It is perfectly evident from the confessions, not only the hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Lake) but of Calgary (Mr. McCarthy) and Alberta (Mr. Herron) that Mr. Haultain took no pains to get them into a conference and obtain their opinion, and consequently he is responsible if the duty fell on the representatives from this side of giving advice to the government with regard to the preparation of these plans.
Mr. COiCKSHUTT. The hon. gentleman has taken a good deal of time to answer 253
the question I put to him, but he has not touched the main part of it, and that is : Who did this carving up? Who chalked out these ridings? We have heard that a conference was held, but, to quote a great biblical authority, 'the voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hand is the hand of Esau.' This map has been carved out in a most wonderful way to suit the views of these hon. gentlemen who support the hon. minister from Edmonton. That hon. gentleman has failed to do justice to the population, because the list he has furnished shows that there are as many as three in one constituency to one in another. Surely if cities are to be considered great centres,' such cities as Calgary and Edmonton, with
5,000 of a population each, cannot be called great urban centres. It is nonsense to talk of a hive being created in a district whieh does not contain 5,000 people. To say that those people are not as well educated or intelligent and should not have as mueh to say in the conduct of public affairs as those in the surrounding county is absurd. Even admitting that Montreal and Toronto should not be represented according to their population-and I am not saying that they are not entitled to more liberal representation
such small cities as Edmonton and Calgary cannot be considered great centres of population. The hon. member for Western Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) has said that these half-breeds are the best entitled to vote of any people in the district. They are, he says, natives. Let me tell him that they are only half-breeds and that the natives of the country are the Indians; and who deprived the Indians of the franchise so far as they had it? It was not this side of the House. We gave the Indians the franchise the hon. gentleman says the natives should have. The native then is the Indian and the half-breed is only a half native, according to that reasoning, and therefore you are giving to the half what you refuse to the whole. And in that respect the hon gentleman is certainly putting himself in the hole. I see by this division that tne district of Calgary had upwards of 2,000 voters at the last election who voted There are 2,682 on the list and 2,052 voted, whereas in some of the districts named there are much less. In Stony Plain there are only 584, or a difference of nearly 375 per cent. You have four in Calgary to one in Stony Plain. Surely the hon. minister will not pretend that an inhabitant of Stony Plain is worth four times one in Calgary.
I am not as conversant with the country as the hon. gentleman ; but so far as I have been able to learn from various inquiries and from having done business in that country for many years, I believe that the residents about Calgary are just as intelligent as any in the western provinces, and I cannot see by what system of reasoning the hon. gentleman can claim that justice is done by this schedule when he fives one
person in one district the same power he gives to four in another. If he wants to he fair, he should either proceed on the basis of territorial division or of representation by population. I contend that representation by population is the only safe course we can possibly take, and that was established as one of the fundamental principles of Liberalism in days gone by. Representation by population is the fairest way for the voice of the country to be heard. If that be the case and if hon. gentleman opposite are prepared to legislate fairly, this House should not be held in session day after day debating this matter. Schedules could be easily prepared which would do justice to these various constituencies and give the honest, intelligent voter the same right and political power in one division that he has in another. That is what this side of the House is contending for.
That is all we on this side are contending for, but I think in all fairness we should protest against this distribution as made here. I understand that the voting white population of the Athabaska district is only about 200. I am not sure that this is the correct figure but it is about that. They have only one post office with a revenue of less than $100 per annum, and still they are going to outweigh some of those districts with a large population, many of them from the older provinces, taking an intelligent view and knowing all about our political institutions, having the same aspirations as the people of the older provinces. I understand that the settlers from the older provinces are largely in the southern districts, whereas the Europeon elements are largely in the north. Without drawing any * Red Deer ' line I wish to point out that in all fairness this should be decided upon the principle of representation by population, and that if there is to be one man one vote that vote should have one value, and having decided on that I think we could very easily draw a plan that would be suitable and agreeable to both sides of the House. I trust that lion, gentlemen will not persist in pushing this matter through in its present form. Let them get both sides together and draw up a schedule that would be fairly satisfactory to all the people concerned. The Minister of the Interior finally stated that he was ready to listen to the views of the west if Mr. Haultain would do his duty, but he was not ready to Jisten to Mr. Haul-tain. He would listen to the legislature if Mr. Haultain would call it together. That seems to me a very vain boast. We have these Bills before the House disbanding these legislatures on the 1st of July, not two weeks hence. There are seven vacant seats there now, but the minister claims that Mr. Haultain could get this legislature together, have the seven members elected and obtain their view before the Bill goes into effect Mr. COCKSHUTT.
on the 1st of July. He knows it is impossible to call that legislature.
Topic: COMMONS '976