May 5, 1965

LIB

Anthony Robert Temple

Liberal

Mr. Robert Temple (Hastings South):

Mr. Speaker, in commencing my remarks I wish to highly commend the hon. Member for Greenwood (Mr. Brewin) for introducing this measure. Certainly the rights of the individual is something that affects us all and it is something of which we must always be aware and should see that at all times wherever possible-and we must make it possible- every accused person has the right to legal counsel. I also wish to commend the Government for having announced, as they did in the Throne Speech, the setting up of a Special Committee on Correction, and the Minister of Justice (Mr. Favreau) for having announced the make-up of that Committee this week. The Vice Chairman is the renowned Toronto criminal lawyer, Mr. G. Arthur Martin. This Committee will be dealing, I hope, with matters such as this raised today by the hon. Member for Greenwood.

I believe, Mr. Speaker, that the provision of a lawyer, or legal aid-whatever you want to call it-is essential right from the time an accused person is arrested. Quite often an accused person does not have a lawyer and does not know how to go about making an application for bail. Very often this results in too high a bail being set, and all the factors that should be taken into consideration on the accused's behalf are not taken into consideration. I believe it was Jefferson who said there should be "equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion." But I am sure there cannot be any equal justice where the kind of trial a man gets depends on the amount of money he has. All too often accused people are denied bail, or bail is set at too high a level and they are kept in prison awaiting trial, whereas the man with means is able to get bail set and be at liberty pending his trial.

Surely this is not something with which any of us can agree, namely this type of situation where the wealthy man can get his liberty and in many cases the poor man cannot. Bail is set to ensure the attendance of accused persons at their trial, and legal as-

sistance before trial to advise the accused with regard to his rights and how to present his application for bail is very vital to that accused person. All too often-although it happens very seldom in the area of Ontario from which I come-the accused person is unable to raise the $200, $300 or $400 bail and has to remain incarcerated awaiting his trial for some two or three weeks, whereas with regard to some types of offence perhaps 50 per cent, 60 per cent or 75 per cent of the people have no problem whatever in raising the money necessary for bail.

With regard to the provision of legal aid and bail, Mr. Speaker, I should like to refer to the Manhattan Bail Project, conducted by the Vera Foundation in the state courts of New York in conjunction with the New York University Law School and the Institute of Judicial Administration. The procedures there employed are essentially simple. This report says:

[DOT] (5:50 p.m.)

Adult prisoners brought to the Magistrates' Felony Court are interviewed by a group of law students from the evening division of New York University. Information is obtained on a variety of factors relevant to the prisoner's eligibility for pre-trial release, including his place of residence, employment, relatives living in New York City, criminal record, and period of residence in the city. With the prisoner's consent, his statements are verified principally by phone but occasionally by sending a student into the field for further investigation. Cases are identified in which the information collected suggests that the accused may safely be released without requiring-

-bail. It is interesting to note that of the first 200 cases of pre-trial liberty, as they call it down there, which means in fact released on your own recognizance by signing a bond and then putting up cash bail, only two accused failed to appear at trial.

Another matter which touches on the same question and which goes to the length of time that an accused has to spend in jail-on a capital crime, of course, bail is not allowed-is this. From the lawyer's point of view it is difficult to conduct an effective pre-trial examination and make a complete investigation while the accused is in prison awaiting trial. As I say, in capital cases there is no alternative. However, I would suggest that this committee on corrections could look into the cases of county towns that have only two assizes per year that can deal with capital cases, which means that if an accused is arrested, say one or two weeks after the end of the last assize, he will have to wait five or six months for his trial. There must surely

May 5, 1965

be some way to speed up his trial, and I hope the Committee on Corrections will also take this aspect into account.

Another matter regarding legal aid as proposed by my hon. friend from Greenwood is the fact that poor people who do not have the economic resources to provide their own bail have no alternative but to remain in prison. As I said earlier, it is very difficult to conduct a complete investigation into all the circumstances leading to arrest, which investigation is necessary to enable the lawyer to do his job at the trial. Therefore I believe that more accused should be released on their own recognizances. I believe that a committee should be set up to look into the circumstances of an accused's background, such as where he lives, where he is employed and whether he has any previous criminal record. This is done in the instance of juveniles, but in the case of an adult person awaiting trial no probation officer is available to do this work.

I believe that legal aid should be available to everybody. This is not to say that as of right any government must pay lawyers to conduct legal aid defences. That is not the point. The point, as I see it, is that everyone should have equal justice no matter what are the circumstances. Because if we do not have that, then this society will not exist for very long. Our society must be one in which the law is for both rich and poor; there should not be one law for the rich and one for the poor.

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR CONFERENCE ON PROVISION OF LEGAL AID
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?

Mr. R. Gordon L. Fairweather@Royal

Mr. Speaker, I am afraid that the time on the clock will mean that even if I gurgitate I will nevertheless talk this motion out, which makes me very sorry because it is a most important one. However, owing to the mechanics of the House today this motion will not get the consideration it deserves.

I want to commend the hon. Member for Greenwood (Mr. Brewin) for his motion, at the same time regretting the absence of the Minister of Justice (Mr. Favreau), who 1 should have thought might be present to hear these few comments. I have no quarrel with the hon. Member for Greenwood about the method he has advocated, of reaching a solution to this problem, but I am wondering why the National Association for the Administration of Justice is not functioning in this regard. Perhaps it is because we are afraid to use the word "national" now. I really do not care what title we give it, but this was an Association under the aegis of the Minister

Administration of Justice of Justice and the Attorneys General of the Provinces, including representatives of the Canadian Bar Association and the Provincial Bars. Such matters as, for example, the ridiculous lapse of time before bringing people to trial, which was mentioned by the last speaker, I know were being considered some years ago when I was a member of this committee.

My interest in Gideon's Trumpet-the rather colourful expression used to bring this deficiency to the attention of the public of North America-was aroused by the case of an 11 year old child held in jail, I am sorry to say not only in my Province but in my own constituency, without a charge being laid. This child was there for some five days until the padre who was visiting the jail telephoned me. Parliament happened to be in recess at the time so I was able to go to the jail quite shortly, to be told, I am sorry to say by a member of the R.C.M.P., not to interfere because they were about to break the child. This language will, of course, never be forgotten by me; it will always be a matter of regret. However, I was able to persuade the constable that if he did not release the child to me and have the matter brought before the magistrate it would not be the child who would be broken; and I do not mean by that in any physical sense, of course.

There is, Mr. Speaker, a great need for a public defender. The County of Los Angeles has had such officers for the last 35 years and this procedure could be well copied by Canada. I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Mr. Macdonald) will see that this very important motion receives the impetus it deserves.

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR CONFERENCE ON PROVISION OF LEGAL AID
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Mr. Speaker, on a question of privilege, in view of the importance of this question and the fact that it has had only 30 minutes debate, I wonder whether the House would be willing to give unanimous consent that it retain its present position on the Order Paper?

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR CONFERENCE ON PROVISION OF LEGAL AID
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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Batten):

Is it the

unanimous opinion of the House that Notice of Motion No. 3 retain its present position on the Order Paper?

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR CONFERENCE ON PROVISION OF LEGAL AID
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR CONFERENCE ON PROVISION OF LEGAL AID
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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Batten):

It is

agreed.

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR CONFERENCE ON PROVISION OF LEGAL AID
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PC

Robert Gordon Lee Fairweather

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fairweather:

Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether this is in order, but considering the generosity of the House I should

May 5, 1965

Administration of Justice very much like to make some more extended remarks. However, I do not want to butt in on anybody else's time.

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR CONFERENCE ON PROVISION OF LEGAL AID
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Then adjourn the debate.

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR CONFERENCE ON PROVISION OF LEGAL AID
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PC

Robert Gordon Lee Fairweather

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fairweather:

Then, Mr. Speaker, I adjourn the debate.

At six o'clock the House adjourned, without question put, pursuant to Standing Order.

Thursday. May 6, 1965

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR CONFERENCE ON PROVISION OF LEGAL AID
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May 5, 1965