May 28, 1940

LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

My hon. friend who represents the Yukon was good enough to speak to me the other day about this amendment, and mentioned then that he thought-so I understood him-that some litigation was pending. We have no record in the department of any litigation pending under this act. A communication has been addressed to the commissioner in the Yukon to which a reply has not yet been received, but the officers in charge of administration here are quite certain that if litigation had been instituted in respect of the tax imposed on any particular individual they would have had notice of it.

Topic:   YUKON ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   VALIDATION OF YUKON FUR EXPORT TAX ORDINANCE ACT ASSENTED TO MAY 20, 1919
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NAT

George Black

National Government

Mr. BLACK (Yukon):

It may be that the information has not yet reached the department. Having very recently come from the Yukon I happen to know that such litigation is pending.

Topic:   YUKON ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   VALIDATION OF YUKON FUR EXPORT TAX ORDINANCE ACT ASSENTED TO MAY 20, 1919
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

Can my hon. friend give me any particulars of it?

Topic:   YUKON ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   VALIDATION OF YUKON FUR EXPORT TAX ORDINANCE ACT ASSENTED TO MAY 20, 1919
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NAT

George Black

National Government

Mr. BLACK (Yukon):

It is, I believe,

an attempt to export fur from the Yukon without observing the proper formality. Only recently amendments were passed to the Yukon game ordinance whereby trappers and persons purchasing furs and persons exporting furs must have separate licences. These people I believe undertook, not at all secretly or in an attempt to evade any obligation, to ship some fur, and naturally got into trouble. This legislation should not be retroactive and thus affect them. The words that I suggest as an amendment would accomplish that purpose. Without the amendment I do not think the proposed legislation is fair. As to the general public and as to what will be done in the future in the way of exporting furs, the suggested amendment will have no effect; it is simply a matter of dealing with the particular case that is now pending.

Topic:   YUKON ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   VALIDATION OF YUKON FUR EXPORT TAX ORDINANCE ACT ASSENTED TO MAY 20, 1919
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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

No one in the past has challenged or disputed the fairness of the tax. No handicap is being imposed upon anyone now in respect of paying what everyone else pays. It would be unfair to those who have paid this tax for twenty years if consideration were given to some person merely on a legal technicality. I do not think this legislation imposes any hardship upon anyone. The litigants in question, if the facts are as stated by my hon. friend, and I do not dispute them since I do not know, could pay the tax and have their furs. There is no discrimination against them; they are simply being asked to do what everyone else has done under the same conditions for twenty years.

Topic:   YUKON ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   VALIDATION OF YUKON FUR EXPORT TAX ORDINANCE ACT ASSENTED TO MAY 20, 1919
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I do not think the minister has quite caught the point of the objection of the hon. member for

Yukon. There is a principle involved. As I understand it, the litigation referred to is not ordinary civil litigation; it is a criminal or quasi-criminal prosecution. In that case the question of the constitutionality of the ordinance has been raised as a defence, if I am correctly informed, and it is a perfectly proper and legitimate defence for any accused to raise on advice of counsel. By section 2 of this bill you seek to take away the legal rights of this accused, and that is wrong in principle. The status quo would be preserved for the future by the amendment of the hon. member for Yukon, which affects only prosecutions now under way; in future prosecutions there would be no doubt about it at all, and nobody would be injured. It is a very bad thing to come into parliament and legislate a man out of court. I could use much stronger language than that. I shall not do so, but I suggest to the minister that if he were a legal man he would grasp at once the significance of what I am saying. For a legislature to pass legislation taking away from an accused person a legitimate defence savours of autocracy. I will not go so far as to say it is Hitlerism; it is not as bad as that, but I do suggest to the minister that he ought to accept the amendment. I understand that it has reference to only one case, and it will preserve that man's legal rights. After all this is a British country and we ought to preserve the principles of British justice. I suggest to the minister that to pass this section without the amendment would be a violation of -those principles.

Topic:   YUKON ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   VALIDATION OF YUKON FUR EXPORT TAX ORDINANCE ACT ASSENTED TO MAY 20, 1919
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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

Would that not open the door to all those who have paid the tax in the past, to seek reimbursement?

Topic:   YUKON ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   VALIDATION OF YUKON FUR EXPORT TAX ORDINANCE ACT ASSENTED TO MAY 20, 1919
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Oh, no; that is an entirely different matter. It would not give them any rights at all.

Topic:   YUKON ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   VALIDATION OF YUKON FUR EXPORT TAX ORDINANCE ACT ASSENTED TO MAY 20, 1919
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NAT

George Black

National Government

Mr. BLACK (Yukon):

As to the act being retroactive, the proposed amendment would not prevent that. The act would still date back to 1919 and be effective except with regard to this one prosecution in which the question has been raised. It would not be open to anyone else to take advantage of this amendment. I think it would be only fair 'to accept the amendment.

Topic:   YUKON ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   VALIDATION OF YUKON FUR EXPORT TAX ORDINANCE ACT ASSENTED TO MAY 20, 1919
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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

Well, Mr. Chairman, I would suggest that we let this section stand. We have asked for a report from the commissioner of the Yukon, and before accepting the amendment I should like to satisfy myself as to all the facts in connection with it and to secure the opinion of the legal advisers of the department as to its real scope and effect.

Yukon Act-Fur Export

If that is agreeable to the committee I will move that the committee rise, report progress and ask leave to sit again.

Topic:   YUKON ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   VALIDATION OF YUKON FUR EXPORT TAX ORDINANCE ACT ASSENTED TO MAY 20, 1919
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

The

motion is not debatable, but before it is put would the minister at the same time ascertain from the officers of his department just what is the occasion for this bill if it is not as the result of pending prosecutions under the ordinance? There must be something that brought it to a head. The export tax has been in effect for twenty-one years without ever being challenged, as I understand it; the question has not arisen until now. Perhaps we might have all the reasons for bringing in this -legislation at this -time. I am just suggesting that the minister might get that information.

Topic:   YUKON ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   VALIDATION OF YUKON FUR EXPORT TAX ORDINANCE ACT ASSENTED TO MAY 20, 1919
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

Yes, I can get that, but I rather suspect that these amendments have come under the eye of some student of the law who has raised the question.

Topic:   YUKON ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   VALIDATION OF YUKON FUR EXPORT TAX ORDINANCE ACT ASSENTED TO MAY 20, 1919
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

They do not usually arise in that way; they arise in concrete cases.

Topic:   YUKON ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   VALIDATION OF YUKON FUR EXPORT TAX ORDINANCE ACT ASSENTED TO MAY 20, 1919
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

Not always. These acts are very often under review.

Section stands.

Progress reported.

Topic:   YUKON ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   VALIDATION OF YUKON FUR EXPORT TAX ORDINANCE ACT ASSENTED TO MAY 20, 1919
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NORTHWEST -TERRITORIES ACT JURISDICTION OF PROVINCIAL COURTS-CARE OF INSANE PERSONS


Hon. T. A. CRERAR (Minister of Mines and Resources) moved the second reading of Bill No. 12, to amend the Northwest Territories Act. Motion agreed to, bill read the second time, and the house went into committee thereon, Mr. Vien in the chair. On section 1-Jurisdiction of provincial courts in civil matters.


LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

At the present time the superior courts of the provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia have jurisdiction, west of the eightieth meridian, over civil matters arising in the territories north of their respective boundaries. I am not in a position to inform the house why that jurisdiction was not extended or applied east of the eightieth meridian. At any rate the amendment proposed here seeks to give to the superior courts of Ontario the necessary jurisdiction in that part of the territories lying east of the eightieth meridian. That meridian, I might

point out, runs north through Hudson bay, about two-thirds of the distance from the west coast of the bay.

Topic:   NORTHWEST -TERRITORIES ACT JURISDICTION OF PROVINCIAL COURTS-CARE OF INSANE PERSONS
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Is it

approximately an extension of the Manitoba-Ontario boundary?

Topic:   NORTHWEST -TERRITORIES ACT JURISDICTION OF PROVINCIAL COURTS-CARE OF INSANE PERSONS
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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

No, it is somewhat east of that. In paragraph 2 it is proposed to give the courts surrogate powers to deal with estates in the territories adjacent to their respective provinces. Doubts have arisen in the minds of some of the surrogate court judges as to whether they have the power now to deal with these matters. This is particularly so in the western provinces. By way of illustration may I point out that in the northwest territories north of the province of Alberta considerable mining activities have developed, particularly along the north shore of Great Slave lake. At that point there is now a considerable population. Two small mines are operating, and in the natural course of events people will die and leave property. Their wills will have to be probated or administrators will have to be appointed. This particular section of the bill is being enacted to make clear beyond doubt that these powers exist.

Curiously enough, in the Northwest Territories Act as it stands at present, power is given to the governor in council to arrange with the lieutenant-governor of Manitoba for care of insane persons, or persons who might become insane in the territories adjacent to Manitoba. Section 2 gives power to the governor in council at Ottawa to make similar arrangements with the governments of all the provinces.

Topic:   NORTHWEST -TERRITORIES ACT JURISDICTION OF PROVINCIAL COURTS-CARE OF INSANE PERSONS
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NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. CHURCH:

Has there been any application from Ontario to take over this section east of the eightieth meridian as part of that province? I ask that in view of the expenditures made by Ontario at points very close to the boundary. Then, who asked for the bill? Did Ontario ask for it? Has Ontario asked the federal government to confer on these territories civil and surrogate jurisdiction?

Almost eveiy session during periods set aside for the discussion of private and public bills, members are asked to approve of principles and, secondly, to approve the legality of legislation. Has a law officer of the crown attached to the minister's department recommended this bill? Does the Department of Justice recommend it, and if so does it state that it comes within the British North America Act? I ask that question because the bill deals exclusively with property *and civil rights of the provinces.

Northwest Territories Act

The committee should not pass the next section of the bill. We know that sane people have been found in mental institutions, as has happened in Ontario; and the law courts have had no jurisdiction to take them out. To give the governor in council power to detain people in an institution when, in fact, those people may not be insane, is a most dangerous principle.

I should like to hear an explanation of the first point I have raised. Was the bill referred to the Minister of Justice, and has he decided whether it is within the provisions of the British North America Act? Has he decided whether parliament is at liberty to amend the Northwest Territories Act, and thereby confer additional jurisdiction outside that act? I ask that because the Northwest Territories Act has some jurisdiction in respect of property and civil rights, although the territories do not constitute a province. It may have been held in the courts that there is a lack of jurisdiction over surrogate matters, or matters connected with wills and property. In my view however the bill should have been reported on by the Department of Justice, and we should have a statement from the various provinces affected indicating whether they are asking for it or were consulted. Were the attorneys-general of the provinces affected by the measure shown a copy of it, and did they approve of it?

We have had other bills seeking to amend the Northwest Territories Act, and we know what was done with property, civil rights and education on those former occasions. On one or two occasions the privy council had to interfere, and in view of that fact we should be most careful, especially in war time, not to sanction a bill of this kind without first knowing what we are doing.

Topic:   NORTHWEST -TERRITORIES ACT JURISDICTION OF PROVINCIAL COURTS-CARE OF INSANE PERSONS
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May 28, 1940