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


Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)



There are difficulties in all
these matters that are brought to the attention of the committee. It is, I (hink, an impossibility for the Chief Electoral Officer or anybody else to frame an act that would cover every individual case that a member might think about in his particular riding, and to provide for the lumber men in New Brunswick, the few miners in Ontario and the fishermen in Nova Scotia, British Columbia and elsewhere. There are always bound to be some little difficulties that it is impossible to meet. The Chief Electoral officer, who has given, not his whole time but Ihe main portion of his time, to this matter for the past five or six years, has worked this out in order to cover the situation to the best of his ability. From the information and experience he has gaine.' in the conduct of the last election, he has suggested these amendments. We have gone over them as carefully as we could in the committee on Privileges and Elections and have heard his explanations. If anybody can suggest anything that will improve the bill, I am sure the Chief Electoral Officer and myself will be very glad to consider any suggestions: but it seems to me that to- undertake to change these various clauses here and there as we go along, will, perhaps, result in our getting into greater difficulties than if we accepted the judgment of the drafting done by the Chief Electoral Officer. I quite understand the suggestion of my hon. friend (Mr. Caldwell). Some man, a political partisan perhaps,

Elections Act
might make a wrong affidavit, and a notice would be sent to somebody who would be in the lumber woods or on a log drive. Such a man might not get that notice and he might suffer an injury by having his name removed from the voters' list when it should not have been. The man, however, who made the affidavit would be liable to be charged with perjury. This is a thing that would not happen often although, perhaps, it might happen occasionally. It would be impossible to find a panacea to cover every case we could think of in this Dominion.

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