Session 2, Day 3: 28 April

NB: text taken from Archives of Manitoba, MG3 A1-15, Red River Disturbance collection, “Seasonal [sic: Sessional] Journal of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia, March 1870,” appears in black; text taken from other sources appears in grey.

Previous page: Session 2, Day 2: 27 April

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Assembly Chamber, Upper Fort Garry

Thursday, 28 April 1870[1]

The President took the chair at half-past eleven A. M.

The minutes having been read and approved,

The President briefly addressed the House.

Recess at noon.

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The President resumed the chair at three o’clock P.M.

On motion of Hon. Mr. Touron, seconded by Hon. Mr. Poitras, it was resolved that the report of the committee on the Local Laws be taken up and considered article by article.

Hon. Dr. Bird moved the adoption of the first article. “That the heading ‘Laws of Assiniboia, passed by the Governor and Council of Assiniboia,’ be altered to ‘Laws of Assiniboia, passed by the President and Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia’ on the _______day of ______1870.”

Hon. Mr. Bannatyne seconded the motion.

Hon. Mr. Bunn, seconded by Hon. Mr. McKay, moved in amendment that the article be adopted as it stands, filling up the first blank with “26th,” and the second blank with “April.” The hon. gentleman argued that the date ought to be that at which the session began, as in law the session was supposed to be a continuous session, and that every law was referable to the date at which the House began to sit.

Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue strongly objected to the words “Governor and Council of Assiniboia,” in the original motion. The laws before the House were not the old laws a little altered. The old laws were taken as a guide, but none of them were adopted without undergoing many alterations. He was of opinion that the first step ought to be the repealing of all the old laws.

Hon. Dr. Bird — As a matter of fact, none of our laws will be passed on the 26th April, and I do not think that date should be inserted. Laws should not be made retroactive. If we make them such, we render it possible for a person to be charged with a breach of law which could not be known to him, for the very good reason that no such law was in force at the time of his alleged offence.

Hon. Mr. Bunn maintained his position that the laws should date from the commencement of the session. As to Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue’s idea about repealing the laws, if adopted its effect would be to leave us without laws altogether. It would not be wise to repeal the old laws, until new ones had been sanctioned by the Executive.

Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue, seconded by Hon. Mr. Poitras, moved in amendment — That all the laws of the Governor and Council of Assiniboia, as heretofore in force, be repealed from and after the 15th day of May, 1870.

Hon. Mr. Bunn objected to the last amendment, on the ground that it was out of place. At present the motion was merely to adopt a heading.

The President — I do not think it would be well to frighten people by depriving them of all local law: Of course, even though there were no such laws in existence, we would still be under the laws of England. But even though that were the case, it was best not to repeal the old laws until others were substituted.

Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue’s amendment was put and lost on a division:— Yeas 8, nays 11.

Hon. Mr. Bunn’s amendment was then put and lost on a division:— Yeas 2; nays 19.

And the original motion was carried on a division — Yeas 14, nays 5.

On motion of Hon. Mr. Fraser, seconded by Hon. Dr. Bird, Article I under the head “General Provisions,” was carried.

On motion of Hon. Mr. DeLorme, seconded by Hon. Mr. Bruce, Article II carried.

On motion of Hon. Mr. Touron, seconded by Hon. Mr. Bannatyne, Article III carried.

On motion of Hon. Mr. Bannatyne, seconded by Hon. Dr. Bird, Article IV was put.

Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue — I think this Article is misplaced. We have not yet defined what the general law of the country is, the fifth Article, which specifies that the law of England is to be the general law of the country, ought to precede the one at present before the House.

Hon. Dr. Bird — The article in question and many others might be changed in position to advantage. But I had the idea that a Publication Committee was to be appointed to revise all the articles and arrange them in order of sequence.

Hon. Mr. Schmidt — The report of the committee has been submitted to the Legislative Assembly; and why should we not arrange it at once, without further reference to committees?

The article was then carried.

On motion of Hon. Mr. Bruce, seconded by Hon. Mr. De Lorme, Article V carried.

Hon. Mr. Schmidt moved that all local enactments on record up to the 25th day of April, 1870, “be now repealed.”

Hon. Mr. Hay moved in amendment that the Article be laid on the table. His object was to allow the old laws to stand till new ones were enacted.

No seconder.

Hon. Dr. Bird moved in amendment “As Hon. Mr. Hay’s amendment has no seconder,” that the Article be struck out.

Hon. Mr. Fraser seconded the amendment which was carried on a division — Yeas 15; nays 8.

Hon. Mr. Bunn, seconded by Hon. Mr. Hay, moved the adoption of Article I under the head “Administration of Justice,” on striking out the word “That” at the head of the Article — carried.

Article II under same head being put,

Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue said he approved of the first five sub-sections of the article — although it seemed to him that the Fort Garry district was larger in population than any of the others. Seconded by Hon. Mr. Olone, he moved the adoption of the first five sub-sections leaving the balance of the Article to be dealt with separately as it would require attention.

Hon. Mr. Bunn moved in amendment that the word “that” in the first line of the article and the word “all” before the words “District Courts” be struck out, and that with these alterations the Article as reported be adopted.

Hon. Dr. Bird seconded the amendment.

Hon. Mr. McKay suggested that the period specified for holding the Manitoba Court be altered.— I would say that the first Tuesday in June would be a better day for holding the Court in that district than the fourth Tuesday in June.

Hon. Mr. Bunn, with the consent of the seconder and the House, altered his amendment in accordance with this suggestion.

Hon. Mr. O’Donoghue withdrew his motion.

Hon. Mr. Garrioch — In the definition of the Portage district, what is meant by the extreme end of the settlement? There were settlers at Rat Creek and White Mud River. Were they included in that district?

Hon. Dr. Bird — In committee the White Mud River section was repeatedly mentioned, and was supposed to be included.

Hon. Mr. Garrioch — White Mud River lies more in the vicinity of Manitobah than of the Portage. I think it ought to be included in Manitobah.

Hon. Mr. Dauphinais — I think White Mud River belongs rather to the Portage district.

In reply to Hon. Mr. Schmidt, Hon. Mr. McKay said that in spring the people of White Mud River had a better road to go to the Portage than to Manitobah.

Hon. Dr. Bird — By Manitobah the committee only meant the Lake Settlement proper.

Hon. Mr. Garrioch moved in amendment to add the following words to sub-section 2: “And from thence to the Rocky Island in Lake Manitoba.”

After debate the latter amendment was withdrawn on the understanding, Hon. Dr. Bird said, that the limits of the districts have been defined by the Legislature in a general way; matters of minor detail, such as it alluded to, would be dealt with by the Executive.

Hon. Mr. Bunn having put his amendment as a substantive motion, it carried.

Hon. Dr. Bird moved that the House adjourn.

Hon. Mr. Hay moved in amendment that in future the House meet at nine o’clock A.M. and sit till noon; and with a recess of an hour and a half for dinner, sit till five P.M.; and that members not in attendance punctually be fined, say, Ten Shillings for each offence (laughter).

Hon. Mr. Poitras seconded the amendment.

Hon. Mr. Bunn seconded the original motion, and the amendment, having been ruled out of order, dropped.

At seven o’clock P.M. the House adjourned till one o’clock P.M., following day.

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Next page: Session 2, Day 4: 29 April


[1] Bunn, Sessional Journal, 20–22; “Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia,” New Nation (6 May 1870), 8.

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Published 7 July 2011

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