June 22, 1917

THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.

MR. SPEAKER REEFERS TO LANGUAGE USED BY MR. GAUTHIER.

CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

My attention has been directed to language used during the debate last evening by the hon. member for St. Hyacinthe at a time when I happened to be out of the Chamber. The hon. member (Mr. Gauthier) is reported in Hansard to have said:

His amendment (Mr. Barrette's), being a negative one, would have been ruled out of order if it had not been introduced with the consent of the Government.

It seems to me that the implication contained in these words is unmistakable, and one which if allowed to go unchallenged would seriously impair my usefulness as Speaker of this House. I need hardly say that the use of such language by an hon. member of the House is not in conformity with the usual practice in such cases, and is not in keeping with the spirit of proper decorum in debate. When the hon. member for St. Hyacinthe is in his place I purpose to ask him to withdraw this language.

Topic:   THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   MR. SPEAKER REEFERS TO LANGUAGE USED BY MR. GAUTHIER.
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CRIMINAL COURT AMENDMENT.

NUMBER OF JURORS IN PANEL.


Hon. C. J. DOHERTY (Minister of Justice) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 97, to amend the criminal code.


LIB
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Our attention has been called to the fact that by recent legislation in the province of Manitoba, as well as by legislation which has been in force for some

time in some of the other provinces, there is no fixed number of jurors to be summoned as constituting the panel, power being given to the judge to summon any number of jurors that he may deem desirable for the purposes of the business to be brought before the court. Under this legislation the panel may be of a very large number, and the Crown in any trial has the right to stand aside any number of jurors as they are called, without assigning any reason. Wherever under the law the panel is fixed at a definite number, this right of stand aside is of course limited to the number fixed for the panel, and, the panel once exhausted, these jurors may be called again and, unless there is ground for challenge, will be entitled to sit. It was considered not desirable that the Crown should have this right to stand aside extending to such an indefinite number, or rather, that it should not have that right without its being subject to the same control which is confided to the judge as to the determination of the number of the panel. This Bill therefore proposes to amend that section of the Criminal Code by limiting the right of stand aside to the number of forty-eight, which is the fixed number of the panel in many of the provinces, was such in Manitoba, until the recent legislation, unless the judge for special cause permits the right to be exercised as regards a larger number. In other words, the purpose is simply to subject the right of stand aside to the same control on the pari of the judge as under the provincial legislation referred to he has over the number of the panel.

Topic:   CRIMINAL COURT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   NUMBER OF JURORS IN PANEL.
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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


'EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.


Hon. C. J. DOHERTY (Minister of Justice) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 98, to amend the Exchequer Court Act.


LIB
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

This Bill contains two clauses. The purpose of the first is to make provision for the liability for costs on the part of litigants with the Crown where the case on the part of the Crown is conducted by the department. In those cases the lawyers in the department are not entitled to collect fees or costs for themselves, they being paid by their salaries. It is thought desirable, notwithstanding that fact, that litigants who bring unfounded claims

against the Grown should be liable for costs the same as any other litigant. The purpose of this first clause is therefore to provide that in such cases the costs to which the litigants may be condemned shall be payable to the Crown simply, the Crown paying its own costs through the salaries of its officers.

The other provision of the Bill is to achieve a purpose which was also the purpose of a Bill introduced earlier in. the session by the hon. member for Kamour-aska (Mr. Lapointe), if my memory serves me right. The matter dealt with by that proposed Bill of his had already been brought to our attention before his Bill was introduced, and we had come to the conclusion that an amendment such as he sought to make by his Bill should be made to the Exchequer Court Act. The clause of the Exchequer Court Act sought to be amended by this Bill and by the Bill of the hon. member for Kamouraska is the clause giving jurisdiction to the court to adjudicate upon any claim of damages against the Crown resulting from death or injury to person or property caused by the negligence of any servant of the Crown upon a public work. The Supreme Court has interpreted the section as it now stands as limiting the liability to cases where the injury is actually sustained upon the public work; that is to say, where the person suffering is actually on the public work or where it is a question of damage to property which property itself is actually upon the public work. This created a situation in which, though a man might be injured by the negligence of an employee of the Crown in the course of his employment, and where the whole cause of the injury took place upon the public work, yet if the victim himself was not actually on the public work he had no recourse.

While there is no reason to criticise the interpretation put by the Supreme Court upon the section as it stands, I do not think it was intended when the legislation was originally enacted to make that distinction, namely, to make the liability depend upon the locality .in which the individual or the property injured happened to be.

The purpose of this legislation is simply so to amend the section that the Crown will be liable-as I certainly believe was intended-for damage or injury resulting from the negligence of an employee of the Crown within the scope of his employment upon a public work. It simply does away with the requirement which the present sec-

tion has been interpreted as containing, namely, that the individual or property injured should at the moment be actually on the public work.

Topic:   'EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


INTEREST ACT AMENDMENT.

CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. C. J. DOHERTY (Minister of Justice):

moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 99, to amend the Interest Act.

Topic:   INTEREST ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

The purpose of this

Bill is to make the raite of interest payable upon judgments in the province of Manitoba similar to that payable in the province of Alberta and Saskatchewan, and I think in almost tall the other provinces. The necessity for this legislation arises because of the fact that it has recently been decided that the interest upon judgments in the province of Manitoba runs 'at but 4 per cent, which I understand was the rate fixed by English statute at the time the English lafr became applicable to the province of Manitoba.

The courts appear to have held that it was not within the jurisdiction of a provincial legislature to legislate on the subject of interest, even interest running upon a judgment, and that consequently any modification of the law in that regard attempted by the provincial legislature was ineffective. From many sources in Manitoba have come requests that the interest rate there should be made the same as that ^ provided for by statute for the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, which is the ordinary rate of interest, five per cent provided in cases where neither by law nor by agreement is the rate of interest fixed. There have been requests from Manitoba also that the interest rate should be made higher than this. While it did not appear to us that there should be a higher rate of interest in Manitoba than in other provinces, it did appear desirable that there should be an equal rate. This Bill, therefore, simply brings the province of Manitoba under the provisions made applicable to the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, under which interest runs upon a judgment at the rate of five per cent.

Topic:   INTEREST ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

My impression is that it is five per cent. I know that it is five

per cent in the province of Quebec. I think that in one or more of the Maritime Provinces it is six per cent.

Motion agreed to and Bill read the first time.

Topic:   INTEREST ACT AMENDMENT.
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June 22, 1917