June 20, 1925 (14th Parliament, 4th Session)

LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

This is to carry out a
suggestion quoted in the note to section 9 of the bill. Hon. gentlemen will find the explanation opposite section 9, as follows:
This is an amendment suggested by the Chief Electoral Officer with a view of overcoming one of the difficulties referred to in the quotation from his 1922 report in the note to section 5 of the billl. In that report lie says with regard to this amendment:-
''The only way in which it appears possible consistently with the proper protection of the voter to render easier the removail of the names of dead and disqualified voters from the preliminary lists for urban polling divisions is to create a new class of applications to the revising officer in which the onus of establishing qualification is placed upon the voter
concerned instead of upon the applicant. When the onus rests upon the applicant it is exceedingly difficult to discharge, and experience indicates that, except when, as has happened, the machinery is used with the apparently deliberate purpose of blocking the revision, it is almost never resorted to. At the same time, it is impossible to allow the onus to be generally placed upon the voter without any responsibility upon the applicant, since the inevitable effect of so doing would be to put into the power of unscrupulous partisans not only to make the revision of the lists in the time available an impossibility, but to impose upon all their political opponents and unjustifiable burden. Since, however, it is principally names upon the provincial lists that are in question, it seems possible to permit the registrar, on affidavit made during his sittings by a qualified voter in his registration district, to give to the voter objected to a notice requiring him to attend or be represented before the revising officer in order to support his right to vote. An amendment along these lines would involve the insertion in Schedule A to section 32 of a new rule as Rule (5a); the addition of appropriate words at the end of Rule (8); the insertion of a new clause in Rule (14) as clause (bb), and a slight change in clause (c) of that rule."

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
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