November 1, 1957 (23rd Parliament, 1st Session)


Thomas Speakman Barnett

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

Mr. T. S. Barnett (Comox-Alberni):

I think Mr. Speaker, that the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Mclvor) must at some time have paid a visit to the province of British Columbia and have associated with some of the Liberal and Conservatives of that province because in supporting this bill-and in speaking for myself as I am sure each one of us is doing-he made a suggestion which I think has now received quite general acceptance within the province of British Columbia by the people of all political interests. I have risen on at least two previous occasions to support a bill introduced by the member for Wetaskiwin (Mr. Thomas), such as the one we now have before us and I think I am doing so from some experience of the situation which was outlined by the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Winch). We have been able to compare the situation between our provincial election act which makes this provision and the federal election act which does not. I imagine in the course of the last four or five years I have probably received hundreds, certainly dozens of complaints from people in my district with respect to the fact that the federal elections act does not have in it a provision such as this bill proposes.
Now it is all very well for the hon. Secretary of State (Mrs. Fairclough) to speak of her experience in a riding like Hamilton West and to speculate upon the situation in what she has described as remote areas; to suggest that there must be something wrong with the voters if they have not had an opportunity to know who are the candidates running for the various political interests.

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