June 17, 1948 (20th Parliament, 4th Session)

PC

William Alexander McMaster

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McMASTER:

-is intended to keep in the hands of the attorney general of Ontario at least, because it is the only province to which it refers, the power to decide when a prosecution is to be instituted with regard to
Industrial Relations

the desecration of Sunday. Every argument used by the Minister of Justice as to prosecutions under the Lord's Day Act could be equally applicable to any other act. That is, anybody who thinks that anyone else has broken the law of the country can institute a prosecution, and it is only proper that he should. If the magistrate thinks that the act is one which does not justify prosecution, he can refuse to allow an information to be laid or if the matter goes on and it is found that it was instituted in a manner that was blameworthy, it may be a matter of malicious prosecution.
I submit again that every argument advanced by the Minister of Justice for the passage of this act is equally applicable to any other prosecution under the criminal code. I do not think we should pass this bill. I do not think the attorney general of each province should be the arbiter of what prosecution should be instituted.
Attorneys general change. The attorney general is a part of the executive. This is just carrying on this principle to which we have been objecting in this house on many occasions, that the executive has taken charge of the government of this country, and that the people, and even parliament, are being pushed aside. I shall oppose this bill.

Topic:   LORD'S DAY ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS AS TO LEAVE TO PROSECUTE- REPEAL OP ONTARIO PRE-CONFEDERATION STATUTE
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