House of Commons, 3 March 1905, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

2021 March 3, 1905


Mr. FOSTER. Before the Orders of the Day are called, I would like to ask the right hon. First Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) if he can give any information to the House as to the probable date at which the second reading of the Autonomy Bill will be taken up?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Not this day, but I think I can inform the House early next week.

SUPPLY‚ÄĒMUNICIPAL TAXATION, C. P. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† R. LINES.

Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance) moved that the House go into Committee of Supply.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (South York). I wish to direct the attention of the House to a very important judgment delivered recently by the Supreme Court of Canada. The court pronounced on the contention of the western municipalities that the lands of the Canadian Pacific Railway were subject to municipal taxation, and the holding was absolutely against the municipalities in that respect. I would suggest to the Prime Minister that when he is preparing any more measures dealing with territorial autonomy he should have this judgment before him, because there are laid down in it certain very important interpretations of the constitution. It is well also that the general public should become acquainted with those interpretations in view of other questions which will be discussed in this House, and I therefore ask the Prime Minister to have the judgment of the Supreme Court printed. From the copy of the decision I have been able to get, I read these extracts from words of the chief justice speaking the unanimous opinion of the court.
I am unable for myself to reach the conclusion that the principles with regard to legislation generally and specially with regard to India laid down in the Burah case have or can have any application to the special tentative and uncertain powers of legislation which were vested in the Lieutenant Governor in Council or by and with the advice of the assembly for the Northwest Territories in 1881.
Further he says:
Reliance was placed in the judgment below and in the argument before us upon the education clauses of the Territories Act of 1880, section 10, as the section was originally enacted in 1875 and re-enacted in the Consolidating Act of 1880, its operation was expressly made contingent upon a system of taxation having been first adopted in the district. That limitation upon the operation of the section was, it, is true, abolished in 1885 by parliament (48-49 Vic., cap. 51), but when the latter statute was passed the Northwest" Territories Council had already in 1883 and 1884 passed ordinances introducing systems of taxation for municipalities and school districts throughout the territories, and the words of limitation were no longer neces- [...]


Canada. House of Commons Debates, 1875-1949. Provided by the Library of Parliament.



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