March 5, 1912


House resumed the debate on the proposed motion of Mr. Borden for the second reading of Bill (No. 115) to provide for the extension of the boundaries of the province of Manitoba.


LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

Before my friend proceeds with the debate, I want to raise a question which I raised before six o'clock, and which was not decided by the Chair. I raised the question that the hon. member for Yamaska was sitting in the House and had not voted, and I claim that I am entitled to a decision, because under the authority of Bourinot at page 504, it is distinctly stated:

If a m-unber of the Commons who has heard the question put does not vote, and the .attention of the Speaker is directed to the fact, the latter will call upon him to declare on which side he votes; and his name will be recorded accordingly.

Now, Sir, I raised the point that you, Mr. Speaker, should call upon the hon. member, to state on which side he voted. That is supported by a number of references, one of which says:

In the English House of Commons, 3rd February 1881, Mr. Speaker informed the House that several members who had given their voices with the noes when the question

.was put, had refused to quit their places, and consequently he had submitted their conduct to the consideration of the House. A number of members were then suspended for refusing to withdraw during the division after having been warned of the consequences by the Speaker.

And not withdrawing during the division would be the same as not voting in this House. I think the hon. member for Yamaska (Mr. Mondou) should be requested by the Chair, to state his reason why he did not vote and on which side he would have voted.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER.

I have only to say that I did not notice the hon. member (Mr. Car-veil) raising the question, or I would have attended to it then. But, as other business has intervened in the meantime, it is too late now to raise the question.

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CON

Paul-Émile Lamarche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. P. E. LAMARCHE (Nicolet).

Before the House rose, my right hon. friend, the leader of the opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) had proposed an amendment which had been voted down. It was as follows:

That whilst the House is favourable to the extension of the boundaries of the province of Manitoba, it is of opinion that the terms under which it is proposed to make the said extension as set forth in this Bill and in the order in Icounoil of the 20th of February, 1912, are unfair and unjust both to the people of Manitoba a9 well as to the people of the other provinces of the Dominion .

I voted for that amendment; but not for the same reason as my right hon. friend. I voted for it because that amendment declares that the terms under which the extension of Manitoba's boundaries are proposed in the Bill are unfair and unjust. But, in my opinion, they are unfair and unjust, not because the conditions-set forth in the Bill are so, but because of the absence of other clauses-, which I judge, are absolutely necessary. And it is my intention, Mr. Speaker, to develop as briefly as possible the reason why I take that position. The liberty for the people of this country to express their free will through the voice of their representatives is one of the most precious privileges that has ever been granted by the British Crown, and it is the underlying principle of our parliamentary institutions.

The will of the people of my constituency, clearly manifested, on the 21st of September last, by their cheerful and generous acceptation of the promises I had made to them during the campaign, shall to-day dictate my conduct and force me to break away upon this important question from many political friends, for whom I have personally, the most profound respect, notwithstanding our divergence of views and opinions,

The Bill, which is to-day submitted to the approval of this House, provides for

and we shall see immediately how their intention has been carried out.

\Vhen the statutes of Canada were revised in 1906 the Northwest Territories Act, as modified by several amendments, was inserted as chapter 62, but the Kee-watin Act was left out, and moreover, if we consult in Vol. IV, of the Revised Statutes, 1906, page 7, under the title of History and Disposal of Acts, we find ' District of Keewatin, Chapter 53, effete and recommended for repeal.' Furthermore, Art. 4 of 6-7 Ed. VII intituled ' An Act respecting the Eevised Statues, 1906/ reads as follows: ' The several Acts enumerated in Schedule ' A ' to the said Eevised Statutes are hereby declared to be and to have been on, from and after the last mentioned date (31st January, 1907) repealed to the extent mentioned in the said Schedule/

And in Schedule ' A ', Vol. Ill, E.S.C.,

p. 3063, I read the following: '53. An Act respecting the District of Keewatin the whole repealed.'

I think every lawyer in this House will bear me out when I say that, at least, since the revision of 1906, which came into force on the 31st January, 1907, the Keewatin Act is no longer a law of this country, and, as a result, the District of Keewatin, is no longer excepted from the Northwest Territories as they are defined in Article 2 of chapter 62 of the Eevised Statutes of Canada, and which reads as follows:

Article 2 in this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) Territories means the Northwest Territories which comprise the Territories formerly known as Rupert's Land and the Northwestern Territory, except such portions thereof as tform the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and the Yukon Territory, together with all British territories and possessions in North America and all islands adjacent thereto not included within any province, except the colony of Newfoundland and' its dependencies.

The Northwest Territories Act applies, therefore, not only to that strip of land', which has never been excluded from the Northwest Territories, but it applies also to the other part to be annexed and which has automatically returned to the Northwest Territories by the disappearance of the Keewatin Act. The Northwest Territories Act, however, as we find it in the Eevised Statutes of Canada, chapter 62, is somewhat different from the original legislation of 1875 and this as a result of several amendments.

The original Article XI of the law of 1875 relating to separate schools has novs become Article X of chapter 62 of t.is Eevised Statutes of Canada, and it reads as follows: 1

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CON

Paul-Émile Lamarche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAMARCHE.

X.-The Commissioner in Council, if authorized to make ordinances respecting education, shall pass all necessary ordinances in respect thereto, but in the laws or ordinances relating to education it shall always be provided that a majority of the ratepayers of any district or portion of the Territories or of any less portion or subdivision thereof, by whatever name the same is known, may establish such schools therein as they think fit and make the necessary assessment and collection of rates therefor; and also that the minority of ratepayers therein, whether Protestant or Homan Catholic, may establish separate schools therein, and in such case the ratepayers establishing such Protestant or Roman Catholic separate schools shall be liable only to assessments of such rates as they impose upon themselves in respect thereof.

Do we find in that Article X the existence of a right in favour of the minorities to separate schools and a protection, against the payment of a double school tax? It is my opinion. The Commissioner in Council cannot pass an ordinance establishing a school system without providing for the rights of the minority. The Commissioner in Council, however, cannot pass such ordinance without, first, being authorized to ifchat effect by the Governor General in Council. Therefore, the government is at liberty to give or to abstain itself from giving the proper authority to the commissioner, but if it is given, it is to the establishment of separate schools and nothing else.

Now, is it possible to establish a school system in the Northwest Territories in any other way than by the means of an ordinance emanating from the Commissioner in Council?

I think so, but the only way would be by a law of this parliament passed in open session, in the regular way, but I hold that, even that law would have to provide for the rights of the minority, unless Article X of the Northwest Territories Act is repealed, modified or made non-applicable, which would be the breaking away from the just and equitable policy of Mr. Mackenzie, consecrated thirty-six years ago by the Conservative as well as the Liberal party.

If you peruse the disposition of Article X, you will find that it is divided into two distinct sections, although they are not numbered, but simply separated by a semicolon, after the word ' thereto,' in the third line.

The first part simply states that the Commissioner-in-Council shall pass all necessary ordinances respecting education, if he receives the proper authority. No mention is made in that first part, of laws, for the good reason that the Commissioner-in-Council has no right to make laws. His legislative powers are exercised by way of ordinances. This is clearly stated in Ar-

tide VII of the Northwest Territories Act, which is entitled ' Legislative Powers of Commissioner-] n-Council,' and there can be no doubt about it.

In the second part of Article X it is clearly stated that not only the ordinances shall provide for the protection of the rights of the minority, but the laws as well. In other words, not only the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories is ordered to respect the rights of the minority, but even the parliament of 'Canada.

The government of Canada, through its executive, has the right to give or to refuse to the Commissioner-in-Council, the proper authority to enable him to pass an ordinance establishing schools recognized by law.

Has the government made any use of that power ? If my information is correct, the government of Canada, under the past administration, as well as under the present one, has either refused or neglected, not only to give the proper authority to the commissioner, but even to name the persons to form his council, although it had been duly and repeatedly requested by a certain number of British subjects inhabiting the territory which is now contemplated for annexation to the province of Manitoba; and a certain newspaper, ' The Manitoba Free Press,' if I am not mistaken, qualified the lack of action in that matter as a sharp piece of work and good tactics in contemplation of the prospective extension of boundaries. Now, I think the non-existence of regular school system in Keewatin would be a very poor reason to allege, especially by those who have been instrumental in refusing to act. But, is it necessary, Mr. 'Speaker, in order to find the true spirit of the law which is now in force, to go through all those tortuous legal technicalities ? The article which now regulates education in that part of the country should be considered as forming part of a constant policy in existence for thirty-six years in the minds of those who have worked for the best interests of Canada, and in order to know the true meaning of that law, those who are to be consulted are not the politicians who have modified and tortured the texts, during the past few years, but those rather who have given life to that legislation of justice, expecting that it would last untrammelled longer than their own mortal existence.

Last week, curious coincidence, the Canadian statesman who has been the instigator of that charter of rights for the people of the northwest, passed away practically at the same moment as an effort was being made to leave in oblivion the work of his life. Why not live up to the former engagements entered into by the government of our country ? Is it because the other party to the Act is weak and feeble ? I do not think such an idea could

make its way in the spirit of a broadminded people, and I do not think it could be invoked with success in a British country like ours.

Is it because the respect of minorities is a principle which has been productive of bad results in our country? We have been told several times by the best accredited representatives of the English minority of the province of Quebec that it was a good principle and that the majority of that province was very particular in taking the means to safeguard and respect it. Why should not the same principle work as well in other portions of Canada? We are told very often that in this free country of ours all religions are on the same footing. We know also that the full exercise of the Catholic religion has been guaranteed from the time of capitulation. It is the duty of Catholic parents to send their children to a school of their faith and, Mr. Speaker, I say that we are limiting their liberty in that respect in making them pay a double tax for the exercise of that privilege, when we can avoid it. In the province of Manitoba there has been a school question which has been incompletely settled. A judgment of the highest tribunal of the empire has recognized that the Catholic minority of Manitoba was suffering serious grievances. To-day we are asked to vote in favour of a Bill which provided for a concession to Manitoba. That Bill is only the first part of a contract because the Legislature of Manitoba has to accept the terms of the arrangement as they are laid down in the present measure. It would not be in my mind, a policy of coercion but rather a policy of conciliation to insert in the Bill a saving clause for the rights of the minorities in the new district to be annexed, similar to the clause which I have seen in the Bill which protects the rights of the Hudson's Bay Company.

I have respect, Mr. Speaker, for those who differ with me in their opinions. The question is difficult and intricate if we look only into its legal aspects. I will even admit that I have considered the spirit of justice and equity stronger than the doubtful solutions arising from the text books. The principles I have set forth, which I think are just and equitable, I have preached politically for ten years, and, in the last campaign, I made, in connection with this Keewatin question, some declarations that were not ambiguous, and I made them to the knowledge and in the presence of those to whom my candidature was agreeable and useful. I am here today to keep my word and I shall do my duty.

These are the reasons why I have voted for the amendment moved by my right hon. friend and these are the reasons why I shall vote against the Bill that is pro-1 posed to the House.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. F. D. MONK (Minister of Public Works).

Mr. Speaker, I personally am obliged to my hon. friend who has just taken his seat (Mr. Lamarche) for affording me an opportunity of giving some explanation to the House with regard to the point which he has raised. My hon. friend has explained his position in moderate and clear language. I do not think anybody, even those who do not entirely agree with him, can find fault with the manner in which he has placed the case before this House. But Mr. Speaker, before taking up the consideration of this phase of the question which my hon. friend has touched upon, I would like to say, after all I have heard this afternoon that, upon the whole, my hon. friends on the other side of the House have taken what I would call a somewhat gloomy view of the measure brought down by the government. It is, to my mind, necessary to point out that there is a brighter view and that in bringing down this measure my right hon. friend the leader of the government (Mr. Borden) has placed, so to speak, the keystone in the arch of confederation, completing the great work begun by Macdonald, Cartier and the other fathers of confederation.

It is the rounding up of that great work *at which we are assisting this evening, and it seems to me that such an important event for our country should afford cause for more gratification, and more self-congratu-lotion than we have heard from the other side of the House during this debate. Three provinces, Quebec, Manitoba and Ontario, are profiting by the work which, to-day, the traditional descendants of the founders of confederation are bringing to completion. For my part, having more intimate connection with the province of Quebec, I congratulate the government upon bringing into the provincial organization of this Dominion the territory which is being added to my native province, because I believe that the very best results will come from it. The territory which is being assigned to the province of Quebec is of immense value. There is within its confines great lumber, wealth, vast water-powers, which when developed, will enrich our whole country, extensive mineral areas, and most productive fisheries along the coast which comes under the jurisdiction of the province of Quebec. To the province of Ontario an equally valuable area is assigned for development, an area which comprises probably more agricultural resources than is to be found in the territory given to Quebec, a territory where there is lumber wealth and mineral resources and which brings the province of Ontario into contact with the great fisheries of the Hudson bay. And, to the province of Manitoba, this is a particularly welcome thing, because it brings^ to an end the discontent, the justifiable discontent, which had prevailed in that Mr. LAMARCHE.

province. I have never been able to understand why, when we carved out the provinces of Saskatchewan and AJberta, we did not, at the same time, in view of the temper of the people of the west, and the icng-standing aspirations of Manitoba, the first born of the provinces of confederation -I have never been able to understand wh'T we did not satisfy the claims of Manitoba at that time. No man can look at the map of the Dominion to-day without seeing with the naked eye the comparatively insignificant position which that province occupies territorially, and none can fail to appreciate why there is dissatisfaction in that eldest of the prairie provinces. We are now at long last rendering justice to Manitoba; we are handing over to her territory which ought to belong to her as a province, and1 we are finishing up the work of confederation in this way. When I heard my right hon. friend, the Prime Minister, presenting this measure to the House, I recalled that nearly forty years ago when I was not more than a boy, I myself heard Cartier, one of the great workers in the initiatory process of the foundation of this Dominion with prophetic version foretelling the hour when the whole of British North America would be organized into provinces and when the dream of himself and his associates would be polarized. Well, Sir, to-day we are giving effect to that prophecy of the great Sir George Cartier. One would suppose, hearing the remarks of my hon. friend* from St. John (Mr. Pugsley), that the first organizers of confederation had entered into the scheme as a land speculation. When we heard the hon. member speak of the necessity, in the disposal of these great territories, of consulting provinces far removed from the regions which we are discussing, and talking of compensation being given to these provinces, one would suppose we were assisting in a land deal. Well, that is not the spirit in which the founders of confederation proceeded; that is not the spirit which presided over the negotiations when they acquired Rupert's Land and the territories of the northwest. There was no payment there for real estate; it was under an order in council of the Imperial government that most of these lands were handed over to us, and, while it is true, that in 1868, compensation was paid to extinguish the rights-other than trading and commercial rights of the Hudson's Bay Company, the idea at the bottom of it was that these territories would afterwards be distributed among the provinces in order to complete a symmetrical plan under which this territory would become provincially organized for the fuller and more completed development of the confederacy then in an embryo state. It is not a matter of adjusting accounts among the

provinces; it is not a matter to be taken up in a book-keeping spirit; but it is a matter which should be regarded in the light alone of the fruition of the scheme of confederation. It seems to me, therefore, that the criticism we have heard to-day about the financial terms granted and about consulting the other provinces, and about an accord between Manitoba and Ontario, as to a right of way for a purely provincial railway into the hinterland and towards Hudson bay; it seems to me that the constitutional points raised in these questions did not evince on the part of hon. gentlemen opposite that large and liberal-minded view which we should take of an event of this kind, and which should lead us to a more generous, more comprehensive, and larger view of the whole situation. The port on the Hudson bay is a port which belongs to the Dominion and which will be developed by the Dominion, and what more natural than since an arrangement of this kind cannot be come to without the mutual consent of alii interested, that there should toe a consent to this right-of-way giving Ontario the privilege of pushing its provincial railway up to the very shores of the Dominion harbour on Hudson bay.

This is a matter which, it seems to me, ought to be the subject of general congratulation and exultation, at least in its general features. But in all human events a bitter drop usually surges out of the fountain of our joys, and my hon. friend from Nicolet (Mr. Lamarche) has 'brought to the surface that bitter drop in this instance. For my part, I am very glad to be able to explain to this House and to the country, my position on this question. A great many very unfair criticisms of the government have come from certain quarters in regard to the educational aspect of this question. I have read of these criticisms with very great regret, because I do not think they are in the least degree founded. But from their tone, one would suppose that it is in a certain way the resuscitation or resurrection of the Manitoba schooi question. It is, I think, proper, to point out, in order to clear away what doubtful points may exist, in regard to this matter, that, as I have always understood, the Manitoba school question was finally, and for all time, settled in 1897, by the settlement arrived at between the Dominion government and the government of Manitoba, in regard to that question, and it cannot in any sense come up again. I have always held to that opinion, and have expressed it on many occasions, though I have absolutely condemned the terms of that agreement. There are several ways in which, under our constitution, the Federal government can intervene, and interfere in matters of education. They are provided for in section 93

of the British North America Act, and, in the case of Manitoba, in section 22 of the Manitoba Act, the charter of that province under Imperial authority. It was under the latter section that what I cannot help calling the regrettable question at that time arose. But it does not in any sense, arise in the present instance. Where disagreements arise, we can interfere by conference, under section 22 of the Manitoba Act we can interfere by remedial order, we can interfere by legislation, and we can interfere by settlement; but surely, to anybody who reads with attention and care the dispositions of section 22 of the Manitoba Act, and of section 93 of our Constitutional Act, when those means have been exhausted and a settlement has been arrived at, there is the end of the matter. I remember having given public utterance to that sentiment in 1896, after the general elections of that year, in which the electorate had declared against the mode adopted at that time, by the leader of the government, Sir Charles Tupper. _

After that election, I expressed the view, and I think with reason, that the country had decided that there should be no remedial legislation, and that, as far as remedial legislation was concerned, the Manitoba question was settled. I gave public utterance to that view, which was commented on at the time by the papers in my own province, and I believe outside of it. What happened in 1896? My right hon. friend, the leader of the opposition at that time and the leader of the opposition to-day, declared as his policy before the country that there should be no remedial legislation-that it was not the proper system to adopt in order to remedy the grievance which had been established by the highest court, of the empire _ as a real grievance of the minority in Manitoba. He was in favour of conciliation and he held out to the electors of Canada that as soon as he was placed in power he would name a commission, the chairman of which would be Sir Oliver Mowat, a man commendable to everybody, and that under the management of that commission this question of the Manitoba schools would be settled, not by remedial legislation, but by conferences and agreement. Well, Sir, in my own province that programme was absolutely ratified and adopted, we who were in favour of remedying the grievance by remedial legislation returned from the province of Quebec a small baker's dozen, if I remember correctly. Therefore, the attitude of my right hon. friend in that regard was endorsed in my province and all over the country. What happened afterwards? A settlement was arrived at in 1897 though not exactly in the manner announced by my right hon. friend. As brought down to the House in 1897, that settlement is to be found in the Sessional

Papers of that year, volume 30, Sessional Paper No. 35, and if this is consulted, it will be found that the agreement, in the estimation of the minority themselves of the province concerned, was absolutely inadequate to remedy the grievance. I condemned it as such, but it was approved by parliament. The ministerial party of that day without any exception approved of the terms of that agreement, by voting confidence in the government after it had been adopted. It was approved by the country in the elections of 1900, more particularly in my own province.

I think I am justified in saying that as far as interference from the Dominion parliament or the Dominion government is concerned in any way we are to-day absolutely functi-offlcio. There is no power in the Dominion parliament or in the Dominion government to touch in any way the disabilities, the inconveniences, the great injustices to my mind from which at the present moment the religious minority in Manitoba age suffering. Therefore, it seems to me that it is our duty to examine what rights there are in the district of Keewatin which, according to my hon. friend from Nieolet, are to be safeguarded or attended to. From the animadversion and vituperation with which certain attacks have been made upon those of us in the Cabinet who are supposed to be more particularly concerned with the protection of the rights of the minority, that we should inquire if there are any vested rights in the Roman Catholic population of the district of Keewatin. In the petitions which I have received, in the requests which have appeared in the public press, reference is continually made to the Statute of 1875 to which the hon. member for Nieolet (Mr. Lamarche) has referred. The statute of 1875 contained the disposition which he has read to the House and which I would like briefly to quote. It is to be found in chapter 49 of the Statutes of 1875, section 11, regarding the Northwest Territories. It says:

_ When anti so soon as any system of taxation shall he adopted in any district or portion of the Northwest Territories, the Lieutenant-Governor, by and with the consent of the council or assembly, as the case may be, shall pass all necessary ordinances in respect to education, hut it shall therein he always provided, that a majority of the ratepayers of any _ district or portion of the Northwest Territories, or any lesser portion or subdivision thereof, by whatever name the same may be known, may establish such schools therein as they may think fit, and make the necessary assessment and collection of rates therefor; and further, that the minority of the ratepayers therein, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, may establish separate schools therein, and that Mr. MONK.

in such latter case, the ratepayers establishing such Protestant or Roman Catholic separate schools shall be liable only to assessments of such rates as they may impose upon themselves in respect thereof.

This disposition is reproduced in the statutes of 1896, but it never was in any way enforced in the district of Keewatin. This Act of 1875 never applied to the district of Keewatin in any way. In the year after the Act was passed the district of Keewatin was organized separately under the Keewatin Act and this separation of the district of Keewatin from the rest of the Northwest Territories was for the purpose of temporarily providing for the administration of that district. Even as far back as 1875 this intention was expressed by parliament, as we find in the debates; the disposition of that territory was purely temporary, it was intended to incorporate it with the province of Manitoba or part of it with the province . of Ontario. It was separated from the territories of the Northwest as being immediately about to be incorporated with *existing provinces, and the disposition of *section 11 to which I have referred was especially for that purpose and then there is the Keewatin Act. Mr. Alexander Mackenzie, as will be found on referring to the debates of 1876, stated that this leaving out and this failure to provide any School law protection, any educational guarantee, was because the measure was temporary and it was intended before long, even at that time, 30 years ago, to place that territory under the school administration of the province of Manitoba or the province of Ontario or even perhaps to return it to the Northwest Territories. 'Therefore, I say that from the 7th of October, 1876, the date at which the Northwest Territories Act of 1875 came into force and the district of Keewatin Act of 1876 was also proclaimed, there never was any educational guarantee or law of any kind in the territory with which we are now dealing up to the time of the erection of the two provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta, 30 years during which this district was kept in that state of suspense, and it is, I think, fair to assume that during that time there never was any law in existence in that territory under which any vested rights of any! kind or description might be acquired.

I come now to the moment when the two provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta were organized. Up to that moment, during 30 years, in the district of Keewatin, there were no schools, there was no school 'legislation, there was no law of any kind under which any living man could claim 'any guarantee of any kind whatever in respect of education. In 1905 we created the two new provinces of Saskatchewan

'and Alberta by the two Acts of that year 'and in the same year was passed this statute which, I think, is important to 'quote to the House, because we are coming to a crucial and important moment 'in connection with the examination of this question. In the year 1905 at the 'time the Dominion parliament was creating these two large provinces alongside 'of Manitoba, we passed a statute amending the Northwest Territories Act, chapter *27, 4 and 5 Edward VII, section 3. We were then left with the Northwest Territories and with the district of Keewatin. 'What were we going to do? We had not 'carried out the expectation and the very 'natural request of the province of Manitoba to simultaneously receive its own 'extension of boundaries. This is what I find in section 3 of that statute:

The _ Northwest Territories shall hereafter comprise the territories formerly known as Rupert's Land and the Northwestern Territories, except such portions thereof as form the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the district of Keewatin, and the Yukon Territory, together with all British territories and possessions in North America and all islands adjacent to any such territories or possessions except the colony of Newfoundland and its dependencies.

Therefore, the Dominion parliament, after having created and organized these two new provinces, as I read this sentence -and I submit to the House that it is not subject to any other interpretation-declares what shall be the new Northwest Territory, and keeps out of the Northwest Territory the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the district of Keewatin and the district of the Yukon. That was, at that moment, the will of parliament. Keewatin was not thrown into the Northwest Territory, but by the express declaration of the will of parliament, and for the same reasons that had prompted the creation of the district of Keewatin in 1875, it was kept aside to be placed in the province immediately adjacent. I say that was the will of parliament at that moment. _ The will of parliament was that the district of Keewatin should not once more be thrown into the Northwest Territory. At that very moment this annexation to the province to which we are annexing it to-day was already an urgent, a burning question. And1 parliament, with perfect reason, decreed that Keewatin should remain under the same regime as that under which it had been before.

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LIB

Hugh Guthrie

Liberal

Mr. GUTHRIE.

Was Keewatin not reannexed to the territories in 1905, by a proclamation which was provided for in the Keewatin Act of 1875?

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I have just stated to the House what was the legislation immediately following or contemporaneous with the creation of the two new provinces. But four days afterwards, on the 24th July, 1905, under the section of the old Keewatin Act, the Dominion government passed1 an order in council-the order in council to which my hon. friend from Nicolet (Mr. Lamarche), referred. This did not detach from Keewatin, in conformity with the terms of the Act, some proportion or portions of the district, but assigned the whole of the district to the Northwest Territories. And it is claimed-and I think with reason -that the order in council was absolutely ultra vires of the powers of the government under the section of the Keewatin Act to which I have just referred. But the strangest part of all came about when the revised statutes of 1906 came into force. The revised statutes of 1906, chapter 62, section 2, provides as follows:

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, ' territories ' means the Northwest Territories, which comprise the territories formerly known as Rupert's Land and the Northwest Territories, except such portions thereof as form the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and Yukon Territory.

Leaving out entirely the district of Keewatin in spite of the statute to which I have referred, passed in the previous year. So that, as I understand, the Act of the previous year was not repealed.

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LIB
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I say that under section 2 of chapter 62, the Act respecting the Northwest Territories, the description of the Northwest Territories is not taken from the Act of 1905. It is not made to comprise the Northwest Territory except the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the district of Keewatin and the Yukon territory. The district of Keewatin is left out in the revision of the section. Although the will of parliament declares in 1905, that the statutes to which I have referred was that the district of Keewatin should remain outside of the Northwest Territories, and although that statute of 1905 is not repealed by the revised statutes -it is mentioned among the statutes revised-still in this section the Keewatin district is left out of the list of exceptions and so is thrown into the Northwest Territories.

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LIB

Joseph Arthur Calixte Éthier

Liberal

Mr. ETHIER.

May I ask the hon. gentleman to read the last part of the section 2? He does not read it all. The last part concludes the definition of the word "territories". The hon. gentleman reads only the exceptions.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I will read it all to my hon. friend:

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' Territories ' means the Northwest Territories which comprise the territories formerly known as Rupert's Land and the northwestern territory, excespt such portions thereof as form the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and the Yukon Territory, together with all British territories and possessions in North America and Ml islands adjacent thereto, not included within any province, except the colony of Newfoundland and its dependencies.

What I wish to point out is that the statute of 1905, though it is not purported to he repealed by the revised statutes, but consolidated, clearly takes out of the Northwest Territories the district of Keewatin, whereas under this section 2 of chapter 62 of the revised statutes as it is proclaimed in the following year, the district of Keewatin is left out. Therefore under this section 2 of chapter 62 it was actually thrown into the Northwest Territories, contrary, as I submit, to the clearly manifested will of parliament expressed by the statute passed in the previous year.

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LIB

Hugh Guthrie

Liberal

Mr. GUTHRIE.

But the revised statutes, I presume, would supersede the statutes of the previous year. We passed the revised statutes as well as the others.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I suppose so. But the statute of the previous year was not repealed.

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LIB
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I do not think so.

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LIB

Edmond Proulx

Liberal

Mr. PROULX.

Is it not repealed by the statute ofi6-7 Edward VII-the next year?

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Now, Sir, let us take the section to be found in the revised statutes of 1906. Up to 1906, we have not a shadow of reason for contending that there is in the district of Keewatin during the thirty years during which it had existed any legislation of any kind whatever concerning education or educational privileges. But let us take what happened in 1905 and 1906 and let me read to the House these sections concerning education to be found in the revised statute. I quote from the revised statutes of 1906 chapter 62, section 10:

The Commissioner in Council, if authorized to make ordinances respecting education, shall pass all necessary ordinances in respect thereto; but in the laws or ordinances relating to education it shall always be provided that a majority of the ratepayers of any district or portion of the territories, or of any less portion or subdivision thereof, by whatever name the same is known, may establish such schools therein as they think fit, and make the necessary assessment and collection of rates therefor; and also that the minority of the ratepayers therein, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, may establish separate schools therein and in such eases, the ratepayers establishing such Protestant or Roman Catholic Mr. MONK.

separate schools shall be liable only to assessment of such rates as they impose upon themselves in respect thereof.

Taking it that this enactment of section 10, to be found for the first time in 1906 as applicable to the district of Keewatin, taking it that it came legitimately into our legislation, were there any vested rights of any kind or description whatever created under that section ? The House will note that in order to create any of these rights it was necessary that the commissioner of the northwest should be provided with a council. Without that council he could not pass any laws or regulations whatever in respect of education. But that was not the only condition. Not only must he be furnished with a council without which he had no authority whatever to legislate, but he must be specially authorized by the Dominion government to pass ordinances in respect to education. Neither of these conditions were ever fulfilled. It is not surprising that they were not fulfilled, because everything at that moment in that territory was in a state of transition; there was no necessity for providing it with a' council. It was not necessary for him to pass any ordinances in respect to education, because the regime over which he had control particularly in that direction was in a transitory state. Whatever may have been the reason, he was never authorized to pass any ordinances, he never received any council to advise him in his legislative capacity, and no law or regulation of any kind was adopted in that regime in respect to education. And can it be pretended that there were vested rights in respect to education ?

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CON

Joseph Pierre Octave Guilbault

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUILBAULT.

Will the hon. member permit me to ask him a question?

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Certainly.

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March 5, 1912