On the Orders of the Day:
Mr. HARRY J. BARBER (Fraser Valley): I desire to ask the Minister of Justice a question based upon the following article which appears in the Vancouver Daily Province of April 21:
Sumas landowners have forwarded a petition to Ottawa asking that certain provincial legislation be disallowed. The act to which they object is one passed at the last session of the legislature which validates all actions of the dyking commissioners and stipulates that the assessment roll "shall not be quashed or set aside or the validity thereof otherwise questioned on any ground whatsoever."
Numerous property owners affected by the reclamation work are reported to have signed the petition. They attacked the assessment roll last year, asked for the accounting and alleged that the Land Settlement Board, as dyking commissioners, "illegally, negligently, recklessly, wrongfully and without authority and in breach of their duties as commissioners spent *large sums of money in constructing works within the Sumas dyking district."
Their action in petitioning Ottawa goes back to Magna Charta for precedent, it being a principle of the British constitution that any subject may approach the king. Provincial legislation, it is claimed, removed any right of Sumas property owners affected by reclamation works to redress in the courts. It is upon *this that they are asking for the disallowance of the legislation, claiming that the legislation complained of is ultra vires.
I would ask the Minister of Justice if this petition has been received; if so, will he have the correspondence laid on the table, and has he reached any decision in the matter?