I did not ask for it. I said that if the Prime Minister wished to take that as a basis in Alberta, he should be consistent and apply it to Saskatchewan. But I say it is an absolutely unfair basis, and jou might as well distribute the seats for the Yukon elections on the basis of the population of 1894.
Mr. OLIVER, Because the hon. gentleman thinks this is unfair he refuses to take it in the old part of Alberta and accepts it unreservedly in the new part of Atha-baska.
I did not accept it unreservedly in any case. I have not stated that I have accepted it unreservedly in Athabaska. In the speeches that I have made on this subject I have never made an estimate of the population of Athabaska except to state my belief that the votes cast in these two districts will be less than the votes which were cast in the district of Kinistino in the last territorial election. The right hon. Prime Minister has stated that it is almost impossible to distribute the popu-laton between these different seats within a 10 per cent margin. I cannot see that impossibility at all. I think there is no difficulty in the matter. At any rate I say it is unfair to have the balance always on one side. If there is any difficulty in distributing the population within 10 or 20 per cent we ought to see that general average is evened up. There may be constituencies in the south that are higher than the average and constituencies in the south that are lower than the average. Then, there may be constituencies in the north which will work out in the same way, some higher and some lower. Let there be give and take ou both sides so as to make a distribution as between north and south that is fairer than this distribution. Do not give the advantage all to one side. I consider that the only fair basis at which we can arrive. Do not give the advantage to the north of a representation 22 per cent over the representation which you are giving to the south, and in addition to giving to the north an advantage of 22 per cent add two seats in the district of Athabaska which, in my opinion, can be very well added to existing districts in the northern part of Alberta.
The hon. gentleman is taking an isolated case again. If you average it up you will see the unfairness of this distribution. It is well known there are variations and I have stated that if you will take these variations and average them fairly between the north and the south it is a different question altogether. On the very face of this question and in view of *the figures which have been presented to the committee I say this it an unfair distribution and that is why I am opposed to it. It is not because I think Calgary would make a better capital than Edmonton. I have not expressed my views upon that point because I do not think I have any right as a member of this House, nor do I think that any member of this House has the right to dictate to the people of Alberta where their capital shall be.
I should say that the area of the Edmonton district would be approximately one-foufth of the area of the district of Athabaska, or the area of the Dominion electoral district would be about one-half of the area of the district of Athabaska.
In one way they do not, and in another way they do. In Athabaska the polling divisions in each proposed district would be iu a continuous line along the river. The distance between the extreme east and the extreme west polling division in the Edmonton district is about 250 miles, roughly speaking, whereas the distance between the polling subdivisions at Lesser Slave Lake and at Smith Portage, which would be the most northerly part of the
proposed Athabaska division, in a direct line would (je about 350 or 400 miles but by river, which is the only means of communication, it would be 150 miles more.
My hon. friend will remember that the hon. member for Saskatchewan has already stated that there are polling divisions in the local district of Kin-istino where the polls cannot be held at the same time as 'the general polls throughout the territory. These polls have to be postponed from ten days to two weeks beyond the ordinary time, but the time between nomination and election is ten days. Three weeks would be the shortest possible time, leaving out the extreme polls in Kinistino.