March 10, 1914 (12th Parliament, 3rd Session)

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN:

My right hon. friend has brought to my attention .a question which was under consideration before .the Bill was introduced, .and I may say to him that it was submitted to the Deputy Minister of Justice, who has advised that it is competent for this Parliament to .increase the representation of Manitoba in the Senate to six. I will explain briefly the reason for that, .and I shall be glad to go into it more elaborately when the Bill is in committee. Just now I will only indicate what the position is according to the opinion of the Deputy Minister of Justice, which seems to me well founded. The British North America Act, 1886, contained this recital:
Whereas it is expedient to empower the Parliament of Canada to provide for the representation in the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, or either of them, of any territory which for the time being forms part of the Dominion of Canada, but is not included in any province:
Be it therefore enacted
and so forth, that:
1. The Parliament of Canada may, from time to time, make provision for the representation in the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, or in either of them, of any territories which for the time being form part of the Dominion of Canada, but are not included in any province thereof.
2. Any Act passed by the Parliament of Canada before the passing of this Act for the purpose mentioned in this Act shall, if not disallowed by the Queen, be, and shall be deemed to have been valid and effectual from the date at which it received the assent, in Her Majesty's name, of the Governor General of Canada.
It is hereby declared that any Act passed by the Parliament of Canada, whether before or after the passing of this Act, for the purpose mentioned in this Act or in the British North America Act, 1871, has effect, notwithstanding anything in the British North America Act, 1867, and the number of senators or the number of members of the House of Commons specified in the last-mentioned Act is increased by the number of senators or of members, as the case may be, provided by any such Act of the Parliament of Canada for the representation of any provinces or territories of Canada.
As I understand the view of the Deputy Minister of Justice, as it has been expressed

in a short memorandum, it is that under the authority of the Act of 1886, when territories not previously included in any province and not represented in the Senate or House of Commons, are added to a province it is competent to make provision for their representation either in one House or the other and that, inasmuch as a very large territory was added to the province of Manitoba by the Act of 1912, it is considered competent, under the provisions of the Imperial Act of 1886, which I have just quoted, to provide for additional representation and that sucli provision may be made by this House. That is, shortly speaking, the view entertained by the Department of Justice.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR ADDITIONAL SENATORS.
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