January 21, 1937 (18th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Donald MacLennan


Mr. DONALD MacLENNAN (Inverness-Richmond):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to say a word in support of the motion. In the 1033 revision the counties of Inverness and Richmond were joined to make the present constituency of Inverness-Richmond. This constituency is over 300 miles long. A man would need a good automobile and would have to be a tireless driver to go from one end of the constituency to the other in a single day. On the other hand, the constituency represented by the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Hartigan) is so small that he can drive from the centre to the end in any direction in one hour and a half. I am not complaining about the number of people who live within a district; all I say is that it is utterly impossible for anyone to look properly after the constituency which I represent. There are more than 300 miles of shore line filled with coves and inlets, and a man would have to spend his entire time and even then would find it impossible to go over the constituency as he should.
I was very glad to hear the hon. member to my immediate right say that the boundaries of a constituency could be changed by parliament without a new census being taken. If that can be done, I think the house should pass this resolution and refer this whole matter to a committee in order that it may be studied. If nothing can be done this year, perhaps the matter may be considered at the next session. In the meantime, we would have an opportunity of looking into these matters and suggesting necessary corrections. I am not finding fault with what has been done nor am I imputing motives, but I must say that it seems almost ridiculous to have such a large constituency territorially as the one which I represent. I therefore have pleasure in supporting the motion.

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