Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. friend for a useful and important question.
I draw his attention to the actual text of the legislation. It establishes voting hours by time zone and not by province. Saskatchewan has two separate time zones, each covering a different portion of the province.
This is not limited to Saskatchewan. I am informed that part of eastern Quebec is in a different time zone than the rest of the province. It is in the Atlantic time zone. I am referring to an area in the Gaspé. Part of Ontario is in a different time zone than the rest of the province, namely, Kenora-Rainy River.
The matter could most easily be dealt with if the legislature of Saskatchewan passed a relevant resolution to declare the province of Saskatchewan all under the same time zone for electoral purposes. In any event, I am informed that because of the way the act is written it does not mean that anyone in Saskatchewan is deprived of the right to vote in normal voting hours.
I have consulted with the Chief Electoral Officer in this regard and if there is further information to provide I will be happy to do so.
I want to point out again that the legislation is not based on voting hours in provinces but on time zones. That is the reason why this issue has arisen.