Legislative Assembly, 29 May 1867, New Brunswick Confederation Debates

[...] question should be well looked into. If we are to give up our Stock to Canada, it would, of course, be better to give a bonus of $3,500 more to the Railway. I think, however, it will be found that my construction of the Act in this particular is correct, that its application is to property we had at the time Act was passed.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY.—If the construction put upon the Act by the hon. member for Westmorland is correct, it would enable New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to take stock in anything, and make the General Government responsible for it ; thus, though it might amount to $14.000,000, and the value be in reality only $7,000,000 yet they would have to pay the full amount. If his constriction is right, it would of course be the easiest way to do it, but I am afraid that is neither the intention nor the construction of the law. I know in Conference we told them that we had Railways which should go in ; Canada said they had no Railways, but they had $16,000,000 stock in the Grand Trunk and it was not expected that that should come in with their debts. So with regard to the stock which we hold in the Saint Andrews and Quebec Railway ; that becomes the property of the Government, because that was taken before the Act, but I do not think we could now take more stock and expect them to become responsible for it. This power, I think is not conferred upon us by the Act.
Mr. SMITH.—I should like to know, then, how we can legislate on the County Courts? There is a Bill now before the House which contemplates the expenditure of large salaries for Judges, which is not provided for in the Act of Union. Sections 96. 97 and 100 say :
" 96. The Governor General shall appoint the Judges of the Superior, District and County Courts, in each Province, except those of the Courts of Probate in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick."
"97. Until the Laws relative to Property and Civil Rights in Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and the procedure of the Courts in those Provinces are made uniform, the Judges of the Courts of those Provinces appointed by the Governor General shall be selected from the respective Bars of those Provinces."
"100. The Salaries, Allowances and Pensions of the Judges of the Superior, District and County Courts, (except the Courts of Probate and Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), and of the Admiralty Courts, in cases where the Judges thereof are for the time being paid by salary, shall be fixed and provided by the Parliament of Canada."
I would ask why the exception is made of the Courts of Probate, if it is not to show that we have power over these and no others? I would also ask if it is competent to make a Judge of Probate a Judge of a County Court? I think not —I do not believe we have the power to do anything of the kind. I am aware that section 92, clause. 14, gives to the Local Legislature—
"The administration of Justice in the Province, including the constitution, maintenance and organization of Provincial Courts, both of Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction, and including procedure in Civil matters in those Courts."
But, still, we cannot pass an Act here to appoint Judges to the County Courts because the Act of Union gives that power into the hands of the General Government, both of Courts and Judges. And if we can create County Courts, why, I would ask, cannot we go on and create District Courts, too? That power, it seems to be conceded, is denied to us.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY.—The exception was made of Courts of Probate because it was distinctly understood, and it is embodied in the Act, that no person appointed to those Courts could be paid out of the central funds. But suppose we chose to increase the number of Supreme Judges to seven, they would all have to be paid out of the general fund ; and, whether these Courts are established here now or not, the Act concedes to us the power to create the new Courts. There is no trouble at all about the spirit and sentiment of what was intended, nor I think about the law itself.
Hon. Mr. WILMOT.—I do not think the salaries we may fix will be binding upon the General Government, but so far as the creating of these Courts and the appointing of Judges is concerned, I think there is no doubt but that we have the power. I have long felt the necessity of such Courts here, as have long been established in England and in Western Canada, and I know it was distinctly talked about and settled by the Conference. I think also that we have a perfect power to take additional stock in Railways or to give a bonus right out, as we see fit, but I think that to do it after the passage of that Act, and thus increase our liability, would be to practice a fraud upon the General Government.
Mr. SMITH.—Then there is prosecution for crime, that pertains, I see, to the New Dominion, as I understand it ; and I would ask the Attorney General if the criminal jurisprudence of the country belongs to the General or Local Government?
Hon. Mr. FISHER.—I shall not take up the time in answering these matters to-day, but when the County Courts Bill comes up, I will go into the whole question.
Mr. BABBIT.—I would ask who we are to get information from if not from the Government? If the Attorney General is the proper authority to give information on these questions, I think he certainly ought to do it. If it is not his duty, then we ought to look to some one else who can enlighten us on these important matters, for at present we seem to be legislating in the dark.
Mr. KERR.—This discussion has been very profitable, enbracing as it does the very business for which we came here, and I think we ought to have another sitting.
Mr. SMITH.—I should certainly very much like to have some of my questions answered, I have tried almost everything to gain information, but as yet I have been unsuccessful.
Mr. WETMORE.—I can sympathize with my hon. friend, for I well remember how I was kept in the dark on very important matters on one occasion, although I asked questions for a period of forty days.
Mr. YOUNG.—I move, Mr. Chairman, that you have the Chair, report progress, and ask leave to sit again.
Mr. SPEAKER called the attention of the Committee to the fact that during the whole debate, which had taken a wide range, there had been nothing before the Chair, in the shape of motion, or resolution, and that according to the rules laid down they could not report progress without having something to make progress in. He hoped in future that some resolution would be placed distinctly before the Committee, so that the rules of debate might not be infringed.
The SPEAKER having resumed his seat, Mr. Stevens reported that the Committee of the Whole House having had under their consideration the Report of the Auditory General, begged to report that they had made progress therein, and asked for leave to sit again.


Mr. WETMORE presented the Petition of Thomas King, of the City of St. ohn, Railway Contractor, praying for an investigation of his claim against the Government.
The Petition was received and laid on the table.
Mr. SKINNER moved for leave to bring in a Bill in further amendment of the Act relating to the management of the General Public Hospital in the City of Saint John.
Leave was granted and the Bill read a first time.
Mr. KERR asked the Chief Commissioner of the Board of Works to lay before teh House the Petition of William O'Brien relating to a Bridge.
Hon. Mr. McCLELAN said he would do so to-morrow morning.
Mr. SKINNER moved for leave to DEBATES OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY FOR 1867. 97 bring in a Bill to provide for the inspection of Petroleum and Coal Oils and Burning Fluids.
Leave was granted and the Bill read a first time.
Mr. FERRIS presented the Petition of J.C. Bergee, jr., and 85 others, inhabitants of Queen's County, praying that parts of the Counties of the Queen's, Subury, Kent, and Northumberland might be formed into a separate County.
The Petition was received and laid on the table.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY laid before the House certain papers relating to Fire Loan Bonds and Delegation Expenses.


Mr. SMITH.- I will take this opportunity to ask if the Government still continue to withhold the information about the appointment of Senators?
Hon. Mr. TILLEY.- We have received no further information since my last reply.
Mr. FERRIS presented the Petition of Charles Clarke and 100 others, inhabitants of Queen's County, praying that the line of certain Great Roads might be changed.
The Petition was received and laid on the table.


Mr. STEVENS moved the House into Committee on a Bill to ratify and confirm the incorporation of the New Brunswick Antimony Company.
Mr. YOUNG in the Chair.
Mr. STEVENS said the Bill was accompanied by a Petition, and all the requirements of the Act had been complied with but making oath before a Justice of the Peace, which as some of the parties resided in the United States was found very inconvenient, and they prayed to be released from the portion of the law.
Mr. HIBBARD said it would require more than the bare statement of the Petition that the 15 per cent, of the capital stock had been paid up. He did not believe it had been, but if it had, it was very easy for them to show proof ; the Secretary's office was quite near, and the information could very soon be obtained.
Mr. STEVENS said he heid the Secretary's certificate that the amount had been paid up.
Mr. HIBBARD said he believed the matter had been before the Government and they, not having proof of the proportion of stock having been paid up, refused to grant the certificate.
Hon. Mr. WILLISTON confirmed the statement of Mr. Hibbard as to the withholding of the certificate.
Mr. STEVENS said that was very strange, as she held the certificate in his hand, signed by the Provincial Secretary.
Hon. Mr. WILLISTON said there must be some mistake about it.
Mr. SMITH moved that progress be reported, which, the Speaker having resumed the Chair, was done.
Mr. STEVENS then moved that the Bill be referred to a Special Committee to report upon, and Mesers, Stevens, Smith, and Ilibbard were so appointed.


Hon. Mr. McADAM moved the House into Committee on a Bill relating to Firemen in the Parish of St. Stephen.
Mr. YOUNG in the Chair.
The Bill was agreed to without any debate.
The House then adjourned till tomorrow morning, at 10 o'clock.


New Brunswick. Reports of the Debates of the House of Assembly. St. John: G.W. Day, 1865-1867. Microfilm copies provided by the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.



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