January 26, 1939

DOMINION ELECTIONS

PROVISION FOR TAKING OF BALLOT ON SPECIFIC QUESTIONS OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE

CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. L. CHURCH:

(Broadview) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 11, respecting balloting on questions of great national importance.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR TAKING OF BALLOT ON SPECIFIC QUESTIONS OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Explain.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR TAKING OF BALLOT ON SPECIFIC QUESTIONS OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE
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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

The principle of this bill is to trust the people.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR TAKING OF BALLOT ON SPECIFIC QUESTIONS OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR TAKING OF BALLOT ON SPECIFIC QUESTIONS OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE
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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

That was a very popular plank of the Liberal platform, to trust the people. The bill is enabling legislation similar to that for many years in vogue in democratic countries. We are living in a new world and have over-government and over-taxation. At present the people have

Reformatories-Determinate Sentences

little or no control over their affairs or national property. The proposal embodied in this bill is found to be in the public interest and most useful, permitting the submission of important national questions to the wisdom and judgment of the electors. The provinces have used it extensively for years through the municipalities, thus providing an opportunity for giving the public a direct voice in government policies. It will create a prerogative of checks and balances and make for government "of the people, by the people and for the people." The governor in council can be thus enabled to submit to a vote any matter of national importance that parliament asks to be submitted, such as constitutional, parliamentary, cabinet and law reform, the transportation question, or any other domestic question, but no matters relating to defence on foreign affairs.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR TAKING OF BALLOT ON SPECIFIC QUESTIONS OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE
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PRISONS AND REFORMATORIES

PROPOSED SUBSTITUTION OP DETERMINATE FOR INDETERMINATE REFORMATORY SENTENCES


Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 12, to amend the Prisons and Reformatories Act.


?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Explain.

Topic:   PRISONS AND REFORMATORIES
Subtopic:   PROPOSED SUBSTITUTION OP DETERMINATE FOR INDETERMINATE REFORMATORY SENTENCES
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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

The Prisons and Reformatories Act gives the court jurisdiction to impose a definite and an indeterminate term in a reformatory. The bill proposes to substitute determinate for indeterminate sentences. The several expressions relating to "indeterminate sentence" are found in eighteen sections or subsections of the act and the draftsman considers it inexpedient to amend each of such sections by a separate clause. This bill would revert to the old law of sentences for a definite period only.

The indeterminate legislation has been condemned by many judges and magistrates as inhuman and illegal. Canada's prisons at present are filled with youth, many first offenders, who have been unable to secure work. The lack of employment, by cause and effect, is one of the reasons for crime. Recently the appellate division of the Supreme Court of Ontario in Rex V. Bond, 1937 O. R., page 535, judgment of Hon. Mr. Justice Middleton, questioned and made observations on the legality of such legislation, as the provinces only had fundamentally the right of providing confinement for one year and three hundred and sixty-four days, and also condemned it on grounds of public policy. The

law has not acted as a deterrent nor is it reformative. It should be repealed because in practice it confers on officials of these institutions the right to detain those who have not influence enough to have employment awaiting them at the end of a definite period and gives to their decisions the force of statute law.

Mr. Justice Middleton has criticized the present practice. Let me read what he says, in part:

Many judges and magistrates when imposing an indeterminate sentence address the prisoner somewhat in these terms: . . . "If during this determinate term you prove yourself to be a good prisoner, and comply with the rules of the institution and show a disposition to be law-abiding, the parole board may, at the expiry of the definite term, allow you your liberty. It all depends upon yourself and your conduct as to how much, if any, of the indefinite term you may be called upon to serve."

Thus encouraged, the prisoner proves to be a model prisoner. He gives every indication of his reformation, and is taken at the expiry of the definite term before the board. He is hopeful of liberty and full of good resolutions, and the board announces that by reason of an earlier conviction, a fact well known to the judge who imposed the sentence, they will not allow him parole, and he must serve the indefinite term. I can imagine no situation more cruel and more likely to convert a man really desiring to reform into an enemy of society.

Indeterminate sentences had their origin in Michigan, and have been adopted in many places. Fundamentally reformatories are for up to one year and three hundred and sixty-four days definite, and by being indeterminate are made four years. The legality of the vvhole thing is questioned and the court of appeal makes criticisms on its usefulness.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   PRISONS AND REFORMATORIES
Subtopic:   PROPOSED SUBSTITUTION OP DETERMINATE FOR INDETERMINATE REFORMATORY SENTENCES
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FOOD AND DRUGS ACT

AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT


Hon. C. G. POWER (Minister of Pensions and National Health) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 13, to ajnend the Food and Drugs Act. He said: The object of this bill is to amend the Food and Drugs Act, to broaden its scope and clarify certain features with a view to increasing its usefulness. It is thought that foods and drugs should be more clearly defined for purposes of classification and that certain materials not now covered by the act should be brought within the scope of the statute. Means are being sought to make more effective the restraints upon misrepresentation in the marketing of foods and drugs. 71492-22J Food and Drugs Act



It is the intention to bring within the scope of the act certain material used in the practice of surgery and for the purposes of medical diagnosis. It is the intention to extend the definition of drugs to include certain substances for which no medicinal claims are made but which may be injurious to human health. In addition, there are marketed to the general public, and extensively employed, certain extracts of animal tissues and other substances whose manufacture and sale should be strictly supervised in view of their potency for harm through uncontrolled distribution. Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.


TRADE AGREEMENTS

UNITED KINGDOM-UNITED STATES-CANADA- REQUEST FOR TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE


On the orders of the day:


CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. J. MANION (Leader of the Opposition) :

I should like to ask the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) if there has been tabled the preliminary correspondence with the United Kingdom dealing with what are called the triangular trade treaties recently negotiated. If this correspondence has not been brought down, would it be convenient to have it tabled before the discussion of the treaty in the house?

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   UNITED KINGDOM-UNITED STATES-CANADA- REQUEST FOR TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE
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January 26, 1939