The Ontario Bond Scandal of 1924 Re-examined

Irwin Law Inc.
Publication date:


Ian Kyer's The Ontario Bond Scandal of 1924 Re-examined investigates a famous case from the 1920s. Peter Smith, the former treasurer of the Province of Ontario, and Aemilius Jarvis, one of Canada's most prominent businessmen, were found guilty of criminal conspiracy to defraud the Ontario government in connection with the repurchase of three series of succession duty-free bonds. At the time (and since), people have disagreed about whether they were guilty or whether they acted honestly and legitimately but were caught up in the tangled party politics of the period. Kyer, a historian and a lawyer with extensive experience with corporate finance and government-business relations, has extensively researched the case to provide a very well-written and well-​informed analysis of the bond transactions, the police investigation, the trial, and the appeal decision. He argues cogently that Smith and Irving were wrongly convicted and explains why. This is a first-rate example of the genre of legal history usually known as “legal archeology,” an excavation of a case fully informed by the law, politics, and personalities involved that serves to illuminate not just the case, but the tenor of the times

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