April 29, 1918 (13th Parliament, 1st Session)


Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)



There are ' different
classes of employment specified, hut the principal class are girls employed in factories, or workshops and business establishments of that kind. The proposed amendment extends the classification so as to cover any person occupying the position of employer of the girl whom he might be oharged with having seduced or having had illicit connection with.
The third section makes it a criminal offence to have illicit connection with, or carnally know any girl under the age of ten, and above the age of fourteen, not being his wife and where he (believes her to be above the age of sixteen years, Thi6 change, in effect, raising the age of consent from fourteen to sixteen, and making it an offence to carnally know any girl under fourteen years of age. To the several pei>
alties that are provided for that offence it is proposed to add a subsection making it an offence to carnally know any girl between the age of fourteen and sixteen, but subjecting the offender to a penalty not so severe as in a case where the girl is under fourteen years of age.
The next provision is to introduce a section to be known as 221A, making it a criminal offence for persons not being married to register as man and wife at hotels, lodging houses, boarding houses, or places of public resort. *
Another provision introduces into the Criminal Code, a section which has been enacted in. the Juvenile Delinquency Act of the province of Ontario, land has. been found to be exceedingly useful there.
The courts, however, have recently held that it was in substance legislation of the nature of criminal law, and the enactment as contained in the provincial legislation was, therefore, not effective. We have been asked to give effect to it by making it a section of the Criminal'Code, thus making it an offence to contribute by indulgence in sexual immorality, in habitual drunkenness. or in any other form of vice, to cause a child to be in danger of being or becoming immoral, dissolute or criminal, or to tend injuriously to affect the morals of a child or to render the home of a child an unfit place for such child to be in.
It provides a penalty not exceeding $500, or imprisonment not exceeding one year. It introduces bodily the provisions of the
Ontario law into the Criminal Code. There are definitions of what shall be a child for the purpose of the section, that is a boy or girl under the age of sixteen years. There is a further provision that it shall not be a defence that the child is of too tender years to understand or appreciate the nature of the act complained of or immediately affected thereby.
The next proposal is to amend Section 226 of the Criminal Code so as to make come within the definition of a common gaming house any place where the whoie or any portion of the stakes or bets or other proceeds at or from such games is either directly or indirectly paid to the person keeping such house, room or place. This is to meet ^n abu^e which is said to exist, or, at least, we have heard more complaint about it from the province of British Columbia.
The next proposal is to increase.the penalty presently imposed by section 285B of the Criminal Code for taking motor cars for the purpose simply of using them and then abandoning them for the purpose of what is generally called joy-riding. The present penalty is $50 or imprisonment not exceeding thirty days. It is represented that the offence is becoming exceedingly prevalent, and oftentimes considerable damage is done to the motor car, and it is suggested that the possibility of a heavier penalty would operate as a more effective deterrent.
The next two proposals are to amend sections 985 and 986 of the Criminal Code which provide what shall be prima facie evidence that a house is a gaming house. As the law stands at present it is provided that the presence in the house of instruments used in any unlawful game shall constitute prima facie evidence. It is proposed to substitute for the words " any unlawful game" the words "any game of chance or any mixed game of chance or skill." A similar amendment in section 986 substitutes for the words " unlawful gaming " in the eighth and ninth lines the words " playing any game of chance or any-mixed game of chance and skill."
Motion agreed to and Bill read the first time.

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