July 16, 1908 (10th Parliament, 4th Session)

LIB

Duncan Ross

Liberal

Mr. DUNCAN ROSS.

We have been accused of doing this to get a political advantage, but so far as I am personally concerned I do not think there is much dishonour in getting beaten in an honourable way, and I would much rather have the election on the general election day and take chances. I believe if the election is held on the same day as tl.e other elections you will have your organization better in hand. But, the district of Yale-Cariboo is 700 miles in length from the United States boundary to the Alaskan boundary and it contains 175,000 square miles, while the district of Kootenay contains about 29,000 square miles. So far as Kootenay is concerned, if Mr. Curtis Smith wants his election or the same day, I think it can be arranged, but in Yale-Cariboo and Comox-Atlin-X know the districts well-it is a different matter. It is absolutely impossible to hold the election in Yale-Cariboo on the same day unless the proclamations are issued at least 60 days before the day of polling. If His Excellency can dissolve the House and wait 60 days fur an election then I am perfectly satisfied? Notwithstanding the telegram read by the leader of the opposition from Premier McBride, the fact Is that the provincial government found it absolutely necessary to pass an older in council deferring the election in the provincial district of Skeena for two weeks after the general election because it was impossible to get the ballot boxes into that district. I know the leader of the opposition wants to be fair and I tell him it is absolutely impossible to hold an election in Yale-Cariboo unless 60 days elapse between the issue of the proclamation and the polling. There are nine provincial electoral districts in Yale-Cariboo and the provincial elections are . arranged from nine different centres, while in the Dominion election they must be arranged from one centre for that large area. Under the provincial election law the deputy returning officer makes a declaration before any two voters who happen to be there, whereas under the Dominion election law the deputy returning officer must be sworn in before a justice of the peace and :n many instances there is not a justice of the peace within 100 miles of where the poll is held. It is more difficult now than in 1904 to arrange for an election in that constituency because people have gone into Stewart lake and Chapel valley along the line of the Grand Trunk Pacific in northern British Columbia where there are no transportation facilities. It will therefore take you a much longer time than in 1904 to provide that the settlers in that remote area shall have their votes recorded.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT-AMENDMENT.
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