June 25, 1965

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Ah, "what the law provides," what political considerations determine.

I recall a case in Manitoba in the days when Mr. Bennett was Prime Minister. A District Court judge was involved. I think the course followed at that time was to set up a commission to look into the matter. I know the judge subsequently ran for Parliament and was almost successful. But I wonder where the administration of justice is going in this country when you have one judge sitting in judgment, with a record such as was determined against him, without successful answer, by a Royal Commission and another who, merely as a coincidence, happens to have been a member of this House of Commons for

June 25, 1965

a long time and who today receives-what is it?-$1500 a month? He will not worry about when the appeal is called. It will not disturb him. He is getting $50 a day for waiting.

Topic:   JUDGES ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO PROVIDE FOR ADDITIONAL JUDGES
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LIB

George James McIlraith (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Mcllraith:

Would the right hon. gentleman permit a question? Is he arguing that it is legal to withhold the pay of this man as long as he is on the bench? I am talking about the latter case?

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Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO PROVIDE FOR ADDITIONAL JUDGES
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I am sure the hon. gentleman did not choose those words very carefully. If he is on the bench the Government should be on the penitents' bench in this regard. If ever there was a case for giving leave of absence without pay, this is one.

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Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO PROVIDE FOR ADDITIONAL JUDGES
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LIB

George James McIlraith (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Mcllraith:

The law does not permit the withholding of his pay.

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Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO PROVIDE FOR ADDITIONAL JUDGES
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I ask the hon. gentleman this. Does he say in his capacity as President of the Privy Council that no such limitation can be made when granting leave of absence?

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?

Mr. Mcllrailhr Yes.Mr. Diefenbaker@

I seem to recall a judge asking for leave of absence for some personal purpose. He asked to be relieved of his responsibilities as a judge in order to fill a certain public position and he was granted that leave of absence without pay.

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Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO PROVIDE FOR ADDITIONAL JUDGES
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LIB

George James McIlraith (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Mcllraith:

Because he asked for it. But it is a statutory right which cannot be taken away arbitrarily by a government. That is the point.

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Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO PROVIDE FOR ADDITIONAL JUDGES
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

If the hon. gentleman's memory on this question is no better than it was a moment ago, I am not going to accept that.

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LIB

George James McIlraith (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Mcllraith:

I would pit my memory against the imperfection of the right hon. gentleman's memory at any time.

[DOT] (5:10 p.m.)

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I know it hurts. Instead of getting up like this, the hon. gentleman should be doing something to uphold justice in this country, rather than having a man paid as a judge while he waits for the opening of the prison gates. I want to see the correspondence to find out why leave of absence was given. I am going to have that correspondence asked for.

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LIB

George James McIlraith (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Mcllraith:

Good.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I shall do this to ascertain whether, when he applied for leave of absence, there was any suggestion that while

Judges Act

he was on that leave of absence he should not be receiving his pay. It should be interesting to see. I will be very surprised if he is sitting-

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NDP

Harold Edward Winch

New Democratic Party

Mr. Winch:

Mr. Chairman, could I ask the Leader of the Opposition a question? With his experience as Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and as an honourable member of the Bar, can the right hon. gentleman inform this House whether he has ever known of a judge who has been convicted, with an appeal pending, obtaining leave of absence with pay provided by the taxpayers of Canada? Does the right hon. gentleman have any record or knowledge of such a thing happening before?

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Chairman, I would hope under heaven that it never happened before.

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NDP

Harold Edward Winch

New Democratic Party

Mr. Winch:

You mean it has happened now?

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I know of no such incident. All I do know is this. I am waiting for the facts-the hon. gentleman was quick to interrupt-to ascertain whether the fact is that this justice asked for leave of absence so that he might wait around for the airing of his appeal and receive his pay during the interim. I would like to see the documents in that connection, because it is a terrible commentary on justice and one that naturally arouses one's feelings. After all, the bench is something set apart. I have appeared on hundreds of trials before judges who people sometimes said were appointed because they were politically fit, and I never knew a case in which that justice did not discharge his responsibility free of any suggestion of partisan bias.

We are not going to disqualify people from the bench because they are politically inclined, because they are going to give part of their lives to the public service. But once a judge, having been an outstanding politician, is convicted of an offence surely we should not anoint him by making payment to him of his salary, if there is any way in which it can be got around; and if there was not any way, when he asked for leave of absence it should have been subject to qualifications, one of those qualifications being, "You are not going to get your indemnity". Why give him leave of absence? Why not have him sit on the bench? The leave of absence is simply because he asked to be freed of the responsibility to dispense justice to others. This matter has to be subject to fuller examination than it has been given.

June 25, 1965

Judges Act

In so far as Ontario is concerned, I come back to this. What about Mr. Justice Landre-ville? Is he carrying on as a judge now; and is it in keeping with our traditions of justice that a judge against whom allegations were made should be dispensing justice? What do you think of litigants appearing before a justice under those circumstances?

What about Mr. Justice Meunier? Can you imagine appearing before him? Yet if you accept the principle that he can get the pay, why should not he also carry out his responsibility? It is so utterly preposterous that it is shocking. We will have more to say about that, Mr. Chairman, but I would like to hear about the Mr. Justice Landreville case, because as a Member of the Bar of Ontario the President of the Privy Council must know that the Benchers want to know why this extraordinary consideration was given a member of the court of justice in allowing him to sit after the condemnation that was levelled at him. And they have given a great deal of study to it; it is not a question of the Benchers coming to a determination on the basis of hearsay. All experienced lawyers are desirous of upholding the bench and the bar, and all have asked for action in Mr. Justice Landreville's case. Yet in the face of that he sits and dispenses justice. What about that? Is he doing his job well? Is he carrying out his responsibilities? Will there be an early retirement in his case so that there will be another appointment to the High Court of Justice of Ontario?

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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Order, please. We have passed five o'clock without reporting progress on the resolution. Perhaps that should be done at this time and then the House may decide, with the Speaker in the Chair, whether it wants to further consider this resolution in Committee.

Progress reported.

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LIB

John Watson MacNaught (Minister Without Portfolio; Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. MacNaughl:

Mr. Speaker, I think it is the desire of all hon. Members' that the private Members' hour be waived for this day.

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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Is it agreed to waive the private Members hour at this time?

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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

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Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO PROVIDE FOR ADDITIONAL JUDGES
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June 25, 1965