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Veto of

Acts disallowed.



THE Dominion Executive has, within very definite limits, a certain degree of control over the provincial Legislatures and Administrations.

As regards the provincial Legislatures, every Act passed has to be transmitted to the Governor-General, who, within one year, may disallow the same. An account has already been given of the course followed by the Governor-General on receipt of a provincial Act'. As a rule it is referred to the Minister of Justice, who reports thereon to the GovernorGeneral. The power of disallowance is in practice exercised only on the advice of the Dominion Ministry. Up to the present time it has been but seldom used. From 1867 to 1882 out of 6000 Acts only 31 were disallowed. Since 1883 the following Acts have been disallowed':—

1883 An Act of New Brunswick to incorporate a Bridge Company.

Two Acts of British Columbia incorporating Railway



An Act of Ontario respecting Licence duties. 1885 An Act of British Columbia restricting the immigration of Chinese.

1 Ante, p. 175.

On the Disallowance of Provincial Acts, see Can. Sess. Pap. 1882, No. 141: Ib. 1885, No. 29, and Ib., Report of Minister of Justice, 1st April, 1886.

An Ordinance of the North West Territories ex- Acts dis-
empting certain property from seizure and sale.
An Act of Manitoba respecting escheats and for-
feitures and estates of intestates.

1886 An Act of British Columbia to prevent the immi

gration of Chinese.

An Act of British Columbia to amend the Land

Act 1884.

An Act of British Columbia to amend the Sumas
Dyking Act 1878.

Two Acts of Manitoba to incorporate certain Rail-
way Companies.

1887 A Manitoba Act respecting the Lieutenant-Governor

and his Deputies.

A Manitoba Act to incorporate the Rock Lake,
Louis Valley and Brandon Railway Company.

A Nova Scotia Act concerning the collection of
freight and wharfage and warehouse charges.

In the majority of cases in which an Act has been Reasons. disallowed it has been on the ground that the Act in question was clearly beyond the competency of the provincial Legislature. Where there is a reasonable doubt as to the power of the Legislature to pass the Act, it is usually allowed to come into operation, and the persons affected thereby are left to pursue their remedy in the Courts.


The British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia Rail- Railway way Acts have been disallowed on another ground, viz., that they were contrary to the railway policy of the Dominion. By a clause of the contract between the Government of Canada and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company it is provided :—

"That for twenty years from the date hereof, no line of railway shall be authorized by the Dominion Parliament to be constructed south of the Canadian Pacific Railway from any point at or near the Canadian Pacific Railway, except such line as shall run south-west or to the westward of south

Provincial administration.

west; nor to within fifteen miles of Latitude 49, and in the establishment of any New Province in the North West Territory provision shall be made for continuing such prohibition after such establishment until the expiration of the said period."

The Dominion Government up to the present year has maintained the policy embodied in this contract and has disallowed all provincial Acts incorporating railways forbidden to be constructed by the above clause.


Notwithstanding the disallowing of a recent Railway Act dispute. the Government of Manitoba proceeded with the construction of a railway, and thereupon the Minister of Justice obtained an injunction against the contractor and the Railway Company practically prohibiting the construction of the line. During the dispute the Manitoba Government petitioned the Queen in Council, urging that a provincial bill ought not to be vetoed so long as it was within the competence of the provincial Legislature. It may be pointed out, that any interference by the Crown with the veto of the GovernorGeneral, exercised on the advice of his responsible advisers, would be distinctly "unconstitutional" and at variance with the principle of ministerial responsibility.

Negotiations, not yet completed, have resulted in an understanding between the Dominion, the Province, and the Pacific Railway Company, by which the Company are to surrender the monopoly in consideration of a money payment.

As regards the provincial administration the appointment of the Lieutenant-Governor and the Judges is in the hands of the Governor-General in Council. The LieutenantGovernor is therefore a Dominion and not a provincial officer and that he is responsible to the Dominion Government for his acts was clearly shewn in the Letellier case', when the

1 Ante, p. 173.


Lieutenant-Governor was removed from his office on the advice of the Canadian Privy Council. The sections of the Advice of B. N. A. Act 1867' relating to the appointment and tenure of office by a Lieutenant-Governor, provide that the appointment shall be by the "Governor-General in Council," and that he shall hold office during the pleasure of the 'Governor-General." Much stress was laid on this distinction in the Letellier case as the then Governor-General was adverse to acting on the advice of his Ministers to remove M. Letellier de St Just. The Colonial Secretary in his despatch pointed out, "that other powers vested in a similar way by the statute in the Governor-General were clearly intended to be, and in practice are, exercised by and with the advice of his Ministers: and though the position of a Governor-General would entitle his views on such a subject as that under consideration to peculiar weight, yet Her Majesty's Government do not find anything in the circumstances which would justify him in departing in this instance from the general rule, and declining to follow the decided and sustained opinion of his Ministers."

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The enforcement of the judgments and orders of the Enforcing judgSupreme Court of Canada in the provinces, is a matter of the ments of Supreme greatest importance in view of the fact that the Supreme Court may be called upon to decide on the legality of a provincial Act. It is therefore necessary that in all the provinces the Supreme Court should be represented by its officers, but in order to avoid the cost of maintaining Dominion officers, as well as provincial officers, the plan has been adopted of making the officers of the provincial Courts ex officio officers of the Supreme Court. By section 105 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1886, it is enacted that "the process of the Supreme Court and the process of the Exchequer Court shall run throughout Canada and shall be tested in the name of the Chief Justice, or in the case of a 1 ss. 58, 59.

vacancy in the office of Chief Justice, in the name of the senior puisne Judge of the Court, and shall be directed to the Sheriff of any County or other Judicial division into which any province is divided: and the sheriffs of the second respective counties or divisions shall be deemed and taken to be ex officio officers of the Supreme and Exchequer Courts respectively, and shall perform the duties and functions of Sheriffs in connection with the said Courts, and in any case where the Sheriff is disqualified such process shall be directed to any of the coroners of the county or district."

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