Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):
Here is what I desire to submit. The power vested in the parliament of Canada by section 101, made exercisable as it is notwithstanding anything in that act, would authorize legislation giving the Supreme Court of Canada in its character of " a general court of appeal for Canada" not merely appellate civil and criminal jurisdiction as at present, but exclusive appellate civil and criminal jurisdiction in respect of all appeals, and rendering the judgment of this court final and conclusive. Such legislation would in my opinion involve no encroachment upon the powers of the provinces. The powers of the provinces in matters of administration of justice are in section 92 of the British North America Act, and they read as follows:
The administration of justice in the province, including the constitution, maintenance and organization of provincial courts, both of civil and of criminal jurisdiction, and including procedure in civil matters in those courts.
There is no doubt that the giving or withholding of an appeal is a matter of procedure. The provinces have the right to provide for courts of appeal and appeals, but they are limited by section 92 to " in the province "; they cannot go outside, and that is the reason why they could not provide for an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Their jurisdiction, their power of creating a court of appeal, is limited by the words " in the provinces." With this the dominion parliament would have no power to interfere. But the regulation of appeals in civil cases from provincial courts to an appellate court which is not provincial is a matter clearly extraneous to the power to provide for " the constitution, maintenance and organization of provincial courts," or to prescribe the " procedure in civil matters in those courts." It is only the parliament of Canada which can give or take away the right
Privy Council Appeals
of appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. No provincial legislation can give it or deny it. This is abundantly established by the decisions which I have quoted.
Subtopic: PROPOSED ABOLITION OF APPEALS TO HIS MAJESTY IN COUNCIL