November 26, 1909 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Mr. J. A.@

CURRIE (North Simcoe) moved for leave to introduce a Bill to amend the Inspection and Sales Act. He said: I find that under the British North America Act, this parliament has exclusive jurisdiction in matters relating to weights and measures. This parliament in its wisdom has seen fit to pass legislation fixing standards for weights and other measures. Parliament has also passed an Inspection and Sales Act which deals with the standard weight of certain articles, such as a bushel of grain, a barrel of flour, a barrel of salt, a load of hay and a bag of potatoes in Quebec. Parliament has also fixed the weight of a dozen of eggs at one and a half pounds. I find, however, that the most important article of food entering into every-day consumption, that is the loaf of bread, has not been standardized by this parliament and the various municipalities and provinces have from time to time been struggling with this question, some of them endeavouring to fix the weight at one figure and others at another. Thus there is confusion and the law is not carried out. In consequence the public, especially the poorer classes, have suffered. I think that we should follow the wise legislation of the mother country and the other colonies in this respect and fix the weight of a loaf of bread as clearly as we have the right to do under the British North America Act.
This Bill is intended as an amendment and to become part 11 of the Inspection and Sales Act. The first clause defines the terms ' baker ' ' inspector ' and ' officers.'

The second clause provides that all bread sold by bakers shall be in loaves of one two and four pounds. That fixes a standard for the whole of Canada. Provision is made in the Bill for the carrying out of its provisions. It provides that inspectors under the Inspection and Sales Act, inspectors appointed under the Inland Revenue Act or other inspectors appointed by this government for special purposes, shall be considered inspectors under this part of this Bill. It also provides that the officials appointed under provincial statute or under municipal by-law, whose duty it would be to see to the enforcement of this Act, shall have jurisdiction in certain cases. Penalties are fixed for having bread under weight and also against a baker if he or the man who delivers his bread does not supply himself with proper scales and appliances to weigh the bread he is selling. I trust that the Minister of Inland Revenue, under whose care I presume this Bill will come, will expedite its passage through the House. I ask the indulgence of the House in reference to it because I think it is a measure in the interests of the public. It is an absolute necessity that we should have a standard weight for a loaf of bread and that standard should be so fixe'd that there will be some legal redress in case of a baker breaking the law.

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