Hon. C. H. CAHAN (Secretary of State):
Mr. Speaker, very briefly I wish to state my position with regard to this bill. I cannot vote for it because, after careful study, I believe it to be ultra vires of the parliament of Canada. This parliament has jurisdiction in criminal matters, and we enacted section 236 of the criminal code dealing with lotteries. When we enacted that section dealing with the criminal aspects of the creation and administration of lotteries, so far as provincial lotteries are concerned, I think we exhausted our legislative jurisdiction.
By this bill the parliament of Canada purports to authorize the attorney general of any province to authorize a committee created by himself to organize a sweepstake for the purpose of raising money for the benefit of one or more hospitals within such province. I should like some hon. gentleman to inform me where, under the British North America Act, we acquire jurisdiction over the attorney general of a province which would permit us to authorize him to create a committee to raise money for certain provincial purposes. I do not think that power exists within the four corners of the British North America Act. Section 92 of that act provides:
In each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to matters coming within the classes of subjects next hereinafter enumerated; that is to say
7. The establishment, maintenance, and management of hospitals, asylums, charities and eleemosynary institutions in and for the province, other than marine hospitals.
This bill deals with the raising of money for provincial hospitals; as I understand it that is the principle and policy of the bill, yet the raising of money for such hospitals, for their establishment, their maintenance and their management, is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the legislature of the province. Therefore I personally raise my objection to placing upon the statute books of Canada a bill at least four-fifths of which I believe to be beyond the jurisdiction of this parliament.
Hospital Sweepstakes-Mr. Cahan
If I may be permitted to do so I should like to examine section 3 of the bill. This section contains twelve paragraphs, by which we authorize the attorney general of the province to authorize a committee to organize a sweepstake for the purpose of raising provincial funds. Under the authority of the attorney general we authorize this committee to specify the hospital or hospitals to be benefited; to specify the person or persons to whom the moneys to be applied for the benefit of the hospital or hospitals shall be paid; to specify the event or events upon which the winner or winners of the sweepstakes shall be determined; to specify when the sale of tickets may commence and when it must cease; to specify the price of tickets; to specify the form and contents of the tickets; to specify what portion or what amount out of the proceeds of the sale of tickets shall be applied for the benefit of the hospital or hospitals, what portion shall be applied for defraying the expenses of the sweepstake and what portion shall be paid in prizes; to specify how many prizes there shall be, and so on. Certainly all these provisions are beyond the authority of the parliament of Canada when dealing with the raising of funds for a provincial purpose. [DOT]
Subtopic: BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES