Frederick Laurence Schaffner
fortune to have received the felicitations of the great statesman of Canada who leads this Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier).
I wish, as I come from one of the smaller provinces of this great Dominion, to call your attention and the attention of the House to, one of the first remarks of the mover of the Address, the hon. member for York (Mr. McLeod 1, in reference to redistribution, the subject which forms perhaps the most vital part of the speech from the Throne. The hon. member for York has expressed his views upon the principle of representation by population in this House of Commons. He has not altogether expressed the views which some from the Maritime provinces have urged in the past. Owing to unforeseen events since the Fathers of Confederation adopted the system of representation by population, we are to lose some of our representation. My hon. friend has admitted that we have no legal status, but he intimated that something might be done in sympathy with our position. I thought we might have learned that it was his intention or that the suggestion might have been made to him that in the Redistribution Bill some possible remedy might be introduced for the province of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, which has not yet been defined, but which might possibly again be found a just cause for the postponement of the Redistribution Bill for another session, if we are not to have an election this summer. I for one have always entertained the opinion that it is better for the Maritime provinces, for the smaller bodies of this Dominion, to be very careful before departing from any of the fundamental principles of the British North America Act. I know that these views are supported in the province of New Brunswick by men of the most intelligent class in that province. They feel that the future development of this country depends not on such questions as representation in Parliament, but upon the development of the resources of this great country, to which jjjiere is no limit, and I, standing in the province of New Brunswick, viewing our great harbours, through which will flow the products of the great West, feel just as much pride as does the farmer in the West who surveys every morning his endless wheat fields from which he will reap a crop which will be the astonishment of other countries. We should cease finding fault with the Fathers of Confederation, more especially as the Fathers of Confederation, in anticipation of the preponderance of the West in the future, did net. confine the
Maritime provinces or the smaller provinces to representation in this House alone, but provided that they should have a fixed representation - in the Upper Chamber, in the Senate, in compensation for the sacrifices which the Fathers of Confederation from the Maritime provinces had to make for their people, and that representation in the Upper Chamber is just as essential to us as our representatives in the House of Commons. Our representation in the Senate is to be equal to that of Ontario or that of Quebec, or of all the western provinces combined, and therefore I find reason to believe that the Fathers of Confederation had foreseen the marvellous future development of the West. Twenty-five or thirty years before Confederation, Joseph Howe, from the city of Halifax, foresaw a new British Empire in those prairies of the West, together with the great resources of British Columbia, and was predicting that, perhaps before the century waS over, the centre of the empire would be transferred to the very middle land of Canada between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.
At six o'clock, the House took recess.
The House resumed at eight o'clock
Subtopic: ADDRESS IN REPLY.