January 19, 1911 (11th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)



No, I think my -hon. friend's -memory is short. This law was passed when a council for the Yukon was adopted. That council was not elective but was nominated by this government, and therefore to a certain extent, we were responsible for their actions. Also, if my memory does not fail me, this provision was introduced at the time giving power to this parliament to review the acts of this nominative body, and I think it was at the suggestion of the hon. member for North Toronto himself that it was done. I think, if he will consult ' Hansard ' he will find that it was his own suggestion, and a good one it was, -that when the council was nominated by us, we should keep a hand over it. But since that -time the council has been made elective, and though the council was made elective this provision was not abolished, and still we have to comply with the law, and give the sanction of parliament to this ordinance, blow my view of the matter is thi-s, and I think my hon. friend will agree with me, that unless we are prepared to substitute our own wisdom for the wisdom of the Yukon Council, and to say that we know better what is good for the people of that territory than they know themselves, then we can say that -we have power not to accept this, and to set it aside. But I -think, unless there is a strong reason to the contrary, there is a prima facie case why this ordinance -should be passed.

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