March 23, 1916


Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


SASKATCHEWAN JUDGES' SALARIES.


On motion of Hon. C. J. Doherty (Minister of Justice), the House went into committee, Mr. Rhodes in the Chair, to consider the following proposed resolution: Resolved, that it is expedient to amend the Judges Act, chapter 138 of the Revised Statutes, 1906, and to provide: That the salaries of the judges of the Court of Appeal, and of His Majesty's Court of King's Bench, for Saskatchewan, shall be as follows: (a) the Chief Justice of Saskatchewan, if he is also the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal, and if not, to the Chief Justice of Appeal, $8,000 per annum; (b) three puisne judges of the Court of Appeal, each $7,000 per annum; (c) the Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench, $7,000 per annum ; (d) five puisne judges of the Court of King's Bench, each $6,000 per annum.


LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

What change is there from the existing law?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SASKATCHEWAN JUDGES' SALARIES.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

This resolution is introduced for the purpose of basing upon it an Act to meet a new situation created in the province of Saskatchewan.

By legislation enacted in 1915, that province substituted for its Supreme Court two distinct courts, a court of appeal and a court of first instance, to be called the Court of King's Bench, and determined the number of judges of those prospective courts. The purpose of this legislation is to provide the necessary salaries* for the payment of the judges of the courts so constituted. I may say that we have had very strong representations from the Government of the province as to the necessity of this change in the constitution of the courts, and of our meeting it by providing for the appointment and payment of the judges of those courts. These representations have been confirmed from other sources, by those in a position to know the necessities within the province.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SASKATCHEWAN JUDGES' SALARIES.
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

Possibly I should have made these observations when the Speaker was in the chair: that the

judges of the province of Alberta think they are not too* fairly treated. We have no court of appeal in Alberta, but our judges constitute an appellate division, and so obviate the necessity of creating a court of appeal. Many of our judges who would not otherwise obtain the experience that is obtained by an appeal judge get it in that way. They go out and take trials, and then when they come back they may be allotted to the appellate division for three months, or for six months. They get a taste of appeal work for a portion of the year, and take nisi prius work for the rest of the year.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SASKATCHEWAN JUDGES' SALARIES.
Permalink
LIB
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

while to the east of us the Chief Justice of (Saskatchewan will draw $1,000 more than the Chief Justice of Alberta. When one considers that the judges of Alberta are discharging the duties of nisi prius judges and appeal court judges I think the case on their behalf is much stronger than it would otherwise be. I would suggest, as I have suggested to the minister, that where an appellate division has been created from the existing judges, without the creation of a court of appeal, these judges who constitute the appellate division should receive the extra remuneration, that would come to them if they were a court of appeal; and also that the Chief Justice should 'at least be placed in the same position as a chief justice of a province in which there is a court of appeal. I realize the difficulties which the Minister of Justice has very frankly stated he would experience in dealing with the question in that way, because it might necessitate dealing with the whole question of judges' salaries, and this is not the time to do that. But if all the judges west of the lakes were to be treated on the .same basis as to salaries as those in Eastern Canada it would involve a charge upon the revenue of but $22,000 per annum in addition to the extra amount that might be paid to the chief Justice of Alberta. I bring this to the attention of the minister because I think he is sympathetic. I feel that dt would be hardly fair to the province in which I live if I did not do so, where judges are discharging the duties of a court of appeal, as in Alberta the Chief Justice, at least, should be in the same position, and have the same status and salary as the Chief Justice of Saskatchewan or of British Columbia.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SASKATCHEWAN JUDGES' SALARIES.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I appreciate the force

of what has been said by the hon. member for Calgary (Mir. Bennett), always assuming that justice between judges of the different courts and different provinces absolutely necessitates equality. Therefore, I am not disposed to quarrel with the suggestion that the judges in the province of Alberta might possibly be better paid. But the suggestion would come with equal force from the judges in other provinces. To take up the question of the salaries of judges in provinces where their positions are being in no way changed, would necessarily, as a matter of fairness, necessitate our dealing with the whole question of the salaries of judges throughout the country.

I think the reasons are obvious why we should not select this particular moment to deal with these salaries from the -point of vietv of increasing them. I may point out that the position of the judges of Alberta will not be one particle worse because it so happens that, being called upon to provide salaries for the judges of newly established courts, we make these salaries conform to those allotted to the judges of similar courts in other provinces which have similar courts. This does no injury to the judges in Alberta; it leaves them absolutely in statu quo.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SASKATCHEWAN JUDGES' SALARIES.
Permalink
LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

No injury, but the subject of envy.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SASKATCHEWAN JUDGES' SALARIES.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Yes. It seems that if you do something for somebody else it is more resented than if you fail to do something for the person complaining. However that may be, I do not want to be understood as speaking otherwise than sympathetically with regard to the position in which the judges of Alberta find themselves, but for the reason I have given I cannot see Why I should pick them out for special treatment now, without justifying similar representations on the part of other provinces, situated as Alberta now is, and raising the whole questtion of judges' salaries.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SASKATCHEWAN JUDGES' SALARIES.
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

I do not desire to join issue with my hon. friend, but that is hardly the fact, because there are nine judges in the province of Alberta, and four of them are doing appeal court work all the time. The court is practically sitting all the time, and the other members of the court are doing duty as nisi prius judges. If the province of Alberta constituted and created a court of appeal consisting of a Chief Justice and three puisne judges of the court of appeal, we would be called upon to pay exactly the. same sum as is now being paid in Saskatchewan. It would not increase the number of judges but would give each of those four judges $1,000 a year more. It does seem anomalous that those gentlemen are performing the duties of court of appeal judges, the same as in Saskatchewan-only we call it an appellate division-and that they are not getting the same emolument.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SASKATCHEWAN JUDGES' SALARIES.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I do not dispute the

anomaly at all, but there are other anomalies. I would not be dealing with the judges of Saskatchewan to-day if it were not for the absolute necessity that is created by this legislation. The legislation of the

* province of Saskatchewan when brought into force, as it is intended to be, by a proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, will create a situation where there will be no courts in Saskatchewan unless we provide judges and salaries for the newly constituted courts, because they have abolished the existing courts. That is the reason I am dealing with Saskatchewan. With reference to judges in other provinces who may think that their salaries are too low, I am acting more in their interest by dealing with the judges of Saskatchewan in the direction of levelling them up with those who are better off rather than levelling them down to the level of those who are not so well off. This legislation may, when it is enacted, afford an additional argument to strengthen the position of those judges who have the lower salaries. I do not think it is possible for me to single out the judges of Alberta for exceptional treatment or to take up the whole question of salaries of judges at the present time. It is necessary that we should deal with the salaries of the judges of these new courts in Saskatchewan and the only way in which we could get equality with the judges of Alberta by means of this Bill would be by reducing the salaries that it is proposed to give to these judges of the newly constituted court in Saskatchewan. I do not understand that anybody suggests that.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SASKATCHEWAN JUDGES' SALARIES.
Permalink
LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Everybody

knows that the Minister of Justice has no alternative in this matter, and that he is compelled to bring in this legislation. This is in consequence of the extraordinary provision of our constitution which places the constitution of courts in the provinces, and the payment of judges in the Dominion Parliament. So long as the constitution remains as it is there will always be anomalies, such as there have been since Confederation, and which have made the position of the Minister of Justice not a bed of roses. I am satisfied that my hon. friend has been pestered day after day and year after year with applications for the rectifying of inequalities in the salaries of judges not only in Alberta but in every other province in the Dominion. There are inequalities that cannot be justified- as between the remuneration of judges performing similar duties in different parts of the Dominion. How this condition of affairs is to be remedied it is difficult to see except by an amendment of the constitution which nobody would be prepared to advocate at the present time, and I am afraid that the judges of Alberta will have to remain under what they think is an injustice. As long as they see the judges in a neighbouring province receiving better pay than they are, they will always say that they are not being properly treated. I was a good many years in office and I am familiar with this question.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SASKATCHEWAN JUDGES' SALARIES.
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

We will pass an

Act in the Alberta Legislature next year creating a Court of Appeal and then our judges get the added salary.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SASKATCHEWAN JUDGES' SALARIES.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

The population in our province is equal to that of Saskatchewan, the service is performed, and performed very satisfactorily indeed, by six judges and the chief justice at salaries of $7,000 for the chief justice, -and $6,000 for each judge. It is now proposed, because the Legislature of Saskatchewan chooses to create an Appellate Court, to provide for ten judges altogether, including two chief justices at higher salaries than are paid in Alberta. It is proposed that these chief justices should get $8,000 each, the judges of appeal $7,000, the chief justice of the court of King's Bench $7,000 and the puisne judges $7,000 each. If this were not a year where economy was absolutely essential, the minister might take up the question of judges' salaries. If this were a year in which the whole matter could

5 p.m. be discussed with fairness, I think the hon. member for Calgary (Mr. Bennett) would be eminently right in the position he takes, not so much upon the ground that the Alberta judges will be envious, but upon the ground that so far as the judges' salaries are concerned, there should be no increase from this House unless the minister is going to deal with the whole question, which, manifestly he cannot do on account of the necessity of strict economy all round. I think that it is important, when the country is in a position to do it, that steps should be taken to provide ample salaries for a good judiciary.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SASKATCHEWAN JUDGES' SALARIES.
Permalink

THE ROYAL ASSENT.


A message was delivered by J. D. St. Denis Lemoine, Esquire, I.S.O., Serjeant-at-Arms of the Senate, as follows: Mr. Speaker, the Deputy of His Royal Highness the Governor General desires the immediate attendance of this honourable House in the Chamber of the honourable the Senate.



Accordingly, the House went up to the Senate. And having returned, The Speaker informed the House that His Honour the Deputy of His Royal Highness the Governor General had been pleased to give, in His Majesty's name, the Royal Assent to the following Bills: An Act to incorporate the Canadian Indemnity Company. An Act respecting Queen's University at Kingston, and to amalgamate therewith the School of Mining and Agriculture. An Act respecting the Burrard Inlet Tunnel and Bridge Company. An Act respecting the Canadian Northern Ontario Railway Company. An Act respecting the Farnham and Granhy Railway Company of Canada. An Act respecting the Peace River Tramway and Navigation Company. An Act respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. An Act respecting the Pacific Northern and Omineca Railway Company. An Act for the relief of Lena Pearl Potter. An Act for the relief of Robert Napper. An Act for the relief of Sherwood Norman Hill. An Act for the relief of Ida May Woltz. An Act for the relief of Cecily Ethel Maude Farera. An Act for the relief of Lillian May Dent. An Act for the relief of Harry Lome White Cunningham. An Act for the relief of Henry John Thomas Wardlaw. An Act to incorporate Les Sceurs de l'As-somptlon de la Sainte-Vierge. An Act respecting W. C. Edwards and Co., Limited. An Act respecting a patent of James W. Owen. An Act to amend the White Phosphorus TVTfitphptj A nf An Act to amend the Winding-up Act. An Act to authorize the raising, by way of loan, of certain sums of money for the public service.


SASKATCHEWAN JUDGES' SALARIES.

March 23, 1916