4 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2018
    1. any law it might pass to this effect and set it at nought. HON. MR. HOLTON—Would you advise it? HON. ATTY. GEN. CARTIER—Yes, I would recommend it myself in case of injustice. (Hear, hear.) HON. MR. ROSE—I am quite sure my hon. friend would do it rather than have an injustice perpetrated. There is another pout upon which I would like to have from the Attorney General East an explicit statement of the views of the Government. I refer to the provision in the 23rd resolution which I have just read ; what I wish to know is whether the Legislature therein spoken of means the Legislature of the province of Canada as it is now constituted, and whether it is contemplated to have any change in the boundaries of the electoral districts for representation in the first session of the Federal Legislature ? HON. ATTY. GEN. CARTIER—With regard to Lower Canada, it is not the intention to make any alteration in the electoral districts, because there will be no change in the number of representatives sent to the General Parliament. But with regard to Upper Canada, there will be a change in the electoral districts, because there will be an increase of members from that section. HON. MR. ROSE—So that I clearly understand from the statement of the hon. gentleman that in Lower Canada the constituencies, for the purposes of the first ejection to the Federal Legislature, will remain as they are now ? HON. ATTY. GEN. CARTIER—Yes, as they are now. HON. MR. ROSE—And that as regards the representation in the Local Legislature, the apportionment of the electoral districts by it will be subject to veto by the General Government. HON. ATTY. GEN. CARTIER—Yes, in case of injustice being done. (Hear, hear.)

      §§.40 and 90 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    2. The 23rd resolution reads : ” The Legislature of each province shall divide such province into the proper number of constituencies, and define the boundaries of each of them.” Then the 24th resolution provides that ” the Local Legislature may from time to time alter the electoral districts for the purpose of representation in such Local Legislature, and distribute the representatives to which the province is entitled in such Local Legislature, in any manner such legislature may see fit.” In these resolutions I presume that power is given to the Legislature of each province to divide the province into the proper number of constituencies for representation in the Federal Parliament, and to alter the electoral districts for representation in the Local Legislature. Now, to speak quite plainly, the apprehension which I desire to say again I do not personally share in, but which has been expressed to me by gentlemen in my own constituency, is this, that with respect to the Local Legislature, it will be competent for the French majority in Lower Canada to blot out the English-speaking minority from any share in the representation, and so to apportion the electoral districts that no English speaking member can be returned to the Legislature. That is an apprehension upon which I would be very glad to have an expression of opinion by my hon. ironed the Attorney General East. As I read the resolutions, if the Local Legislature exercised its powers in any such unjust manner, it would be competent for the General Government to veto its action, and thus prevent the intention of the Local Legislature being carried into effect—even although the power be one which is declared to be absolutely vested in the Local Government, and delegated to it as one of the articles of its constitution.

      §.40 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    3. Looking at the scheme, then, from the standpoint of an English Protestant in Lower Canada, let me see whether the interests of those of my own race and religion in that section are safely and properly guarded. There are certain points upon which they feel the greatest interest, and with regard to which it is but proper that they should be assured that there are sufficient safeguards provided for their preservation. Upon these points, I desire to put some questions to the Government. The first of these points is as to whether such provision has been made and will be carried out that they will not suffer at any future time from a system of exclusion from the federal or local legislatures, but that they will have a fair share in the representation in both; and the second is, whether such safeguards will be provided for the educational system of the minority in Lower Canada as will be satisfactory to them ?

      §§.40 and 93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

    1. I must also refer to the clause which gives to local governments the right of dividing the sections of the Confederation into constituencies and electoral divisions. This power may become very dangerous and lead to great practical injustice, and should, I think, be placed in the hands opt the General Government.

      §.40 of the Constitution Act, 1867.