Mr. DUMAINE (Translation):
minister will allow me to tell him that there was a very easy way of retaining the county of Bagot by uniting it not with Drummond-Arthabaska which has a population in excess of 53,000 but with Drummond only, this being a rural riding. The county of Bagot skirts by almost its whole width the county of Drummond, and it would have been possible to constitute a county of Drummond-Bagot with a population in excess of 33,000, including Drummondville. Drummond and Bagot would have formed a county where Liberals as well as Conservatives would have had a chance of retaining their identity. As I stated at the outset of my remarks, all sacrifices are made by the Liberal members who now represent these counties in this Parliament. I believe the union of Drummond and Bagot would have satisfied everybody.
Mr. Chairman, to amplify my argument, allow me to remark that the county of Bagot is united in its entirety with the county of St. Hyacinthe. I am happy over this. It had been originally proposed to include the parish of St. Pie in another county. I protested to the Committee with my hon. friend from St. Hyacinthe-Rouville (Mr. Fontaine) and the matter was settled. The county of Bagot united to that of St. Hyacinthe constitutes too large a population and the Government was compelled to dismember the county of St. Hyacinthe and place part of it, five parishes and one village, in the county of Richelieu. The parishes of St. Barnabe, St. Jude, St. Bernard, St. Charles and St. Denis belonged to the county of St. Hyacinthe since Confederation and even prior to that. Provincially, they belong to this county; their county council meets at St. Hyacinthe and their judicial district and shire-town are located there. They are detached from this county and annexed to the county of Richelieu.
I know these parishes will be welcome in the county of the hon. member for Richelieu (Mr. Cardin), but I also know that the people of those parishes would rather remain in the county of St. Hyacinthe-Bagot, because they would not feel, I will not say like exiles but like strangers in another county. The parish of St. Barnabe is barely six miles from St. Hyacinthe; the parish of St. Jude, 8 or 9 miles; the parish of St. Denis is more distant, but citizens of these parishes will be compelled, when regional conventions or meetings are held, to leave localities situated 6 or 7 miles from St. Hyacinthe and travel a distance of 30 to 35 miles to attend a convention at Sorel.
I consider that such changes should not be made for the mere pleasure of one man or to oblige him, whether he is a minister or a member. Each county should retain its citizens who should form only one faimly.
I have no protest to make with respect to Rouville.
Topic: REDISTRIBUTION BILL