Mr. H. C. Harley (Halton):
I intend to speak in this debate only briefly in order to bring to the attention of the commission some of the problems arising from the changes suggested. The riding I have the honour to represent will be divided, and there will be two ridings in the area. This reflects the changes in population we have seen in southern Ontario, particularly in the Toronto and Hamilton areas, and is an indication of the industrial and residential growth of the region.
One of the main problems arising in connection with redistribution in Ontario is the confusion which arises between the provincial and the federal changes in the distribution of seats. As every member here is aware, this is inevitable unless the number of seats in the Ontario legislature and the number of seats in this place held by representatives from the
province of Ontario become equal at some time.
The riding I represent has been divided in half. One of these halves was again divided into two parts, one of which will, virtually, become a riding in its own right; the other will become the riding of Wellington. I should like to refer in this connection to the township of Nassagaweya which did make representations to the electoral commission, though these representations were not reflected in the changes we now see before us. Like other members of this house I feel the commission appears not to have given consideration to the economic and geographical ties which exist in various areas. The town of Burlington which is to be in the new riding of Halton-Wentworth is closely linked with the township I have mentioned, Nassagaweya. The highways run north and south, and directly connect these two towns. The growth of the town of Burlington is toward Nassagaweya township. The people of Nassagaweya have shopped, farmed and grown up in this area and they wish to remain part of this area for all purposes.
As far as population figures are concerned, any change made to bring the township of Nassagaweya into the new riding would not be significant. The population of Burlington is approximately 50,000. Bringing in the township of Nassagaweya would perhaps add 2,500 people and 1,200 or 1,300 voters. I would therefore hope that the electoral boundaries commission would again consider, as it has promised to do in the past, bringing the township of Nassagaweya into this constituency in keeping with its growth, its history and its commercial habits, and keeping it tied closely with the town of Burlington.
Subtopic: CONSIDERATION OF OBJECTIONS TO COMMISSION REPORTS