I do not think that we can debate the question quite fully at the present time. We will have occasion to debate it before the Supreme Court, and I will have to discuss it in the House of Commons again, but I do not wish to be misrepresented on any statement of law.
Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
I certainly have no desire to misrepresent the hon. gentleman.
What I said was that the legislative supremacy of parliament was undoubted. That is what I said, and when my hon. friends come to look up ' Hansard ' they will see I guarded myself by saying that it was extremely doubtful if any attempt to legislate in that direction would be made. The right to legislate is undoubted. That is the statement I made, and that is the statement I repeat, and that is the statement that no lawyer will venture to doubt.
Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
I do not know whether I am a lawyer or not, but I would venture to doubt it.
Hon. IMr. HAGGART. aiy argument was from the constitutional point cf view, that the imperial authorities had no right at all to interfere with our constitution. The Minister of Justice said they had, and the application of his argument was that when the addresses and Order in Council received the sanction of the Queen, they became part of the British North America Act or the imperial law and affected our position to that extent. I pointed out that addresses from the different provinces coming into the Dominion and the addresses from the Dominion to the imperial authorities, if approved by the Sovereign, might alter the representation of the four provinces under the bargain which we make with a new province coming into the union. I state here, and it cannot be contradicted, that if it were not for the admission of the North-west Territories and Manitoba into this Dominion, the number of representatives in this parliament from the province of Ontario would not be diminished at all. Therefore our
Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
representation is affected by the bargain which we make with the different provinces entering into the Dominion. I say that there was no such intention in the British North America Act. That Act bears no such meaning. Section 51 applies solely to the four provinces which originally constituted confederation and it is solely to the readjustment of the representation of these provinces to which that section applies. Then what can be the meaning of the term ' Canada ' so far as this clause 51 is concerned ? As regards the readjustment of the representation of these four original provinces, the term can be held to cover but them alone. Notwithstanding the argument of the hon. Minister of Justice and the opinion of the eminent lawyer, Mr. Christopher Robinson, of Toronto, I am still convinced, following the opinion of my old leader, the late Sir John Macdonald, that this clause 51 in the British North America Act has no reference at all to the future new provinces of Canada, and that unless it is specially provided in the Acts authorizing the admission of new provinces into the Dominion, that this section 51 shall apply to them, it must be held to be restricted to the four original provinces.
The right hon. gentleman the First Minister in introducing his Bill the other day, said, in reply to my hon. friend (Mr. Borden), who drew his attention to a telegram from the hon. Minister of Railways to the legislature of New Brunswick, that he intended to press the Bill, that he had no doubt as to the law on the question, and that he was only following the principles laid down in 1882 and 1892. But there was no such principle at issue in 1882 or in 1892 as we are contending for now. The question then was not raised. It did not enter as an issue at all. It could not have any application at all, and the right hon. gentleman cannot take any authority from anything that was done in 1S82 or in 1892, inasmuch as the one-twentieth provision in subsection four of section fifty-one did not affect the position of any of the provinces at that time.
I have looked very carefully into the provisions of the British North America Act. I was at first impressed by the opinion of the Minister of Justice that subsection four of section fifty-one referred to Canada as it is constituted at present, but looking at all the surroundings of the Act and having regard especially for the opinion cited by my hon. friend from Hamilton (Mr. Barker) of Sir Henry Strong on the subject, I am convinced that section fifty-one was not at all intended to apply to the provinces or territories to be subsequently admitted. The principles which are laid down by Sir Henry Strong, I think, apply particularly to that clause
In construing this enactinent, the British North America Act, we are not only entitled but bound to apply that well established rule which requires us, in passing upon the descrip-
live terms or definitions contained in a statute, to have recourse to the external aid derived from the surrounding circumstances and the history of the subject.
The history of the subject and the surrounding circumstances. Mr. Speaker- that opinion of Sir John Macdonald and his memo, to council upon the subject-point clearly to the conclusion that section lifty-one of the British North America Act was intended to apply only to the four provinces which originally constituted confederation. It is time that by special arrangement with the new provinces entering' confederation and forming now part of the Dominion, section fifty-one is made specially to apply to them, but in every address, enactment and Act of parliament governing their admission, it is specially provided that the rule laid down in section fifty-one shall apply to their representation, except in the case of British Columbia, one of the conditions of whose entrance into the Dominion was that in no event was its representation to be reduced. But what I protest against most of all is that by an address of this House, or of this House and any of the provinces combined, to the imperial authority, power should be given to the British parliament to reduce the representation granted by the solemn compact, under which they formed confederation, to the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
LEFURGEY (East Prince, P. E. I.) The lion. Minister of Justice has said that viewing Prince Edward Island from the contentions put forward this afternoon regarding Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario, she was out of court. But, Mr. Speaker, we contend that Prince Edward Island's case is a special one and a much stronger and entirely different case from that put forward by the other provinces.
Mr. Speaker, we object to the principles of this Bill insofar as it does not remedy the wrong done to the province of Prince Edward Island in violating the special compact under which she entered the union and taking away, contrary to the special terms, the status of representation of six members given at that time and treating her as coming in under the general terms of representation as applies to provinces entering under the British North America Act of 1867.
At the time of redistribution of 1S91 a false interpretation was put upon the clause re our representation, and we object against that being recognized in this Bill and still further wronging her in again reducing her representation in giving her four instead of the original six with which she entered and perpetuating an erroneous and unjust principle which will eventually take away the entire political entity of a province that before confederation enjoyed to the full the principles of a self-governed colony.
The objection to the principles of representation by population as regards Prince Edward Island, except as I shall hereafter point out, is general throughout the Island and maritime provinces by parties of both political leanings. _
At the opening of the provincial legislature on March 19. 1903. the Lieutenant Governor referred to this matter of representation as fellows :-
The claims of this province that its representation under British North America Act, ini ho Dominion House of Commons should not be reduced below the number of members conceded to it at the time of our entry into confederation, have been pressed upon the federal government by my premier and representatives of my administration, and I feel confident that the province will be given an opportunity to establish its rights in this respect.
And the mover of the address in reply to the speech from the Throne spoke strongly on this matter. His opening remarks were:-
We now come to the question of representation. this is to-day a most important question. In the very near future the Dominion parliament will be called on to discuss a redistribution Bill, and the House v'ould he derelict in its duty if it should allow the central government to perpetrate another such error as inflicted on this province in 1891 without the strongest protests.
A false interpretation was put upon our terms of union by the Dominion government, the words : ' the representation to be re-adjusted from time to time, under the provisions of the British North America Act 1867 ' were torn from their context and made to do duty as law. Mr. Speaker, these words do not apply, and never have applied to this province by right-it was an iniquity and we should deny it and defy it.
What, Sir, are the principles laid down in the various Acts of confederation ; is there one essential principle or are there two distinct standards of representation, let us see. In 1864 a basis of confederation was adopted by the Quebec conference, in W'hich the principle of representation was laid down, that principle was accepted after a time by the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, but it was not accepted by us. We stood out for another standard and after a long fight we succeeded in securing a representation of six members for 95,0Jj0 of a population; this, Sir, is quite another rule, and it is a rule or principle that has been acknowledged, accepted and applied to other provinces before and since that time, notably to Manitoba and British Columbia. One of the greatest obstacles to the scheme of confederation with this Island was the insistence of the Canadian statesmen that representation by population should be part of the terms, while our people were quite as isistent on having not less than six members regardless of population.
in tlie first place, I do not believe that the principle of representation by population is found within the four corners of the confederation document. And, so far as regards the reduction of the representation of Prince Edtvard Island, this was not intended if Prince Edward Island maintained the population with which she entered confederation-95,857. And I think this clause
giving her representation of six members and the interpreting clause fully carry out this idea. To follow the unit of representation as in Quebec with 05 members would render the whole scheme with regard to Prince Edward Island absurd. Because, if Quebec were as thickly populated as Prince Edward Island, we should have 65-152 of a unit of representation, because Quebec is 152 times as large as Prince Edward Island. We would not have half the population to make up one unit of representation, and so we should be deprived of representation altogether. It is absurd to suppose that such a tiling could have been intended when Prince Edward Island entered confederation. Then, there are the reports of the Quebec Conference and the speeches in the local legislature repudiating representation by population; and, finally, we have a telegram, just before the close of the conference, admitting Prince Edward Island to the union and confirming a representation of six members as its representatives had been asking for. It was five years after the formation of the union of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, that Prince Edward Island joined the union, having remained out up to that time for causes to which I shall refer later. Prince Edward Island came in under section 140 of the British North America Act, which provides the terms under which Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and other provinces might enter-that is, on addresses by the province and the Dominion, and the passing of an imperial Order in Council which would have the effect of law.
The clause of the British North America Act reads as follows :
It shall be lawful for the Queen, by an! with the advice of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, on addresses from the Houses of the Parliament of Canada, and from the Houses of the respective legislatures of the colonies or provinces of Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and British Columbia, to admit those colonies or provinces, or any of them into the union, and on address from the Houses of Parliament of Canada to admit Rupert's Land and the North Western Territory, or either of them, into the union, on such terms and conditions in each case as are in the addresses expressed and as the Queen thinks fit to approve, subject to the provisions of this Act ; and the provisions of any Order in Council in that behalf shall have effect as if they had been enacted by the parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
The Order in Council admitting Prince Edward Island was passed on the 26th of June, 1873, declaring that Prince Edward Island be admitted and become part of the Dominion of Canada upon the terms and conditions set forth in the addresses. The clauses in these addresses of the different Houses to the Sovereign regarding representation Is as follows ;
That the population of Prince Edward Island having been increased by 15,000 or upwards
since the year 1801, the island shall be represented in the House of Commons by six members ; the representation to be readjusted from time to time under the provision of the British North America Act, 1807.
This plea is made on the belief that, under tills clause Prince Edward Island is justly entitled to retain the six members with which it came Into the union, and given under this clause, and that the reduction in 1892, and the further contemplated reduction now, are contrary to the direct terms under which the island came into the union. I think this will be very clearly seen upon an intelligent interpretation of the Act, and from the manifest Intention of the parties negotiating the terms, which intention, to my mind, should weigh greatly with this House, particularly when it comes to unjust interference with such paramount rights as the representation of a province in the House of Commons in Canada which will create and I know is creating, a great deal of dissatisfaction among the people! of Prince Edward Island.
Now, to go back to the Quebec conference of 1864, where the different representatives of different provinces met to discuss the terms of confederation we find that the insurmountable difficulty In tfie way of Prince Edward Island entering the union was the matter of representation. The position which our delegates took at that convention was firm and decided. They realized what that union might mean in the matter of representation to a small province and one very thickly populated in proportion to the rest of the Dominion, as Prince Edward Island was at that time. They insisted that the system of representation by population should not be applied to so small a province with no territory to enlarge her borders, no mines, and cut off from the mainland by a barrier of ice which would interfere with the development of manufacturing industries on the island. They insisted on six members as a status before Prince Edward Island should enter the union. They further contended that Prince Edward Island, having three counties should have two members for each county. These counties had been established for many years, and each had its own Institutions and should have equal representation in the House, two members for each. In proof of what I am saying I shall take the liberty of reading from Joseph Pope's Confederation Documents, extracts from the speeches of our representatives to the Quebec conference. At page 68 of the documents, I find the following :
Prince Edward Island would rather he out of confederation than consent to this motion. We should have no status. Only 5 members out of 194 would give the island no position.
That is rather a singular ground of objection, [DOT] for they have objected to the basis of representation by population. Now
it was fully understood at Charlottetown that those who came to the conference expected representation by population. Some difficulty might have arisen on those points, but not on this.
Representation by population is not applicable when a certain number of provinces are throwing their resources into one confederation and giving up their own selfgovernment and individuality. When a colony surrenders that right she should have something commensurate in the confederation. The debt of Prince Edward island is nothing. Our taxation is vastly below that of other provinces. Our trade and revenue are rapidly increasing. Why give up so great a certainty for an uncertain benefit where we have only a feeble voice ? Looking first at the larger provinces, Canada has secured for hersoif a greater number of representatives than she had before. . . . Not even two or three more members could induce me to give my consent to the scheme. I never understood that any proposition at Charlottetown was to be binding by representation by population. Tt was there made by those from Canada and T do not think it necessary to remark on it as it was a mere suggestion then thrown out by Canada for consideration.
I do not think, however. 1 could say that I was satisfied with the representation of five in the federal House of Commons. We are in an isolated condition. Our resources are large and our people would not be content to give up their present benefits for their representation of five members. It may be said that the confederation will go on without Prince Edward Island and that we shall be eventually forced in. Better, however, that, than that we should willingly go into the confederation* with that representation.
COLONEL GRAY. I am instructed by my codelegates to say that the provision of five members is unsatisfactory. Prince Edward Island is divided longitudinally into three counties, each returning ten members. But they are always opposed to change of representation. We cannot divide the three counties into five members.
Mr. Galt had proposed six members for Prince Edward Island. I approved that rather than Mr. Brown's motion, because it allows us to give to our three counties two members each.
I agree in all that has been said by Colonel Gray and Mr. Coles. But the circumstances of Prince Edward Island are such that I hope the conference will agree to give us such a number as we can divide amongst our three constituencies. Nature as well as the original settlement of the Island has made three counties and would give rise to much difficulties and if we had to adjust five members to the three counties. I cannot ask it as a matter of right but one of expediency and one without which it is impossible for us to carry the measure in Prince Edward Island.
I fully agree with Mr. Hope. It would be an insuperable difficulty with us if we had not six members.
Now, will any lion, member of this House deny that the plain intent of these delegates was that the island should be represented by six members as a condition precedent to entering the union ? And is it not perfectly
apparent that their intention was to safeguard the interests of the province by a representation in the House of Commons that would Dot fall below six members so long ns we retained the status of 95,000 population ? The asking for two for each county was not intended as a temporary arrangement until the next census, but that they should always be represented by two. The arguments used then have greater force at this time as regards giving us a respectable status in the House. A small province with a stationary population in a large and growing confederacy, our voting power becomes less; and I contend that the principles for which our people fought so long, standing out from 1804 to 1873, should not be so easily filched from us to-day. These terms of union were discussed in the local legislature in several sessions following. To show the members of this House that the delegates at the conference bad the full ap-I)roval of the local legislature, I shall again take the opportunity of quoting from some of the discussions. X apologize to the House for taking up its time, but this is a matter of paramount importance to Prince Edward Island, and I think it necessary that the intention of the parties to confederation should be well known in order that the government may be guided thereby before they finally adopt such a principle as that laid down in the Bill. Speaking on a resolution introduced by the Colonial Secretary in favour of the Quebec terms, and which was overwhelmingly lost on division, the Hon. J. C. Pope said :
It is proper to notice some of the objectionable features of the report. Without admitting the principle of representation according to population under ail circumstances to he sound, it is, in the opinion of this House, particularly objectionable as applied to this island in connection with Canada, taking into consideration that the number of our inhabitants is, and must continue comparatively small, owing to the fact that we have no Crown lands, mines, minerals or other resources sufficient to induce immigrants to settle here, and that we never can expect to become to any extent a manufacturing people, in consequence of our navigation being closed for nearly half the year, and all trade and communication with other countries stopped. Under this principle, the city of Montreal alone would at the present time, have a representation greater than the whole province of Prince Edward Island, and under the provisions of the convention which regulate the mode of readjusting the relative representation of the various provinces at each decennial census, looking at the rapid increase of the population of Upper and Lower Canada heretofore-[DOT] particularly the former-and the certainty of a still greater increase therein in the future, over that of the population of this island, it follows as a certain and inevitable consequence, if a federation of the provinces were consummated upon the basis of the said convention, that the number of our representatives would, in the course of a comparatively short number of years, bo diminished to a still smaller number than that allotted at the outset to us.
It seems to me that it is a perfectly plain statement from tlie leader of the government and shows that the concession of six members was a condition precedent, and could only have been six in perpetuity, for Mr. Pope fully realized that at the next census our representation according to population would be reduced, as has been actually the case. Mr. Pope further said :
Among these objections I may mention the principle ot representation by population.
Speaking of Quebec he says :
Us statistics warrant the belief that in a few years the population will be so increased by the influx of the tide of immigration that the island would lose in the halls of legislation *even the small voice which she might raise at her entrance into the union.
The Hon. Mr. Howland, speaking on the same subject, said :
In the seventeenth paragraph of the report we are told, ' The basis of representation in the House of Commons shall be population, as determined by the official census every ten years; and the number of members at first shall be 194. Of this number Upper Canada is to have 82, and Lower Canada 65-in all for Canada 147. The remainder of the 194 is distributed as follows ; Nova Scotia, 19; New Brunswick, 15; Newfoundland, 8; Prince Edward Island, 5-in all for the lower provinces, 47. By this arrangement it will be seen that Canada will have 100 representatives in the House of Commons more than the aggregate of all the other colonies. Representation by population might be very well for Canada herself, but in a general union of the colonies it would operate injuriously for the maritime provinces, as they could not expect to protect their interests when they would have to contend with 100 of a clear majority over their own representation. This principle would give the city of Montreal with its 101,000 inhabitants one representative more than this island. Quite different is the representation of Great Britain, for while London has about the same population as Scotland, that city has only 16 members in the House of Commons, while Scotland has 53. But it may be argued that as our population increases our representation will increase. This is very doubtful. Indeed under the operation of the twentieth and twenty-first clauses of the report it seems probable that we might lose our representation altogether. Lower Canada is always to have 65 members, and the representation of the other colonies is to he arranged every ten years so as to give each the same ratio to population as she will then possess. Now, should the population of Lower Canada increase more rapidly than that of this island, which is almost certain to he the case, our representation would decrease, and we would be left perhaps without a member at all. To show at least that it is much more likely that our representation will decrease than increase, I will read the Hon. George Brown's opinions on the subject, as given in the Toronto ' Globe.' In treating of the probable effect of these two clauses of the report to which I have been alluding, on the representation of the maritime provinces, that journal says :
' The fact is best shown by Illustration. Prince Edward Island with a population say of 85,000 is, it Is said, to have five representatives at starting. Suppose she increase at the rate of twenty per cent each ten years, at the end Mr. LEFURGEY.
of twenty years her population will be 126,000. But at the same rate of progress the population of Lower Canada would be 1,596,000. Divided by 65, this would give one representative to every 24,550 of her people ; so that the island would not be able to claim an increase of membership.
Mr. Duncan, speaking on the same question, said :
The five representatives allotted to us in the lower House would not give this colony much influence there ; but as our population will not increase so rapidly as that of Canada, there is a prospect, through the operation of one clause in the report, that our five representatives would dwindle down to three. Taking all those points into consideration, therefore, it is clear to me that we have nothing to gain but much to lose by adopting the Quebec scheme.
Those speeches were made in 1865. In 1860 the debate upon these resolutions was resumed. Speaking on a resolution introduced by the leader of the government, the Hon. J. O. Pope, against confederation on the terms submitted, Mr. Duncan said
Nothing could be more unjust to Prince Edward Island than representation on the basis of population, as laid down by that scheme, according to which the Canadas would have 100 representatives in the House of Commons, more than the aggregate of all the colonies, the number assigned to us being only 5. Representation on this basis might do very well for Canada ; but as respects Prince Edward Island, it would be nothing but mere mockery.
The Hon. Mr. Longworth said ;
Another objection which I had to the union was that according to the scheme laid down in the report, representation in the House of Commons is to be based upon population. Representation on that basis is as objectionable as applied to those other two provinces, does not render less so to Prince Edward Island. Upper Canada is a growing country and her population *will rapidly increase ; and as that increases, so, according to the Quebec scheme of representation, her representation in the federal House of Commons would increase, whilst that of Prince Edward Island would decrease. And, in fact, if the increase in the population of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick does not, in the future, grow more rapidly than it has in the past, they will also, if the plan be strictly carried out, be losers instead of gainers as respects legislative representation. Thus, as respects representation on the basis of population, the scheme appeared to me to be unjust to us, and I was therefore prepared to go against it ; and the result of our deliberations upon it in this House was its rejection by a large majority. I, for one, am not changed. I entertain the same objections to the scheme which I entertained then, and I am therefore glad to presume that the resolutions just submitted by the hon. the leader of the government harmonize with the views on that question of a majority on both sides.
Pope said ;
Representation by population is not fair as regards this country. Where there are large towns there are not so many different interests as there are in a country like this. Therefore, I do not believe in it as a principle. It is not favourably looked upon by reformers of the
present day. Even Earl Russell does not believe in representation by population. As was said here last year, by that rule London would have more representatives than Scotland. If X had acted as a delegate when the delegates from Canada were here, and when they laid it down that they would not entertain the question at all, unless representation by population were acceded to, I would have stopped there and said, no, I will not agree to it, and I blame the leader of the opposition and those other delegates who agreed to it ; they should not have done so, for it is one of the strongest objections to that scheme.
The Hon. Mr. Coles said :
fectly tenable, that we were given six members on a status of entering union with 95,857 population and that we were to have six in perpetuity. I repeat again that the reasons advanced then are more potent today in the history of events, and what a representation by population under the general terms would mean as regards Prince Edward Island, as I shall illustrate to the House later. Now as to the balance of the clause :
The representation to be' readjusted from time to time under the provisions of the British North America "Act.
The hon. the leader of the government said that the delegates should not have consented to the principle of representation by population. They did not consent to it ; for, after the Canadian delegates came here and stated their case, the first delegation ceased, and another was appointed. Therefore it was for the government to consider the matter.
Now, Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that these speeches in the House of Representatives of Prince Edward Island show very clearly that the principle of representation by population was not accepted by the legislature of that island. She contended that special terms should be conceded to her, that she should enter with six members, and as a matter of fact, I have pointed out that Prince Edward Island remained out of confederation until 1873, and then only consented to come into the union when this final point of six members was conceded, notwithstanding anything in the British North America Act as to representation by population. When the final arrangements were being completed, in reply to an inquiry from Governor Robinson, Sir. Haviland, one of our delegates wired in reply. ' Six members conceded.' The clause again reads :
That the population of Prince Edward Island having been increased by 15,000 or upwards since the year 1861, the island should be represented in the House of Commons of Canada by six members.
Now, let us look at the facts, taking the first part of the clause. This would give us an alleged population of 95,857. On the basis of population at that time, under the general terms, got by dividing sixty-five into the population of Quebec, we get the unit 18,330, and by dividing this into the population of Prince Edward Island we get five and a fraction, 4,207. Thus, on the basis of population, we were only entitled to five members. But there is no sense or reason in the clause for giving us six unless six as a status. For any other construction would be ridiculous, after stopping out ten years, and knowing that the next census would deprive us of one, if the representation was to be by population under the general terms.
Our contention simply was this: We
have a population of 95,857, ard we want six members regardless of any unit Of representation for other provinces. I consider, Mr. Speaker, that this ground is per- j
This, in my opinion, can only refer to an increase of population in the event of our population increasing more rapidly than Quebec, and from the foregoing no other construction seems applicable, or in the case of a reduction of our population below the population we had on entering the union. This construction is also strengthened by the cases of British Columbia and Manitoba, both coming in after confederation and upon special terms. British Columbia came in in 1879, having a population of 10,586, which would give her under the general terms one member, yet she was given six. The clause reads as follows :
British Columbia is entitled to be represented by six members, the representation to be increased under the provisions of the British North America Act.
In 1881 she was entitled by population to two, yet she retained six ; in 1891 her population would entitle her to four, yet she kept six. The rights under the Prince Edward Island clause are certainly the same as the British Columbia clause, except that the language in the latter is possibly clearer. British Columbia has a right to enforce her special terms, and in fact it was never seriously questioned, and in the event of her population not having increased as it has, could any hon. member of this House question her right to retain six members ?
I can turn to the ' debates ' of 1892, when we had the right hon. leader of the government speaking of this matter of the representation of British Columbia. He says :
But, at the same time, I am myself taken by surprise at the objection raised, for it has always been understood that British Columbia was entitled to six members.
Again he says :
We have always understood that British Columbia was entitled to six members until such time that she was entitled to a larger number, but that she should not be represented by a less number than six. For my part I would be sorry to come to any conclusion which would deprive British Columbia of that which the people suppose themselves to be their right.
I consider that Prince Edward Island is in exactly the same position as British Columbia ; the language of the clauses are practically the same. In the one case it says ' readjusted ' and in the other case
* increased,' but, as to the intention of the framers of these clauses and of the contracting parties at the time of the union, it cannot be successfully contradicted that the meaning and purpose was the same. There was the status under which these provinces should come in, there was a special provision under which small provinces should enter the union, and both of these provinces came in under this special provision. Mr. Davies, of Prince Edward Island, speaking at that time, said :
I beg to assure my hon. friend that so far as the individual members coming from British Columbia are .concerned, we entertain nothing but kindly feelings towards them personally. I am in thorough accord with my leader that this is a ma'tter of good faifh. I think it would be a breach of faith on the part of parliament to alter those terms if they could do it, but the point before the House is a purely legal question.
Sir John Thompson contended at that time that there was no need of an appeal to the Privy Council. I think the present right lion, leader of the government (Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier) suggested at that time that as it was a legal point and that it should be handed over to the Privy Council or to some other authority to give effect to the intent of the contracting parties. Sir John Thompson considered that even that was not necessary, that the plain Intent of the Act was sufficiently expressed that British Columbia should have her six representatives until such time as the number might be increased by an inflow of population. I consider that Prince Edward Island is in the same position as British Columbia was at that day, and I think her rights should be safeguarded by this government.
Manitoba came in under an imperial Act and upon special terms. Her population in 1879 was 10,586, and under general terms would entitle her to one member, yet she came in with four. In 1881 her population would give her three, yet she still kept four. The section referring to representation in her case reads as follows :
Provided that on the completion of the census of 1891, and of each decennial census after, the representation of the province shall be readjusted according to the provisions of section 51 of the British North America Act.
Why should Prince Edward Island be treated any differently from other provinces. Their special terms were manifested better than those of Prince Edward Island and yet they were not disturbed.
There is another section of the Prince Edward Island terms to which I wish to draw attention. It reads as follows :
That the provisions of the British North America Act, 1867, shall, except those parts thereof which are in terms made, or by reasonable intendment may be held to be specially applicable to and only to affect one and not the whole of the provinces now comprising the Dominion, and except so far as the same may be varied
by these resolutions, be applicable to Prince Edward Island in the same way and to the same extent as they apply to the other provinces of the Dominion, and as if the colony of Prince Edward Island had been one of the provinces united by the said Act.
The qualifying words, ' except so far as the same may be varied by these resolutions,' are important. Clearly the 51st section of the British North America Act, which provides for representation by population was so ' varied ' when with a special reference to our population, it was declared that the island shall be represented by six members, such six members being in excess of what we would then be entitled to by our population.
Bet us point out the position this province would be in taking the general terms of the British North America Act to apply. We will take the figures of the census of 1S71 and compare the growth with the recent census of 1901, thirty years later, and for convenience let us make four groups to get the relative growth of the east, centre and west. For the purpose of this study we shall group the three maritime provinces together, take Quebec and Ontario each singly, forming the fourth and last group of Manitoba, British Columbia aDd the territories, organized and unorganized, that are outside the provincial boundaries. The comparison will show very unequal growth as we shall see. The western group, including Alanitoba, British Columbia and the territories had in 1871 a population of 109,475. In 1901 the population of the group was 624,970, showing a gain of 515,495 in the thirty years, or 470 per cent. Ontario in 1873, had a population of 1,620,851, and in 1901 this had increased to 2,182,847, showing a gain of 562,096 or 34} per cent. Quebec, with 1,191,516 in 1871, and 1,684,898 in 1901, gained 457,382 in the thirty years, or 381 pei' cent. The maritime group of three provinces had a population of 767,415 thirty years ago, and 893,953, according to the last census, showing a gain of 126,538 or 16} per cent.
Here then we have four different rates of growth, 16i per cent in the maritime section, 38} per cent in Quebec, 34} per cent in Ontario and 470 per cent in the great west. This comparison covers not a year or a ten year period merely, but the period of a generation. It indicates conditions that may operate for a generation to come. The rapid growth of the great west was a thing to be expected. What was not expected was that neither Ontario nor the maritime provinces have kept place with Quebec. And what is especially disappointing is that the increase in the population of the maritime provinces in the thirty years has been less than one third of the increase that has taken place in Quebec, the pivot province on which our representation in parliament turns.
To see whither we are drifting let us project these ratios of increase forward thirty
years into the future, and note the results. We add 381 per cent-the past rate of increase-to the present population of Quebec and we find that province may have in thirty years from now 2,279,601 people. We add 161 per cent to the present population of the maritime provinces and we find they may then have 1,041,455 people. Assuming that Quebec has a population of 2,279,601 in the year 1931 the unit of representation in the Commons will be found, if we divide that number by 65-the number of members permanently allotted to Quebec-to be 35,070. Dividing the unit of population into the prospective population of the maritime provinces in 1931-that is 1,040,455-And we find the maritime provinces would then be entitled to but 30 members at the most instead of the 43 we had when Prince Edward Island entered the union. And where will Prince Edward Island be in the matter of representation after 1931, if our ratio of increase should be no better in the thirty years to come than it has been in the thirty years past ? This is a simple matter of calculation. Our increase has been less than 10 per cent in the thirty years since 1871. Add a full 10 per cent of gain in the thirty years forward and in 1931 we may count at most on a population of 113,585. Divide this by the unit of representation as it will then be, that is by 35,170 and it will be seen that we shall then be entitled to but three members-that is, if the terms of the British North America Act are applied to us as is at present proposed by those in authority at Ottawa. Half our representation as it was in 1873 would thus be swept away. It may be seen in the fact that just as soon as the province of Quebec becomes as densely populated as Prince Edward Island, we would not be entitled to any representation at all, which would be an absurdity, for the 22nd clause of the report of the Quebec conference declares that ' no fractional part of the unit of representation shall be considered, unless when exceeding one-half the number entitling to a member.' Quebec being 152 times our area, and the number of representatives limited to 65, we must need be more than twice as thickly populated as that province in order to have even one member. But Prince Edward Island has not during the last decade nor is it likely to increase to the same extent as in the thirty years past. We came in with a population of 47 to the square mile and now have 51. Where will the representation of Prince Edward Island be when Quebec population is even 40 to the square mile. Our province will be politically obliterated. Now, Mr. Speaker, these are well defined reasons why our representation should be the same as when we entered confederation.
1. The very wording of the terms and the qualifying clause that the British North America Act shall apply 'except were altered by these resolutions.'
2. To take any other interpretation would render us in time entitled to no representation which would be an absurd and invalid contract.
3. There are the demands of our delegates at the Quebec conference, the speeches on the Quebec terms in our local legislature, and the telegram announcing the granting of six members, the admission of a status of representation for a small self-governed province and varying the general terms- and the admission of British Columbia and Manitoba on the same principles and the stronger wording of British Columbia clause, is a good proof of our claim.
If the government should persist In holding that the representation off our province shall be reduced it will put in a very false position the men who made the confederation bargain, and who may be accused of not safe-guarding the interests of the people of Prince Edward Island whom they represented. All these things make a strong case why this government should not take from a small province the rights and privileges to which it is justly entitled. Speaking of the province of British Columbia in 1892 the right lion, the leader of the House said : That the intention of the parties should be considered, and British Columbia was in no different position than Prince Edward Island is to-day. If the right lion, gentleman is still of that opinion I would ask him that the intention of the contracting parties be given effect to and that our province should be given its six representatives in this parliament. I ask the right hon. gentleman to see that the rights of our small province down by the sea are not lightly cast aside.
Mr. T. S. SPROULE (East Grey).
The representatives of the province of Ontario in this House are confronted with the serious question as to whether the representation of their province in the Dominion House of Commons shall in future be reduced by six members. I regret that the government of the province of Ontario seems to have taken no steps to insure proper representation in tllis parliament for that province, as tin? governments of the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have done.
They are busy looking after Gainey.
I presume they are, but they have exhibited a careless indifference in this matter sadly in contrast with the energy of the governments of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, who are endeavouring to secure justice for their provinces in this respect. And not only is the provincial government of Ontario negligent in its duty, but we see here ministers of the Crown from Ontario and Ontario members supporting the government sublimely indifferent, and making no effort to safeguard the rights of their province. Ontario has been
growing during the last few years; we are told by the local government that New Ontario is increasing in wealth and population, and in view of this, is it to be said that the premier province of the Dominion shall lose six of its representatives. Where are the Ontario ministers and where are the Ontario members supporting the government ? Why do they not protest ? Why is It left to New Brunswick and to Nova Scotia to secure that the question as to provincial rights; should be submitted to the Supreme Court ?
And Ontario also.