May 24, 1933 (17th Parliament, 4th Session)


Onésime Gagnon

Conservative (1867-1942)


It seems to me that the remark of the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) is most unfair and ungenerous when he tries to insinuate that the carving of the county of Levis has been done by the Solicitor General.
Now if I may continue, I have made three exceptions; there are three counties which have not been joined in that group. If I did not mention them I might be taxed with unfairness by hon. gentlemen opposite, so I hasten to speak of them. I refer to the county of Charlevoix-Saguenay, which has been left as it is, with a population of 55,594; and Vaudreuil-Soulanges and Chap-leau. It is true the county of Charlevoix-Saguenay is a very large constituency, probably one of the largest, but, Mr. Chairman, if it is too large now, why did not hon. gentlemen opposite leave it as it was in 1924? Surely this committee cannot be accused of unfairness when they have left the county almost as it was in 1924. I will say immediately, if we had divided the county of Charlevoix-Saguenay into two counties the task would have been very difficult, because the population is not the same, and because in the county of Saguenay, which is a territory of more than 300 square miles, the population is too sparsely scattered to make a fair distribution by the separation of those two counties.
Now, Mr. Chairman, time is flying, and I would not like to conclude my remarks without replying to an insinuation made by the hon. member for Laprairie-Napierville that the member for Dorchester was willing to organize a special seat for himself. I will tell this committee that the hon. member for Dorchester is not afraid to be judged by the electors of Dorchester but will resent very

much being judged by the electors of the county of Beauce. The hon. member for Quebec East yesterday was fair and generous enough to admit that in 1924 the former Solicitor General, Hon. Lucien Cannon, took the parish of St. Maxime and joined it to the county of Dorchester because he was sure of a Liberal majority of 250. I have decided, and have asked the committee-and I will not hide myself behind any committee, I am ready to take my own responsibility-I asked the committee to try to give back to the county of Beauce the presents they have *made in the past. I have also asked the committee to give back to the county of Beauce the parishes of St. Zacharie and Ste. Aurelie which have always belonged to the county of Beauce for provincial purposes until 1931 and which were joined to the provincial county of Dorchester in 1931 and 1932 because they wanted to destroy the chances of the Conservative candidate in Dorchester in the provincial elections. I am sure my hon. friend from Bellechasse will ask me why I have deemed it wise to ask that the parish of St. Luc be joined to the county of Bellechasse. I will tell my hon. friend that in the county of Dorchester there is also a protuberance, a little square joined to the county of Dorchester like a postage stamp. This postage stamp, which has been made up of parts of the county of Dorchester and *Bellechasse, I want to be given to the county of Bellechasse, and I will tell you why. When hon. gentlemen opposite made the redistribution in the past what did they do? They carved the parishes of Ste. Sabine and IHonfleur, in dividing the population in two- half the parish votes in Dorchester and half in Bellechasse. If I had followed the same distribution as hon. gentlemen opposite I would have kept half of St. Luc and given half to the county of Bellechasse. I would not do such a thing. I am not for half measures, I asked that the whole parish go to the counity of Bellechasse.

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