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


Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)



So far as Quebec is concerned, I can speak with some degree of personal knowledge. In the GaspS district there has been absolutely no change within twenty years so far as facilities of communication are concerned. They have not a single railway within the whole district. The facilities for Communication in summer have been somewhat improved, but not to such an extent as to allow the elections to take place under the same condition as in other parts of the province. In Chicoutimi and Saguenay there has been an increase in the facilities of communication. There is a railway which reaches Hake St. John and extends down to the town of Chicoutimi. But it is a very large district and there are many outlying parishes which are in quite an exceptional position. Therefore. I think that the conditions existing in these two districts are such as to justify the action I ask the House to take with regard to them. As to Nipissing, I am personally responsible for having added that district to the number which are treated exceptionally. Looking at the map and taking into consideration the position, I came to the conclusion that the district was not accessible. And, so far as one can judge by looking at the map. it seems to me that this is one of the constituencies which is in an exceptional position. But I am entirely in the hands of the committee so far as Nipissing is concerned. As to the division of Algoma, I merely apply the old law with the verbal changes made necessary by reason of the fact that that territory has been subdivided into east and west Algoma. If there are reasons as to one riding why the old law should not be made applicable, I am quite willing to listen to any objection that may be stated. As to the province of British Columbia, I would ask members from that province to explain the conditions there.

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