June 15, 1920

L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

Absolutely.

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

It is very regrettable

that in connection with this incident there should be in any quarter an endeavour to make it appear that there is any conflict between the judicial authority and the executive authority, whether of the province of Quebec or of the Dominion. There is no conflict whatever between either the Department of Justice or the Department of the Attorney General of'the province of Quebec and any court in that province. There is a conflict between two courts, one a court of undoubted criminal jurisdiction which has ordered the warden of the Kingston penitentiary

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

Kingston?

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

Pardon me, I refer to

the warden of the St. Vincent de Paul penitentiary

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

Poor old Kingston!

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

A court of undoubted

criminal jurisdiction has ordered the warden of the St. Vincent de Paul penitentiary to take and hold for twenty-five years one of the Labries and the other, I think for life. Then there is an order from a judge of the Superior Court-I am not sure whether 6f a judge in chambers or of a judge sitting in court, but it is immaterial.

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

It is an order of the

court. ' .

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

All right. It is absolutely immaterial. It is an order of the Superior Court; take it that wav. The other order is of the Court of King's Bench. The order of the Superior Court purports to issue under a statute which provides that its provisions shall not have application when men are held detained under conviction of a properly constituted criminal tribunal.

Now, before it is suggested that there is anything in the nature of contempt in the action of the warden or of any one who advised him, might I call attention to his position? He is between the two courts with their diametrically contradictory orders. How much more wicked is it for him to disobey the order of the Superior Court than it would be for him to disobey the order of the Court of King's Bench? He is advised that the court which has jurisdiction in the matter is the criminal court that sentenced these men, and he is advised that the court which purported to make this order of habeas corpus is without jurisdiction.

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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L LIB

Arthur Trahan

Laurier Liberal

Mr. TRAHAN:

Who advised him?

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I personally take my

full share of responsibility for that advice. But as the hon. gentleman is curious about it

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No, no.

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

-I might quote what may be described as the advice of the Supreme Court of Canada on precisely the same subject. I am not going to argue the case, but I want to read this extract because it shows exactly what the position is. This is the opinion of Chief Justice Ritchie of the Supreme Court of Canada in rendering the judgment of that court in the case of re Sproule, which will be found in 12 Supreme Court Reports. After citing a number of authorities, be said:

The general rule is well established that a person imprisoned under the sentence of a court having general jurisdiction of the case is not to be discharged by habeas corpus, but should be left to his remedy by appeal, exceptions, or writ of error.

These authorities are, to my mind, conclusive that If the prisoner has any just cause of complaint against the proceedings in this case his remedy, if any exists, cannot be obtained through the instrumentality of a writ of habeas corpus, for I have no hesitation in saying that a judgment of conviction and sentence of the court of oyer and terminer and general gaol delivery of British Columbia-

I presume the hon. gentleman would not suggest that the judgment of a like court in the province of Quebec is not entitled to the same respect.

-on an indictment for murder, confirmed on error by the Supreme Court of British Columbia-

The case had been appealed and was confirmed, but the principle is' exactly tihe same.

-and standing unreversed by the Privy Council is conclusive as to the prisoner being a convicted felon.

That was a case of murder; this is a case of manslaughter.

Such a decision as this on which we are called to pass-

The decision with which we are concerned is precisely the same in principle as the decision there referred to, but the latter was rendered by a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Such a decision as this on which we are called to pass raises a conflict of authority-

That is the source of any conflict of authority in this case.

-between the established Superior Courts of the country and individual judges of a most

extraordinary character; places the officer in whose custody the prisoner ie,-

And this is what I was endeavouring to point out.

-in this most anomalous and trying position, compelling him to elect to hold the prisoner under the judgment and sentence of a court of unquestionably competent criminal jurisdiction, confirmed by the unanimous decision of the full bench of the Supreme Court of the province having unrestricted jurisdiction in criminal eases, or to discharge him under the order of a single judge at chambers, it may be even of a single judge of the very court that unanimously affirmed his judgment and sentence, or a single judge of this court in direct opposition to, and defiance of, 6uch a conviction and sentence. ,

Now, the warden attended with the writ actually endorsed in the identical terms which the Supreme Court in the case I have been citing determined to he a proper and sufficient return. Unfortunately the summons being for half past ten. counsel got into the wrong room in the court house, and before the error was discovered the court had proceeded, with no return before it, to order the release of the prisoner. Fortunately, however, there was not an absolute order, as I am informed, for the imprisonment of the warden. That order, as I am told, 'was issued in the form of a rule nisi so that the warden wild have opportunity next Monday to show cause why he- should not be subject to the imprisonment referred to. I have thought it proper, and have been glad of the opportunity to make this statement because certainly St would be most regrettable if there should be any feeling on the part of any of the authorities concerned that there is any desire to do other than ensure a proper respect for the courts. We owe respect to, and I have the most profound respect for, the Superior Court of my provihce. I am prepared to go further and to say that, speaking of the individual judge, I have the most profound respect for him and entertain a very high opinion both of his abilities and of his character. But my respect extends to all the courts; it goes out just as wholly to the Court of King's Bench, the court charged with the administration of criminal justice, as it does to the Superior Court. Now, if all who- are interested will just possess their souls in patience, I undertake to say that pursuant to our very sincere desire-that is the desire, too, of the provincial authorities-we shall endeavour to find a method by which this question can be judicially and finally decided by the courts. In the meantime we cannot but feel-and1 it is a feeling common to the provincial authorities and to

[Mr. Doherty. J 1 j

ourselves-that it is our duty not to allow a judgment of the Court of King's Bench to be set aside in the way in which it has been and remain unexecuted without, at all events, having exhausted the means which the law affords for having the matter finally and properly determined.

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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UNION

Samuel Hughes

Unionist

Sir SAM HUGHES:

What was the nature of the crime for whicji these men were sentenced?

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

The particular circumstances of the case have not come before us in any way in connection with this particular proceeding, but the men are held1 in the penitentiary on conviction of manslaughter.

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

Will the same course be followed against another man by the name of Mantezono, who is in a similar position in the county of Charlevoix, was released on writ of habeas corpus by the same judge, and is still free?

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

If that case is brought to my attention and to>

the attention of the provincial authorities, proper consideration will no doubt be given-

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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L LIB

Louis Joseph Gauthier

Laurier Liberal

Mr. GAUTHIER:

They will have him arrested.

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

-to the circumstances of that case.

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

Just one remark, Mr. Speaker. Does the minister not think that in the interests of justice it would be better to let the courts decide these matters; that if no remedy at (present exists it would be better to pass legislation to afford the remedy rather than have the Minister of Justice substitute himself for the higher courts of the country? That is what I object to.

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. The hon. member (Mr. Bureau) is really submitting his opinion in the form of a question, which is not in order. I think that the Minister of Justice has submitted a very full and complete answer to the question put, and I respectfully suggest that any further reference to this matter may more properly ibe made at another stage of the proceedings.

Topic:   MEN RELEASED ON HABEAS CORPUS RE-ARRESTED.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF THE LABRIE BROTHERS.
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June 15, 1920