Joseph Arthur Lesage
I am about to read his reasons.
I am about to read his reasons.
His conclusion was that the appeal should be dismissed.
Of course, and I am about to read the reason he gave for concluding that. A little later on in his notes he says: Parliament has declared that the emergency is still continuing. That declaration is peculiarly within the rights of parliament to make. And although the judiciary has the right, in a proper case, to review parliament's decision, and has a duty, upon sufficient evidence, to reverse that decision, still the courts ought not to venture upon such a review or reversal unless the need of doing so is clear. The courts have always exercised that right "with reluctance"; per Lord Haldane in In re the Board of Commerce Act, 1919, and the Combines and Fair Prices Act, 1919, reported in 1922, 1 A.C. 191 at 200.
That is the very question we have before us, whether there is an emergency or not. The judgment goes on:
In my view, P.C. 1292 goes beyond the act, and to the extent of that excess is invalid. That view renders it unnecessary-and I think inadvisable-for me to deal with the validity or invalidity of the transitional act.
Was there concurrence in the expressed opinion of one judge who said that there was no emergency? There is an emergency in Canada at the present time arising out of the last war that is still continuing.
The first war or the second?
Of course the emergency following the first war was of a special kind due to the policies of the Torv government that
we had from 1914 to 1918. The policies of the government during the last war-
The Deputy Chairman:
I would ask hon. members to refrain from interrupting the speaker, no matter on what side of the house he may sit.
I like it.
The Deputy Chairman:
Order. Every hon. member should have the opportunity to present his views without interruption. I appeal to hon. members to support the rules by trying to keep proper order and decorum.
What is an emergency? According to the Oxford dictionary an emergency is a sudden juncture demanding immediate action. Will any hon. member on the other side of the house say that the situation in regard to rents is such that we should do away with it?
Who wants to?
Is there a disturbance or peculiar situation amounting to an emergency in connection with housing? Is that emergency continuing owing to the fact that we were not able to build houses during the war? Is there not an emergency that we should deal with? The leader of the opposition has said that there is. If there is such an emergency why do hon. members on the other side rise in their places from time to time and ask that they be given an example of the emergency? Who will say that the situation with regard to housing is not a national emergency? Will any hon. member rise in his place and say that because of the shortage of certain commodities it is not necessary to keep certain prices down by price control, at least for some time?
If the Tories want to take the responsibility of disrupting the Canadian economy by doing away with all controls at this time let them do so. They must accept that responsibility before the people at the next election and I am mighty glad that they are doing it.
The hon. member has been emphasizing rent control but I ask him to name quickly three other emergencies. Will he stop harping on rent control and name three others? Go ahead. He cannot do it.
The hon. member has only to
Answer the question.
-the list of twelve orders in council which will be mentioned in the bill and he will have his answer. There are not only three; there are twelve.
Transitional Measures Act
For example, steel and distribution of building materials which are in short supply. As I say, if the members of the opposition want to disturb the Canadian economy at this time, let them do so; but they will be responsible to the Canadian people.
I am glad they are taking this stand because it is going to help us and there will be fewer members on the other side after the next election.
I have listened for hours on end to the legal aspects of this argument and I resolved long ago that I would not get into it. After all, it is the sort of situation into which only lawyers would jump. I received through the mail today a copy of the judgment which has been referred to so often during the course of this debate. I also received many other letters in today's mail, to one of which I wish to make reference in a few minutes. This made me decide to say a few words on this legal point. I must admit that the hon. member for Montmagny-L'lslet has said much of what I intended to say, but perhaps not being a lawyer I can express myself in a layman's terms.
I have read to the best of my non-legal ability the judgments of Mr. Justice McPherson, Mr. Justice Coyne, Mr. Justice Dysart and Mr. Justice Adamson of the Manitoba court of appeal. As I read those judgments it seemed to me that there was one thing on which the four justices were agreed, namely, that they were ruling on the validity of order in council P.C. 1292 under the terms of the Transitional Measures Act. They did not rule that the Transitional Measures Act was ultra vires of this parliament, but they did rule that P.C. 1292 was ultra vires of the Transitional Measures Act. I may say by way of digression that I cannot follow their views on that matter. They speak about this 28J cents per bushel that was taken from this man Nolan who held this barley as though he had created that value. As a matter of fact that 28J cents was a fortuitous profit created by the action of the government in removing the ceilings, so to me their argument is very dubious on that point. But that is not the issue now. The issue is clear, and all the legal gentlemen of the official opposition should not keep dragging out these four judgments together with the previous judgment of Mr. Justice Williams as a proof, somehow, that we are doing something here that we have no right to do. The judgments either do not discuss it at all or they admit the validity of the Continuation of Transitional Measures Act itself. The only thing they say is that the act did not give the government power to pass P.C. 1292, because
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Transitional Measures Act there was no emergency with respect to barley.
No general emergency.