February 25, 1902 (9th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Mr. I@

I may add to the remarks made by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) that this Bill is a very timely one, because, according to a recent decision rendered by the Privy Council in the case just cited, that of Roy and the Canadian Pacific Railway, the jurisprudence of our courts in the province of Quebec has been completely reversed. In that case, it was decided by our courts, that the railway company was responsible for damages caused to a settler in the northern district of Montreal, and the judgment so rendered by the Superior Court was unanimously confirmed by the Court of King's Bench. The same jurisprudence has been upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in cases arising in the province of Quebec. But when we go before the Privy Council the whole jurisprudence, all the precedents, are reversed, and a new jurisprudence is created. The above judgment, I may say, has caused an uneasy feeling in the province of Quebec. Our judges have been slighted and our law has been completely ignored. We have been told by their Lordships of the Privy Council, that in matters of damages and torts we are to be governed by the English common law. With all due respect to that law, I may say that we, in the province of Quebec intend to maintain the system of laws and the customs which have been granted and secured to us by the constitution of this country. I think the Bill presented by my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier is a timely one, and ought to receive the full support of this House. *

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