May 29, 1935

CON

Richard Burpee Hanson (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Naturally, consideration has been given to the matter.

Weights and Measures Act

I must state frankly that my attention has not been called to it before but now that it has been I shall give instructions to have consideration given it.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

I must thank the minister for his answer. The matter was called to the attention of his predecessor in office, and I am under the impression that it might best be dealt with by amending the Weights and Measures Act. Although I am not sure, that was my impression.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Permalink
CON

Richard Burpee Hanson (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I am advised that it cannot be done in that way. It will have to be done some other way. However I shall certainly look into the matter; this is the first time I have heard of it.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Does a definition of false and unjust weights appear in the act?

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Permalink
CON

Richard Burpee Hanson (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

No, there is no definition of false and unjust weights, but there is-*

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Well, judges cannot interpret legislation of that kind. If false and unjust weights are not defined, then it would be impossible to give a proper decision. This goes to show how badly and carelessly legislation is being drafted by people who know nothing about drafting it at all. Here we have a provision concerning false and unjust weights. A judge may say, "What is a false or an unjust weight?-the law does not show it." Here we have a bombastic gentleman saying that we are to have a new deal. What is there in a new deal, if the government does not define what is wrong? The minister states there is no definition of a false or unjust measure. Did the price spreads commission sit almost a year for nothing? The most important part of the legislation is to have a definition of the offence. The minister is an able lawyer, but he comes to this house with third-rate legislation respecting weights and measures, and we find that the definition is missing. How does the minister expect the law to be applied or a penalty imposed if a false or an unjust weight is not defined. Would he be kind enough to explain to me what his interpretation would be if he were on the bench and hearing a case of this kind?

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Permalink
CON

Richard Burpee Hanson (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Well, I shall do the best I can for the hon. member, but I do not guarantee to satisfy him. Under section 64 there may 'be two classes of cases coming within the provisions of the statute.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Permalink
LIB
CON

Richard Burpee Hanson (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Section 64 of the act, which we are now amending. At the present time we are amending it in one particular, namely that of increasing the penalty for violation, as recommended by the royal commission on price spreads. That is as far as we have gone. There are two classes of cases which come under section 64 which deals with false or unjust weights. In the first instanoe an unjust scale means a scale with a mechanical manipulation capable of making the scale weigh unjustly, and the second interpretation is a proper scale improperly or unjustly operated through not being kept in true balance. These are the two types of cases which come under the section, and I believe the statute as it now reads has worked efficiently. There has been no demand for any change in that respect. All we are seeking to do in the amendment to section 64 is to increase the penalty for violation.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Permalink
LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I should like to draw the minister's attention to the fact that the offences indicated under sections 65 and 66 are in their nature more serious than those indicated in sections 63 and 64. I would suggest that those sections be amended so that the penalties would be at least as serious as the penalties under the first two sections I named.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Permalink
CON

Richard Burpee Hanson (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

That may be true, but I would point out to the hon. member, who is a lawyer, that under sections 63 and 64 mens rea or intent to defraud is not an integral part of the offences, while it is under sections 65 and 66. The department has made a distinction because of that reason.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Permalink
LIB
LIB
LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

An offence where mens rea is a necessary element is a more serious offence. You have this situation. A person who innocently has an unjust scale in his possession is subjected to the heavy penalties prescribed by this legislation, while a person who wilfully commits a fraud under section 65 or wilfully makes or sells or causes to be made or sold any false or unjust weight is subjected to only a slight penalty which is utterly out of keeping with the seriousness of the offence.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Permalink
CON

Richard Burpee Hanson (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I do not think the question is a practical one. I

Weights and Measures Act

understand that there has not been a prosecution under section 65 or section 66 for years. It is a matter of opinion; perhaps the hon. gentleman is right; I am not going to back my opinion against his. The question does not arise at the moment under the legislation now before the house. We are trying to follow in this regard the report of the royal commission. That is the only observation I can make in regard to it.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Permalink

Section agreed to. Sections 12 to 14 inclusive agreed to. On section 15-Size or capacity of containers, etc., to be in terms of dominion measure.


CON

Richard Burpee Hanson (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I should like to make an observation in regard to this section. This is a departmental amendment and is altogether new, and public attention I think ought to be drawn to it. The amendment, as will be observed by the note on the opposite page, is designed to prevent the sale and use in Canada of articles such as domestic measuring cups, water bottles, preserving crocks, and so forth, in foreign wine sizes. For example, the wine five-gallon preserving crock contains only four and one-sixth imperial gallons but it is sold as a five-gallon crock and competes with and undersells the larger Canadian five-gallon crock. That is not fair. If we are to have the imperial gallon in this country we ought to carry it through to its legitimate conclusion. The intention is to stand on the imperial gallon in Canada.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Permalink
UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARDINER:

May I inquire what provision is made by the department for the dhecking of these measures in order that they may be absolutely correct? A complaint was made to me some time ago that the cost of stamping utensils as measures for liquids was very considerable.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Permalink
CON

Richard Burpee Hanson (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

These

utensils are not measures at all, but they are examined at the time of importation or at the factory if they are made in Canada, and I understand that there is no fee charged for that.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Permalink
UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARDINER:

But is there not a fee in the case of measures that are stamped?

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Permalink

May 29, 1935