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


Charles Gavan Power


Mr. C. G. POWER (Quebec South):

I have not hitherto taken any part in this discussion, because -personally I have nothing other than *perhaps an academic interest in it. Speaking for the constituency which I represent I had better thank the Solicitor General (Mr. Dupre) and the hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Gagnon) for their magnanimity and generosity towards -the English speaking population of the city o-f Quebec, in allotting to them a smaller constituency than some of the others. But may I say to the Solicitor General, and he probably knows it if he has followed the elections

Redistribution-Mr. Power
in the city of Quebec during the past few years, that as far as I am concerned I have never claimed election in the constituency of Quebec South on the ground that I was English speaking. I have merely asked my electors on every and all occasions-and the question has presented itself at every election -not to reject me on the ground that I was English speaking, but to give me the same chance as any otheT citizen of Quebec or of the Dominion of Canada. As far as the constituency being English speaking is concerned, I think the Solicitor General knows that the population has now shifted considerably, and I would say, without having looked at the census figures, that at least two thirds of the population are now French speaking. And if I may make a further personal reference I would say that of the one-third which is English four-fifths vote against me. I do thank the hon. gentlemen for their generosity, but as far as it affects me personally I hardly think I am likely to derive any benefit from * the seat being made into a so-called English speaking seat.
Now I should like to take up for a moment some of the observations made by my hon. friend from Dorchester (Mr. Gagnon). The hon. gentleman alleged that the profile maps which he showed were specimens of Liberal handiwork. I took down some of the names of the constituencies, pictures of which he showed to this house, greatly to the amusement of hon. gentlemen opposite. Quebec East was formed in 1914, when Right Hon. Sir Robert Borden was Prime Minister and when it is to be assumed that the late Hon. L. P. Pelletier looked after the redistribution of the seats in the Quebec district. Quebec West, to which my hon. friend complains certain rural centres were added, also was so constituted in 1914 under the guidance of the same hon. gentleman. In consulting the statutes of 1924 I find that Chateauguay-Huntingdon was allowed to remain as it was in 1914. so it also is a specimen of the handiwork not of hon. gentlemen on this side of the house but of the well-revered predecessors of hon. gentlemen opposite.

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