In the province of British Columbia the supreme court, which is the trial court of the province, has been trying divorce cases for many years. Its right to do so is based on the law of England, as of the year 1858, which has been held to have been in force in British Columbia when that province came into confederation. But it has been held also that the court of appeal for the province of British Columbia has no jurisdiction to hear appeals in divorce matters. The result is that the only appeal is to the privy council, and that means, of course, that there is no appeal at all except for the very wealthy people of the province. In every other province of the dominion in which the courts have and exercise jurisdiction in divorce causes there is an appeal to the appellate court of the particular province. This national parliament alone has the power to correct this situation, because by the British North America Act we were given the exclusive legislative authority in divorce matters. The purpose of this bill is merely to bring the practice in British Columbia into line with the practice in the other provinces.
Subtopic: PROVISION FOR APPEAL TO PROVINCIAL COURT OF APPEAL IN DIVORCE AND MATRIMONIAL CAUSES