June 22, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)


Richard Stuart Lake

Conservative (1867-1942)


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.

Topic:   COMMONS '976
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