April 29, 1930

RADIO BROADCASTING

PETITIONS PRESENTED

LIB

Paul Mercier

Liberal

Mr. PAUL MERCIER (St. Henri):

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present and to deposit 171 petitions containing 21,592 signatures and 546 requests, making a total of 22,138 persons objecting to any change in the present system of radio broadcasting; that is, against the report of the Aird commission on radio broadcasting.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   PETITIONS PRESENTED
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APPEALS IN CRIMINAL CASES

LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice):

I beg to lay on the table of the

house amendments to the rules relating to criminal appeals which were made by judges of the supreme court of Nova Scotia on February 14, 1930.

Natural Resources-Alberta

Topic:   APPEALS IN CRIMINAL CASES
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RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT


Hon. T. A. CRERAR (Minister of Railways and Canals) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 124, to amend the Railway Act.


?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Explain.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

The amendments proposed, four in number, are all of a minor character. The first has to do with the signature of share certificates and proposes a change from the procedure contained in the act. The next relates to the matter of compensation paid for lands adjoining points where the railway proceeds along or crosses a highway. The third amendment relates to the installation of signalling apparatus on locomotives other than steam locomotives, and the fourth amendment relates to the time at which the railways may dispose of goods that have not been called for by the persons to whom they were consigned.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time. PRIVATE BILLS

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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FIRST READINGS-SENATE BILLS


Bill No. 114, for the relief of Mildred Alma McCallum.-Mr. Lawson. Bill No. 116, for the relief of Mabel Monk. -Mr. Lawson. Bill No. 117, for the relief of Harry Edward Elvidge. Mr. Tummon. Bill No. 119, for the relief of Emily Anderson. -Mr. Bell (St. Antoine). Bill No. 120, for the relief of Helen Marie Ferguson.-Mr. Hubbs.


ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY DEEPENING OF CHANNEL BETWEEN KINGSTON AND OGDENSBURG


On the orders of the day:


CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Toronto Northwest):

Mr. Speaker, is the Prime Minister yet in a position to state on what terms and conditions the United States and Canada will each bear half the cost of deepening and improving the channel between Kingston and Ogdensburg on the St. Lawrence river? Has any agreement yet been made and is this improvement to be part of the St. Lawrence seaway project?

Right Hon. 4V. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister): Correspondence has been

going on between the two governments, as my hon. friend knows, but I am not in a position to make a final statement as to the outcome. I hope to be able to do so within a fortnight.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY DEEPENING OF CHANNEL BETWEEN KINGSTON AND OGDENSBURG
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NATURAL RESOURCES

AGREEMENT WITH ALBERTA


The house resumed from Monday, April 28, consideration of the motion of Mr. Stewart (Edmonton) for the second reading of bill No. 17, respecting the transfer of the natural resources of Alberta.


CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. C. H. CAHAN (St. Lawrence^St. George):

Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to

retrace the arguments which I made last evening with regard to the terms of the Manitoba agreement, because these agreements in that respect are indentical in terms and those arguments will, I think, apply with equal force to the agreement with Saskatchewan and to the agreement with Alberta as now proposed to be amended by the amendment of which the hon. Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart) gave notice last evening. In order that the debate, so far as I am concerned, may be shortened, I trust no objection will be taken to my commenting now upon the Saskatchewan agreement as well as the Alberta agreement, because, in view of the amendment proposed, they are practically identical in terms.

These agreements with Alberta and Saskatchewan introduce certain new elements with regard to the maintenance of Roman Catholic schools in these two provinces and to the provisions for an equitable apportionment between the public and separate schools of the revenues derived from the school lands endowment fund and from the school lands in those provinces.

Since Canada became a British possession by the treaty of 1763, if one examines all the state documents year after year, it will be found that it has been the ardent desire of the Canadian people of the French race to retain the right to use the French language not only in their domestic circles but also in their schools and in the official life of the country. That right was exercised prior to confederation and was subsequently, at the time of confederation, embodied in section 133 of the British North America Act of 1867. Even to-day I may say the legislature of the province of Quebec has legislative jurisdiction -undoubtedly, I think-to enact that only the French language shall be used exclusively as a teaching medium in the schools of that province which are in receipt of financial grants from the provincial treasury. That right has never been exercised, I may say, to restrict the use of English in the schools of the Protestant minority. In the Northwest Territories in the earlier years there were a considerable number of French-speaking settlers who adhered to the Roman Catholic faith

Natural Resources-Alberta

The Northwest Territories Act of 1875, which was drafted by Edward Blake and passed by the government of Alexander Mackenzie, provided in section 11 that:

A majority of the ratepayers of any district or portion of the Northwest Territories, or any lesser portion or subdivision thereof, by whatever name the same may be known, may establish such schools as they may think fit and make the necessary assessment and collection of rates therefor.

It was thus provided that in districts or sections in which the Roman Catholic settlers were in a majority they could establish Roman Catholic public schools in which the French language could be taught if the majority in that district so decided. The eleventh section of that act provided further that:

The minority of the ratepayers therein, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, may establish separate schools therein, and that in such latter ease the ratepayers establishing such Protestant or Roman Catholic separate schools shall be liable only to assessment for taxes as they may impose upon themselves in respect thereof.

This eleventh section of the organic act of 1875, by which the Northwest Territories was established, provided therefore for the establishment of Roman Catholic public schools in districts in which the Catholics were in a majority, and for Roman Catholic separate schools in districts in which the Catholics were in a minority.

From discussions recently appearing in the public press of the province, of which I am one of the representatives, it would appear that there are many in that province having access to the public press who entertain the erroneous opinion that this organic law of 1875 still subsists; but such undoubtedly is not the case. The British North America Act of 1871 provided that:

The parliament of Canada may from time to time _ establish new' provinces in any territories forming for the time being part of the Dominion of Canada, but not included in any province thereof, and may, at the time of such establishment, make provision for the constitution and administration of any such province, and for the passing of laws for the peace, order, and good government of such province, and for its representation in the said parliament.

The third section of that Imperial Act makes provision for the alteration of the limits of any province and confirms the act of the parliament of Canada passed in 1870 establishing the province of Manitoba. The sixth section of that act provides that:

Except as provided by the third section of this act, it shall not be competent for the parliament of Canada to alter the provisions

of any other act hereafter establishing

new province' >n the said Dominion.

[Mr. Cahan.J

Thus by an act of the Imperial parliament1 of 1871 it was provided that when once the parliament of Canada had enacted a statute1 to establish the province of Saskatchewan, 01* the province of Alberta, carving these provinces out of the Northwest Territories, it had thereafter no power to alter the provisions of its own statute by which either of these provinces was first established. That I think is common ground. The Alberta Act to establish and provide for the government of Alberta was passed by this parliament in the year 1905, and the Saskatchewan constitutional act to establish and provide for the government of the province of Saskatchewan was passed in the same year. They are generally known as the constitutional acts of 1905. Both of these acts were passed when the late Sir Wilfrid Laurier-then more commonly known as Mr. Laurier-was Prime Minister of this Dominion. The bills introduced to this parliament for that purpose were framed admittedly by Sir Charles Fitzpatrick, the then Minister of Justice, and the acts in the form in which they now exist were passed by the votes of the Liberal members then representing the province of Quebec in this house, by the votes of such eminent Liberal statesmen of the day as the present Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), the present member for Bona-venture (Mr. Marcil) and, I think, the present Speaker of this house (Mr. Lemieux). In fact, I think if you read carefully the debates of 1905 you will perceive that with the exception of Messrs. Bergeron, Bourassa, La-vergne, Leonard, Monk, Morin and Paquet, every French-speaking member of the House of Commons of that day voted for these two acts in their present form which constitute and establish the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Canadian parliament was then fully informed that what it was then doing by those enactments could only be undone by virtue of another act of the Imperial parliament, and all parties to the passing of those acts were fully cognizant of the import and finality of the legislation then being passed.

Those two government bills were introduced by Mr. Laurier-later Sir Wilfrid Laurier-the then Prime Minister and leader of the house. They incorporated into the proposed constitutional acts of 1905 the educational provisions of the Northwest Territories Act of 1875. The act of 1875, which had been introduced by Hon. Alexander Mackenzie as Prime Minister, was in 1905 the organic law of the Northwest Territories. It was expressly provided in that law in section 11 thereof:

That the majority of ratepayers in any district or subdivision thereof may establish

Natural Resources-Alberta

such schools as they think fit and that the minority of ratepayers therein whether Protestant or Roman Catholic may establish separate schools therein.

These bills in the form in which they were first introduced by Mr. Laurier as Prime Minister made provisions for the maintenance of Roman Catholic public schools in the school districts in which the ratepayers of the Roman Catholic faith were in the majority, and for the continuance and maintenance of Roman Catholic separate schools in districts in which the Roman Catholic ratepayers were in the minority. If the bill as it was first introduced by Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1905 had been enacted by parliament it would have provided for the maintenance of Roman Catholic public schools in districts in which the Roman Catholics were in the majority and for the maintenance of Roman Catholic separate schools in school districts in which the Roman Catholics were in the minority. That bill if enacted would have rendered such legislation as was recently enacted by the legislature of Saskatchewan ultra vires of the legislature of that province. In 1905, however, after the second reading of the bill to establish these new provinces, as introduced by the Prime Minister of that day, Mr. Laurier deliberately abandoned the provisions of his bill which incorporated the organic law of 1875 and in lieu thereof he introduced in committee of the whole house a new section in substitution for the section in the bill as introduced, and this new section now appears as section 17 of both the Saskatchewan and Alberta acts. He and his government thereby, with the approval of parliament, restricted the rights and privileges of the Roman Catholic majority or minority as the case may be in any school section to those very restricted rights and privileges which might be exercised under the terms of chapters 29 and 30 of the Northwest Territories ordinances of 1901. Sir John Thompson, when Minister of Justice, declared these ordinances to be ultra vires of the legislature of the Northwest Territories in view of their educational clauses conflicting with the organic law of 1875. It is significant to recall to the attention of members of this house that before the second reading of the bill of 1905, the Hon. Clifford Sifton had resigned office in the government, and the Hon. W. S. Fielding had publicly protested against its terms. The bill as amended in committee passed on motion of Mr. Laurier after a prolonged discussion. The seventeenth section of the Alberta act of 1905, as well as the same section of the Saskatchewan act of 1905, now provides that each province may 2419-981

enact laws with respect to education with this restriction:

Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to separate schools which any class of persons have at the date of the passing of this act under the terms of chapters 29 and 30 of the ordinances of the Northwest Territories passed in the year 1901, or with respect to religious instruction in any public or separate schools as provided for in the said ordinances.

The proidsion of the Northwest Territories Act of 1875, which provides that in any district the ratepayers could organize schools as they thought fit were thereby superseded and wiped out by the constitutional acts of 1905. Under the provisions of the constitutional acts of 1905 Roman Catholic public schools, theretofore existing in school districts in which the Roman Catholics were in the majority, could no longer function as such. Catholic public schools have not existed since 1905 in either the province of Alberta or the province of Saskatchewan. I should like to direct the attention of the members of the house to that fact, and, if my voice would reach so far, I should like to direct the attention of many newspaper editors in the province of Quebec to that fact as well. Section 137 of the North-[DOT]west Territories school ordinance of 1901 provides :

1. No religious instruction, except as hereinafter provided, shall be permitted in the school of any district from the opening of such school until one-half hour previous to its closing in the afternoon, after which time any Buch instruction permitted or desired by the board may he given.

2. It shall, however, be permissible for the board of any district to direct that the school be opened by the recitation of the Lord's Prayer.

Those were the sole rights with regard to religious instruction which were retained and confirmed under the Alberta and Saskatchewan acts of 1905. The sole rights reserved to the majority or to the minority under these constitutional acts were thus stated in parliament by Sir Wilfrid Laurier on June 29, 1905, found at page 8495 of Hansard:

The minority in the district, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, if they are not satisfied with the treatment they receive from the majority, may establish a separate school. From the opening of the school up to half past three the education is given absolutely secular and absolutely under the control of the board of education of the province, in every particular

not only in the public schools but in separate schools as well.

By the sections of the act of 1905 which I have just read Sir Wilfrid Laurier stated that the majority should have the right also, under all circumstances, to this half hour of religious instruction. Last evening the Minister of

Natural Resources-Alberta

Justice (Mr. Lapointe) made rather a sarcastic and, it appeared to me, almost a sneering suggestion with respect to my alleged friends in the government of Saskatchewan. As a matter of fact, if he referred to personal friends, I think there is only one member of that government whom I ever met in a friendly, personal way. That is the attorney general of the province, who is a graduate of Dalhousie university in the city of Halifax, where I taught law. However, he has grown up since then, and I have met him only once since, as I remember. In discussing measures of this kind which come before parliament I accept full responsibility as a member of this house for the position I take in this house. If I were a member of the legislature of the province of Saskatchewan I would have different duties and responsibilities imposed upon me, and I ma3r say frankly-and any member of the house who knows my personal history will believe me-that if I had been a member of the legislature of the province of Saskatchewan I could not have given my support to the educational clauses of the legislation which recently passed that legislature. My own personal history has been consistent in that respect, and I direct the attention of the. Minister of Justice to the fact that whether my views were right or wrong, in 1896 I forfeited what were then splendid political prospects for a young man by standing, as I thought I _ ought to stand, by the Roman Catholic minority in the province of Manitoba in a constituency in which there were less than thirty Catholic voters, and where I was defeated by something less than 200 votes. Since that time in the province of Quebec, without any ostentation I have endeavoured as best I could to associate with members on either side of the house, political opponents as well as political friends, in protecting what I believe to be the rights and interests of the Roman Catholic residents of that province.

This I will say, however: If the Premier of Saskatchewan desires authority in favour of the absolute constitutional and legal right of the legislature of Saskatchewan to enact such restrictive legislation as was recently enacted by the legislature of that province, he has only to peruse the address of the lace'Sir Wilfrid Laurier delivered in this parliament in 1905. and he will ascertain that he may now proceed to exercise, without any legal or constitutional restraint, the legislative powers which were granted to Saskatchewan by the administration of Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1905. He will also find complete and unequivocal assurance that he is now exercising legislative powers which the late Sir Wilfrid Laurier and rMr. Cahan.]

Sir Charles Fitzpatrick, the then Minister of Justice, drafted for the express purpose, as declared by themselves, of vesting such ample legislative powers in the legislatures of these two new provinces, which legislative powers the present government of Saskatchewan recently exercised in respect to public schools. In the public schools of my own province, under an amicable arrangement made over sixty years ago by Sir Charles Tupper, who introduced the public school system of that province, Roman Catholics, say in the city of Halifax, had and in fact have their separate schools, by a tacit and conciliatory arrangement which never has been impinged upon. My own faith and belief is that in view of the fact that we have differing religious faiths throughout the length and breadth of this country, the better way would be to follow as an example the amicable arrangements which were made in my own native province under the supervision of Sir Charles Tupper, then Premier of that province. But in that debate Mr. Laurier-and I call him Mr. Laurier because he was not Sir Wilfrid Laurier at that time-

Topic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Subtopic:   AGREEMENT WITH ALBERTA
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Yes, he was.

Topic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Subtopic:   AGREEMENT WITH ALBERTA
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

He was Sir Wilfrid then.

Topic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Subtopic:   AGREEMENT WITH ALBERTA
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April 29, 1930