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