July 27, 1904 (9th Parliament, 4th Session)


Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)


I regard the provisions of this section, as far as a number of these ridings are concerned, as absolutely unjustified. For example, in British Columbia, I have had time to get information about only one of these ridings, but I find that in the riding of Kootenay the provincial elections were held on the same day as in the rest of the province, without the slightest inconvenience, as I am informed. All portions of that riding are reached by rail or steamboat, and I am surprised that the Minister of Justice should present this measure to the House without giving some better reasons for postponing these elections than he has done. The mere fact that this has been done in the past is not of much consequence ; the question is what the conditions are at present. The country has not been standing still, so far as means of communication are concerned, during the last fifteen or twenty years, and in these districts there are better means of communication than there were before. So far as the two other ridings of British Columbia are concerned, I am not in a position to state their condition, but I shall require some good reasons to convince me that the elections should not be held there on the same, day as in the rest of the province. It is not a sufficient reason to state that they are large districts. So far as Algoma and Nipissing in the province of Ontario are concerned, I believe that what I have stated with regard to one of the British Columbia districts is true of one of the Ontario districts -that the provincial election there is held on the same day as the general election.

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