I happened to be out of the chamber, and I am not sure that the question I have in mind has been brought up under this section. Paragraph (c) reads:
"Institution" shall have such meaning as may be prescribed in the regulations.
I do not understand why it is necessary to adopt that form. This is supposed to be an explanation, but it is really no explanation at all. It is simply handing over to the people who will draw up the regulations the power to say what it means. In the other paragraphs of this section ,we find definitions of "child", "maintains", "minister", "parent", "registration" and so on. There is no attempt made in this section to explain the meaning of "institution". It says:
"institution" shall have such meaning as may be prescribed in the regulations.
Is what we mean by "institution" so complex that it cannot be explained in a paragraph just as "child" is explained in paragraph (b)? This takes the whole power away from parliament to define an institution and gives the power to the person who will draw the regulations. Is this committee incapable of defining "institution", or is there anything improper about it that we cannot deal with it here? Is this one definition out of them all beyond us, that we cannot say what the word means? It is a common thing in this house to say, whichever party is out of power, that the government is governing by order in council, but orders in council are not nearly as bad as the abuse of the power to make regulations. Orders in council, many of them, are just matters of passing a resolution, and they must be passed by thousands in time of war. The real damage, if damage is done, is done by abuse of the power to make regulations. This power to make regulations generally appears at the back of an act where it is scarcely noticed, and it gives the framer of the regulations power almost to make an act that suits him. It is generally provided that the regulations must be laid on the table, but has any hon. gentleman had the experience of trying to get something that has been laid on the table? I was referred to three different people when I tried to get something that had been laid on the table, and finally I was told that I might get it in a few months hence if I am lucky. I would1 ask whoever is in charge of the bill to explain why it is necessary to take all powers away from this parliament to define such a simple ordinary word as "institution".
Topic: JULY 31, 1944