April 2, 1901

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I am afraid I have not made myself clear. The right hon. gentleman is transferring from the Attorney General of Canada in the first place, to the Attorney General of a province ; or, in the alternative to a judge of one of these courts, the responsibility of saying that this Act should be enforced. If that responsibility amounts to anything,

I should think it might be better to place it upon the Superior Court instead of upon a small debts court, or upon two justices of the peace.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR LAW.
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The PRIME MINISTER.

I do not think the question arises at all. It is a debt of $1,000 which has to be recovered, and, therefore, in most of the provinces it is a matter for the Superior Courts and not for the justices of the peace.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR LAW.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Perhaps my right hon. friend has considered it more carefully than I have, but, it seems to me possible that an action might be brought to claim the minimum penalty of $50.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR LAW.
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The PRIME MINISTER.

The penalty of $1,000 is the maximum, and as the discretion as to the amount is with the judge, a party would have to sue in a court of jurisdiction for $1,000.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR LAW.
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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

Is it the intention that any one who desires to enforce the provisions of the Act would have to go to the Attorney General of the province, or to a judge of the Superior Court ?

[DOT]2461

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR LAW.
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The PRIME MINISTER.

A court of competent jurisdiction.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR LAW.
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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

What would be a court ot' competent jurisdiction within the meaning of this section ?

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR LAW.
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The PRIME MINISTER.

A court of competent jurisdiction is a court that has power to try an action for $1,000.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR LAW.
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CON
CON

David Tisdale

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. TISDALE.

In Ontario the county court would have jurisdiction for $200. Now, if you sue for $1,000, and not recover that amount, you would be liable for all the costs, and you would, therefore, run quite a risk. I suppose the intention is that the Act should be enforced, and this would not be a very good means. In Ontario, if you sue in the Superior Court, and do not recover more than the jurisdiction of the inferior court, you have to pay the extra costs unless the judge certified, which he would not be likely to do in this case. It seems to me that this section is very confused. It is not likely any one would seek to enforce the law if he incurred the risk of having to pay the costs of a Superior Court action, when he failed to recover the full amount.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR LAW.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROTJLE.

You put the onus on the party who enforces the Act of proving a prima facie case before the Attorney General, or before some judge, instead of leaving it open to any one to make an allegation on his own affidavit and set the machinery in motion. I think the latter course is the one which should be allowed. It seems to me that the law is just as objectionable now as it was before. Under the Act of 1897, you had to apply to the Attorney General of Canada, and because of the red tape necessary, people did not take advantage of the law. I do not think that the amendment renders the Act any more easy to work.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR LAW.
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The SOLICITOR GENERAL.

The question is very clear to my mind. For every violation of this Act, the person who violates it is liable to pay a sum not less than $50 and not more than $1,000. That necessarily confers exclusive jurisdiction upon those courts which are competent to try cases for $1,000.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR LAW.
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CON
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The SOLICITOR GENERAL.

Because the limit of the forfeit is $1,000.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR LAW.
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CON

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CASGRAIN.

Suppose the man chooses to sue for $50, surely that action could be tried before the circuit court in the province of Quebec ?

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR LAW.
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The SOLICITOR GENERAL.

If he did, then I think his action would be dismissed on demurrer.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR LAW.
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CON
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The SOLICITOR GENERAL.

My hon. friend has evidently not read the statute.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR LAW.
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CON
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The SOLICITOR GENERAL.

The forfeiture is a sum not exceeding $1,000, and the judge trying the case can fix any amount between that and $50.

Topic:   ALIEN LABOUR LAW.
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April 2, 1901