I rise not so much to refute what the hon. member has just said as to give an additional reason why this amendment should not be accepted.
I am not going to enter into a debate with the hon. gentleman from Essex East as to whose attitude in this committee has been more appropriate. I simply remind the committee that the hon. gentleman himself has a peculiar approach to these matters. He seems to believe that the right to reply should be entirely on one side and that it does not matter what sort of argument or in what terms, larded with what undesirable or offensive innuendo, he speaks, those on this side have no right to put forward a contrary point of view. But I shall leave it there. The committee has heard the discussion and the committee will decide upon which side lies the responsibility for any, shall I say, sharp exchanges which may have taken place.
I admit at once that it is desirable in discussions of this kind to keep them on a high plane at all times. I suppose the obligation in that respect does lie a little more on this side than it does on the hon. gentleman, and there I perhaps pay him an indirect compliment when I say he has a facility for rapidly reducing discussion to levels to which perhaps it is desirable it should not descend.
But let us deal with this question, and I shall be glad to deal with it quite objectively. I do not for a moment question the ability of Mr. Mundell, nor do I say that in the mind of the Minister of Justice personally rests this vast store of knowledge that warrants his rejecting this amendment. I say simply that as a result of the best consideration we can give the question we have concluded that the views put forward by the hon. member for Essex East, whether they be his own or not, in this amendment are not acceptable because they do not serve the purpose we have in mind for the bill of rights as we have prepared it. I am not going to repeat my earlier arguments, but I shall add one further argument which substantiates the position I have taken.
If the committee will read carefully the amendment put forward by the hon. member for Essex East, hon. members will find that although it might be operative with respect to statutes it is almost entirely deficient with respect to regulations, rules and orders, whereas our bill of rights by a combination of clause 2 and the interpretation provision in clause 5 will have effect with respect not only to the statutes but with respect to all orders, rules and regulations made thereunder in the future as well as in the past.
If you look at subsection 1 of the amendment you will find that it reads:
Every act of the parliament of Canada and every order, rule and regulation thereunder in force at the commencement of this section, and all laws in Canada that are subject to be repealed, abolished or altered by the parliament of Canada in force at the commencement of this section, are hereby amended by repealing or revoking them-
Regulations that are in force at this time
would, it is true, be affected by the provision as it is drawn but the amendment is deficient because it does not contain a provision to bring regulations hereafter enacted, under its operation. It is true that subsection 2 does refer to "no act of the parliament of Canada passed hereafter" but that omits all reference to regulations or orders, and "act of parliament of Canada" is not a phrase which is included in the definition of law as we have it in the bill. It is by reason of our definition of "law" our bill has application to all orders and regulations made under statute. There is a vital deficiency in the amendment as drawn.
This, it may be argued, is perhaps a technical objection to the amendment, but it is one of importance because it reveals that there is a wide field of statutory orders and regulations which we believe a bill of rights should cover, both past and future, that are omitted from the amendment as submitted by the hon. member for Essex East. Because we want our bill of rights to be effective in all fields we, for that additional reason, have come to the conclusion that the amendment should not be accepted.
Amendment (Mr. Martin, Essex East) negatived: Yeas, 22; nays, 32.
Subtopic: MEASURE PROVIDING FOR RECOGNITION AND PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS