May 9, 1902

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

That is all right.

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Amendment agreed to.


CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

I beg to move to amend section 27 :

By inserting after the word ' election ' in the third line, the words ' and in twelve other of the most conspicuous polling places in each polling division.'

There should be a posting up at some other places than at the polling booth.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

Say four places instead of twelve.

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CON
CON
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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

The government 'have no objection at all to the principle that ,fhe Chief Justice or the senior Judge of the Territory shall appoint the enumerators. We do not desire to retain that power in our hands. Therefore, so far as the principle of the amendment is concerned, we concede it at once. But I do not think my hon. friend is correct in saying that liis other amendments depend on this one. I think it is the other way. My hon. friend wants this change made so that the making-up of the list shall be taken out of the bands of the government and put into the hfinds of an independent tribunal. That being the case, lie does not require the same precautions respecting the making-up of the list. In the old North-west Territories Act, which my hon. friend will remember was passed by his friends, and under which we laboured at some disadvantage for a number of years, the Governor In Council appointed the enumerator to make the lists, and he required no affidavit, no evidence, and there was no appeal of any kind what' ever from his decisions.

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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

That is as this Bill is without this amendment.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

That was the most remarkable Act ever passed in Canada.

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L-C
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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

No, you have a revising officer, and you have a right of appeal.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Not for a list of this character. The hon. minister is referring

to the old form of municipal lists ; but we also have a registration of voters, largely on this line, in cities and towns.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

Under the old North-west Territories Act, which in a general way we are following in this Bill, the Governor in Council appointed the enumerators, and there was no revision. I admit that that is not a fair position for any political party to occupy ; and for that reason I do not think my hon. friend is unreasonable in asking that a judicial officer like the Chief Justice or the senior Judge of the Territory should appoint the enumerators. But I wish to point out to my hon. friend that in the clause he has drawn he has followed the idea that the lists are to be made up every year, while tlie scheme of the Act is that the lists should only be made up for an election and I do not want to depart from that. I am content to accept my hon. friend's suggestion ; but I would not be satisfied that we had the provisions in a satisfactory, workable shape, by just drawing them here hurriedly.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Let me make a suggestion to the hon. gentleman. In the Ontario Registration Act, it is provided that seven days after the dissolution of parliament the registrars shall he called for the purpose of preparing a list of those entitled to register. In this Bill it could be provided that the registration should take place within seven days after tihe issue of the writ or at some other specified time.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

That is exactly wffiat the scheme of the Act is at present. This section provides that the lists shall be made up immediately after the issue of the writ.

I will accept my hon. friend's suggestion that the Chief Justice or senior judge should designate the enumerators, but I think we should retain the scheme of this Act and provide that he should designate the enumerators within a certain number of days, and be notified to do so at the same time that the writ is sent to the returning officer.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

I am satisfied to accept the hon. gentleman's suggestion. His idea is that the Chief Justice or senior judge should be appointed to designate the enumerators instead of the Governor in Council.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

If we agree on that, I presume my hon. friend will not insist on the subsequent amendment requiring an affidavit for qualification.

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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

I think I ought to insist on that because tbe Chief Justice ought to have some rule oh -which he is to proceed. AVe should define what sort of evidence he must take. In other provinces there must be a declaration or personal attendance and swearing. There should be some rule of evidence to guide the Chief Justice and the enumerators in the matter. There is one thing I do not understand. How is the hon.

minister going to fix the day for doing this? If you wait until the writ is issued, you will never have time enough to properly register these people. There is this difference between my proposition and the hon. minister's. He begins to count from a date unknown. He begins to count back from the election, while I am trying to fix some day before the election and do everything from that time forward, and if there should be a little time between the completion of the lists and polling day that will not do any harm. But if you begin so many days from the day of polling, and should not toe able to get through with the work toy polling day you will have chaos and trouble. I am glad the hon. minister accepts my suggestion that the Chief Justice should appoint the enumerators, but I would like to know when the Chief Justice will begin to do that. Would it not toe well for him to do it on the first of August this year ?

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

Wo [DOT]cannot work that.

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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

The Chief Justice should know when he has to appoint these enumerators, and unless we fix a special time, how is he to know it ?

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May 9, 1902