March 29, 1922 (14th Parliament, 1st Session)

UFA

Alfred Speakman

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

I stand corrected,
but neither I nor any other of the people in my constituency knew that a woman had the same right. The bulk of the women affected were not women who had come to Canada within a week or a month or a year of the date of the election. This legislation affected, to a large extent, the old-established constituencies, the old districts; it affected women who, for years, had understood that they were full Canadian citizens, women who had, so far as women could, fulfilled all the duties of Canadian citizenship. In actual effect, whatever the intention of the law was, it debarred those women from enjoying the full advantage accruing to the citizenship which they had acquired. I consider it was particularly a hardship in those
pioneer districts. If ever any women on God's earth deserve the franchise and the full right of saying what legislation shall be passed affecting the rights and lives of every man and woman in this country, it is those women who went into those pioneer districts and, with their husbands, attempted to extend civilization into those wildernesses. The actual effect of that law which compelled those women to obtain such certificates before voting was to deprive a large percentage of them of the franchise.
On those grounds, on the grounds of common justice, on the ground that men and women who are full-fledged Canadian citizens should enjoy the fruits of Canadian citizenship, should enjoy the honour and fulfil the highest obligation of Canadian citizenship, I shall support the resolution.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   ENFRANCHISEMENT OF WOMEN OF ALIEN BIRTH
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