June 4, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)


George Henry Barnard

Conservative (1867-1942)


I should like to say a word or two along the same line as my hon. friend from Richmond (Mr. Kyte) with regard to the salaries of the county judges in the province of British Columbia, and in doing so I would point out to the Minister of Justice, that not only do the county court judges in that province do the great majority of the criminal work of British Columbia, but their civil jurisdiction is also very considerably greater than the civil jurisdiction of the county judges of the province of Ontario. They have jurisdiction in contract cases up to $1,000 and in equitable jurisdiction and jurisdiction in court to an amount not exceeding $2,500, which I think is considerably greater than the province of Ontario. In addition to that the province of British Columbia has taken the stand quite rightly I think, that it is no part of their business to pay any portion of the salaries of the judges, that the judges' salaries should be wholly provided for by the Federal Government. The result is that they have refused to give anything in the shape of Surrogate Court fees or other perquisites to the county judges. In the larger cities, such as Vancouver and Victoria, and I am speaking more particularly of Vancouver, there are three county judges who sit continuously, except in vacation, from Monday morning to Friday afternoon. To expect a man to do that work efficiently, to keep up the dignity of his position, and live in a large city like Vancouver or Victoria on a salary of $3,000 a year, is I think unfair and unreasonable, and I submit that the minister would do well to take into consideration the whole question of the salaries of county judges. If Ontario chooses to put its County Court judges in a more favourable position than those of any other province, I suppose that is a matter that rests with the province of Ontario, but it certainly does not excuse this Government from paying a proper salary to the other county court judges throughout the Dominion who are doing just as important work.

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