Convention Act, interpretation clause states that the minister for the purpose means the Minister of the Interior; that has not been changed. The order in council .simply transfers to the Department of Justice the police work, carrying out the regulations, dealing with illegal shooting.
Migratory Birds Convention Act
In order to clear the matter up I will read the clause of the order in council, being P.C. 2283-
Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Justice and under the provisions of section 2 (a) of chapter 165, revised statutes of
Canada, 1927, is pleased to order that the responsibility for the police work in connection with the enforcement of the provisions of the Migratory Birds Convention Act and regulations thereunder throughout Canada be and it is hereby transferred from the Department of the Interior to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. All other responsibilities under the said act to remain with the Department of the Interior.
According to the terms of the order in council the Department of Justice, through the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, will be charged with the police duties, but other phases of the act will continue to be enforced by the minister of the Department of the Interior.
Convention Act was passed following an agreement between this country and the United States for the conservation of the wild bird life of this continent, dealing solely with migratory birds. There are many other duties beyond that of merely police work in protecting the birds from illegal shooting during certain ^seasons of the year. It is a much broader question, it deals with the conservation of the wild bird life of this continent, which is very important. One phase of the duties would be the establishment, as has been done, of sanctuaries throughout Canada where no shooting is allowed. Also studies of the habits of these birds, in order that a proper understanding may be had of them with a view to necessary regulation or legislation for their conservation and increase. Merely protecting them from illegal shooting is only a small part, I would say, of the duties of the Department of the Interior in conserving these birds.
That does not do away with the argument I advanced the other day about conflict of jurisdiction. I do not want
to go over the ground again, but I believe I [DOT]showed the other day that in the application of that law there will be conflict between federal and provincial jurisdictions. I believe that could be cured by an amendment, after the words "game officers"-
in districts and territories where the federal government has full jurisdiction.
I know from personal knowledge of many occasions in northern Ontario when conflict has arisen-not open rivalry, because I say here that all mounted police are glad to work in cooperation with municipal and provincial police. But I believe there is an anomaly there which should be remedied. Surely the federal government does not want to interpose its authority where a province has full jurisdiction. I believe that amendment would do away with a lot of criticism and things that have happened in the past.
The Minister of Justice in answer to my question said it was within the authority of the federal government, in the case of an international treaty of this nature, to impose upon the provinces the application of that law. So why the conflict of authority? I do not see the necessity of it, and I take it the Minister of Justice and also the Minister of the Interior want to avoid any friction.
I think my hon. friend's anticipation of friction is purely imaginary. His amendment would confine the federal jurisdiction to rvha,t we know as the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. The rest of this country is allotted to the various provinces who have sovereign rights in their respective portions. There is no conflict of jurisdiction with regard to an international treaty, the federal government being vested with power to carry out in the various provinces the provisions of such treaties. I cannot imagine that there will be any conflict between the provincial and federal authorities with regard to this particular convention. If my hon. friend's amendment were to carry the jurisdiction of the federal authorities would be confined to the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. Protection is not nearly so necessary in those parts of Canada as it is in the more settled portions where there are more sportsmen and more guns. It is to protect the migratory birds in these districts that this convention is framed.
Mr. Chairman, I should like to make one or two observations with regard to this bill. In the first place I am opposed to a division of jurisdiction between the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice
Migratory Birds Convention Act
in connection with the enforcement of the provisions of this bill and the conservation of wild game. I am opposed also, by inference, to the suggestion which, according to the Minister of Justice, has been made by the commissioner of the mounted police to the effect that it would be a bad principle to appoint specific men by name. I have the greatest respect for this officer but I contend that parliament should decide these questions and not any gentleman who happens to be the head of the mounted police. I do not say it is deliberate, but there does seem to be a tendency to take away from various departments of government certain powers which are turned over to the mounted police. It is possible to go too far in this direction. The provisions of the old bill were better in every way. Under the present bill I think there will be a conflict in authority. It is all very well to say that it is only the policing that is being vested in the Deportment of Justice, but the fact remains that there were very few complaints against the old game officers under the Department of the Interior. I am afraid too much authority is being vested in the mounted police. Lost year they took over the preventive service, it is now being proposed that they shall take over the migratory bird service and next year it may be something else. I wish to sound a word of warning against the vesting of too much authority in the mounted police of Canada.
Mr. Chairman, supplementing what the Minister of Justice (Mr. Guthrie) has so well said as to there being no conflict of jurisdiction in these matters, I wish to say that the provinces and the dominion have always worked in the fullest cooperation. There has been no conflict in enforcing the provisions of the act or establishing closed seasons during certain periods of the year. The hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Mackenzie) fears that the jurisdiction is being divided, but may I say that we are only doing now in the maritime provinces what has been done in all parts of Canada during the past years. Last year the mounted police took over the duties previously performed by the provincial police in the provinces of the west. The enforcement of the police regulations of this act, if I may so term them, was carried out by the provincial officers in the western provinces and last year this work was taken over by the mounted police. We are only doing now in the maritime provinces what has been done throughout the rest of the country.
It has been general in each province. In the province of Ontario the provincial police officers have been in the main enforcing the police regulations of this act, as was the case in the western provinces until last year, when the provincial police duties were taken over by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I do not think there is any basis for the fears of my hon. friend.
what has been said by the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Mackenzie) I agree fully in so far as the taking away of further rights from the provinces is concerned. As one who delights in spending as much time as he can during the proper seasons in the bush and on the streams, I think it is a great mistake to change the officials who have been administering this law. In the districts with which I am acquainted, I think the law has been administered very efficiently. It has been my good fortune to have travelled extensively in the Gatineau valley and north of Maniwaki, and I have always found that the officials in Quebec were looking after their duties in a most efficient manner. I have the greatest admiration for that very wonderful corps called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and I know how efficiently they discharge all duties entrusted to them. I have no doubt that they would be able to carry out such duties as are required under this act in an efficient manner as far as the urban and more thickly settled districts are concerned, but I do not think this would apply to the more thinly populated sections. These game wardens travel by canoe and on foot over every inch of their country, they have the qualifications and the aptitude to discharge their duties, and I do hope that these men will be maintained in their present positions. I do not think the mounted police would be able to perform these duties as efficiently as the present game wardens.
With all due respect to the Minister of Justice (Mr. Guthrie) I must tell him and the house that I know from personal experience that there have been many instances of conflict between the two authorities in northern Ontario. I should like to quote from Hansard at page 1777. I asked the minister the following question:
I would ask the Minister of Justice: This act we ate dealing with being an international matter, is there in the constitution machinery which will allow the federal government to ask the provincial governments to apply this act?
Migratory Birds Convention Act
The Minister of Justice replied:
There is a provision in our constitution that in regard to international treaties the federal government can enact laws imposing upon a province whatever is necessary to carry out an international obligation. This being an international obligation, a matter of treaty between Canada and the United States, the federal government is empowered to pass such laws as are necessary to put it into force in the various provinces of Canada.
When you have two police bodies, the provincial police and the mounted police, there is bound to be conflict if they are both given the same jurisdiction. I should like to inquire of the minister if the officers of the mounted police would be also justices of the peace?
For the reasons mentioned when this bill came up before, I think it is my duty to protest once more against the enactment of this legislation. As I pointed out at that time, I think this power, if put into force, will have the effect of depriving of their livelihood many humble people in my constituency who earn their living by having been appointed under the authority of the Department of the Interior to enforce the law under the direction of Mr. Lewis. It is not fair of the government to take such action. I see in it also a certain kind of propaganda the government wants to spread, because when these officials of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are appointed to patrol a whole district, they will have in a way a say at election times. Although I do not know whether all those who have been appointed of recent years to the mounted police are of any one political party, there is no doubt that when they will have charge of the enforcement of the law in those districts, they will be much more severe on the people there than would the officials who were formerly appointed. Those who were appointed before under the direction of Mr. Lewis were men who knew the territory in which they were serving, and so far I have not heard of any complaint against them or against the work which Mr. Lewis has been performing in that district.
As I said before, the government in these matters every year brings in too much legislation giving most extensive powers and territory to cover to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I quite agree with the remarks made by the hon. member for Vancouver Centre when he said that year after year new legislation is introduced giving broader powers to
the mounted police. I may put it in a word, as I said the other day, that the government seems to have gone mad on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I do not think the government will gain anything by amending the law in the way they want to do.
over Bill No. 19, to amend the Migratory Birds Convention Act, it would seem to transfer to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police the enforcement of the recommendations contained in the Migratory Birds convention. I understand that laws are passed in this house and then most of them are left to the provinces to enforce. In our province of Quebec we have special legislation covering the protection of migratory birds and game; we have also our own game keepers appointed under provincial laws, to enforce our legislation. According to the proposed measure, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are to be made game wardens. The result will be, for instance, if a mounted police officer, appointed under this legislation as a game warden, sees at a railway station or a wharf, some game, he will bring the offender before a police court magistrate. Then the court will be open to receive a writ of certiorari, and a writ of summons and a petition declaring a statement of claim that the legislation that is being passed this afternoon should be declared ultra vires.
This bill does not propose to interfere in any way with the local game laws of any province or with the enforcement of those laws. The only proposal in this bill is to change the nature of the inspectors from civilians who have been appointed heretofore to members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.