Report of the Militia Council for the Dominion of Canada for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1919.-Hon. Mr. Guthrie. Memorandum No. 6, European war, respecting work of the Department of Militia and, Defence, from November 1, 1918, to October 31, 1919.-Hon. Mr. Guthrie.
CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENTS.
Rt. Hon. C. J. DOHERTY moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 137, to amend the Criminal Code.
This Bill deals with
quite a few articles of the Criminal Code, but several of them are mere matters of procedure, which, perhaps, do not call for any development at the present time. For instance, there is a provision designating the courts in the different provinces, to which the word "court" when used in the Code is to apply. This is to meet changes in designation in the courts of different provinces, resulting from provincial laws.
There is a provision amending the articles, that deal with the possession of firearms and the necessity of obtaining permits in order to be entitled to have such firearms in possession and to carry them. The effect of the provision is to extend the present law so as to include a larger number of kinds of firearms.
There is a provision making it an offence to use as a sworn document or affidavit, representing it to be such, an instrument which has not been sworn to. We have had from different parts of the country, representations that such action has been taken at different times and that it should be made an offence.
There are provisions dealing with raising the age of consent, which are the same provisions which this House has already passed on .more than one occasion, but which failed to pass in the Senate.
There is an amendment to section 235, which is the section dealing with gambling, and more particularly the section which, under the law as it stands at present, permits the carrying on of wagers and betting upon a race track. It is proposed to modify the present legislation by limiting the method of organized betting which is permissible, to the use of the pari-mutuel machine, and furthermore to make it a condition of the permission that the profits derived from the betting operations shall be restricted to a limited percentage of the amounts at stake That is the extent of the modification in the law on that subject.
There is an amendment to section 300 for the purpose of making a person convicted of attempting to commit rape liable to be sentenced to be whipped. Under the existing law, whereas a person found guilty of indecent assault may be sentenced to be whipped, a person found guilty of the graver offence of attempted rape is not subject to that punishment. Several judges have called attention to this anomaly and pointed out that it ought to be remedied.
There is a provision making an offence and providing punishment for the unlawful wearing of a uniform of any of the forces of His Majesty, or badges, buttons and so forth, indicating military service.
There is a provision requiring that in order that, a person may be arrested or summoned from one province to be brought into another, the warrant should be issued in all cases on the authorization of the Attorney General of the province in which it js issued. This is making a general application a requirement which is already contained in the Act for the protection of provincial prohibitory laws.
There is a provision making more severe the 'lenalties for persons convicted of keeping awdy houses.
M BUREAU: What are the penalties?
M. DOHERTY: This is the amendment:
The provisions of section 1035 shall not apply or extend to any person convicted more than twice under said paragraph (f) of section 773 for keeping a common bawdy house or of keeping a common bawdy house in any premises with respect to which premises more than two convictions have been made, whether the same person has been convicted as keeper thereof or not, and any person so convicted shall not
in either case be sentenced to less than three months' imprisonment, nor shall any sentence imposed in either of the cases be suspended under the provisions of section 1081 without the concurrence of the counsel for the Crown in the prosecution of the offender.
The purpose is to make imprisonment imperative in the case of a third offence and to provide that where the offence is committed more than twice in the same premises, even though it be committed by a different person, the third time the offence is committed, it shall be treated as a third offence. It has been pointed out by the administrators oif the lftw that it has been impossible to get convictions as for a second or as for a third offence; though the premises continued to be used for carrying on the business, because after each conviction there would be a substitute or a new person carrying on the business. *
The offence follows the real estate instead of the person?
That is a new theory.
It is perhaps a novelty, but I think the circumstances justify it.
We have a provision to meet this situation which has arisen. There being no appeal in criminal matters in cases where the courts of appeal of the provinces are unanimous, it has happened that on several dif-fernt questions arising under the Criminal Code, the Court of Appeal of one province has decided in one sense and the Court of Appeal of another province has decided in another sense, and there being no appeal, we have contradictory jurisprudence interpreting the same law.
It is proposed to enact that in any case where the judgment of the Court of Appeal of a province is in contradiction of the judgment of another Court of Appeal of another province on the same point, the Attorney General or the accused shall have the right of appeal to the Supreme Court. The purpose is simply to make it possible to have a uniform jurisprudence in the application of this law, which is common to the whole Dominion and rests on a Dominion statute. There are also provisions in regard to appeals in two of the western provinces which have been asked for by the authorities there. There is also a provision to enable the Attorney General to make application in the province of Quebec for a change of venue in cases where there happens to be perhaps only one case in a district and it is not thought
desirable to have a criminal court in that district to try only one or two cases. The Attorney General of the province has made application for this provision and it seems to be one that ought to be granted.
Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.
PENITENTIARY AOT AMENDMENT.
Hon. C. J. DOHERTY (Minister of Justice) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 138 to amend the Penitentiary Act.
There are just three provisions to the Bill. The first one is to make clear the power of the minister with regard to the making of regulations. The second one is to provide that wardens, when they are appointed, instead of being appointed warden of a particular penitentiary, shall be appointed simply wardens and be susceptible of being moved from one penitentiary to another according as the best interests of the administration may require. The third provision repeals an Act which fixes a schedule of salary for the penitentiary officers, the usefulness of that Act disapearing in view of the operation of the Civil Service Act.
Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.
ADMIRALTY ACT AMENDMENT.
Hon. C. J. DOHERTY (Minister of Justice) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 139 to amend the Admiralty Act.
The purpose of the Bill is to confer power upon the Governor in Council to appoint a deputy judge in Admiralty. At present the power to make such appointment is in the hands exclusively of the Judge in * Admiralty. It has happened that the Judge in Admiralty being taken ill unexpectedly, and so ill as not to ibe able even to make the appointment of a deputy judge, there was no possibility of appointing a deputy no matter how great the necessity might be. The present amendment proposes to confer power on the Governor in Council to appoint a deputy judge in such a case.