March 20, 1916

REPORT.


Annual Report of the Department of Public Printing and Stationery, for the year ended March 31, 1915.-Mr. Blondin.


GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-SMALL CLAIMS ACT AMENDMENT.


Mr. J. J. HUGHES' (Kings, P.E.I.) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 65, to amend the Government Railways Sinall Claims Act. He said: Previous to 1910, any action for a small claim against the Government Railways, had to be brought against his Majesty the King in the Exchequer Cburt upon a Petition of Right. It that year legislation was passed enabling any person who lived along side the Intercolonial railway, who had been injured in his personal property, to bring an action up to $200 in any court of competent jurisdiction, which would mean the County 'Court. That was amended in 1913 to make the amount $500, and amended again in 1914 to enable any person bringing an action, to sue the general manager of the Intercolonial railway instead of the Managing Board. By some oversight, the original Act did not apply to the Prince Edward Island Railway. There is no doubt that the intention was to make it apply to all Government railways, but, in the Act, only the Intercolonial railway was mentioned. An action was brought in the County Court in Prince Edward Island in January of this year, and plaintiff was nonsuited for that reason. I believe the judgment was correct; legal gentlemen of knowledge and experience have informed me that the judgment in this case was sound. The object of this Bill is to extend the provisions of the Act of 1910, to the Prince Edward Island railway,


CON

Angus Alexander McLean

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. A. McLEAN:

T may inform the hon. gentleman that the Government are taking action in this matter, and a Bill is being prepared by the law clerk.

Motion agreed, to and Bill read the first time.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-SMALL CLAIMS ACT AMENDMENT.
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PROHIBITION OR RESTRICTION OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.

BILL, IN AID OP PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION.


Hon. C. J. DOHERTY {Minister of Justice) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 66, in aid of Provincial Legislation prohibiting or restricting the Sale or Use of Intoxicating Liquors. He said: The purpose of this Bill is set forth in its title, but it may serve perhaps to make the explanation of its provisions clearer if, without entering at all into any argument on the subject, I should say a word or two with regard to the motives that have led to its introduction. After a careful consideration of the law and the jurisprudence upon the question of the relative powers of this Parliament, and of the respective legislatures of the province to deal with legislation prohibiting or restricting the trade in, or use of, intoxicating liquors, the conclusion was reached that the legislature of each province, in the absence of Dominion legislation, has ample power to secure to the province, within its own territory, such measure of prohibition, or restriction, as in its judgment, it deems it necessary to enact, looking at the question from the provincial point of view, and with the purpose of bringing about an abatement of such local evils as in the judgment of the legislature may result from the traffic in, or the use or abuse of, intoxicating liquors. We are satisfied that such legislation, within the limits of the provinces, would operate effectively to secure a law, binding upon all persons residing within such provincial territorial limits. That being so, it was considered that a law of the nature of one prohibiting or restricting the use of intoxicating liquors, is one whose actual effectiveness as a matter of fact, depends in very large measure indeed upon its having behind it the general or common consensus of public opinion in the community where it is sought to be applied. The provinces, having in our judgment, the power to enact an effective law-effective within their respective territories-it seems to us that a law enacted by the provincial authority would be very much more assured of having behind it the general public opin-iop of the community for which it was enacted, than it could be hoped Dominion wide legislation by this Parliament would have in the different provinces. Upon this last question of the great desirability, indeed the necessity, of a law of this kind having behind it a strong public opinion in the community in which it is sought to be enforced, I think it would hardly be rash to say that there is general agreement among those who have given thought to the subject. It appeared to us, therefore, that in the first place, the best way to secure to each of the different provincial communities, constituting this Dominion, an effective law id Itself, and a law that would have behind it, when you come to enforce it, the common opinion of those upon whom it was to be enforced, was to leave the legislatures of the provinces, in the exercise of their powers, to enact 'such measure of prohibition or restriction, either directly, or after having ascertained the views of the people of the province, as they might deem proper; leaving it for this Parliament to protect such legislation and the enforcement of such legislation, against interference by persons outside of the particular province, and who, being so outside, would not be governed by the laws of that province. This Bill therefore proposes to enact a law forbidding the sending into any province -which has adopted a law restricting the sale of intoxicating liquors-intoxicating liquors to be used or dealt with in any manner in contravention of the law' of the province. The effect sought to be obtained is that the provincial law within the province shall not be hampered in its operation and its effectiveness by the action of persons outside of the province. The first section of the Bill contains this prohibition, constituting it an offence on the part of any person knowingly to send into any province-where a law prohibiting or restricting the use, sale or trafficking in intoxicating liquors prevails-intoxicating liquors to be used or dealt with in any way in violation of the law of the province. Whatever may be the measure of prohibition or restriction that a province has adopted for itself, that measure will be protected from outside interference. Each province will decide for itself to what extent it desires to prohibit or restrict the sale or use of intoxicating liquor, and the legislation we now propose is for the purpose of protecting the effectiveness, within the province, of such prohibitory legislation, by preventing persons outside of the province in any manner bringing about or contributing to the bringing about of a violation within the province of the provincial law. The second section of the Act makes provision in regard to the burden of proof necessary in order to make the prohibition contained in the first section workable and



effective. Provision for the infliction of penalties is made in the first section. The third section deals with the question of the place of prosecution, making an offence subject to prosecution either in the place whence the liquor is sent from, or in the place to which the liquor is sent. The fourth section makes provision enabling, or calling upon, the court dealing with a particular prosecution, to take official cognizance of the law of the province into which it is claimed the liquor was sent for the purpose of a violation of the law of that province. This section is necessary because of the fact that a prosecution being susceptible of being brought in another province, without such a provision, the courts of the province, with which the prosecution is brouglrt, would not, or, perhaps, it would be more proper to say, might not-feel called upon to take, or justified in taking judicial cognizance of the laws of another province. The fifth section contains a (definition of intoxicating liquor, or, rather, provides that for the purpose of this Act anything shall be deemed .intoxicating liquor that is defined to be such by the law of the province into which it is charged that liquor was introduced in violation of this. Act. As I have said, the purpose of the Act is to make effective, as against outside interference, the enforcement within each province of the law which it chooses to make for itself upon the subject of the prohibition or restriction of liquor. We believe that the effect of the Act will be to attain that purpose. We are leaving to each one of the provinces its liberty of action within the field of legislation in which it has concurrent jurisdiction with this Dominion, and we are, therefore, ensuring that such law as is passed will be so passed as an expression of the views of the community about to be immediately affected by it. We, on the other hand, supply what may be lacking in effectiveness by reason of territorial limitations upon the obligatory nature of the provincial law, a limitation, which, of course, restricts that obligatory nature in its operations to the limits of the province whose legislature has enacted the law.


LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

May I ask the Minister of Justice what provisions are contained in this Bill in regard to its enforcement? Upon whom is placed the responsibility of enforcing it?

Topic:   PROHIBITION OR RESTRICTION OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
Subtopic:   BILL, IN AID OP PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION.
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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

There is no special provision as to who shall enforce this law. We

have made it enforceable either at the place whence the liquor was sent from in a nonprohibition province, or at the place to which the liquor was sent. As regards its enforcement,. in so far as this Bill is concerned, it is left to the operation of the general laws in regard to enforcement.

Mr, MARCIL: I would like to ask the minister two questions. First, is there any provision in the Bill concerning transportation companies carrying liquor, and, second, w.hat is to be d,one in the case of a province where a municipality has adopted prohibition?

Topic:   PROHIBITION OR RESTRICTION OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
Subtopic:   BILL, IN AID OP PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION.
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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

The law prohibits anybody sending, taking, carrying, or bringing into a province which has enacted a law, intoxicating liquor to he used in violation of that law. That covers carriers as well as anybody else. The other question, I understand, was regarding a municipality in a province which has adopted prohibition?

Topic:   PROHIBITION OR RESTRICTION OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
Subtopic:   BILL, IN AID OP PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION.
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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

Yes, for instance, in the province of Quebec 900 municipalities have adopted prohibition.

Topic:   PROHIBITION OR RESTRICTION OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
Subtopic:   BILL, IN AID OP PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION.
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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

In those municipalities prohibition is in force in virtue of a provincial law. The provision of this Bill is intended to be wide enough, and I have no doubt it is wide enough, to cover the case of sending liquor into one of these districts because it is sending liquor into the province to be used, or dealt with in violation of the provincial law. It is the provincial law that makes it illegal to sell liquor in those districts, though that law comes into force cnly by the vote of the people within the district.

Topic:   PROHIBITION OR RESTRICTION OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
Subtopic:   BILL, IN AID OP PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION.
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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES:

Is the Bill along the

line of delegating our powers to the provinces, or along the line of legislation which will come into effect on the proclamation or otherwise by the provinces? '

Topic:   PROHIBITION OR RESTRICTION OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
Subtopic:   BILL, IN AID OP PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION.
Permalink
CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

As I understand it, it is not within our power to delegate our powers to the provinces, and we do not propose to endeavour to do the impossible, even though it were desirable. At all events, there is no question of delegating our powers to the provinces in this legislation, fhe Bill does not provide for any proclamation being necessary in order to bring it into effect. When we enact this legislation it will be in force, and then it will simply remain for the provinces to enact whatever measure of prohibition within the province

they think proper. The moment that a province has adopted a particular measure of prohibition this Act will be operative at once, restricting the sending into that province of liquor for the particular purpose which the legislature of the province may have forbidden, or may have determined to be illegal in the province.

Topic:   PROHIBITION OR RESTRICTION OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
Subtopic:   BILL, IN AID OP PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION.
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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES:

Is it not the minister's personal opinion that the first crack out of the box will result in an appeal to the Privy Council? That is my opinion.

Topic:   PROHIBITION OR RESTRICTION OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
Subtopic:   BILL, IN AID OP PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION.
Permalink
CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I do not know whether anybody will question the constitutionality of this legislation. I cannot foresee whether that will be the first crack or the second crack out of the box. I put the legislation before this House with no doubt in my mind that it is quite within our constitutional power to enact, and I do not think we ought to be deterred from exercising a power which, after careful examination we conclude that we have and which we think it will be in the interests of the country to adopt, simply because somebody may go to the Privy Council to find out whether or not it is constitutional. Every law we pass is subject to that risk, and I do not think that this law is in any greater danger of a result unsatisfactory to us from such a proceeding, than any other law in which I have had a share.

Topic:   PROHIBITION OR RESTRICTION OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
Subtopic:   BILL, IN AID OP PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

Are the provisions of the Bill broad enough to exclude the importation of liquors from a foreign country into a prohibition province, or does this apply only as between provinces?

Topic:   PROHIBITION OR RESTRICTION OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
Subtopic:   BILL, IN AID OP PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION.
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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Perhaps I did not make that clear. It applies to the importation even from places outside of Canada; not absolute importation pure and simple, but importation for the purpose of the liquor being used in violation of the law of the province.

Topic:   PROHIBITION OR RESTRICTION OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
Subtopic:   BILL, IN AID OP PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION.
Permalink

March 20, 1916