have ignored the most natural boundary of all. Lakes have a tendency to separate people whereas rivers and other boundaries do not. The numerous arguments as to why the entire interlake area should come under one representation were tabled in detail at the hearings last September. I should, however, like to make a special plea for the people in Ashern, Fisher Branch and other towns included in Churchill. These people are extremely unhappy and feel completely neglected. Their only source of communication is with the people to the south. I should also like to make a special plea for the people on Hecla island. The only

direct communication that these people have is with the people of Riverton. They therefore must come under the same representation.

Besides being a natural unit, the entire interlake area is a designated ARDA area. This is an additional reason why the entire area should come under one representation. If the interlake must be divided, it can only be divided in two, not into three as the commission has done. If it is divided, the only logical way to do so is to divide it on a north-south line; that is, the provincial constituency of St. George could go into Churchill and the remainder into another constituency. At least the entire interlake population in Churchill would then be in along one highway, that is highway No. 6. The portion now included in Churchill is very loosely connected. There is limited road connection from east to west.

The same problem was encountered in the last provincial redistribution and at that time the commission made the change and divided St. George and Fisher by a north-south line rather than an east-west line. Why is this course not followed this time?

A special objection should be made to the proposed Winnipeg-Selkirk seat. The chairman of the Manitoba commission has stated on several occasions that a proper population distribution was essential and that this had created problems for the commission. The typical Winnipeg constituency has been given a population of approximately 84,000 and the typical rural constituency a population of

60,000 people. In this case, a constituency which is two thirds Winnipeg and one third rural should have a population of 76,000 people. It is therefore extremely unfair to give Winnipeg-Selkirk the largest population of any seat in Manitoba.

Another objection which I have to this seat is that there is absolutely no community of interest between the people of a town such as Riverton and the people of Elmwood, a district in Winnipeg. The placing of Riverton with Elmwood is the same as if Morden were placed in St. Boniface, or if Pine Falls were placed with St. James. Unless it is absolutely necessary, no city seat should contain a rural area or vice versa.

If a rural area must be placed in a Winnipeg seat, at least the areas should be adjacent to each other. For example, Riverton is 100 miles from Elmwood with no highways leading into Elmwood. There are two highways from Riverton to Winnipeg and they both lead into West Kildonan. Another objection which I have to the Winnipeg-Selkirk

May 4, 1966

seat is that the rural people should not be dominated by unrelated people from Elmwood and East Kildonan. The same holds true for the people in the town of Brooklands.

Metropolitan Winnipeg has not been given its fair share of Manitoba's 13 seats. The population of metropolitan Winnipeg, as taken in the 1961 census, is 475,989 people. As I stated earlier, there is absolutely no need to make any constituency partly rural and partly urban. Winnipeg should have been given six seats with an average population of 79,331. Upon reviewing the proposed maps for Ontario, I notice that all but one of the Toronto seats have a population between

79.000 and 80,000. In Ontario and Quebec only five out of 164 seats have a population of

80.000 or more, and in all cases they are just slightly over 80,000.

In conclusion, I would like to state that I endorse the political map of rural Manitoba which was presented at the hearings last September by Mr. J. A. MacKay. I have prepared a map displaying Winnipeg divided into six seats. This took me approximately two hours to prepare. If I have been able to prepare a map in two hours, it should be no hardship for the commission to redraw the Winnipeg constituencies. If they feel that my map is inferior to the one which they have proposed for greater Winnipeg, I challenge them to publish my map alongside theirs in the daily newspapers and give the people a chance to make their decision.

[DOT] (5:00 p.m.)

I would ask at this time whether I might table the map of the city of Winnipeg and of rural Manitoba, which could go along with these remarks.

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Subtopic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Sub-subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF OBJECTIONS TO COMMISSION REPORTS
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PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dinsdale:

Including Brandon-Souris?

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PC

Eric Stefanson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Slefanson:

As far as I am concerned, the entire map should be redrawn on a six-six-one basis; that is, six Winnipeg seats, six rural seats and one northern rural seat. My map of greater Winnipeg is an indication of what can be done.

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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order, please. Does the house give unanimous consent to the hon. member to table the documents referred to?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Sub-subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF OBJECTIONS TO COMMISSION REPORTS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

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Subtopic:   REDISTRIBUTION
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PC

Eric Stefanson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stefanson:

Mr. MacKay's map of rural Manitoba is a good starting point for the commission. If the commission is not prepared to listen to our viewpoints as well as 23033-298

Redistribution

the viewpoints of the people of Manitoba, the entire redistribution has been a failure. At a very minimum, I emphasize that the commission must give Winnipeg six seats. They can then transfer the entire rural portion of the Winnipeg-Selkirk seat to Portage. The rural portions include the municipalities of Bifrost, Gimli, St. Andrews and most of St. Clements. Portage can then give up its portion of the municipalities-Assiniboia and Charleswood -along with the town of Brooklands, to Winnipeg seats. Portage can then give up everything south of the Assiniboine river to Lisgar, and Lisgar can give up the municipalities of Riverside and Turtle Mountain to Brandon-Souris. The result would be that Portage, Lisgar and Brandon-Souris would all end up with a population of 67,000, while the other rural seats, with the exception of Churchill, would have populations of around 60,000. This seems fair in that Portage, Lisgar and Brandon would have much less territory than the other rural constituencies.

In addition to giving Winnipeg six seats, the minor changes just listed would mean that the interlake would only be cut into two rather than three as presently proposed After making the above mentioned changes, a switch could be made between Churchill and Portage, dividing the interlake according to lines of communication as outlined earlier. Even though it is not the ultimate solution for the Churchill constituency, it would be an improvement.

In closing, I wish to state that I regret that the commission did not see fit to apply paragraph 13, section 3(i) and (ii) of the redistribution act which reads as follows:

(c) the commission may depart from the strict application of rules (a) and (b) in any case where

(i) special geographic considerations, including in particular the sparsity, density or relative rate of growth of population of various regions of the province, the accessibility of such regions or the size or shape thereof, appear to the commission to render such a departure necessary or desirable, or

(ii) any special community or diversity of interests of the inhabitants of various regions of the province appears to the commission to render such a departure necessary or desirable.

The proposed Winnipeg-Selkirk riding, an urban rural riding, has the second largest population of any riding in Canada, and this proposed riding includes the city of East Kildonan, the fastest growing area in Metropolitan Winnipeg. The riding of Churchill, according to the 1961 census, had a population of 54,952, which gave it sufficient population by using the tolerance allowed under the

May 4, 1966

Redistribution

act, and therefore, it was not necessary to add any additional area. The riding of Churchill is the second largest in area in Canada, and therefore it should have been a primary concern of the commission not to increase its area size.

I trust that the commission will give serious consideration to the points and suggestions I have made, and endeavour to produce a map which will be acceptable and fair to as many people as possible.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Sub-subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF OBJECTIONS TO COMMISSION REPORTS
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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order, please. So that there will be no misunderstanding, may I say to the hon. member who has just spoken that previously in this debate, when documents were to be sent to the commission they were deposited with the Clerk, and he then would have them forwarded to the commission. Is this the wish of the hon. member, rather than actually tabling the documents?

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PC

Eric Stefanson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stefanson:

That is what I want. I want to deposit them with the Clerk.

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PC

Robert Simpson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Robert Simpson (Churchill):

In taking part in this debate, I wish first of all to say that I am in full agreement with the system of having an independent commission in charge of the very complicated work connected with any necessary redistribution of the various electoral districts or ridings of our country, and I might add that the party I support is also in full support of an independent commission to do this particular job. In saying this, I do not agree completely with the manner in which the commission has been selected.

I wish also to pay some measure of tribute, Mr. Speaker, to the work performed by the members of the Electoral Boundaries Commission for the province of Manitoba, who I believe were confronted, as were members of other provincial commissions with an extremely difficult task.

Redistribution of electoral boundaries is a very controversial subject at any time and is one that is certain to result in protracted argument, regardless of who may be empowered to determine new boundaries. While I pay tribute to the efforts of the commission for the province of Manitoba, I do have several strong arguments against their decisions to date. I therefore strongly suggest that they be prepared to review again any suggestions put forth in this debate before any final decision is made. This procedure was followed to a small degree at the conclusion of public hearings which were held in various

parts of the province last summer, and at that time some minor changes were made in relation to the original considerations of the commission.

I would respectfully suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the commission give serious consideration to the creation of six electoral districts in the metropolitan area of Winnipeg, with these six electoral districts being entirely urban. I would then suggest that the balance of the province be divided into seven electoral districts.

I am sure that all Manitobans realize that the most northerly electoral district in the province, which in this case is the riding of Churchill, must of necessity encompass a much larger area than any of the other six ridings outside metropolitan Winnipeg, and this is purely and simply a matter of having to encompass within its boundaries sufficient population to meet at least the minimum population requirements as laid down in the terms of reference of the commission.

Now, while recognizing the fact that the electoral district of Churchill of necessity must be considerably larger than the other rural ridings, I suggest that there are a number of very valid reasons why the fullest possible consideration should be given to keeping this northern riding as compact as is humanly possible. It is my intention to present these suggestions at this time.

The first point I would like to bring to the attention of the commission is that under present redistribution plans the electoral district of Churchill will be by far the largest electoral district in Canada, within the provinces, comprising over three quarters of the entire area of the province, and this is far from necessary.

Despite the fact that we who live in the north, and that seems to include everyone who lives north of the northern extremity of Winnipeg's international airport, are quite accustomed to extensive travel, and despite the fact that if given sufficient time a person can visit every nook and cranny in the entire province if necessary, I do have many reasons for suggesting to the commission that they keep the northern electoral district as compact as they can.

[DOT] (5:10 p.m.)

This can only be done by coming just far enough south to get into the handiest pockets of population. The boundaries which existed during the last five federal elections did just that. I wish to bring to the attention of the

May 4, 1968

commission that within the boundaries of Churchill riding as established during the last five federal elections there resided 54,952 people, according to the 1961 census. This is almost 2,500 more than the minimum requirement for any electoral district. The boundaries at that time comprised some 171,000 square miles. The newly suggested boundaries will add a further 20,000 square miles of area, while adding only 600 people to the over-all population.

Granted, there is a population switch whereby some 15,000 persons are removed from the riding, while some 15,600 were added. However, in the process an area of approximately 2,500 square miles is removed and an area of 20,000 square miles is added.

Someone might say that a considerable amount of this new territory is water. To this I would answer that when a representative charters an aircraft to visit his constituents the price is the same to fly over water as it is to fly over land, and it takes just as much time. It was not necessary, from the point of view of population or otherwise, to add this additional 20,000 square miles to Churchill riding.

Throughout the years the area removed has had a common interest with the rest of Churchill riding. On the other hand the area which has been added has always been more closely associated with the region to the south. It is known as the interlake area, and the interests of the people who live there are, as I say, associated with the area south to Winnipeg and southeast to Gimli and Selkirk. I have had friends in this area for many years and I know of their interests along these lines.

Because of the size of Churchill riding as it existed during the last five federal elections, it has been very difficult for political parties to keep their organizations functioning in a proper and interesting manner, mainly due to the difficulty of arranging meetings as often as would be desirable. People in this riding are of necessity obliged to travel 700 miles and more to attend constituency organization meetings. If the new boundaries which have been suggested are put into effect, people who may not wish to fly will be obliged at various times of the year to travel 1200 miles or even further to attend such meetings. This is not a healthy situation.

Now I come to a subject which I strongly feel is a most important one, and that is our native Indian people. Here is a group of people with whom I have been in close

Redistribution

contact for a number of years. I have had scores of meetings with them and I have spent many days visiting with them on their reservations and in their homes. I am sure anyone who knows these people will agree with me that they are very interested in writing to both their federal and their provincial representatives and in having their representatives visit them. We as Canadians must give all the attention we can to the long struggle of improving the lot of these people and this can only be done through close association with them.

During the last five federal elections in Churchill constituency there were 17 Indian bands living on widely scattered reservations with a total population of over 14,000. In the area which the commission suggests should be added to Churchill riding there are nine more Indian bands, with a total population of over 6,300 people. Surely the commission does not believe it is fair to say to these people, who so earnestly need whatever understanding we can give them: You will have one person to represent more than 20,000 of you, despite the fact that you reside on 26 reservations scattered over an area comprising three-quarters of the province of Manitoba. Incidentally, these 20,000 Indian people make up more than two-thirds of the native Indian population of Manitoba.

I do not know, Mr. Speaker, whether the commission followed closely the population figures of the 1961 census or whether they merely ignored the relative rates of population growth in any particular area. The population of the northern part of the province has been increasing rapidly. As an example I would point out that according to the 1961 census the population of the local government district of Mystery Lake is recorded as 3,449 people. This local government district is now the townsite of Thompson, Manitoba and town records show there are presently more than 10,000 people living there. So it becomes quite apparent that there was no need whatever to enlarge to such an extent an electoral district which was already the second largest in Canada within the provinces.

The north has been ignored for too long. This is just one further proof that those who do not live in the north know little or nothing about conditions there. A graph showing the relative population increase in Thompson alone would make it clear that there were 7,514 people residing there in 1963, that there were 7,807 in 1964 and over 9,000 in 1965. I might add that this was pointed out clearly to.

May 4, 1966

Redistribution

to the office of the census division of the Dominion Bureau of Statistics in 1961 by the resident administrator of the local government district of Mystery Lake. At the same time as preliminary figures for the 1961 census were showing a population for this district of 3,336, an official local census established that there were in fact more than 7,000 people living in the immediate area. This is one further example of how unreliable some of our census figures really are and it shows how little attention is paid to the needs and requirements of the people who live in the north.

I strongly suggest that the commission should study this debate. I would respectfully ask that they check very carefully the points which have been made, before reaching final decisions.

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PC

Richard Elmer Forbes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. R. E. Forbes (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker, my purpose in taking part in this debate is to compliment the Electoral Boundaries Commission on its good judgment in giving recognition to the community of interests of the electors of the Dauphin federal constituency, and on the proposed boundary extension to include the area known as the Swan River valley. The Dauphin federal constituency, together with the proposed extension, is one of the most highly diversified agricultural areas in Manitoba. Maybe at this time I should indicate the interest that the residents have in common.

[DOT] (5:20 p.m.)

Within the framework of the proposed boundary alteration we have a large number of beef cattle ranchers and a number of the best dairy herds in the province. We also have fur farmers, turkey raisers, egg and poultry producers, and honey producers. We have a large fishing and lumber industry at lake Winnipegosis. In addition, we produce considerable quantities of wheat, oats, barley, flax, and during the last few years have included rape and mustard seed. Many of the farmers are specialists in the production of registered grains and forage crops. Also we have a large tourist industry that includes the whole area from McCreary to Swan River.

It is one of the most cosmopolitan areas in Manitoba. Settlement began about 1890. The first settlers were of British and French origin, emigrating from Ontario and Quebec, followed by a large number from the Ukraine, Poland, Holland, Germany, and Iceland, bringing with them their cultures

[Mr. Simpson.1

and traditions which have become part of our way of life.

The proposed constituency is well located geographically, and can be served conveniently through a network of highways and municipal roads by political organizations, chambers of commerce, churches and farm organizations that have been working together for the advancement of their community since the creation of the Dauphin constituency in 1903. To my knowledge residents of the Swan River area have indicated on numerous occasions a preference to be included in the Dauphin federal constituency.

I think I can summarize the community of interest of the residents of the proposed area as follows:

1. The proposed alteration is within the present Dauphin judicial district which also determines the representation on the union of Manitoba municipalities.

2. Approximately one fifth of the present Dauphin electors are included in the Swan River health, diagnostic and hospital district, and welfare services.

3. Two local government land districts are presently administered from Swan River, which includes provincial government engineering services etc.

4. Recently the school boundaries have been adjusted under the new school division plan for convenient administration from Swan River to part of the present Dauphin federal constituency.

5. The proposed extension is served by radio station CKDM and television station CKOS.

I think, Mr. Speaker, that the foregoing has indicated the community of interest of the constituents of the present Dauphin constituency and those within the boundary extension as proposed by the commission, and it is my hope that the boundaries outlined by the commission will meet with the approval of all concerned.

I should like to conclude by saying a few words with respect to the two constituencies which lie adjacent to my own, Selkirk and Churchill. Certainly Churchill is much too large. As indicated by the previous speaker, it covers almost two thirds of Manitoba. What it needs is less land, not more.

The commission could reduce this area, and also give the people in the Selkirk area a greater community of interest by putting the Selkirk constituency back in its original form with respect to that area which lies between

May 4, 1966

lake Winnipeg and lake Manitoba. This could be done with very little adjustment to the tolerance allowed under the act.

I would hope the commission would give consideration to the community of interest of the people who live in that general area. There is another feature about the Churchill constituency. If one looks at a map he can see it is broadly spaced over two thirds of the province, as has been said previously. Therefore the government might well give consideration to allowing some compensation to the member who represents that area for travelling purposes in order to enable him to cover his constituency.

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PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Hon. W. G. Dinsdale (Brandon-Souris):

Mr. Speaker, like the other spokesmen for the keystone province I would like to endorse the principle of redistribution being carried out by an independent commission. Under the circumstances I feel that the commission did the best job possible. When I use that phrase "under the circumstances," I want to make the point right at the outset that the commission which served Manitoba, as was the case with the commissions in all other provinces, was faced with an almost impossible task.

The fact that protests and criticisms have been universal from all sides of the house and from all parties indicates that there is something not functioning efficiently and properly with regard to the process of redistribution as set up under the act. I would suggest that the reason for the difficulty arises from a fundamental flaw in the act itself.

It is just two years since we debated the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act in this house. At that time members of the official opposition pointed out that an amendment to the act, accepted and proposed by the government itself, was going to lead to the dilemma which now confronts all members and which has been referred to at length during this extended debate. The act, as originally introduced, recommended that the two top officials of this house, the Prime Minister (Mr. Pearson) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Diefenbaker), should have a role in designating at least one member for each of the provincial commissions. This was opposed.

An amendment was put forward by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles). It was taken up by the government, and I recall that the debate on that point waged fast and furious over a period of

Redistribution

some two days. The reason for the government agreeing to change the legislation was because of the protest made by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre that redistribution should be taken out of politics.

I think what he meant to say was that it should be taken out of partisan politics because it is obvious from comments made here today, and on other days, from the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Greene)-up or down- that in attempting by that amendment to withdraw the process of redistribution from the realm of partisan politics it was withdrawn entirely from the realm of politics.

The people who are knowledgeable in this field, having been excluded by the act itself, now have to resort to this unsatisfactory indirect method of bringing their own ideas before the independent commissions. It is almost like a case of one good custom corrupting the whole world. The act was a good act as it originally stood, and I think we will not be able to resolve this dilemma until necessary amendments are made to it which will make it possible for politicians to play an integral part in the process of redistribution, rather than working outside the official process as we are doing at this moment.

[DOT] (5:30 p.m.)

After all, politics is a noble and an honourable profession. Politics is a science, it is true. Political scientists have a role to play, and demographers have a role to play in this whole job of redistribution; but politics is also an art. I am sure hon. members will agree that in order to become an accomplished artist in any line of endeavour, whether it be in the field of music or in the field of politics, you have to have considerable experience and practice. Having made that point, which I believe is a fundamental one, I do hope that some five or six years hence-because this whole matter has been delayed to the point where we are on the eve of a new decennial census and a new redistribution-this fundamental flaw will be remedied in amendments to the act.

No amount of skill, no amount of care and concern by the commissions as presently constituted, will avoid the problem which has led to the extended debate in this House of Commons. There is another suggestion I should make in this regard. As I recall, it was the Conservative party which first put forward the proposal for an independent commission. Our original concept was that we have a single commission which, on the basis

May 4, 1966

Redistribution

of broad experience would be able to apply this experience to every province. As I have listened to the discussions of the representatives from other provinces, I am sure this idea also has merit, because the arguments and the complaints have been the same; the criticisms have been the same, and I feel that the original idea of one single commission has considerable merit.

Coming to the specific problems of Manitoba, I think that these have been outlined in the earlier speeches in a very reasonable and responsible manner. The cynical attitude is to suggest that members of parliament are complaining because of selfish vested interests, and that we are concerned with this matter of redistribution for the sake of self-preservation.

I think it has been demonstrated by the speakers who have already taken part in this discussion that this is the furthest thought from their minds What concerns Manitobans, as it concerns members from other provinces, is the failure of the commission to make maximum use of the provisions of section 13 of the present act, which makes it possible to take into consideration what one might call the intangibles which can be understood and appreciated only by the political practitioners themselves.

I do not need to repeat the arguments. I support what has been said by the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Stefanson) and the hon. member for Churchill (Mr. Simpson). Speaking on behalf of my own constituency of Brandon-Souris, I may say that we seized the opportunity to make representations before the commission. In order to ensure that there would be no personal interest or selfish or vested interest involved, I refrained from making the presentation myself. We had a distinguished member of the legal profession, Mr. James Doak, appear before the commission on behalf of the Brandon-Souris constituency. He spoke entirely from the standpoint of the geographical considerations, and the considerations of economic and social cohesion, which ingredients are necessary to the sense of community, which of course must exist if we are going to have a reasonable basis for redistribution. In making this point pertaining to the constituency of Brandon-Souris he also took into consideration, and made the point to the commissioners, that any change in the boundaries contemplated for Brandon-Souris which he recommended were designed to deal with the fundamental problem of Manitoba, that is

ease the geographic problem that has been mentioned by the hon. member for Churchill this afternoon.

In Manitoba we have a population imbalance to which I shall refer in just a moment. The particular anomaly in my constituency to which I should like to refer is the elimination of the eastern end of the present Brandon-Souris constituency involving communities such as Killarney, Ninette, Donrea, Hilton, and Holmfield. Here is a part of southwestern Manitoba which over the years economically, geographically, legally, and in all sociological respects has regarded itself as a part of the southwestern Manitoba community. With the boundaries which have been proposed by the commission, this part of southwestern Manitoba now will become part of what we refer to as south central Manitoba. With this area it has no community of interest whatsoever.

I just wish to bring a few points before the house this afternoon, and by this means bring them once again to the attention of the commissioners who will be reviewing this debate. I feel these commissioners are responsible men who did the best job possible within the limitations of the act. As the hon. member for Selkirk intimated, they were all drawn from the city of Winnipeg, and that very fact alone would be a handicap, because with all due respect to the city of Winnipeg I do not think commissioners or representatives from that area really can appreciate the fundamental problems which exist in the rural part of Manitoba.

These are the points then which once again I should like to bring to the attention of the house and these gentlemen. The market area for southwestern Manitoba includes these communities which are going to be eliminated in the redistribution process. The centre of the market area is Brandon. Brandon is the only other substantial urban area outside the city of Winnipeg, and over the years it has become known as the wheat city of the west; in other words, it is an agricultural community. But more than being an agricultural community, as a result of recent economic changes and advances it now has become the centre for industrial development in the southwestern corner of the province. In the last four or five years the government of the province of Manitoba has sponsored the regional development concept of economic development, and the regional area covered by this concept embraces the part of the

May 4, 1966

Brandon-Souris constituency which now is being removed by this rather drastic redistribution surgical process.

[DOT] (5:40 p.m.)

As a matter of fact, at this very moment an important body is in the process of being organized, to be known as the Westman Development Corporation, which will draw together all towns and rural municipalities in this area to co-ordinate an effort to encourage the development and diversification of industry.

I am sure the commissioners, as dedicated to the task as they were, had no knowledge of these economic developments that are taking place in that area. They were given the power under section 13 of this act to take these important factors into consideration, but I do not believe they did to a sufficient extent.

Communication is obviously basic to any sense of community, and I point out again that the city of Brandon is the communications centre for this whole area. The Brandon Sun is the daily paper which is read by the citizens of this area. It is interesting to note that the one newspaper which raised the strongest protests about redistribution as it has been proposed by the commissioners was a weekly newspaper in this area, the Kil-larney Guide.

During the period when the commission travelled throughout the province hearing representations and suggestions about possible changes, the Killarney Guide published several editorials which indicated that the people of this area were not happy with the commission's contemplated changes.

The mass media of radio and television covering this area is also concentrated in the city of Brandon. The entire road pattern in the area is designed to bring southwestern Manitoba together. I cannot refer to rail transportation, because it has almost been eliminated, but the bus pattern is certainly designed with the idea that this area is a separate community.

At the present time there is an economic upsurge in southwestern Manitoba. New industry has been encouraged by the area development plan of this government to locate there. All these things are vital to the fundamental community concept. Next fall, for example, a $30 million fertilizer plant will be opened in Brandon which will have a dynamic impact throughout the whole area.

Redistribution

It is vital for the community progress of southwestern Manitoba that the present constituency boundaries be maintained and, to go one step further, be enlarged. This brings me to the crux of the matter so far as the problem raised by the hon. member for Churchill (Mr. Simpson) is concerned. It is beyond understanding why the population base for the new constituency of Brandon-Souris has been reduced to 62,000. At the present time it stands at 69,000. This is the only other urban area in the province of Manitoba, aside from Winnipeg, which can serve as a counterbalance to one of our major demographic difficulties. That is, the concentration of one half of our population in one huge urban centre, the city of Winnipeg. Instead of recognizing this important sociological factor, and instead of recognizing that the Brandon-Souris area is another urban centre which is developing rapidly and which should be placed in a population category as an urban centre with broadened bounds, the commission has reduced the population to 62,000, only 4,000 greater than the population of the constituency of Churchill.

The constituency of Lisgar is strictly a rural constituency, but it will have a larger population than the riding of Brandon-Souris. That indicates that the powers given the commission under section 13 were not taken into consideration by the commissioners.

The population of the Brandon-Souris riding should be stabilized at 70,000 in view of the current economic development trends which I have outlined briefly. By the time another redistribution takes place, some five or six years hence, the population will have increased tremendously. In order to maintain a proper balance in population the Brandon-Souris constituency should include Killarney and Ninette, and the other areas to which I referred, and at the same time should retain the new area on the northern boundary. This will make it possible for the commissioners to come to grips with the dilemma presented by the huge geographic expanse of the constituency of Churchill. The constituency of Churchill should be given the maximum benefit of the 25 per cent tolerance. There is no logical reason why its population should be as large as the population of the Brandon-Souris riding.

I conclude as I commenced by saying the commission has done an excellent job within its terms of reference. I hope that by the time another redistribution takes place, it will be

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possible for politicians who have intimate knowledge of the problems, to become directly involved in this process, obviating the necessity of absorbing the time of parliament in an attempt to deal with them in an indirect manner. If the officials of the House of Commons such as the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Official Opposition could, as was the original intention, assist in the function of redistribution, I believe this would be a big improvement on the provisions, of the act as they now exist.

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Subtopic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Sub-subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF OBJECTIONS TO COMMISSION REPORTS
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NDP

Edward Richard Schreyer

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ed. Schreyer (Springfield):

Mr. Speaker, because the house will have to sit beyond the normal adjournment hour I will try to be brief. I begin by saying that I accept the premise that this parliament took a step forward toward electoral reform when it passed legislation at the last session setting up an independent Electoral Boundaries Commission. The work of that commission across Canada has been the subject of criticism. That is to be expected because the adjustment or redrawing of constituency boundaries is bound to cause some amount of dislocation in past patterns of thinking in respect of political organization. In past years whenever redistribution of a political nature was carried out by committees of this house, there was anguish and screams of protest to an even greater extent than has been evidenced in the house in the past three days.

[DOT] (5:50 p.m.)

Therefore, while I endorse the concept and the legislation setting up these independent boundaries commissions, I had hoped the Electoral Boundaries Commission in Manitoba would have done a somewhat better job, at least in certain particulars. I wish to refer to some of these particulars with regard to which I feel the commission did not take into sufficient account what seem to me to be certain of the regional entities or patterns of trade, if you like, and so on.

It seems to me that the boundaries commission should have taken into greater account the following two factors, one of which has already been mentioned by the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Stefanson). This is that the interlake of Manitoba is and ought to be considered as a regional unit and, as was also said by the hon. member for Selkirk, in view of the fact that there is at present operating in the interlake an ARDA program covering most of this area, it is indeed unfortunate that this program will now come within the [Mr. Dinsdale.l

interest of two and possibly even three members of parliament. It would have been much better had the area been allowed to remain one constituency.

The second factor of which I had hoped the commission would take greater account is that the area of eastern Manitoba, that area lying east of the Red river and east of lake Winnipeg, should be regarded as comprising two rather distinct regions. One region east and north of the city of Winnipeg is made up of several rural, farming municipalities, the Whiteshell area and the Winnipeg river area, and the other area south and east of the city of Winnipeg centres on the town of Stein-bach. I hesitate to say too much in this regard, Mr. Speaker, because it might be said I was indulging in some political self-seeking, because it is a fact that the commission has deemed it necessary or desirable that both regions to which I have referred should be fused together into the political constituency of Provencher. Because of this recommendation of the commission, the constituency of Springfield, which I have the honour to represent at the present time, is the one constituency in the province of Manitoba that is slated to disappear not only in name but in fact.

I leave this point simply by saying that I would have hoped the commission would have seen fit to provide for the continued existence of both these constituencies, Provencher and Springfield, and if necessary in order to meet population quotas and the population tolerances laid down by the legislation, in my opinion it would have been possible for the commission to have brought the area of St. Boniface into the Provencher area, and Transcona into the Springfield area. It seems to me this would have satisfied the population requirement. However, Mr. Speaker, at this point I am under no illusion that the commission will see fit to make such a drastic rearrangement of the map which it has recommended to parliament.

With regard to the new constituency of Winnipeg-Selkirk I would point out that the boundaries of the constituency were further revised subsequent to the initial recommendations of the commission. As a result of the second revision, the proposed riding of Winnipeg-Selkirk, which will be a semiurban and semi-rural riding, will also be the most populous of all ridings in the province of Manitoba. It is to have a population, as I understand it, in excess of 86,000 people. It strikes me as strange that a semi-rural riding

May 4, 1966

should also have the largest population of all ridings in the province. If it is desirable, as I believe it is, to keep rural ridings within as reasonable a range of size as possible, then the commission should have arranged the boundaries so that the most populous riding would have been urban rather than semirural.

It is difficult to know whether at this stage the commission will be in a position to take cognizance of all the suggestions put forward by various speakers today, but I would hope, against hope, that the commission would still be able to rearrange these boundaries so as to leave the interlake and the area surrounding it as one unit politically, as it is one unit in other respects, and proceed from there to look at the possibility of leaving two constituencies in eastern Manitoba east of the Red river, so that the work of representing, serving and servicing the area of eastern Manitoba will be more manageable. I consider it will be a very difficult task for a member of parliament to represent the proposed constituency of Provencher, for example, inasmuch as it will extend for 400 miles from north to south and over 100 miles from east to west, and even the relatively densely populated parts of that constituency will comprise an area extending about 200 miles from the south to the northernmost part of the populated area of the riding.

In my opinion it would have made much more sense to have provided for two constituencies remaining in that part of the province. In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I wish to mention the interest and work put into an analysis of the commission's recommendation by Mr. Armour MacKay who has already been mentioned today. He provided several members from Manitoba with copies of maps, summaries of population analyses, reports, etc. In my opinion this gentleman has a very intimate knowledge of the province of Manitoba, particularly of the rural parts of the province, and has an understanding of the regional divisions that make up our province. I think it is a pity that the commission was not able to make more use of some of the suggestions he advanced during the course of the hearings.

[DOT] (6:00 p.m.)

I feel there is much more that I could say, Mr. Speaker, but in view of the time factor I will conclude now. Before doing so however I want to make one more point. If one has to choose between ridings that are partly urban and partly rural on the one hand and ridings that are exclusively rural on the other hand 23033-299

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but which, because of that, are excessively large in size, I would opt for the former. I think that in these days a representative of the people should be qualified or should make himself qualified to represent people of both urban and rural occupational interests. It is really asking too much to expect members to represent rural constituencies that are thousands of square miles in area. It would be much better if urban areas were included in order to satisfy population requirements and thereby allowing for smaller constituency areas.

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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Gordon Churchill (Winnipeg South Centre):

Everyone who has spoken has attempted to restrict his remarks because of the time of day and the nature of the debate. I will endeavour to do the same. I hope that this is not an exercise in futility. We realize we are not speaking to the House of Commons, but we are speaking to the three members of the commission for Manitoba, including the representation commissioner himself, who makes the fourth member. Our remarks are, of course, directed to these people.

I feel it is a rather odd situation into which we have got ourselves by way of the act that was passed by this parliament, and that this method has to be used in order to draw to the attention of the commission the objections that practising politicians may see. It is obvious from other things that have happened in the course of redistribution that the act should be amended, but I do not have the time to go into that matter at the moment.

I want to ask for your indulgence, Mr. Speaker, and that you turn a deaf ear for a minute and a half while I diverge from the exact point which is in front of us. I realize, as all do, that six years from now another redistribution will take place based on another census. I want to view with alarm for the benefit of the people in Manitoba and Saskatchewan the situation that has developed now and which will be worse in 1971. The point that I made on April 16, 1964, passed unnoticed, I think because there was certain other business in front of the public at that time. I want to make yet another attempt to emphasize this point and I realize you can only do this by repetition. I want to draw to the attention of the people of Manitoba and Saskatchewan the position into which they are being forced through redistribution, and which is going to get worse.

I want to repeat something I said on April 16, 1964, as found at page 2249 of Hansard. I

May 4, 1966

Redistribution

was talking about the discrepancy that was developing with regard to certain areas of our country. I was making an argument which I thought was very sound with regard to area representation in addition to representation by population. I do not know what effect it had. However, I went on to say this:

Here is a major discrepancy which I think we can avoid if we give serious attention to the bill before us and make a proper amendment. Under the census of 1961 the combined population of the four Atlantic provinces was given as 1,897,425.

Now under the distribution of seats to which they are entitled at the present moment they will have a combined total of 32 which gives them a quotient of 59,294. Set that against Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The combined population of those two prairie provinces is 1,846,867 according to the 1961 census-only 30,000 fewer than the population of the four Atlantic provinces. The seats to which they will be entitled under the redistribution now contemplated will be 26 and the quotient per constituency will be 71,033 which is, incidentally, higher than the quotient which has already been estimated for Canada as a whole. Here, with our eyes open, we are establishing a discrepancy between two very important areas of this country. I suggest we should guard against doing so, because why should the Atlantic provinces have 32 seats in this house while the prairie provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan with a population almost the same have only 26? Immediately one finds a variation of six seats as between two of the great areas of Canada. This situation is one which should be examined.

Then, as has been pointed out, we have a somewhat nebulous protection, which I think has been mentioned, for the provinces out there in the absence of a senatorial floor. So by 1971 it is conceivable that Manitoba and Saskatchewan representation could drop from 26 seats to 20 and that the Atlantic provinces would then have 31.

Instead of having a discrepancy of just six seats there will be a discrepancy of 11. That is only one instance where the act has to be reviewed and amended for the future in order that we may not get too far out of line between the various areas of our great country.

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Sub-subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF OBJECTIONS TO COMMISSION REPORTS
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NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Would the hon. gentleman permit a question?

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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Yes.

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Sub-subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF OBJECTIONS TO COMMISSION REPORTS
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NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Naturally I have followed with interest his point today, as I did a year ago, but may I put to him this question. Is it not the British North America Act which would have to be amended to meet this point, and might it not be worth his while to press for such an amendment fairly soon?

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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Yes, thank you; I should have said the British North America Act.

Manitoba members will perhaps join together, along with Saskatchewan members, to see that this is done.

I do not think it is necessary for any of us to say that we are in general agreement with the principle of independent commissioners. We said all that two years ago and are still of the same opinion. We objected then to the method. We objected to certain aspects of the bill. We had a good debate in April of 1964, and then later on in October and November, and we should have taken a little more time, but were under quite a bit of pressure in that year.

I respectfully draw to the attention of the commission that although they called the meetings in Manitoba for the month of September, and did so properly by advising us in the month of July that the meetings to hear representations would be held in September, it is rather odd that when the election was unexpectedly called in that month the commission did not deem it wise to postpone their hearings, especially in view of a matter as important as the redistribution of seats, which affects elections. In the midst of the election campaign in the month of September, I for one had no time to make representations to the commission; I had no time to study the problem and present a proper case, so I did not appear.

[DOT] (6:10 p.m.)

The commission held its hearings and then continued with its findings. If this occurs in another period when redistribution commissions are sitting, and an election is unexpectedly called, provision should be made for a postponement of those hearings so that people who are actively engaged in political matters might have their voice heard. Therefore, I regretfully raise that objection.

I notice in the commission report that they are careful to say that although certain maps were put before them by the representation commissioner, they found those helpful as a guide but did not use any of them, as suggested, in the preparation of the proposals of the commission. They were used as a guide, and it was a bad guide. I saw those maps in 1964, or earlier, for Winnipeg South Centre, the area I represent. I raised an immediate objection then because the representation commissioner with his staff had cut off one-third of that constituency. Everything had been worked out on a representation by population basis. I pointed out at that time that of all the constituencies in Canada I thought

May 4, 1966

Winnipeg South Centre was the one which met the quotient before the interesting exercise with regard to redistribution commenced. I said: "Why take a constituency which already meets the quotient? Why lop one third off it?" I saw that map in the early stages, yet, the commission map follows it very closely. Although they perhaps did not use the maps presented to them by the representation commissioner, they certainly used them as a guide. I raise that as another objection.

Representation by population was a theme of our debate in 1964; but we hedged it around with tolerances. We said: You do not have to go entirely on the basis of representation by population. You must make allowances for a community of interest, boundaries, rivers, lakes, and so on. Yet, the commission for Manitoba has got out a neat little summary, which I have here, showing the urban constituencies to be all about the same. They seem to show that they have been made on the basis of representation by population, which concept has been followed as closely as they could follow it. St. Boniface, Winnipeg North, Winnipeg North Centre, Winnipeg-Selkirk, Winnipeg South and Winnipeg South Centre are all in the neighbourhood of, say, 82,000. That looks very neat on paper. But, in order to achieve that, they had to carve up old, established constituencies.

Winnipeg South Centre was established in 1924, and for 42 years has managed to get along. Winnipeg South has a much longer history than that. I would have thought that the commission would have retained the central portion of these old established constituencies, and made their modifications out in suburban areas of the city where the growth has been very rapid. Why cut the central core out of a constituency that has been in existence for 40, 50 or 60 years? Why not start from the known and move to the unknown? I said that in April, 1964, as reported at page 2271 of Hansard. I entertained the fond hope then that the representation commissioner and the provincial commissions would read what was said in the debates in this house that year. I wondered why they did not weigh some of the factors that had been raised. They may have done that, but if they did, they have rejected them.

I am going to read what I said at page 2271 of Hansard, for April, 1964. I quote:

Perhaps there is another approach. I do not know what it is in the mind of the commissioner who is going to be the co-ordinator. I think the approach should be from the known to the related unknown; that is, to take the constituencies as 23033-2991

Redistribution

they are, you see how closely they come to the quotient that is set and you leave unchanged just as many as you can because of the historic association with so many of our constituencies. Then, you gradually work your way to the point where you approach the quotient for your province, but at the same time taking into account whatever tolerance is permitted. Of course, my view of that is that there should be a wide discretion in the hands of the commission.

That is the suggestion I made then, and I think it should have been applicable right across Canada: You retain the older portions of a constituency and make your modifications where new development has been going on. There was plenty of leeway allowed to the commission on the tolerance and on the increase in population following the 1961 census.

I have been told-and this is secondhand -that some of the commissions have ignored the steady increase in population since the 1961 census and have said: We are bound by the act, which tells us to go by the 1961 census. Well, we did not have time to write into the act all the modifications which, perhaps, we should have done. But when we were debating the issue, time and time again we raised the question: What about increases in population following the 1961 census? On page 2248 of Hansard hon. members will find that when I was talking about this matter I said:

This is a one-shot effort by the commissioner. We are not making provision for a review of the constituencies in two or three years time, yet all of us realize how quickly suburban developments can be put up in this country, and how quickly thousands of people will move into a certain area.

A first class example of this was given today by my hon. friend from Churchill (Mr. Simpson) who talked about Mystery Lake, now known as the city of Thompson, which the census showed as having a population of only a few thousand, though the population today is now in the region of 10,000. This should not be ignored by the commission.

After I had made the statement I have just quoted, the Minister of Transport (Mr. Pickersgill), the member of the government who was piloting this bill through the house, had this to say:

Would the hon. gentleman permit a question? On June 1 each year the Dominion Bureau of Statistics publishes estimates of population. Does he think that a commission, in working out the tolerance, should take into account the growth which has taken place since 1961?

I replied:

I think that matter should be seriously considered bv the committee In view of the fact that the

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Redistribution

findings will be made four years after the last census.

The Minister then commented:

I merely asked the question because that is what I thought the hon. gentleman was driving at, and I agree with it.

I underline-and I wish I could underline in Hansard-that last phrase "I agree with it". That, sir, was the government spokesman, speaking on behalf of the government of this country and agreeing with the proposition I was putting forward, that the commission should take account of increases in population subsequent to the 1961 census.

It does not appear to us that this has been done. Everyone who lives in a city knows those areas which are increasing rapidly in population. I am told that at the western end of the constituency of Winnipeg South Centre, bordering on St. James, Assiniboia had a population of 6,000 at the time of the last census, but that the figure is now rapidly approaching 20,000. Has the commission taken any account of this?

These are the questions which I think should be seriously considered by the commissions. We appreciate the difficulty of their work. We also appreciate the fact that what they do now may stand for two or three elections, possibly longer. For this reason their work should be done with the greatest of care. In addition, I believe close attention should be paid to what active, practising politicians have to say about this subject.

[DOT] (6:20 p.m.)

None of us here has been talking from a partisan point of view. Mercifully we have been saved from that. But we are thinking in terms of the people in the areas we represent, their community of interest, and the methods of communication with those areas. We are speaking on behalf of the people, the electors.

May I conclude by saying I do not think for one minute that it is necessary for the commission to come up in greater Winnipeg with five or six constituencies, all beautifully the same size, so that there is only a matter of a thousand population to divide one from the other. It has never been that way at election time. There has always been a variation, possibly 5,000 or 10,000. It does not matter so long as it does not get too great. All these years I have never heard any complaints in greater Winnipeg about that factor, although there has been a difference in the populations of the constituencies.

I do not see why the commission could not have applied a tolerance within the city in

order to make allowance for community of interest and old historical considerations. There could have been a tolerance of 5,000 to 10,000 with regard to population among the constituencies. Anyway we are going to have that discrepancy because the census of 1961, on which the commission relied, is out of date. One cannot control that situation. One cannot get constituencies that are exactly equal one to the other. I hope the commission will take another look at the city of Winnipeg and see if it cannot retain more clearly the old historical boundaries of its constituencies, and make provision, through alterations in population, for the increases which have to be applied to some of the constituencies.

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Subtopic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Sub-subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF OBJECTIONS TO COMMISSION REPORTS
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PC

Louis Ralph (Bud) Sherman

Progressive Conservative

Mr. L. R. Sherman (Winnipeg South):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to add my voice to those that have already been raised across the province of Manitoba, and indeed across this land, with unassailable justification, in protest against the new boundaries for our federal electoral divisions proposed by the Electoral Boundaries Commissions.

Naturally enough, my own particular dissatisfaction is with respect to the changes that have been proposed by the Manitoba commission for my own constituency, that of Winnipeg South, a historic constituency date dating back to the redistribution act of 1914, more than half a century ago, when it was created.

Under the proposals of the Electoral Boundaries Commission for Manitoba, if they are implemented, my constituency of Winnipeg South stands to lose upwards of 25,000 people in municipalities and neighbourhoods whose outlook has been the outlook of Winnipeg South ever since the area was settled, and whose federal political ties have been with Winnipeg South ever since their fathers and their grandfathers began to vote.

Under the proposals of the commission, links and ties of a half century's standing are to be severed in Winnipeg South, and not merely on the political level. The ties that will be cut, if the commission's recommendations are adopted, are ties of a cultural, social and economic nature, and they are ties that run like the intertwined roots of stately trees.

I have no hesitation in suggesting that in its proposals the boundaries commission has, in Winnipeg South, defied the logic of social homogeneity, regional compatability and community of interest, flouting in some cases natural geographic lines, flouting in others natural social and economic interests. In fact, the commission's revision of the boundaries

May 4, 1966

of Winnipeg South is nothing less than a dismemberment of a body social, and it is the type of dismemberment that invites one to describe it as a hatchet job. Moreover, it is the type of job that leads one to believe it was done for one purpose and one purpose only, that of slashing the total population of the constituency, and that as far as the commission is concerned that end justified whatever crude and clumsy means it was deemed practical to employ.

How else can one explain the proposal under which the city of St. Vital will be removed from Winnipeg South, and its cultural involvement with same, and stitched on to the predominantly French speaking constituency of St. Boniface? How else can one explain the removal of the town of Tuxedo out of its natural orbit with River Heights on the south side of the Assiniboine river, and the transportation of it across that river into the constituency of Winnipeg South Centre, in direct contravention of obvious lines of social and economic interest? And how else can one explain the operation that is perhaps the most illogical of them all-the amputation of the entire northwest corner of the district of River Heights from the rest of River Heights?

In this last violation the commission would cut away a whole corner of a homogeneous residential area of Winnipeg which, in its homogeneity, constitutes the Manitoba provincial constituency of River Heights, and declare that for federal purpose it must not be allowed to be whole. The commission then takes the corner which lies, as does all of River Heights, on the south side of the Assiniboine river, and with a devastating defiance of logic adds it on to a constituency on the north side of the river. It thus tears out a chunk of a specific established neighbourhood which, at the provincial political level, is recognized as one unified community, and buries it in a constituency on the other side of the river with which it shares no semblance of a neighbourhood tie.

Anyone with any passing knowledge of the greater Winnipeg area knows that the two rivers, the Red and the Assiniboine, play a vital role in the life of that metropolitan community, and that they constitute natural dividing lines between many of the different municipalities which make up the metropolitan Winnipeg area as a whole-the Red river running north and south, and the Assiniboine running east and west.

Redistribution

One does not need to be an expert in sociology and the rest of the social sciences to appreciate that a river can, and usually does, constitute a fairly considerable social border. Neighbourhoods in residential areas, both urban and rural, tend to unite in a community of interest with the neighbourhoods which share with them the same side of a natural dividing line, like a ravine, a range of hills, or a river. The natural flow of social interest generally is along the same side of that natural barrier, and not across it to a community on the other side.

This is the situation, generally speaking in metropolitan Winnipeg. Although all of us are Winnipegers and Manitobans, there is no denying that social and neighbourhood alliances have crystallized-and it is natural that they should-in relation to the respective sides of the respective rivers. It is the height of illogic and absurdity in metropolitan Winnipeg for the Electoral Boundaries Commission to ignore, in fact defy, those natural dividing lines, break up neighbourhoods and forcibly transfer parts of homogeneous residential areas from one side of a river to another, as they have done in the case of Tuxedo and part of River Heights in Winnipeg South.

Critics of my stand at this point will say that I cannot then justify the relation of St. Vital in Winnipeg South, because it is across the Red river from the remainder of Winnipeg South, and therefore properly belongs on the east side of the Red river where the commission has put it, with the city of St. Boniface. But here I submit that another consideration is operative; and that is the consideration of culture and language. St. Vital may be on the same side of the Red river as St. Boniface, but St. Vital is predominantly an English speaking city, and St. Boniface, French. Moreover, St. Vital lies in the southern ambit of metropolitan Winnipeg; its historic social affiliations are with Winnipeg South and its interests are the interests of Winnipeg, not St. Boniface.

For these reasons I have no hesitation in protesting most strenuously the proposals of the commission with respect to Winnipeg South and have no hesitation in appealing to that commission to re-examine its decision. As strongly as I can I would urge that in its re-examination the commission take cognizance of those social, cultural, economic and geographic ties that are being flouted in its present proposals, and flouted without regard for logic, reason, community of interest, or

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Sub-subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF OBJECTIONS TO COMMISSION REPORTS
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May 4, 1966