March 24, 1944


The followng statement shows amount available to Province of Manitoba on 1st April, 1939, and the amounts paid up to November 30, 1943. Summary of Amounts Available and Amounts Paid to Provinces Under 1939 Extension to Technical Education Act of 1919. (To Nov. 30, 1943) Province Manitoba . Amounts available to provinces



Grants paid to provinces to Nov. 30, 1943, under extension



Paid in 1939-40



Paid in



Paid in



Paid in



Paid in 1943-44 to Nov. 30, 1943


CCF

George Hugh Castleden

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

In what year did

Saskatchewan receive its 8800,000?

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION ACT
Permalink
LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

In 1934 Saskatchewan

had a balance of S134.000. That has been used up since then.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION ACT
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Mr. Chairman, I bring to the attention of the committee the fact that there is something wrong with the printing of the bill. When a section is substituted for another section, and only a few words are changed, those words should be in italics in the bill, so that the members may see the change made. Section 8 of the act states:

Any portion of the ten million dollars appropriated under the act which may remain unexpended at the expiration of the fiscal year one thousand nine hundred and thirty-nine, whether previously carried forward or not, shall be carried forward and remain available according to its apportionments for the purposes of this act during any one or more of the five succeeding fiscal years, and no portion of the said ten million dollars shall be paid to any province after the thirty-fist day of March, one thousand nine hundred and forty-four.

As I say, section S of the act at present reads:

Any portion of the ten million dollars appropriated under the act which may remain unexpended at the expiration of the fiscal year one thousand nine hundred and thirty-nine. . . .

That is five years ago. We are to revive an amount that was spent five years ago. Why not make a grant in the usual fashion or have a new bill? The present act has almost expired1, and now on the 24th of March, just one week before the expiration of the last one of the five years after 1939, the minister brings in this legislation. The minister understands the situation very well, and he should give instructions to the legal officers of his department that labour legislation be drafted otherwise; it must be clear. In order to perpetuate the grant to one particular province, the minister tries to clean up the rusty wheels of past legislation to make it work in a fashion that is quite obsolete. I am not objecting because I complain of the principle of the legislation; what I complain about is bad legislation. It is enough to have

rottenly drafted orders passed by dollar a year men. Let us not follow their example. The only thing I ask is that we shall have clear legislation, legislation that reaches its objective, legislation that can be understood by a man who is not a lawyer but who will have to deal with it.

Topic:   TECHNICAL EDUCATION ACT
Permalink

Section agreed to. Bill reported, read the third time and passed.


EXCHEQUER COURT ACT

AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE


Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Minister of Justice) moved the second reading of bill No. 35, to amend the Exchequer Court Act.


NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, before this bill is read a second time I have one or two observations to make.

First of all, I should like to bring to the minister's attention the situation in connection with the Exchequer Court of Canada. At the present time I think there will be few who will disagree with the proposal in this bill to increase the membership of the court. I am hopeful that the minister, when he closes the debate on the second reading or during the committee stage, will indicate to the house whether there is not more behind the passing of this legislation perhaps than appears on the surface. I wish to raise my voice to-night in protest against what I think is fairly close to what the public believe is almost a national disgrace. I refer to a certain type of legislation that sometimes finds its way into the Senate and House of Commons. I refer to the time-honoured subject of divorce. I am not going to deal with it in any detail to-night. Suggestions have been made from time to time seeking to rid the two chambers of parliament of the scourge of having to deal with this type of legislation from year to year. I think most hon. members are agreed that if there is some sensible, sane way of having divorce dealt

Exchequer Court Act

with other than by a private bill in parliament, it is our duty and bounden obligation to find that better means and method.

It seems to me that the best method would be to refer the question of divorce to the Exchequer Court of Canada. That has been suggested already by my colleague, the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson), at a previous stage of this session. I repeat, with all the emphasis at my command, that I am hopeful that the government will delay no longer with respect to this matter, because not only is this house but, I suggest, the other place, too, sick and tired, if I may use an expression of the street, of dealing with divorce legislation in parliament. There is no justification, to my way of thinking, for continuing the present situation any longer. Perhaps this increase in the membership of the exchequer court is proposed for the reason that the court may deal with this very subject. I hope that the minister will give due consideration to that suggestion and that an end will speedily be put to parliament having to deal with this type of legislation. I think most decent people who are sent here by their constituents rebel against the hearing of evidence and all that is involved in this type of legislation. That is all I shall say at the moment, but there is so much to be said that perhaps on some other occasion, when the government sees fit, the matter may be further discussed.

There is a second point I wish to raise in the brief observations I have to make, namely, with reference to the way in which the exchequer court works. I can quite see that the minister may have been forced into the position of proposing an increase in the membership of the court largely because of the situation which has grown up in the court wherein there are delays with respect to legislation and the delivery of judgment. I do not want to make any criticism of those who are operating under the present system. I think that would be grossly unfair. I should not like any member of the house or any member of the public to think I was reflecting in any way upon any member of the exchequer court. What I have to say is with respect to the system, for which the government must, I think, take a heavy responsibility. I am told that there are many cases which have been argued and in which judgment has been outstanding for over a year. I do not know how many, but I am informed that they run into much larger numbers than is good for the general benefit and welfare' of litigants before the court.

Further, for some reason which does not seem to me a very good one, the president of the exchequer court has been required to sit as an ad hoc judge in the supreme court, leaving only a puisne judge to do the work of the exchequer court. The whole matter is in a position which has become a sort of bedlam as far as litigants and the general set-up are concerned. It is so serious that I deem it my duty in the interests of justice to bring it before parliament. Responsibility does not rest upon the judiciary but upon the government which permitted this situation to arise and to continue.

I also draw to the minister's attention that, because of accidents in which are involved members of the armed forces and certain jurisdictional questions, the exchequer court not infrequently has to deal with automobile damage cases, and that in some actions witnesses are brought from the far ends of the country at heavy expense to the parties. In addition to these matters, the congestion of business has put the court in an obviously unsatisfactory position. I should like to know why it is necessary to attach the president of the exchequer court to the supreme court as an ad hoc judge.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: I think it has happened

once.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
Permalink
NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

The minister says he thinks it has happened once. The information I have is that it has happened more than once, but if the minister is definite upon the point I should not like to challenge his statement.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: I do not think it has happened more than once in the last couple of years. I was informed by the president of the exchequer court that he had sat recently as ad hoc judge in the supreme court, but he mentioned it as being the first occasion on which it had happened since he became president of the exchequer court.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
Permalink
NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

I am glad that the minister has given that explanation, but may I point out that, in the face of so many undelivered judgments, this movement occurred at a time of exceptional congestion in the exchequer court, and I hope that it will not be repeated. The fact that the judge was called in on only one occasion does not dispose of the question of how long the particular sittings occupied in which he was concerned.

I do not wish to take up any more time on this matter, but I would stress the point of expense and inconvenience imposed on litigants who have to come from all parts of

Exchequer Court Act

Canada on eases connected with automobile damages. It has been drawn to my attention from time to time that the expenses involved in such proceedings may amount to more than the whole damage claim.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
Permalink
LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. McILRAITH:

Would the leader of the opposition permit a question?

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
Permalink
NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Yes.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
Permalink
LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. McILRAITH:

Do I understand him to say that the litigants have to come to Ottawa to these trials in the exchequer court?

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
Permalink

March 24, 1944