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view taken by the Judicial Committee, as to the meaning of the words "regulation of trade and commerce," though it is expressly stated that "their Lordships abstain on the present occasion from any attempt to define the limits of the authority of the Dominion Parliament in this direction." They held however that the authority to legislate for the regulation of trade and commerce did not comprehend the power to regulate by legislation the contracts of a particular trade, such as the business of a fire insurance in a single province.
The subsection in question is limited in its operation by Limitathe effect of some of the provisions in section 92. To prohibit the sale of certain articles in the public street is an interference with trade, but it was held that a by-law of a municipal body to this effect was not ultra vires of a provincial Legislature, inasmuch as it related to police or municipal matters which are within provincial control'.
The power of the Dominion Parliament to legislate on trade and commerce is limited by the implied or incidental power the provinces have of passing laws necessary to give effect to the express powers of legislation committed to them.
On this ground the Quebec Pharmacy Act 1875, requiring qualifications on the part of persons exercising the business of selling drugs and medicines, was held valid2 as falling within "local" matters in the province.
The Dominion has also sole jurisdiction in
Patents of Invention and Discovery. s. 91 (22).
2. Copyrights. s. 91 (23).
3. Incorporation of Banks. s. 91 (15).
1 Re Harris & the Corporation of City of Hamilton, 44 U. C. Q. B. 641;
1 Cart. 756; see also Hodge v. The Queen, L. R. 9 App. Cas. 117, and the cases in Cartwright, vol. ii.
2 Bennett v. Pharmaceutical Association of Quebec, 1 Dorion's Quebec Appeals, 336; 2 Cart. 250.
But with the exception of banks the provinces have full power as regards "the incorporation of companies with provincial objects," s. 92 (11). This however implies that the incorporation of companies to carry on business throughout the Dominion belongs to the Dominion, and the fact that a company confines the exercise of its powers to one province will not render its incorporation ultra vires1.
13. MONEY AND BANKING.
The following matters are solely within Dominion legislation :
1. Currency and Coinage. s. 91 (14).
3. Legal Tender. s. 91 (20).
s. 91 (18).
4. Bills of Exchange and Promissory Notes.
7. Interest. s. 91 (19).
A province may authorize a corporation or other body to borrow money at a rate of interest legalised by the Dominion. Parliament, but it cannot alter the legal rate of interest.
14. AGRICULTURE AND IMMIGRATION.
On two subjects, viz.
1. Agriculture in the province,
2. Immigration into the province,
concurrent powers of legislation are given to the Dominion and the provinces, subject to the proviso that a provincial law is only to be of force in so far as it is not repugnant to the Dominion Act. s. 95.
1 A. G. for Quebec v. Colonial Building and Investment Association, 9 App. Cas. 157.
2 Royal Canadian Insurance Co. v. Montreal Warehousing Co. Q. 3 Legal News, 155; 2 Cart. 361; Ross v. Torrance, Q. 2 Legal News, 186; 2 Cart. 352.
15. LOCAL MATTERS.
Each province has jurisdiction in
(1) Municipal institutions in the province. s. 92 (8). Municipal (2) Generally all matters of a merely local or private tions. nature in the province. s. 92 (16).
This last sub-section must be read in connection with the following provision in section 91:
"Any matter coming within any of the classes of subjects enumerated in this section [s. 91] shall not be deemed to come within the class of matters of a local or private nature comprised in the enumeration of the classes of subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the provinces."
In the case of L'Union St Jacques v. Belisle1 the Judicial What are Committee of the Privy Council was called upon to consider matters. the meaning of the words "matters of a merely local or private nature." A benefit society called L'Union St Jacques de Montreal, incorporated in the city of Montreal, and consisting of members living within the Province of Quebec, had owing to improvident regulations become embarrassed. The local Legislature passed an Act imposing a forced commutation of existing rights upon two widows who were annuitants of the society, but reserving the rights so cut down in the possible event of an improvement in the affairs of the association. "Clearly this matter is private," said Lord Selborne in delivering the judgment of the Court; "clearly it is local, so far as locality is to be considered, because it is in the province and in the city of Montreal." A majority of the judges of the Quebec Court of Queen's Bench had held that the subject-matter of the Act came within the class of "insolvency," which under the 91st section belonged exclusively to the authority of the Dominion Parliament; a view not followed by the Judicial Committee. The fact that the
1 L. R. 6, P. C. 31; 1 Cart. 63.
society was embarrassed did not make it "insolvent," and the object of the Act was to prevent insolvency and enable the society to continue.
This case was followed in Dow v. Black', where an Act of the Legislature of New Brunswick to enable the majority of the inhabitants of a parish within the province to raise, by local taxation, a subsidy to promote the construction of a railway extending beyond the province, but already duly authorized to be made, was held to be a "local or private matter" resembling an Act authorizing trustees or guardians of a minor to let a warehouse to the company.
Municipal Institutions. The right of a province to regulate the liquor traffic has been held in several cases to be valid as an exercise of the power to make police or municipal regulations. The validity of such laws has been attacked, chiefly on the ground that they are an interference with trade, but the case of Hodge v. The Queen has finally determined that such laws so long as they relate to police or to municipal or local matters are not ultra vires. A province may therefore enforce a Sunday Closing Act3.
This power to deal with municipal institutions impliedly gives power to alter and amend the laws relating to such institutions as existed at the time the Act passed. And where a by-law of a municipal body forbade the sale by retail in public streets of certain articles, it was held not to be an interference with "the regulation of trade and commerce"."
1 L. R. 6, P. C. 272; 1 Cart. p. 95.
2 See Hodge v. The Queen, 9 App. Cas. 117; Sulte v. Corporation of City
of Three Rivers, 12 C. S. C. R. 25.
3 Poulin v. Corporation of Quebec, 9 Can. S. C. R. 185.
4 Re Harris and the Corporation of the City of Hamilton, 44 U. C. Q. B. 641; 1 Cart. 756.
16. ALTERATION OF LAWS EXISTING AT TIME OF THE UNION.
By section 129, the laws in force in each province were to continue in force, subject (except as regards Imperial Acts) to being altered by the Dominion or province, according as their subject-matter was within the jurisdiction of the Dominion or the province under the provisions of the Act of Union.
The powers possessed by a provincial Legislature to repeal and alter old statutes are co-extensive with the powers of direct legislation which the province possesses under other clauses of the Act'.
1 Dobie v. The Temporalities Board, L. R. 7 App. Cas. 136; 1 Cart. 351.