September 18, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

The hon. gentlemen opposite, instead of getting up and moving an amendment to any portion of this Bill which does not suit them, get up and say : This was done for political or partisan motives. Let any hon. member of this House take the two propositions and compare them, and let him judge as to whether those who made the division of the city of Toronto, dividing it into five equal constituencies, were influenced by political motives as much as those who made the propoposition in amendment which violates every rule that could apply to a fair redistribution. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Clarke) proposes to have one constituency with two members. What is the reason for that ? There is no rule that I can understand that applies to it. On the contrary, that principle would never be adopted unless for some good and sufficient reason.
Therefore, the rule requiring the equalization of population which would govern the committee in making a division of this kind has been adhered to ns nearly as possible. In a city like Toronto, with a large population, this is almost an equal division of the population. Then, as to the complaint which has been made, and as to the proposition which has been submitted by the hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Clarke), I will leave it to the committee to say if the divisions as embodied in the Bill are not compact in form, and if they do not carry out the rule as to the community of interest. I will tell the hon. gentleman why his proposition is a worse one than that which is embodied in the Bill. In the first place, the hon. gentleman, for some reason or other, puts two constituencies into one. If the hon. gentleman had made a proposition to avoid an inequality of population or to conform to wards or other municipal divisions, indefensible as it might be in some respects, he would have applied1 some-principle to his proposition that might have influenced the committee. What principle was there in his proposition? For some reason, I do not know what, it appeared to him and the other members from Toronto that it would- be better, instead of making equal and fair divisions as we are making and to have one member for every constituency, to have one constituency represented by two members.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
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