May 2, 1916


On motion of Hon. C. J. Doherty (Minister of Justice), Bill No. 90, to amend tihe Canada Temperance Act, was read the second time, and the House went Into committee thereon, Mr. Rhodes in the Chair.


CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

As hon. gentlemen will see on looking at the Bill, the sections of the Canada Temperance Act proposed to be amended are sections 120 to 124 inclusive, and also sections 127 and 139. As regards the amendments to sections 120 to 124 inclusive, they consist merely in the insertion in the existing sections of the Act of words intended to impose upon -persons to whom the sale of liquor is permitted under

the Canada Temperance Act in a Canada Temperance district the .prohibition enacted by the Bill which recently went through this House in aid of provincial legislation, namely, the prohibition of the sale of liquor for the purpose of its being sent into any part of a province to be used in violation of any prohibitory law in force in that province.

As hon. gentlemen understand, the Bill to which I have just referred, which passed this House, had to do with the selling of liquor for the purpose of its being sent from one province into another. The effect of the bringing into force of the Canada Temperance Act in a district or portion of a province being to oust from that particular district or portion of the province the provincial legislation, that particular portion or district, as regards prohibitory legislation, is in the same position as though it were outside of the province. It was thought, therefore, that to he consistent the same rule should be laid down with regard to the sale of liquor in cases where it is permissible under the Canada Temperance Act, as was laid down with regard to the sale of liquor in one province to be sent into another province for use in violation of the law of that province. This covers the amendment proposed to be made to the four sections : 120, 121, 123 and 124. These are the four sections of the Canada Temperance Adt which grant permission under certain restrictions to sell liquor within the district in which the Act is in force. The effect of the amendment is to add the further restriction that it should not be sold unless it is to be sent outside of the district in which the Canada Temperance Act is in force, and not into any other portion of the province to be there dealt with in violation of the provincial law in force therein.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PIJGSLEY:

Has the minister given any thought to the subject of the suspending of the operation of the Canada Temperance Act in a province which has adopted provincial prohibition? I recently received a very strong letter from a gentleman in the city of St. John who has taken a very warm interest in the prohibition movement, and he is of opinion that the operation of the Canada Temperance Act should cease in a province which has adopted total prohibition for the province. I can see the force of that, because it is not desirable to have a conflict of laws in any province. . I would think that where the Provincial Legislature brings into force a prohibitory

law, ipso facto that should suspend the Canada Temperance Act.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

Is it not true

that the Act as passed in the province of New Brunswick does not come into force this year, and that Scott Act counties will have time to repeal their Act if they wish to do so? The same suggestion was made to me as was made to my hon. friend but it struck me that the people in a Scott Act county might feel that their Act was better than the one which had been passed by the province. After their having, by exercise of local option and a vote upon it, got what they wanted, it would seem to be arbitrary that we should take that away from them without any expression of opinion being possible from the people of the county itself. That, I thought, was an objection to the suggestion made to me along the line of the suggestion that my hon. friend has just mentioned.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

If the Government has given thought to the subject, I have nothing further to say. The matter was brought to my attention by a gentleman who is very sincere in the matter of prohibition, and I thought it well to bring it to the attention of the minister.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I had similar representations made to me as were made to the hon. member for St. John and my colleague the Minister of Trade and Commerce. I did give consideration to the matter; I had an opportunity of discussing it with at least one gentleman who was very much disposed to support the proposition. What occurred to me was what my hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce has already pointed out and further, that several provinces are introducing new prohibitory legislation and that this House has passed an Act in aid of prohibitory legislation. It seemed to me wise that we should not at once, anticipating the working of these laws, cut off the application of the Canada Temperance Act. There was the objection suggested by my colleague the Minister of Trade and Commerce; furthermore, this consideration presented itself to my mind and rather appealed to me: the legislation of one province might, to those interested in the cause of temperance in that province who were in districts where the Canada Temperance Act was in force, appear more effective than the Canada Temperance Act. That might, perhaps, not be the case in

another province and with regard to other districts, so that it seemed to me that it would be wiser to allow the new prohibitory legislation of the province to go into operation and to allow the Act that this House has just passed to go into operation, * with the view that after experience people would probably be in a better position to determine which of the two systems, the Canada Temperance Act or provincial legislation, was preferable. Then we- might legislate to make some provision enabling parties in districts where the Canada Temperance Act was in force to express in seme way their desire to have it done away with before we would proceed absolutely of our own authority to do away with it. The latter course involves, as the hon. Minister for Trade and Commerce has pointed out, our taking away from people something that they voted that they wanted, without opportunity for consultation with them or of learning their desire in the matter.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I understand that by

this Bill it is proposed to provide practically the same penalties for taking liquor into Scott Act counties as are provided for taking it into another part of the province where the prohibitory law is in force?

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

That is not quite what is intended. The four sections of the Canada Temperance Act that are dealt with are sections that permit certain classes of people and for certain restricted purposes to sell liquor, and the object of this legislation is to bring those persons under the restriction that they must not allow it to go into any other portion of the province to be used in violation of the law of the province. The Canada Temperance Act area is, for the purposes of the liquor law, taken out of the provinces, so to speak, and persons who are permitted to sell liquor in that portion of the province are not governed by the provisions of the provincial law. The purpose of the added restriction is to prohibit them, in the exercise of the limited right of sale, which is granted them by the Canada Temperance Act, from selling liquor to be sent into another part of the province to be used in violation of the provincial law.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Would there be the

same penalties against a wholesale dealer or manufacturer in any province of Canada sending liquor into another province for special use in a county where the Canada

Temperance Act is in force, as would apply in another part of the province?

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

There is already in the Canada Temperance Act as it stands a prohibition against sending liquor into the Canada Temperance Act district. Under section 117 of the Canada Temperance Act, as amended in 1908, it is prohibited for any person:

To send, ship, bring or carry, or cause to be sent, shipped, brought or carried, to or into any such county or city, any intoxicating liquor.

That is to- say, into a county or city where the Canada Temperance Act is in force. So that, so far as protecting the Canada Temperance Act districts from the importation of liquor is concerned, the Canada Temperance Act already protects them. The purpose of these amendments is to protect the remaining portions of a province, which are not under the Canada Temperance Act, from liquor sold within a Canada Temperance Act district 'being sent into those portions of the province-, to'be used in violation of the provincial law there in force.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Let me put a concrete case. In the Act recently passed by this House there is provision for enforcing a penalty -in the province from which the liquor is sent. Suppose the liquor is sent from Quebec into a county in New Brunswick where the provincial prohibitory law is in force, but where the Canada Temperance Act is not in force, can that manufacturer, or that wholesale dealer, he prosecuted in the province of Quebec under the law passed at this session?

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

No, because the law passed this session was one in aid of provincial legislation, not in -aid of the Canada Temperance Act. The Canada Temperance Act, as I have said, already makes- it an offence to send liquor into any district, in which the Canada Temperance Act is in force. It does not contain that provision enabling prosecution to be brought elsewhere than where the offence was committed. There is not any special provision in the Canada Temperance Act as it stands with regard to the place of prosecution.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

That presents very clearly and very strongly an argument in favour of suspending the operation of the Canada Temperance Act in a province where provincial prohibition is brought into force. Otherwise I am afraid that there will be a

very great deal of confusion. For instance, suppose a manufacturer is proceeded against in the province of Quebec for sending liquor into the province of Prince Edward Island. His answer will be: it is true that I sent liquor into Prince Edward Island, but it was destined for a county where the Canada Temperance Act is in force. Then the prosecution would fail in the province of Quebec. You are going to have a lot of legal difficulties arising and a very considerable amount of confusion in connection with the prosecution of offenders, and I should think-I. am not going to press this view, but I throw it out as a suggestion to the minister-that where provincial prohibition has been brought into force it would be better to have the one law applying to the whole province rather than to have one law applying to a part of the province where the Canada Temperance Act is in force and another applying to the parts- of the province where the Canada Temperance Act is not in force. I think myself that for greater certainty and for greater ease in the enforcement of the law, it would be better to suspend the Canada Temperance Act in those provinces where provincial prohibitory laws have been brought into force.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I hardly think we would be justified, in anticipation of the operation of laws that have not yet come into force, in taking away from counties the Canada Temperance Act, which in some cases they have adopted within the last few months. That is the case notably in Ontario. We have had no information from those counties that they want to have taken away from them the very thing that they, by their vote, expressed a desire to have. I do quite realize that there would be advantages in having a province all under one law, and I think it is rather to be anticipated that that condition of affairs will come about. But I do not think that this is quite the moment to attempt to bring that about. It would be premature to do so. I think we can quite safely leave consideration of that question until we have had some opportunity of seeing the newly proposed laws in operation.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
LIB

William Stewart Loggie

Liberal

Mr. LOGGIE:

I understood the minister to say that the Canada Temperance Act would be so amended that we could punish those who sent liquor to any county from another province.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

The only reason we did not amend the Act so that we could do that

is that the Act already does that. The provision of the existing Canada Temperance Act is:

From the day In which this part comes into force (the following- things are made offences) :

No person shall, except as in this part specially provided, by himself, his clerk, servant or agent. ... (c) ship, bring or carry, cr

cause to be sent, shipped, brought or carried, to or into any such county or city, any intoxicating liquor.

So that you have an absolute prohibition in the law as it now stands against anybody in the Dominion of Canada sending any intoxicating liquor into a county or city in which the Canada Temperance Act is in 'force. Clearly there was no need to amend the Act to bring about that result. It is true, as I said to the hon. member for St. John, that we have not the special provision enabling the offender to be prosecuted except in the particular place where the offence is committed, but in that regard the Canada Temperance Act is only in the position in which it has been, and there never has been any suggestion that there was a weakness in that direction.

When we came to pass the Bill, which was passed, it did seem to us that because we were dealing with a matter which in all cases was what one might call an interprovincial offence, it was wise to make the special provision which we made. But I should fancy that in a large number of cases, where it is a question of sending liquor into a district under the Canada Temperance Act, you will have it sent in from the neighbouring counties that are not under the Canada Temperance Act, but which are in the same province. Probably "when that Act was enacted the same necessity for such a provision did not occur to those who drafted it as occurred to us with regard to the other Bill. There will remain, even if this Bill is passed, that difference between the two situations.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
LIB

William Stewart Loggie

Liberal

Mr. LOGGIE:

Do I understand the

minister to say that the shipper, who is obliged under the Act that has already been passed to label the liquor sent into a province that has provincial prohibitory legislation, is obliged to mark the liquor which he sends, say, from the province of Quebec into the county of Northumberland the same as he would be required to mark if it were going into the province of Ontario. I refer to districts where the Canada Temperance Act is in force.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I have not before me

the exact text of that Act, but it seems to me that we are falling back into a discussion of the Act that was passed. If that Act, as passed, does not cover the case in its terms-and I am free to admit that my impression at this moment is that it does not-this, act will not produce the necessity of labelling in that particular case. But the Act, as it is passed, will apply to all sending of liquor from one province into another when in the province there is any prohibitory law. I am not quite certain whether it says any provincial prohibitory law or simply any prohibitory law.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Will the minister tell me whether there is any provision to preserve the rights of those who are now in the courts with regard to offences committed against the Act which he is repealing? The minister will remember that a period of three months is allowed to bring a prosecution, and offences may have been committed that have not yet been prosecuted in Scott Act counties. Sometimes they are not even found out for a couple of * 4 p.m. months. Will the right to prosecute those offences lapse when the old Act is repealed by this Act? . I understand that the old Act is absolutely repealed by this Act, and that new provisions are substituted. The minister will see my point. I feel interested in the matter owing to the fact that my county is a Scott Act county, and I know that prosecutions are occasionally brought. I would like to know whether this Bill would disturb the cases that are now in the court or take away any rights that exist.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

There is no real repeal. What is done here is to add something to the old Act, only it takes the form of repealing the section and of enacting exactly the same section with the additions. I think there has been a general consensus of opinion in the House that it is more convenient to draft legislation in that way,. because, in the Bill before the House, the members see exactly the section as it will be when amended. But the effect is exactly the same as if we had said that section 120, for instance, of the Canada Temperance Act is amended by inserting certain words. There is no moment of time during which the disposition as it stood before without the addition that we are making, is not in force. It is repealed and substituted simultaneously by exactly the same disposition, while a further disposition is added, so that there is no lapse of time during which, whatever was an offence under the Canada Temperance Act, as it stood, ceases to be an offence.

Topic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink

May 2, 1916