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The department of the Attorney-General.
The office of Secretary of State.
Besides the above departments, Ontario assigns a minister to the department of Education, Quebec one to Agriculture, and Manitoba one to Railways. Of the ministry in Prince Edward's Island only three preside over departments, one minister undertaking the duties of Secretary, Treasurer, and Commissioner of Crown Lands.
The following table shows the distribution of departments in the different provinces; the provinces being denoted by their initial letters.
Attorney-General O. Q.
N. S. N. B. M.
1 Including mines.
A brief account may be given of some of the more important departments.
Department of the Law Officer. The Attorney-General of each province holds a most important position in the Ministry. Not unfrequently he is premier. In some cases he is assisted in his department by a Solicitor-General. As law officer he is the official legal adviser of the LieutenantGovernor. He has the general superintendence of all matters connected with the administration of justice in the province, and it is his duty to see that public affairs are administered in accordance with the law. Not the least important of his
functions is to advise the Lieutenant-Governor on the competence of the Legislature to pass any particular law.
Department of Provincial Secretary. The Provincial Secretary is charged with very varied duties. Besides conducting all correspondence on behalf of his Government, he usually acts as keeper of the Great Seal of the province and as provincial registrar. He is intrusted, except in Ontario, with the control of education, and is charged with the administration of municipal and police laws, the care of the insane, the incorporation of companies, the collection of statistics and Government printing.
Department of Provincial Treasurer. The Provincial Treasurer has the control and superintendence of all financial affairs. He advises on receipts and expenditure and is charged with the preparation of the budget. All provincial revenue as it is collected is paid into banks to the credit of the Treasurer. Moneys are paid only on the warrant of the Lieutenant-Governor and by cheque signed by the Treasurer or his assistant and countersigned by the auditor. On the latter official rests the duty of seeing that no warrant issues for payment of any moneys not appropriated by the Legislature.
Department of Public Works. This provincial department is charged with the construction and maintenance of all public works in the province. The construction of railways, canals, roads, bridges, buildings and other state undertakings is an important part of the work of administration and government.
In Manitoba a separate department has been created for Railways.
Department of Crown Lands. The department of Crown Lands has the control of all lands belonging to the province. The minister grants licences, arranges sales, and enforces forfeitures.
Department of Education. All matters relating to Edu
cation are within the jurisdiction of the several provinces, and though the systems adopted differ in details, all are based on the principle of free education, the funds being supplied by the province or by local taxation. In all provinces except Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba the schools are unsectarian; in the three provinces mentioned there are separate schools for Roman Catholics. Ontario has placed its educational system under a minister; in the other provinces the education is in charge of a superintendent of education.
In the North-West Territories the educational system is under the control of a board of Education, composed of five members, viz. the Lieutenant-Governor and two Protestant and two Catholic members appointed by the LieutenantGovernor in Council.
The department of Education in Ontario has very ex- Ontario. tensive powers in regard to the Normal, High, Public, and Separate Schools in the province. Power is given to it to make regulations for the organization, discipline, and government of schools, the equipment of school houses, the choice of text books, and the qualifications of inspectors, examiners, teachers and assistants in High Schools: to appoint inspectors and central examiners: to constitute model schools: to set apart schools or colleges for the training of model teachers: to prescribe the conditions under which pupils will be admitted into High Schools: and to make regulations respecting fees and certificates. Power is also given to the department to establish meteorological stations in connection with High Schools'.
1 R. S. O. 1887, c. 224.
Justices of the Peace.
THE PROVINCIAL JUDICATURE.
B. N. A.
By Sections 91 and 92 of the British North America Act,
ss. 91, 92. 1867, "the administration of justice in the Province, in
cluding the constitution, maintenance, and organization of
I. COURTS OF CIVIL JURISDICTION.
Justices of the Peace have jurisdiction in certain civil matters, such as the recovery of school taxes, assessments for
building or repairing churches, parsonages or churchyards, damages caused by animals, disputes between masters and servants in the county, seamen's wages, claims of pawnors against pawnbrokers, and other matters specified in special statutes1.
The Recorder's Court has jurisdiction for the recovery Recorder's of certain municipal claims and in disputes between lessors and lessees, and between master and servant 2.
Trinity House exercises jurisdiction in matters connected Trinity with the shores of the St Lawrence and of the rivers flowing into it, and also with regard to the wages and indemnities due to pilots3.
Commissioner's Court. This Court is held before one or Commissioner's more unpaid Commissioners in such parishes, townships, or Court. extra-parochial places as may be appointed by the LieutenantGovernor.
The Court has an ultimate jurisdiction,
(a) in all suits purely personal or relating to moveable property, which arise from contract, where the sum or value demanded does not exceed 25 dollars and the debtor resides in the locality of the Court, or if the debtor resides in the same district and within five leagues and the debt has been contracted in the locality, or if the debtor resides in another locality where no court is held; suits for slander, assault and battery, recovery of any fine or penalty, and suits relating to civil status, paternity or seduction, excepted *;
(b) in suits for the recovery of assessments not exceeding 25 dollars imposed for the building of churches, parsonages, and churchyards.
Circuit Courts. The Circuit Court is held before one Circuit judge of the Superior Court in each judicial district and in such of those counties (with certain exceptions) in which the tion.
1 Civil Code, Art. 1216.
2 Ib. Art. 1217. 4 Ib. Arts. 1188, 1189.
3 Ib. 1218.