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view with impatience any attempt to substitute an alien system for your English common law, so also, the majority of the people of this province would regard with distrust, and even resentment, any attempt to deprive them of the familiar securities of their French common law, which has remained to them through so many vicissitudes and which they regard as the price of their peace, an inseparable part of their birthright.
But, on the other hand, there are many laws of general interest, common to the whole country. By the discussion of the requirements of our legislation, and by the study and criticism of existing laws, we will be enabled to conceive and elaborate the necessary additions, amendments and reforms. I refer, amongst others, to our laws in regard to insolvency, bills and notes, crime and criminal procedure. I am inclined to go further and to hold that, in the public interest, certain parts of our commercial law might, without injury to local predilections, be rendered uniform to the advantage of trade and industry. Contracts of insurance are practically the same in all the provinces. Would it not prove beneficial, both to lawyers and their clients, if such contracts were governed in all parts by the same laws ? Prescription and limitation of actions also presents, in my view, a suitable field. The merchant who deals with a resident of another province would no longer be impeded and harassed by doubts and uncertainties, and be obliged to obtain legal opinions from afar at every turn, upon matters where his rights should be self evident.
Whether for their good or for their ill—and at present I am not free to declare my personal opinion in the matter-our lawyers are, it must be admitted, irresistibly drawn into politics. I find striking proofs of this fact among this audience, in which I see so many men who have in the past shaped, and who now shape, the political destinies of their native land-men whose names would be found in all our statute books, if it were the custom to add after each statute the signature of its author. Thus, entlemen, let us trust that our criticism of existing Dominion laws and the discussion of proposed laws, will find ready at their post, parliamentary orators, members of our association, who will plead before the House the cause which we consider right and just.
Gentlemen, I have had occasion to meet many French-Canadian farmers who were neighbors to Scotch, English and Irish farmers, who had immigrated from the other side of the Atlantic, and I noticed that nowhere was agriculture pursued in a more intelligent manner, and that nowhere was it attended with greater prosperity. This was due to the fact that the French-Canadian farmer adopted from the farmer of different origin methods new to him, while on the other hand, the Scotch, English and Irish were glad to avail themselves of many of the devices of their French-Canadian neighbors.
We are all workers. While the farmer cleaves the dust of the earth, we cleave the dust of ancient tomes. We barristers of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Quebec, bestow our intelligence and our labor upon the field of justice. May the cultivation which, for a few days, we shall here pursue side by side, by comparing our various methods, produce a harvest fraught with abundant and beneficial results to our provinces and the Dominion !
Hearty applause followed the reading of Mr. Robidoux's address.
J. T. Bulmer, of Halifax, and P. Demers, of Montreal, were chosen as joint secretaries of the meeting. The former read the circular calling the meeting, and letters from signatories of the circular regretting their inability to be present, also from a large number of members of the Bar in all the provinces of the Dominion, universally approving of the proposed Association.
Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper arose and said that when the Lord Chief Justice of England was in Canada, he had remarked that he was extremely sorry that he would not be able to be present at the initial steps taken to form a Canadian Bar Association. He had desired Sir Charles to convey to the members gathered together, his kindest wishes for the welfare and success of the
meeting. Further, he had said that he would like to send an address to be read before the Association at some future time, on subjects of interest to them all. (Applause.) He added that during his next visit to America, which he sincerely trusted would be at no great distance in the future, he would look forward to addressing the members of the Canadian Bar Association. He had seen for himself what beneficial results the members of the profession in the United States reaped from their Association, and he felt sure Canadians would do the same were they to establish such an association for themselves. (Applause.) C. S. Harrington, QC., of Halifax, explained the absence of the Chief Justices of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and of Attorney-General Longley, of Nova Scotia.
R. L. Borden, Q.C., M.P., of Halifax, also read letters from several prominent members of the profession, and from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, regretting their inability to attend the meeting.
C. S. Harrington, Q.C., as a member of the originating committee of the Nova Scotia Bar, was called upon to explain the aims and objects of the present gathering
He related the steps by which the movement had come to its present position. The idea, though it had only recently taken shape, was not a new
The opinion among the most prominent lawyers in the country was that there was need for some cohesive organization of the barristers of the different sections and provinces of Canada, an organization which would represent the entire Bar of Canada, which could speak for the entire body, and make representations in its name before Parliament itself, if need were.
If the Associa. tion effected nothing else, it would at least bring the barristers throughout the country into more intimate connection. No profession needed such organization as much as did the legal profession. Mr. Harrington dwelt upon the difficulties which at present existed in the procuring of the testimony of witnesses residing in a province adjoining that where the case was entered, and the obstacles which opposed the service of a writ outside the local jurisdiction, He showed what the Association could do in raising the standard of legal education, in regulating and elevating the standards of professional honor and integrity, and in upholding the disciplinary rules of the profession. Mr. Harrington also showed how mistaken was any idea that the proposed association would assist one or more provinces to force views with respect to legislation upon any other of the provinces. On the other hand the Association would be an appropriate machinery to bring into operation the 94th section of the B.N.A. Act. There certainly was a large class of questions that could only be dealt with by a central association. They must join forces in order to have a proper effect on the community.
He then read the following resolution, which, with certain verbal amendments suggested by Messrs. Howland, M.P.P., Borden, M.P., Fraser, M.P., and Bulmer, read as follows :
“That the members of the Bars of the several provinces and territories present at this meeting hereby agree to form themselves into an association to be known as the Canadian Bar Association."
The Hon. F. Langelier, Q.C., seconded the resolution. The general feeling among the members of the Bar in Quebec was decidedly in favor of the formation of a Canadian Association. He agreed with Mr. Harrington that such an association was needed to deal with a numerous class of questions. He strongly opposed the idea that the rights of any of the Provincial Bars would be in any way affected by the formation of a Dominion Association. An objection had been urged against the movement that provincial rights might be interfered with. He was glad to see that objection disposed of as it had been by Mr. Harrington. As a matter of fact, no provincial rights could be meddled with except with the consent of the Legislature of the Province. There were points in provincial law—such as the law of mortgages-in regard to which we would do well to have uniformity.
R. L. Borden, Q.C., M.P., spoke of the desirability of greater uniformity in Provincial legislation. The manner to bring it about, was by each province studying the laws of the other provinces and introducing into its own code what it found good and adaptable in the codes of other provinces.
Mr. W. C. Languedoc thought that the aims and objects should be defined in the resolution.
Hon. Sir Chas. Hibbert Tupper answered that if this resolution were adopted the next step would be the drafting of a constitution in which the objects of association would be defined. M. C. Piché and M. P. Demers, speaking in French, expressed apprehension that the movement might be inimical to the legal autonomy of Quebec. Mr. Piché suggested that the name be the Barristers' Club of Canada.
Hon. C. A. Geoffrion, QC., M.P., made a speech which aroused enthusiastic applause. Surely Quebec had no cause to fear uniformity of legislation. Civil lawyers had many things to learn, and would suggest many things to common law lawyers, and they would be pleased to receive suggestions. The greater the uniformity in legislation the better. He pointed to the legislative independence of the States in the Union, which yet had a general Bar Association.
Mr. Langelier thought the resolution should not be opposed ; it was simply a preamble.
Mr. A. Morrison, M.P., of New Westminster, B.C., said that the members of the British Columbia Bar had met more than once to discuss the present question, and any differences of opinion had been entirely overcome when it had been fully considered. He was there to represent the Bar of his
province, and he would say that it was completely in favor of forming a Dominion Association.
D. R. McCord, Q.C., of Montreal, deprecated any opposition being offered in Quebec to the formation of this association. Quebec had the best laws in the world, and he would be ashamed to have it go abroad to the world that the lawyers of Quebec refused to receive with open arms those common law lawyers who had come to offer to associate with them. He did not want it to be said that they were provincial in any sense. He was strongly in favor of the project of a Canadian Bar Association. As Confederation had made Canada, so the Association would uplift the legai profession of Canada.
Mr. J. A. Drouin, seconded by Mr. Calixte Lebeuf, moved that a ballot be taken, on the ground that Quebec Bar elections are conducted by secret ballot.
Mr. Raoul Dandurand said that the precedent of Bar elections did not apply to the present resolution.
Hon. Horace Archambault moved the adjournment of the vote until tomorrow morning. Mr. Archambault's motion to adjourn, and Mr. Pichè's “Barristers' Club” amendment were voted down by an overwhelming majority. The main motion was carried almost unanimously.
On motion of C. S. Harrington, Q.C., the chairman appointed the following committee to act with himself to frame a constitution and report: C. S. Harrington, Q.C, Halifax ; F. L. Bëique, Q.C., Montreal; L. J. Cannon, Quebec; Ó. N. Martel
, Q.C., Three Rivers; Hon. D. McNeill, Halifax; J. C. Noel, Batonnier, Arthabasca ; Hon. F. Peters, Q.C., Premier, P. E. Island ; G. F. Gregory, Q.C., Fredericton, N.B. ; Hon. Wm. Pugsley, Q.C , St. John, N.B.; 0. A. Howland, M.P.P., Toronto; J. A. McGillivray, Q.C., M.P., Toronto ; Aulay Morrison, M.P., New Westminster, B.C.; C. B. Carter, Q.C., Montreal ; Frank Arnoldi, Q.C., Toronto; W. C. Languedoc, Q.C., Quebec; Hon. C. A. Geoffrion, Q.C., M.P, Montreal, and the Hon. Sir Charles H. Tupper, Q.C., M.P., Halifax.
When the meeting adjourned five street cars were awaiting the members in front of the Court House to take them around the Mountain and to the various points of interest in the city.
In the evening the visitors attended the entertainment at Sohmer Park, as the guests of the Montreal Bař, the two front seats in the auditorium having been reserved for them.
SEPTEMBER 16-MORNING SESSION, 10.30 A.M.
pointed for that purpose. Mr. F. L. Bëique, Q.C., M.P., moved the adoption, seconded by J. A. McGillivray, Q.C., M.P., and it was unanimously carried. The nine articles are as follows :
ARTICLE 1-This Association shall be known as the Canadian Bar Association. Its objects shall be to advance the science of jurisprudence and international law; to promote the administration of justice ; to secure proper legislation ; to uphold the honor and dignity of the profession of the law, and to encourage cordial intercourse among the members of the profession in Canada.
ARTICLE 2—Any person shall be eligible to membership in this Association who is a barrister of any Province of Canada, and who sha'l be nominated as hereinafter provided.
ARLICLE 3-The following officers shall be elected at each annual meeting for the year ensuing : An Honorary President, a President, one Vice-President for each Province, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Council
, consisting of the President, the Vice-President from each Province, the Secretary, the Treasurer and eight other members, of which Council five shall be a quorum. The Minister of Justice and the Solicitor-General of Canada for the time being shall be ex-officio members of the Council.
ARTICLE 4—The Council shall be the Executive Committee of the Association. It shall appoint such committees as it shall deem proper and necessary for the carrying out of the objects of the Association. All by-laws shall be made by the Council ; shall be reported to the next annual meeting ensuing their adoption, and may be repealed or amended by the Association.
ARTICLE 5-Each member shall pay five dollars to the Treasurer as entrance fee, and each year thereafter such annual fee not exceeding five dollars, as shall be prescribed by by-law.
ARTICLE 6—The word “province,” whenever used in this constitution, shall be deemed to be equivalent to “Province and Territory of Canada.”
ARTICLE 7-All members of the conference signing the constitution shall become members of the Association upon payment of the entrance fee.
ARTICLE 8—Thereafter election of all members shall be made by the Council in such manner as may be prescribed by by-law.
ARTICLE 9—The first officers of the Association shall be elected immediately after the adoption and signing of the constitution, and payment of the entrance fee.
After the adoption of the constitution the meeting adjourned to meet at 3.30 p.m. In the interval, on the invitation of the mayor and corporation of the city of Montreal, the delegation enjoyed a drive through the Mountain Park and luncheon on the lookout platform on the mountain. The lovely scenery of the Mountain Park called forth many expressions of pleasure from the visiting members. Presiding at the lunch was His Worship the Mayor, having on his right hand the Hon. J. E. Robidoux, Batonnier-General of the Province, and Mr. Justice Champagne, and on his left Hon. Mr. Peters, Premier of Prince Edward Island, Mr. O. A. Howland, M.P.P. and Mr. J. A. McGillivray, Q.C., M.P., of Toronto
At the sumptuous luncheon upwards of two hundred guests sat down. In addition to a profusion of beautiful flowers, a decorative effect was derived from the surroundings that could hardly have been equalled in any other city of the world. The guests saw spread before them, like a splendid tapestry, the city of Montreal and the rich valley of the St. Lawrence extending to the blue mountains on the horizon.
The first toast proposed, of Her Majesty, was drunk with great enthusiasın. His Worship then proposed, in a few appropriate words, the toast of the Canadian Bar Association, coupling with it the names of Hon. J. E. Robidoux, Hon. Mr. Peters, Mr. Justice Champagne and Mr. O. A. Howland. His Worship thought it peculiarly and particularly appropriate that the Canadian Bar Association should have as its birthplace the metropolitan city of Canada (applause), and be inaugurated under such auspices. He was glad that the city's invitation had been liberally responded to, and he was happy to give them the most cordial of welcomes. He referred in a pleasant manner to the fact that a member of their profession now occupied the highest position in the gift of Canadians. Mr. Laurier was eminently suited for the holding of such a position, both by his ability and other personal qualifications. His Worship received much applause for his tactful and appropriate speech.
Hon. Mr. Robidoux was accorded a warm reception on arising to speak. His address was in French.
He emphatically denied that the Association was formed with any idea of abolishing the old French laws so dear to all of them, but the reverse, for they would cherish them as much as ever. They were all imbued with the same aspirations, and all their efforts were working towards the same end. This was not the country of the French, he said, nor the English, the Scotch, nor the Irish, it was the country of the Canadians. (Applause.) That mixture of French and English, with their different temperaments, would make at last, he felt sure, the greatest country in the world. (Great applause.)
Hon. F. Peters, Q.C., Premier of Prince Edward Island, followed with a brief but hearty acknowledgement of the hospitality of the city and Bar of Montreal. They had come to Montreal fully prepared to engage in a very dry business, but it had turned out to be a most interesting and enjoyable visit. Speaking on the part of the representatives from the Maritime Provinces, they would certainly never forget the courtesies they had received in Montreal.
Hon. Mr. Justice Champagne referred in happy terms to the good work the Association would be called on to do. His graceful address in French was listened to with much interest.
Mr. O. A. Howland referred to the good fortune the Association had in having as its birthplace the metropolitan city of Canada, the enterprise of whose citizens corresponded to the geographical advantages of its situation. The members of the Bars of other Provinces had come to Montreal not to destroy, nor to depreciate, but to see and to learn. English lawyers would not be found despisers of the civil law, nor desirous of its annihilation. They did not forget that in the hands of the Church it had carried down through the Dark Ages a spark of civilization caught from the wreck of the ancient Empire. It had illuminated the great equity lawyers of England. The principles they introduced had now, by legislation, become the prevailing rule in what used to be the domain of the common law. Law was becoming more and more the creature of legislation. The code of Quebec itself was the result of an enactment. In the future of legislation the system of the civil law, founded upon principle, ought to be consulted with advantage, in preference to a system of law founded upon precedent and accident. English members of the Montreal Bar had assured him of their satisfaction with the civil law of this province. Another object prominently before the Association would be the questions of international law, in which Canada, from her wide political connections, through the Empire, and her close neighborhood with the great Power to the south, had a vital interest. He joined with the preceding speakers in expressing on behalf of the western delegates their deep and lasting appreciation of the magnificent welcome extended to the conference by the Mayor and corporation of the city of Montreal. (Applause.)
The mayor announcing that they were due at the Court House to receive the Chief Justice, the party returned in the carriages to the Court House.
At 4 o'clock Sir Alexander Lacoste, Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench, entered the room accompanied by a number of his colleagues, who took their seats on the Bench, the assembly standing to receive them. The other Judges present were the Hon M. M. Tait, Acting Chief Justice of the Superior Court, and Hon. Justices Curran, Doherty, Ouimet, Taschereau and Loranger. Mr. Robidoux said :
“Gentlemen, you will now have the pleasure of hearing the Chief Justice of the highest tribunal of this province. His name is familiar, not only to the