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


Abraham Albert Heaps

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


Simply that a provincial
government does a certain thing is no reason why we should follow the same course. The women in the province of Quebec are not permitted to vote in provincial elections, but that is no reason why we should say that they should be disbarred from voting in dominion elections. That is no excuse at all. In a federal law we should stick entirely to the federal jurisdiction and not follow what may happen to be done in a particular province. That is my complaint. These people may be entitled in every way to vote; they may have full knowledge of everything that is going on in the political field in this dominion. We spend thousands and thousands of dollars trying to get votes out on election day. We discussed the question of absentee votes, and in the last election we spent an enormous sum of money to get absentee votes recorded in different parts of this dominion; yet here are men and women quite capable of casting an intelligent vote, and we are depriving them of it simply because the provincial government says they are not entitled to

vote. We are simply following the lead of the provincial government, and that is my complaint. I hope the minister will see to it that these old people in the latter years of their life are not deprived of something which I know in many instances they prize very highly indeed.

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