March 3, 1902 (9th Parliament, 2nd Session)


The SIINISTER OF JUSTICE (Hon. Charles Fitzpatrick).

If I indicate to my hon. friend (Sir. Slonk) where he will find the judgments, perhaps he will be good enough to withdraw his motion as it would then be unnecessary for us to get the judgments of the Supreme and Exchequer Courts. Sly hon. friend will find the Exchequer judgment at 6 Exchequer Court Reports, page 425, and the Supreme Court Judgment at 31 Supreme Court Reports, page 206. I may just add that when the accident happened and an investigation was made by the Slilitia Department, it was decided to place $1,000 in the estimates to provide for the remuneration of Sir. Larose to some extent for the accident, although, of course, no liability was admitted. Sir. Larose was not satisfied with the amount then offered and took proceedings in the Exchequer Court by which proceedings he claimed $10,000 damages. It was found in the Exchequer Court that there was no jurisdiction in the court to deal with the case, because the accident, if accident there was, did not happen on what is known as a

public work, it being held that the rifle range at Cote St. Luc was not a public work within the meaning of the Exchequer Court Act. The judge said that he thought the amount then put in the estimates to make provision for the damages would still remain available to him. The amount did remain available. Notwithstanding that La-rose took an appeal to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court held, first, that there was no claim because the accident did not occur upon a public work, the man being a mile distant from the Cote St. Luc rifle ranges from which the bullet was supposed to have been fired, and it held further that as a matter of fact there was no evidence that the rifle ball had been fired from a rifle in the hands of a servant of the Dominion government or even of a militiaman, because the rifle ranges at Montreal are frequented, not only by militiamen, but by those who desire to indulge in target practise. However, so far as the courts are concerned, it has been decided that this matter is out of court. X am very glad to hear the Minister of Militia and Defence (Hon. Mr. Borden) say that the amount originally intended to be paid might still be available, and I think this is fairly generous treatment under the circumstances, because the Crown has been put to a fairly large amount of costs in defending these suits.

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