June 24, 1938 (18th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)


Many of these people take considerable interest in public affairs. Any one who has visited an old folks home knows that older people who have possession of
Elections and Franchise

their faculties usually take considerable interest in public affairs. During their spare time they discuss these matters at great length and with a great deal of understanding. There .may be instances where, because of their mental condition, they would not be able to vote, but I believe those cases would be covered by other sections of the bill. We are penalizing these people because they happen to be living in an institution of this kind. I know of many instances where an old person has preferred to live in such an institution. If he were living with his near relatives, he would be entitled to vote, but simply because he happens to go to an institution he is being denied that right. I think that is a most unfair discrimination against the older section of our population who have given the best years of their lives to building up this country. If a provincial government wants to take action of that kind, then we have no jurisdiction nor have we any cause to complain in this chamber, but I do not think this federal parliament should follow the lead of the provincial governments. I believe this is a retrograde step.

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