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


Rodolphe Lemieux (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)


Hon. RODOLPHE LEMIEUX (Postmaster General).

I protest as vigorously as I can against the statement made by my hon. friend (Mr. Monk) that since confederation the county of Gaspe has been practically disfranchised. It certainly has not been disfranchised, if I have heard correctly the very severe criticisms during the discussion of the estimates in this Chamber. The county of Gaspe, as a matter of fact, has been represented by the true representatives of its people. There is in Gaspe a strong opposition; I have been favoured with it ever since 1896, and I have had to fight for my life at each election. But the hon. member (Mr. Monk) is not well informed concerning the peculiar geographical position of the county of Gaspe. Should a dissolution take place at this moment, or had a dissolution taken place say a month ago, it would not have been humanly possible to hold an election in Gaspe. This applies even to the mainland. We have there a stretch of 250 miles of coast without railway facilities-that is, the railway is under construction but, even when it is finished it will not be sufficient to meet the requirements of the case. In the course of this stretch of 250 miles of coast there are twenty-five or twenty-six rivers, some of them quite large, to cross. Unless the returning officer had the use of one of the government steamers to carry the ballot boxes, posters and other supplies necessary for the election, he could not Mr. MONK.
cover the ground within the period allowed for the general election.

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