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


John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)


If we have the right to delegate to a province could we not also delegate to a municipality ? I object to this Bill on the constitutional ground.
The hon. member has another ground on which he urges the acceptance of his measure. He says it will furnish a more expeditious and less costly means of dealing with the matter-that it is better to have it decided by a county court judge than by the Railway Committee of the Privy Council. Well, I have this much confidence in the Railway Committee of the Privy Council, even as at present constituted, to believe that that committee will deal with this matter better than any county court judge or arbitrators or any other judge the hon. gentleman may select in the county of Essex or elsewhere, both from the point of view of equity and cheapness. There is no cheaper tribunal to be had than the Railway Committee of the Privy Council. The party need not bring his witnesses, his counsel need not attend, the Privy Council will still hear the case, and may send, at the expense of the Dominion, an officer of the department for the purpose of looking into and reporting upon it. It is the cheapest and fairest possible tribunal that I know of. It is very popular to say that a party may get his witnesses near at home, and his counsel, and the court, and that that is a much cheaper and better system ; but until a commission is appointed, I believe that the cheapest and most equitable tribunal is the Railway Committee of the Privy Council.
But what I particularly object to is the delegation by the Dominion of its powers to the provinces, and I think that if the question ever comes before the courts, they will decide that we have no power to make

the delegation proposed either to the provinces or to the municipalities.

Full View