April 9, 1918

L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I understood from the Minister of Justice that his amendment was made only as a matter of courtesy to the Chief Justice of the province of Quebec.

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

Not only to him.

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
Permalink
L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I understood that.

Mr. /DOHERTY: That was one reason; it was not the only reason, nor was it only for the Chief Justice of the province of Quebec. I did mention that it was a matter of courtesy to all the Chief Justices that if a judge was to be taken from their province, they should be asked to designate him.

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
Permalink
L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

As the minister well

knows, there are two judicial districts in Quebec covering the whole province. The Chief Justice of the Superior Court, Sir Frangois Lemieux, is now in Quebec, and at other times the Chief Justice may be in Montreal. How would it be to leave to the discretion of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or the senior puisne judge o- the Supreme Court, the making .of this request either to the Chief Justice. of the Superior Court or to the Assistant Chief Justice? While I do not want to be taken as acquiescing in any way in this legislation, because I am dead against it, and consider that it is wrong in principle, if it is going to be enacted I want to get the best procedure that I can, and that is why I make this suggestion.

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
Permalink
UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I hardly think there would be any advantage in providing that the acting Chief Justice in the district, say, of Montreal, shall act. Although there is an Acting Chief Justice in the district of Montreal, there is a Chief Justice of the province of Quebec, and he is the Chief Justice of the entire province.

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
Permalink
L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

Supposing he is away?

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

If it is to meet the case of his absence, then perhaps we could provide in his absence for somebody else doing

it. There may be some advantage in that. If we carry that out, or it the chief justice

- Mr. BUREAU: Or the assistant chief

justice. I do not know how it is in other provinces, but talking with my confreres I think Quebec is the only province with that situation. I understand that in other provinces there is only one judicial district for the whole province. The chief justice, whether .in Montreal or Quebec, could take necessary action.

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
Permalink
UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

The chief justice could undoubtedly draw from the whole province.

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
Permalink
L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I admit that.

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
Permalink
UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

If we are going to provide for the case of his absence, we will have to nominate the acting chief justice or the senior puisne judge, because if we are going to foresee it is possible that both will be absent, and if we specifically provide

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
Permalink
L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mjr. BUREAU:

Supposing it happens

that you have only one chief justice?

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
Permalink
UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

In Ontario they have

four or five chief justices. They are rich in chief justices in Ontario.

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
Permalink
L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

They are luckier than, we are. I was not assuming any knowledge other than that of conditions in my own province. Under the circumstances, how would the Minister of Justice get around it if our chief justice was away or absent from the province of Quebec?

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

If we insert the words "or the acting chief justice," would not that meet such a case?

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
Permalink
L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

Suppose 'both were away?

Mr. BOYiS: We had< better make it read "the senior puisne judge."

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
Permalink
UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

If we make provision

for the absence of the chief justice, then we ought to make a provision which will give assurance that there will always be somebody competent to act. Perhaps we might add the words "or acting chief justice, or senior puisne judge," or perhaps it might read "or in the absence of either or both, the senior puisne judge."

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
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?

Mr. D@

: Does this Bill not provide for the calling of more than one ad hoc judge at a time?

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
Permalink
UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

No, there is no power for the calling of more than one ad hoc judge. This is the first time that there has been

any provision for an ad hoc judge in the Supreme Court of Canada, and I think that if we make provision to fill the absence of one judge we 'are, perhaps, going as far as is necessary at present. There are six judges, five being required for a quorum, and, therefore, unless two are incapacitated for some reason, there, is no need of resorting to any such provision. I did give thought to the possibility of two being needed, but I came to the conclusion that it would not be wise to create the possibility of more than one ad hoc judge sitting at a time in the Supreme . Court.

iMr. Du TREMBLAY: The clause does not seem to be very clear on that point. It seems to me that under the Bill more than one judge could be called to replace judges who were absent. A couple of judges of the Superior Court of Quebec might be called, or two or three from other provinces.

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I think the language oi the section makes it amply clear that the power is limited to calling for one judge. The Exchequer Court judge is first called upon, and in his absence only one other judge. There is something to be said for the suggestion that power should, perhaps, be extended to the calling of two, but for myself I do not think that desirable. I think it is undesirable except in case of absolute necessity to have sitting in the Supreme Court a judge or judges ad hoc.

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
Permalink
L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

The Minister of Justice has stated my case exactly. I agree that it would be extraordinary if three Supreme Court judges at the same time should not be in a position to sit; therefore, this provision is for the appointment of only one ad hoc judge. The only difficulty that might be experienced in replacing the absent judge would be to comply with the Supreme Court Apt in the case of judges from the province of Quebec. If this legislation is passed, I think the minister had better reconstitute the Supreme Court and be able to show whether or not the increase in business justifies an increase in the number of judges, or whether the inclemency of the weather or other circumstances will result in our being obliged to having a spare man in the background for emergencies. I was suggesting that this point should be taken into consideration, and the suggestion of the minister with regard to the provision, for the emergency for a judge being absent makes my request a little bit stronger than it w,as before.

Mr. MORPHY. The member for Three Rivers has raised a very important point.

This Bill has not had the consideration which a measure of its importance should have had. I think that the whole difficulty can he got over if the Government itself will take the responsibility of appointing such judges as may be required-two, or three, if necessary-so that the court may always be properly constituted and so that the difficulty suggested by the member for Three Rivers could not possibly arise. The country would have confidence in the appointments of the Government, and all the difficulties suggested would fade away like a snowball in the hot sun. Let the minister put a provision In the Bill to this effect; let him do away with all these varied conditions which are likely to arise in the case of judges not being present or the case of two being required- when only one is provided for. Let the Government take the responsibility so that the business of the country may not be held up at any time for want of a quorum of judges in the Supreme Court of Canada, and so that we shall have a court with, perhaps, more life in it than it ha,s had for a long time past.

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE AD HOC.
Permalink

April 9, 1918