March 12, 1902 (9th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

My hon. friend should not understand that I was opposed to codification. I was only pointing out the result of the codification of statutes in England and in Nova Scotia, with which I am ' more particularly familiar, respecting a body ; of judicial decisions.
notwithstanding that we in Quebec have our code. That code is construed by the i courts, and the construction put upon i articles of the code by the courts ought 5 naturally to have great force with us. They l have not force of law, but they certainly t have force of reason. Now, let us come l to the motion my hon. friend has pro-l posed. My hon. friend from Yarmouth (Mr. 1 Flint) said that this motion is not one of t verv great importance. I am disposed to t think myself that the subject is one rather - of academical importance than of .real prac-

tical importance. But my learned friend asks us by his motion to declare that the time has arrived when we should have uniformity of legislation in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario. Now, I think this motion is not of very great importance because, as pointed out by the leader of the opposition, section 94 of the British North America Act provides that before legislation which would be passed here could become operative as a law, it would be necessary for us to have that legislation approved by the local legislatures. Therefore, I think that the practical way to proceed in this matter would be to ask the local legislatures how soon they are going to be disposed to commit suicide, because the effect of this legislation would be to deprive them of power to legislate with respect to those subjects which warrants their continued existence. If yon take from out of the jurisdiction of the local legislatures the laws affecting property and civil rights, then you have taken from them all those subjects which make their continued existence justifiable.

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