March 18, 1909 (11th Parliament, 1st Session)


Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)


That is just the point. The government certainly does not regard all the amendments to Supply as motions of non-confidence, but I suppose it depends to some extent on the political complexion of the hon. gentleman who moves the amendment. For my part I think the1 procedure adopted by my hon. friend (Mr. Burrell) is quite appropriate to the ventilation of this grievance. He has brought before the House a long standing grievance, and I trust that after the very eloquent appeal he has made the government will take steps to end an abuse which has become intolerable all over the country. I rose merely to speak of this grievance as we experience it in the province of Quebec, where we have not the spirit of resistance which the people of British Columbia apparently have. We have in the province of Quebec the counties of Gaspe and Chicoutimi, which since confederation have been practically disfranchised by the system of deferring the elections in them. I do not say that at one time, because of the lack of communication within these counties, it may not have been necessary to defer the elections, but that day has oast. It might be necessary in these counties to notify the returning officers a few days before the other returning officers were notified, but surely there could be no objection to that. The turmoil of a general election begins months before the day of nomination, and even if it were necessary to notify by telegram the returning officers in these counties the same day that the writs were mailed to the other returning officers, there would be ample time to have the general elections in Gaspe and Chicoutimi on the same day as the others. These two Quebec counties require public works, and post offices and government aid in one way and another, and so for twenty years it has been an understood thing that they would elect supporters of the government. In these counties they wait until the result of the general elections is known all over the country, and then they proceed as it were pro forma to the election of a government supporter.

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