May 14, 1964 (26th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Eldon M. Woolliams (Bow River):

Speaking in support of this motion, and as one who seconded the motion, I may say frankly, at the outset, that I should like to be a little better prepared than I am this afternoon. We have in the last few days been busy in the committee on privileges and elections.
Nevertheless, I should like to say a few words in relation to these documents-some call them maps; others call them mathematical exercises-and in so doing I wish to refer to the provisions of the Representation Commissioner Act which was passed in 1963 and assented to around December 21, 1963 just before the Christmas recess. I doubt that even when another related bill, the bill dealing with redistribution, was before the house-and it passed second reading-many hon. members realized just what that bill said, for that matter, what the Representation Commissioner Act said. Section 8 of that act is right to the point:
As soon as possible after the completion of any decennial census, or in the case of the census taken in the year 1961 as soon as possible after the coming into force of this act, the commissioner shall prepare maps showing the distribution of population in each province and setting out alternative proposals respecting the boundaries of electoral districts in each province, and shall thereupon supply such maps to the appropriate electoral boundaries commission.
Thus, the act provides that the representation commissioner shall provide maps referring to electoral districts and, in particular, maps related to the year 1961. There have been a great many words spoken about these maps. In fact, the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) had this to say-and I know we are not supposed to quote from Hansard during debate if an hon. member objects. However, if he will waive the rule I will read the exact words which were used by him on April 30, as reported at page 2780:
I am told there are no maps so far.
This was said in answer to a question put by the hon. member for Rosthern (Mr. Nasserden).
Therefore one cannot say he has seen the maps. However, in response to the suggestion that was made I have seen some of the sketches that are referred to as transparencies, consisting of lines drawn on transparencies that are put over old maps.
The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre is a very meticulous man in the use of his language. He has set out that he has absolute confidence in the representation commissioner, as I think we all have, as far his duties are concerned, provided those duties are free from any political bias or prejudice, or from any influence exercised by
Electoral Boundaries Maps any minister by whom he takes his directions. So that when hon. members come before the house and say to you, Mr. Speaker, and through you to the house, that there are no maps, then I do not know what kind of argument they are prepared to present. The hon. member says in one breath that he has seen something. To me he is just mincing words. I know that on many occasions the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre gets very pious, particularly on this subject. He is one who has said down through the years that he wants to take redistribution out of politics. I think there is one thing about which this party can be proud, and that is that we have stood for that for a long time. The reason-and I might as well make this point now-is-

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