July 20, 1917


Section agreed to. On section 2-Exclusive original jurisdiction.


CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I desire to move an amendment to this section, I might point out that the purpose of this section, as I explained when introducing the Bill, is to rectify the consequences of the interpretation that has been placed upon the subsection of the present Exchequer. Court Act. The section, as it stands, gives the Exchequer Court jurisdiction in respect of every claim against the Crown arising out of any death or injury to the person, or to property on any public work, resulting from the negligence of any officer or servant of the Crown, while acting within the scope of -his duties or employment. That section -has been interpreted-and I think the wording fully justifies the interpretation-as limiting the liability of the Crown under it to the case where the death of or the injury to any person or property occurs on the public work; that is to say, all cases where the individual who is injured or killed is at the moment actually on the public work, or to cases where the property damaged is, at the time that it is damaged, actually on the public work. Giving it that interpretation, it has produced this result: that you may have two persons, one of them standing actually on the public work, the other one standing, say, on an adjoining street. By some negligence of the employee, the officer or servant of the Crown working upon that public work, say, for instance, handling explosives, injury is caused to these two people. The one who is standing actually on the public work will, under the section as presently interpreted, have a right of action against the Grown. The other one, because he wa>s standing on an adjoining street, perhaps ten feet away, and receives much more rerious injury, has no recourse, because he was not injured on the public work. While I think this interpretation is a perfectly proper one of the section as it now stands, I do not think that the intention of the law is thereby realized, and the present amendment leave-s the law as it stands, except that we do away with

the requirement, where the injury is the result of the fault or negligence of the officer or servant of the Crown actually within the scope of his duties on a public work, that the victim should also actually be on the public work-the victim himself, where it is a matter of personal ' injury, or the property itself, where it is a matter of damage to property. The wording, perhaps, goe-s a little further than the intention; at all events, it is subject to the criticism that more words are used than are necessary. I beg to' move to amend section 2 of the Bill by striking out the words "during the course of his employment on any public work," in lines 3 and 4 of paragraph (c) of clause 2, and adding the words "upon any public work" at the end of the paragraph. The section [DOT]sought to be substituted for the present provision of the Exchequer Court Act would then read:

Every claim against the Crown arising out of any death or injury to the person or to property resulting from the negligence of any officer or servant of the Crown while acting within the scope of his duties or employment on any public work.

Topic:   SUPREME COURT AND EXCHEQUER COURT ACTS AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Would my hon. friend read section (c), which he intends to repeal.

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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Section (c) reads:

Every claim against the Crown arising out of any death or injury to the person or to property on any public work resulting from the negligence of any officer or servant of the Crown while acting within the scope of his duties or employment.

Under that section it is required that the victim of the accident should be on the public work at the time of the accident, whereas I think the intention was to limit the liability to cases where the servant who is responsible for the negligence is engaged in employment on the public work, and to attach responsibility to the Crown even if the accident resulting from that negligence happened off the public work. In some eases where the cause of the injury was negligence on the part of the Crown's servant engaged on the public work, the individual hurt did not happen to be actually on the public work. A sample case would be the one that I mentioned. Suppose the Crown is excavating for a canal and I happen to be standing on the canal bank or upon anything that can be construed as part of the public work. If, through negligent blasting operations, I am injured, under the section as it now stands I will have an action, because I was on the public work. But if another gentleman standing

ten feet away, beyond the limit of the property which can he considered as part

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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

Very recently there was a case in my own riding in which property was alleged to have been injured by the improper raising of the water. Because the property was many miles away and was not on the dam-of course, it could not be-the case was ruled by the judge as not coming within this Act, and the man had no redress. It is a matter of question whether another section of the Act did not allow this man to bring an action against the Government, but the Exchequer Court ruled otherwise, holding that the action must be brought in under subsection (c). Of course, you could not have hundreds of acres of property on the dam; therefore, in all cases where property was damaged under such circumstances, no recovery could be had. I ask the Minister of Justice whether such cases have been provided for?

Topic:   SUPREME COURT AND EXCHEQUER COURT ACTS AMENDMENT.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

This legislation will meet precisely that case. If this legislation had been enacted and were in force at the time of the case in question, any objection to the recovery of damages based upon the fact that the property was not on the public dam would disappear. Of course, I am not in a position to say whether there was any other reason why the Crown should not be responsible in that particular case, but in so far as the hon. gentleman has stated the case, this amendment will meet it., It is quite unreasonable to say that while there is liability if your property is actually on the public work, you may with impunity commit precisely the same fault and produce precisely the same damages if the property damaged is not on the public work.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

I think that this section is identical with Bill No. 49, introduced by the member for Kamouraska (Mr. E. Lapointe).

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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I do not know that it is in the same words, but it is designed to attain the same purpose.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

Many years ago the late Mr. Monk brought up a case that occurred

in the county of Jacques Cartier: that of a man who was shot on bis farm while volunteers were firing at ia target. It was found afterwards that the boys who were firing were not authorized to do any shooting, and the fanner never got anything.

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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

At the time that case occurred I was not in a position to bring in an amendment to the law. Since the hon. gentleman mentions the fact, I have some recollection of their being such a case. I think it would have been desirable if this anomalous condition of affairs had been earlier corrected. The matter had been brought to my attention this year, in connection not with the case that the hon. gentleman mentions, but with one or two other cases that occurred in the province of Quebec. At that time I rather came to the conclusion that the law ought to be amended; the member for Kamouraska very likely had similar information and entertained the same view of the matter.

Topic:   SUPREME COURT AND EXCHEQUER COURT ACTS AMENDMENT.
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Amendment agreed to, and section as amended agreed to. Bill reported, read the third time and passed. At six o'clock the House took recess. After Recess. The House resumed at eight o'clock.


PRIVATE BILLS.


AERIAL LEAGUE OP THE BRITISH EMPIRE. . House in committee on Bill No. 84, to incorporate the Canadian Division of the Aerial League of the British Empire.-Sir Herbert Ames.-Mr. Blain in the Chair.


LIB
CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HERBERT AMES:

This league is a branch of the Aerial League of the British Empire, which is a very important organization across the seas, and is in close relation with the British War Office. It has rendered very great service in aerial training. The organization in Canada has taken a large part in the same work here, acting in co-operation with the authorities. The Bill has been very carefully considered in the Private Bills Committee. Some amendments have been offered, which have been accepted, and as I understand the matter, the Bill is now satisfactory to all parties concerned.

On section 9-Real property.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
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CON

Michael Steele

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEELE:

The Private Bills Committee added several subsections to this section. Subsection 2 limits the annual value of the real estate to be held by the association to $50,000. The other subsections are the stock clauses which have been inserted in all similar Bills in the last two years providing for the disposal of property which is not required for the purpose of the association at the end of ten years.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
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Section agreed to. On section 10-Borrowing powers and investments :


CON

Michael Steele

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEELE:

There is added to this section, subsection (2), providing that:

Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the association to issue any note or bill payable to bearer thereof, or any promissory note intended to be circulated as money or as the note or bill of a bank, or to engage in the business of banking or insurance.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
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Section agreed to. On section 12:


CON

Michael Steele

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEELE:

This section is the usual one inserted in similar Bills providing that the association shall take over all the exiisting assets, interests, rights, credits, effects and property movable or immovable, held and enjoyed by the existing association, and also take over all the liabilities of the existing association before it shall be allowed to do business.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
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July 20, 1917