June 4, 1917

LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

The Minister of Agriculture has given us a very interesting statement of the conditions surrounding the purchase of Canadian cheese. Was the question of the purchase of food supplies by the British Government one of the subjects dealt with, or was it under the control of the Imperial War Cabinet?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF CHEESE BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

The question of food supplies was one of very great interest, but, so far as executive action was concerned, it was dealt with more particularly in a departmental way by conferences with the Board of Trade and, in the matter of transportation, with the Minister of Shipping. The proposals to which the Minister of Agriculture has referred were conveyed to us by a committee under the direction of the Board of Trade. At the request of that committee I transmitted those proposals to the Government here, in order that they, being in touch with the local situation, might give them such consideration as would be possible.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF CHEESE BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.
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JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT.


On motion of Hon. C. J. Doherty (Minister of Justice), the House went into Committee, Mr. Rainville in the Chair, to consider the following proposed resolution: That it is expedient to amend the Judges Act to provide for the salary of an additional judge of the Supreme Court of Saskatchewan, $6,00-0 per annum, and to provide for the salary of an additional junior judge of the County Court in Ontario, $3,000 per annum; to amend section eighteen of the said Act by providing that a judge who is appointed or assigned to a district for the exercise of his ordinary jurisdiction therein and required by law at the time of his appointment to reside within that district shall not be entitled to travelling allowances incurred or made necessary by reason of his residing at any place outside of the district to which he is so appointed or assigned, unless his residence at that, place be authorized or approved by the Governor in Council; and to make the provisions of subsections two, three, four and five of section twenty-eight apply to the Judges of the Circuit Court of Montreal.


CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

The Bill which it is proposed to found upon this resolution is rendered necessary, so far as its first two dispositions are concerned, by recent legislation of the provinces of Saskatchewan and Ontario. The legislature of the province of Saskatchewan has made provision for an additional judge of the Supreme Court of that province, and in compliance with that legislation it is necessary that we should amend our Judges Act. A couple of years ago the legislature of Saskatchewan remodelled the judicial system of the province 5 -p.m. by constituting two courts, a Court of Appeals and a Supreme Court. If that legislation, which was to have come into force by proclamation, had Ibeen made effective, the appointment of four additional judges would have been neces-

sary. The provincial authorities, however, seemed to have altered their view, and have recently legislated providing for this additional judge of the Supreme Court. The additional county court judge in the province of Ontario is in the Timiskaming district, a new and growing district where the business, has been increasing to such an extent that it has 'been found necessary to make provision for a junior judge.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Edmond Proulx

Liberal

Mr. PROULX:

I understand that the

appointment has been made.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Yes. The salaries are not appropriated by the statute to individual judges. There happened to be vacancies, so that a salary was available and the need was so pressing that it was thought better to let some other vacancy stand and make an appointment to that particular district. The necessity of a judge in that district, therefore, requires us to provide for seventy-four county court judges instead of seventy-three.

The first of the other provisions of the resolution is to provide that judges who at the time of their appointment are by law called upon to reside within the particular judicial district to which they are assigned shall not be entitled to travelling allowances if their places of residence is changed subsequently to their appointment, unless the change is approved by the Governor in Council. This is to enable the Government to have some control over the rapidly increasing expenditure in the way of travelling allowances to judges, resulting from the fact that in some provinces the legislatures have changed the residences of the judges, removing them in many instances from places situate within their respective judicial districts to places considered more convenient. 1

The legislative power to fix a judge's residence, I think, indisputably rests with the legislature, but the fixing of salaries and of travelling allowances rests with this Parliament, anid it has seemed to us that it would be well that the Government should not find itself in a position of having imposed upon it very considerable additional financial burdens merely because the legislature, for one reason or another, thinks proper to change the residence of a judge. We do not propose to say that in no such case shall the judge who has his residence so changed, have his travelling allowances, but we provide merely that he shall not have them

unless that change of residence is approved by the Governor General in Council.

The last provision which the Bill contains, which is also one that would not have required a resolution, is to bring the judges of the circuit court of Montreal under the provisions applicable to county court judges throughout the country with regard to the procedure that may be required in the way of inquiry where complaints are made against judges. The present position is that the circuit court judges find themselves neither in the position of high court judges and therefore removable only by the Houses of Parliament, nor in the position of county court judges, of being removable by the Governor in Council after proper inquiry by means of a commission. We think they should be in one class or the other, and it is proposed to 'amend the law to assimilate their position to that of county court judges generally.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

George William Kyte

Liberal

Mr. KYTE:

I regret very much that the Minister of Justice has not been able to take up the question of the readjustment of salaries of county court judges in the province of Nova Scotia. This matter has been brought to his attention on several occasions by hon. members representing that province, and while from time to time legislation has been introduced which has resulted in increasing the salaries of judges elsewhere-although I may say that no general- increase has been given-it is to be regretted that the minister has been unable to give some attention to this matter. We have in Nova Scotia a state of affairs that is very different from that which exists in Ontario. I observe that in this resolution there is a provision for the salary of $3,000 per annum for a junior county court judge in that province. I understand that in that province county court judges are in the enjoyment of certain perquisites which flow from other offices which they are permitted to hold. That is not the case in Nova Scotia, where a county court judge is limited entirely to the salary which he receives on his appointment. From time to time demands have been made from all classes of the Civil Service of this country for increases of salaries to meet the increased cost of living that has prevailed throughout this country for some years. I might say truthfully that the county court judge is about the only one enjoying a salary as low as $3,000 whose needs in that respect have not received some attention. The Minister of Finance proposes,

in the course of a few days, to introduce legislation in this House for the purpose of increasing, substantially, I hope, the salaries of certain civil servants who belong to the Inside Service. It is also proposed by the Minister of Finance to provide in the Supplementary Estimates for an increase of salary to certain civil servants who are attached to the Outside Service. I can not understand why judges of the county court in Nova Scotia, whose salaries are by no means in keeping with the cost of living in that province, are not to receive some consideration. They are all gentlemen who, when they accepted their appointments, abandoned legal practices very much more remunerative than the salaries which they now receive. I speak more particularly of the county court judge who ipsido.'- in the city of Sydney and who is the judge for the district comprised by the counties of Richmond, Cape Breton and Victoria. He has a very extensive criminal jurisdiction. In the city of. Sydney his time is taken up almost every day in the year in hearing matters that do not properly fall to the adjudication of a county court judge elsewhere in the Dominion. We have no resident Supreme Court judge in the Island of Cape Breton, and the consequence has been to enlarge the jurisdiction of the county court judge as Master of the Supreme Court, so that his time is at least half taken up in adjudicating matters that in other sections of Dominion are dealt with by Supreme Court judges. I do not wish to make a special plea for the gentleman who discharges so efficiently and satisfactorily the duty of county court judge in the city of Sydney; my argument is equally applicable to' all the other county court judges in the province of Nova Scotia. The Minister of Justice has always been good enough, when this matter has been called to his attention, to give us an assurance that it would be considered by him and that he hoped to 'be able to submit a comprehensive scheme to deal with all those judges who are suffering from the same grievance as are the judges of Nova Scotia. I again remind the Minister of Justice that judges of the county courts of my province are in a vastly different position from that of county court judges in Ontario, and I cannot quite understand why the minister is unable to deal with the situation in Nova Scotia, because he has been unajble to formulate a comprehensive scheme to deal with county court judges in Ontario. The latter enjoy special perquisites from other offices they are authorized 1255

to hold, and, therefore, their position is not such an appealing one as that of the Nova Scotia 'County Court judges.

Mr. MAROIL; How will this legislation affect superior court judges in Quefbec? A large number of judges who seem to have been appointed for outside judicial districts reside in the city of Quebec or in the city of Montreal.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

This legislation does not purport to be retroactive.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

It will apply only to the future, but its purpose is, at all events, to withdraw the temptation, from a judge to seek to have the legislature move his residence outside of his own judicial district, which temptation is afforded by the fact that when he is moved out by the legislature, then, under the law as it stands at the present time, this Government finds itself obliged to pay him travelling allowance every time he goes to that particular district to which, 'by the statute of the province and by his commission, he is assigned. Recent events would justify one in saying that the power of the legislature in one of the provinces, at all events, to change the judges' residences has been exercised without any regard to the fact that by those changes they were imposing this additional financial responsibility upon this Government, and I may say that was done notwithstanding the fact that before their action was taken such result was pointed out to them.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MAROIL:

Has the minister made a calculation of what this additional cost has been to the treasury as regards Quebec?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I have not made a detailed calculation, but I was very much struck with the figures, which quite recently were brought to my attention, of the amount paid in the course of a year in the way of travelling expenses to three or four of the judges with regard to whom the questions was asked, and that rather went to strengthen the impression made upon my mind by the legislation last session of the Quebec Legislature.

Changes were then made in the place of residence of not less than three judges of the Superior 'Court, centering them in the city of Quebec. Before that was done I was communicated with by the Attorney General of the province, and I felt that I had to concede that the legislature of the province had the right to determine the

residence of the judges, but I pointed out that unless there were some major reason in connection with facilitating the administration of justice, weight ought to be given to the consideration that by this moving of judges they were adding to the expenditures of this Government in the way of travelling allowances. That representation does not seem to have carried weight, and the fact of the enactment of .the legislation I refer to makes it, I think, quite , clear that this Government should place itself in position to have some control over this expenditure. If, to-day, a legislature chooses to say that a judge shall live a thousand miles from the place where he exercises his functions, it automatically imposes upon this Government the obligation of paying the travelling expenses of that judge every time he goes up and down, and paying him also a living allowance while he is in the district in which Ill-duties are performed.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Henry Barnard

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARNARD:

I should like to say a word or two along the same line as my hon. friend from Richmond (Mr. Kyte) with regard to the salaries of the county judges in the province of British Columbia, and in doing so I would point out to the Minister of Justice, that not only do the county court judges in that province do the great majority of the criminal work of British Columbia, but their civil jurisdiction is also very considerably greater than the civil jurisdiction of the county judges of the province of Ontario. They have jurisdiction in contract cases up to $1,000 and in equitable jurisdiction and jurisdiction in court to an amount not exceeding $2,500, which I think is considerably greater than the province of Ontario. In addition to that the province of British Columbia has taken the stand quite rightly I think, that it is no part of their business to pay any portion of the salaries of the judges, that the judges' salaries should be wholly provided for by the Federal Government. The result is that they have refused to give anything in the shape of Surrogate Court fees or other perquisites to the county judges. In the larger cities, such as Vancouver and Victoria, and I am speaking more particularly of Vancouver, there are three county judges who sit continuously, except in vacation, from Monday morning to Friday afternoon. To expect a man to do that work efficiently, to keep up the dignity of his position, and live in a large city like Vancouver or Victoria on a salary of $3,000 a year, is I think unfair and unreasonable, and I submit that the minister would do well to take into consideration the whole question of the salaries of county judges. If Ontario chooses to put its County Court judges in a more favourable position than those of any other province, I suppose that is a matter that rests with the province of Ontario, but it certainly does not excuse this Government from paying a proper salary to the other county court judges throughout the Dominion who are doing just as important work.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

Of course this is an old story, for we have been talking to the minister about this matter for some years. I understand that a delegation of county court .judges from Nova Scotia waited on the minister some four or five years ago, and I remember the minister telling me in conversa-ation after he had met that delegation, that he hoped to evolve some scheme which would satisfy to some extent the demands made by the judges. I am sorry the minister has not been able to carry out what he then intended, but I suppose he has had some good reason. I am not familiar with the salaries and conditions surrounding the office of county court judges in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. I know something about the situation in Ontario, buf nothing at all about the situation in Quebec, and as the hon. member for Richmond has pointed out, conditions in the province of Ontario in regard to county . court, judges are quite different from conditions in the province of Nova Scotia, and I think the minister should give some attention to the conditions in the province of Nova Scotia apart from the reflex influence which his action might have on some of the other provinces of the Dominion. In the first place the minister will find that the administration of that branch of the law is very much cheaper in the province of Nova Scotia than in any other province in the Dominion, by reason of the smaller number of judges. I understand that in Ontario there are two judges to each county. In Nova Scotia we have only seven judges to eighteen counties, which shows that when the province was divided up into districts care was taken to give a reasonably large territory and a reasonably large amount of work to each- judge. Our judges in the province of Nova Scotia have a great deal of work to do. As the hon. member for Richmond has pointed out, we have no Supreme Court judges anywhere ih the province of Nova Scotia except in the city of Halifax, and the legislature of the province have conferred wide jurisdiction upon the county court judges to enable them to

[Mr. Dohertv.l

perform a great deal of the work of a Supreme Court judge. If there is any difficulty, about the setting aside of pleadings, of any contests of that kind, in districts remote from Halifax or in any part of the Island of Cape Breton, these cases, no matter how big the issue, are fought out before the county court judge. In the county of Cape Breton there is a very large foreign population, and I regret to say that for the last ten years the criminal business of that county has been simply en.ormous. Seventy-five per cent of that criminal business is dealt with by the county court judge, and handled very satisfactorily. Every one has such implicit confidence in his integrity and in his power to deal with these matters that except in extreme cases where he has no jurisdiction all these cases are tried before him. So that my hon. friend from Richmond was putting it mildly when he said that the county 'Court judge was engaged on these cases perhaps half his time every day; as a matter of fact he is engaged every day in the week with no let up at all, and he is paid the very small salary of $3,000 a year. There is no part of Canada that has been more expensive to live in during the last four or five years, or since the price of, foodstuffs began to go up so rapidly, than the city of Sydney, and I am sure that what may he said of the cost of living in Sydney is equally true of the other six districts of the province of Nova Scotia. As has been pointed out iby the hon. member for Richmond-and it is not- necessary to tell the minister this-there are certain things expected of a man who occupies the position of a county judge. He is the first citizen of his locality; everybody so regards him; and he must live up to, what is expected of him. I submit that it is the duty of the State, when it puts a man in the position to administer justice, to place him beyond temptation so far as money is concerned, independent in every respect, and able to maintain the dignity of his position. That, in some cases, the judges are not able to do pn the meagre salaries paid them. It would not involve a very serious expenditure to grant a substantial increase to the judges of the Dominion, much less would it be serious if something were done to put these men in a position to be comfortable and to live in comformity with what is expected of them.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

I object on principle to a spirit which seems to pervade the life of this country. The hon. member for North Cape Breton (Mr. McKenzie) seems to regard it as necessary that there should be a fictitious glamour about the position of a judge. This is really net tjie case. It is the integrity and learning of the judge which carries conviction to t'he hearts of the people, not that he is able to put on a certain amount of style, not that he is able to wear purple and fine linen, or play cards, or use high class wines. I do not wish to play the demagogue in this matter, but I think this principle should he asserted. If we desire to make use of the education which we have received, which has continued from the very earliest times in history, let us make use of it. We find from year to year that there is an inclination on the part of the authorities to decorate. This system of decoration in itself carries no conviction, and we know it. Therefore, it should he cut out.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I would say on behalf of the judges, that they would be willing to forego the decorations if they got decent salaries.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

And I say for thecounty court judges that they would not sell themselves for mere lucre, let alone the decorations. The man fit tp be made a county court judge is a man with a high sense of duty. And it should he considered that there is such a thing as duty to the State. Let such a man he provided with a salary sufficient to keep the wolf from the door and tp educate his children in a manner commensurate, with a standard oflife which we approve of. It shpuldnot be dangled before his eyes

as well, as before the eyes of the great proletariat, that there is something so stupidly self-seeking abbut our lives that we cannot get away from it-this self-interest, this inclination forever to have as much money as we possibly can get. The idea that there should be a certain mock solemnity, about a judge means that a judge is to be regarded as the people of an African tribe regard their medicine man. That reminds me of a yarn I read in a book the other day, about a man who carried such great weight with the natives of Africa that he was able to go from tribe to tribe without a guard. And the reason was that he could take his teeth out and put them back again. Are we never to get out of this way of regarding our public life? Are we never to understand and realize that we have some duty to the state, some duty to humanity, outside of these miserable little things?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MAROIL:

Would the minister explain the position with regard to the Circuit Court judges of Montreal?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

As the position now

stands the Circuit Court judges of that particular court are neither in the same position as the County Court judges nor in the same position as the Superior Court judges with regard to their removability. The proposition of this Bill is to assimilate their position in that regard to the position of the county court judges throughout the country, and to place the Government in a position where, should the question arise, the Government will he able to deal with the judge of this particular court in the same way in which it is now in a position to deal with the County Court judges generally.

Resolution reported and agreed to.

Mr. DOHERTY thereupon moved to introduced Bill No. 66 to amend the Judges' Act.

Motion agreed to and Bill read the first time.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT.
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June 4, 1917