Nova Scotia, House of Assembly, Debates and Proceedings of the House of Assembly (1 April 1867)


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Date: 1867-04-01
By: Nova Scotia (House of Assembly)
Citation: Nova Scotia, House of Assembly, Debates and Proceedings of the House of Assembly, 23rd Parl, 4th Sess, 1867 at 96-97.
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DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY OF NOVA SCOTIA. 1867.

MONDAY, April 1.

[…]

  • (p. 96)

LOCAL CONSTITUTION.

Hon. Provincial Secretary moved the third reading of the bill in reference to duration of and representation in the General Assembly.

Mr. Annand moved that four members be given to Halifax county, two to the city, and two to the county outside the city. Negatived.

Mr. Annand again moved that the bill be recommitted for the purpose of giving four members to the county of Halifax. He did so, because during the debate the principle of representation by population had been recognized as the true one. In fact, it had been to a certain extent recognized in the case of Halifax and Pictou, but he did not think the bill went far enough.

Hon. Mr. Shannon would be glad if the House would entertain the proposition.

Hon. Provincial Secretary said he did not look upon this motion as in the slightest degree affecting the principle of the bill, and the House was at liberty to pass or reject it. He would, however, vote against the resolution, for he felt that Halifax would have fully as much influence as she ought to have in the Legislature. Indeed. Halifax now had an amount of weight in the Legislature beyond that of any other part of the Province.

Mr. Blanchard said that if the resolution passed then Halifax would have a representation equal to that of half of the Island of Cape Breton.

Mr. Tobin said that he would vote for the resolution in entire deference to the hon. member for East Halifax. That hon. member had no doubt made the motion with the hope of placing the representatives of the city. If possible, in a wrong position, but he would find himself mistaken. He (Mr. T.) would be very happy if the House would grant the additional representation to Halifax.

Mr. Pryor would also be happy to vote for the resolution, particularly as he appreciated the motives of the hon. member who moved it.

Mr. Locke said that he believed his hon. friend, the member for East Halifax, would have to sit alone on his side of the House.

On a division the resolution was lost by 5 to 36

Yeas—Tobin, Pryor, Annand, Shannon, Bal- cam.

Nays—Killam, D. Fraser, Allison, J. Fraser, Bill, Hill, Longley, Heffernan, Hatfield, Hebb, Townsend, Whitman, Parker, Kaulback, Jost, Bourinot, Donkin, Miller, McFarlane, Provincial Secretary, Stewart Campbell, Locke, Financial Secy., Robertson, Blanchard, Smyth. Cowie. Brown, J. Campbell, McKinnon, Ross, Collin, Blackwood, Colin Campbell, Caldwell, Ray.

Mr. Annand then moved that the bill be, deferred until the next session of the Legislature. Negatived by 18 to 30.

Yeas—Killam, Hebb, Hatfield, Balcam, Ross, Locke, S. Campbell, Robertson, Annand, Ray, Coffin, Brown, Blackwood.

  • (p. 97)

Nays—J. Fraser, McDonnell, Heffernan. Allison, Shannon, Pryor, Townsend, Whitman, Parker, Kaulback, Jost, Bourinot, Donkin, Hill, Tobin, Miller, McFarlane. Langley, Provincial Secretary, Financial Secretary Blanchard, Archibald, Colin Campbell. P. Smyth, McKinnon, J. Campbell, Caldwell, Attorney General.

The bill to amend chap. 2 R.S. of Executive and Legislative Disabilities was next taken up.

Mr. Annand said that it was certainly note worthy that a different system was pursued in Canada, and would probably also prevail in New Brunswick. It would be interesting for the House to know why a different rule was followed in this Province.

Hon. Provincial Secretary said that the Act of Union which was now the law of the realm, having received Her Majesty’s assent, left it in the power of the local Legislatures to form their own constitution. It was therefore the privilege of this house to arrange that constitution as it might deem most advisable for the public interests. When the Legislature of New Brunswick met, no doubt the subject would be considered and arranged as might seem best to the Representatives of that Province. He believed that the members of the local Legislature should be able to approach the discharge of their public duties entirely untrammelled by any duties irrespective of their local position. If a gentleman should sit in both the local Legislature and the general Parliament, the duties of one would probably come into conflict with those of the other. The great object should. be to have a representative go to the local Legislature or general Parliament with his Judgment unbiassed. Again, if there was a member of the general Government sitting in the local Legislature, he would be placed in a. very embarrassing position; for he might be questioned as to matters of public policy when separated from his colleagues, and without the means of communicating with them. Such considerations had induced the Government to bring forward the present bill.

Mr. S. Campbell gave it as his opinion that it was quite competent, under the terms of the bill, for any person, at the first election. appearing as a candidate for both the local Legislature and general Parliament.

Some discussion then took place as to the interpretation that might be put on the bill.

Hon. Provincial Secretary said that it was impossible to prevent any person being nominated for both houses.

Mr. Archibald said that a candidate would have to select the house he would sit in.

Hon. Attorney General said that in England there was no law to prevent a person being nominated and returned for half a dozen constituencies, but he must make his election of one of them before he could take his seat, All that was intended was not to take away the right of the people to choose any person they might think proper. He had looked over the bill, and believed it to be as carefully drawn as it was possible under the circumstances. He appreciated the arguments of hon. members, but he did not see any necessity for alteration or addition of words. It was not advisable to make any conditions that would trammel the people or lead to difficulties hereafter. It was proposed, for instance, to put in   the words “with his consent;” but it might happen that a person might consent to his return, and it would not be so easy to prove it. The best the house could do was to prevent any individual taking his seat both in the general Parliament and in the local Legislature.

Mr. Archibald said that no person ought to be in a position to choose between the seats.

Mr. Locke said that “with his consent ” would not answer, for a person might be nominated in his absence.

The bill was left over until the next day, that the Attorney General might see whether any alteration in the bill was necessary.

The bill in reference to the departmental officers and their salaries was then taken up and passed.

THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL.

Hon. Provincial Secretary laid on the table the following resolution:—

“Resolved, That a humble Address be presented to Her Majesty the Queen, requesting that Her Majesty will be graciously pleased to establish the number of the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia at eighteen members, and to provide that absence for two sessions consecutively shall vacate the seat of a Councillor, and that the Legislative Council be invited to join this house in such Address.

“Resolved, That a conference he requested with the Legislative Council, by committee on the general state of the Province, and that the committee of this house be requested to communicate to the committee of the Council the foregoing resolution.”

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