April 5, 1921 (13th Parliament, 5th Session)


Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)



No, because in that same legislation it was provided, in the first place, that all judges appointed in the future should be liable to pay income tax; second, that with regard to all judges of the Higher Court appointed in future, the provisions enabling them to retire on full salary should be repealed, and that as regards all existing judges, in fixing the amount of their retiring allowance, where they were entitled to their full salary, the increase of last year should not be taken into account. So that the position of the actual Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is this: As long as he remains on the bench, he will receive absolutely the same remuneration that he received before the legislation of last year. If he comes to retire, having fulfilled the conditions which, under the past law, entitled a judge to retire with his full salary, he will retire with that full salary, not as it is created by the legislation of last year, but as it stood before that legislation, that is to say, with a retiring allowance of $10,000.
The hon. gentleman asked one other question. He asked-Was this laying down the principle that the Chief Justice of Canada should be exempt from taxation? It is not. The principle that has been laid down for the future is that the salaries of all judges appointed hereafter shall be liable to taxation. As regards existing judges, the salaries of all
4 p.m. judges whose salaries were increased by last year's legislation, shall be liable to income tax. But as regards those judges whose salaries were not increased, we were bound by the contract which was made with them when they were appointed and under which their remuneration was to be exempt from taxation. We took occasion of the increase made to make, as a condition of the increase in salary, the withdrawal of the exemption to which judges were otherwise entitled. In doing that, however, we withdrew from one man, who got no increase at all, the privilege to which he was entitled under his appointment, and we could not justify our action in that regard as being hte condition of an increase in remuneration.

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