Napoléon Antoine BELCOURT

BELCOURT, The Hon. Napoléon Antoine, P.C., K.C., LL.M., LL.D.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Ottawa (City of) (Ontario)
Birth Date
September 15, 1860
Deceased Date
August 7, 1932
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoléon_Belcourt
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=f908fda1-bf0c-4590-a547-3edf669acb55&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer

Parliamentary Career

June 23, 1896 - October 9, 1900
LIB
  Ottawa (City of) (Ontario)
November 7, 1900 - September 29, 1904
LIB
  Ottawa (City of) (Ontario)
  • Speaker of the House of Commons (March 10, 1904 - January 10, 1905)
November 3, 1904 - September 17, 1908
LIB
  Ottawa (City of) (Ontario)
  • Speaker of the House of Commons (March 10, 1904 - January 10, 1905)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 104)


June 7, 1905

Mr. BELCOURT.

There is no denominational school law for them. I am speaking of the law of 1S75, interpreting that law, and I say the law of 1875 as well as the Confederation Act, 1867, did not assume to Ixither itself with any other religious sect but these two. That is my argument. I may be wrong, but surely that is very plain.

Topic:   JT7NE 8. 1905
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June 7, 1905

Mr. BELCOURT.

Mr. Speaker, with the permission of the House, I want to say that I was clearly within my right in calling the attention of the House last night i j ,the fact that my hon. friend's explanation was not satisfactory to me if it was to other members of the House. My hon. friend stated distinctly that the government had refused to instruct the commissioners to investigate the question of fraud and misrepresentation in connection with these 'concessions.

Topic:   THE TREADGOLD CONCESSION INQUIRY.
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June 7, 1905

Mr. BELCOURT.

I do not take it back. What I said was that the majority whether Catholic or Protestant, have an absolute right in the Territories to establish schools of their own, in the words of the statute, as they may think fit.

Topic:   JT7NE 8. 1905
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June 7, 1905

Mr. BELOOURT.

What I saiil was that if there were a thousand Catholics as against five hundred Protestants and two thousand Mormons the Catholics, as a matter of right, under section 11 of the Act of 1875. would hare the right to establish schools as they might think fit, and the tire hundred Protestants in the minority would be entitled to separate schools of their own. As regards the Jews and Mormons and others, they would have to go either to the Protestant or Catholic schools.

Topic:   JT7NE 8. 1905
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June 7, 1905

Mr. BELCOURT.

Permit me to say that in my opinion the canons which should be adopted toy parliament in interpreting a statute differ in many respects from the canons which govern a court of justice. The interpretation by a judge is according to the language of the statute and that only ; a judge does not look to the extraneous or surrounding circumstances which existed at the time the law was passed ; a judge would simply interpret the language to the best of his ability according to the dictionary and according to jurisprudence. Parliament, in interpreting a statute, must and should adopt a much wider view ; parliament, I submit, must, in intex-preting a statute, look at the conditions as they were at the time the law was passed ; parliament must look at the intention of the legislature which passed that law ; it must look at past history ; it must look at every circumstance

which can, in any way throw any light upon that law. We all know that the Act of 1875 was passed somewhat hurriedly ; we know that section 11 was introduced after the other provisions of the statute had been discussed by the House. A subject of great importance, such as the question of education, was treated in a very short section and in very few words. It was passed with apparently no contentious discussion in the House ; it was passed, as I remember, unanimously, and there was no discussion whatever as to the meaning and effect of the terms used. We know that in 1875, when this law was passed, it was but a few years after the passage of the British North America Act. It is a matter of history that in Canada so far as legislation is concerned the meamiug of the words ' separate schools ' is synonymous to ' denominational schools ' : in the British North America Act the same sense was attached to it as to the words ' denominational schools.' We had only two kinds of schools in Canada at that time, viz., the public school and the separate school. Separate schools were introduced in Ontario in 1860, and they were then intended to be, and have ever since been, denominational schools. So it is in the province of Quebec ; the separate schools of the province of Quebec are to-day denominational schools and so they are in Ontario. I appeal to any member in this House to point to me a single instance in any province of the Dominion where there is a separate school which is not, to all Intents and purposes, a denominational school.

Topic:   JT7NE 8. 1905
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