Harvey v. New Brunswick (Attorney General) et al., (1996) 201 N.R. 1 (SCC)

Judge:Lamer, C.J.C., La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin, Iacobucci and Major, JJ.
Court:Supreme Court of Canada
Case Date:February 19, 1996
Jurisdiction:Canada (Federal)
Citations:(1996), 201 N.R. 1 (SCC)
 
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Harvey v. N.B. (A.G.) (1996), 201 N.R. 1 (SCC)

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[French language version follows English language version]

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Fred Harvey (appellant) v. The Attorney General for New Brunswick, the Minister of Municipalities, Culture and Housing, Dennis Cochrane and Hazen Myers (respondents) and The Attorney General of Canada, the Attorney General for Ontario and the Attorney General of Quebec (interveners)

(23968)

Indexed As: Harvey v. New Brunswick (Attorney General) et al.

Supreme Court of Canada

Lamer, C.J.C., La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin, Iacobucci and Major, JJ.

August 22, 1996.

Summary:

A Member of the Legislative Assembly was convicted of committing an illegal practice contrary to ss. 111(1) and 118(2) of the Elections Act. He appealed. His seat was declared vacant. He applied for declarations that s. 119 of the Elections Act and ss. 20(1), 22(2) and 24 of the Legislative As­sembly Act offended the Charter.

The New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench, Trial Division, in a decision reported 133 N.B.R.(2d) 181; 341 A.P.R. 181, allowed the application in part. The court declared valid the provisions vacating the seat at the date of conviction. The court declared inoperative the provisions respect­ing disqualification from voting and being elected to the Legislative Assembly. The Member appealed the finding of validity of the provisions vacating the seat at the date of conviction. The Province cross-appealed the finding of invalidity respecting the five year disqualification from being elected.

The New Brunswick Court of Appeal, Rice, J.A., dissenting in part, in a decision reported 141 N.B.R.(2d) 117; 361 A.P.R. 117, dismissed the appeal and allowed the cross-appeal. The Member appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal. The majority of the court pro­ceeded on the basis that s. 119(c) was sub­ject to the Charter. McLachlin, J. (L'Heureux-Dubé, J., concurring) stated that privileges of the legislative assembly were not reviewable by the court and not subject to the Charter.

Civil Rights - Topic 168

Voting and other democratic rights - Right to be qualified for membership in legislature or parliament - Standards for sitting members - The New Brunswick Elections Act, s. 119, provided, inter alia, that upon conviction for an illegal practice under the Act, an M.L.A.'s seat was vacated and he was disqualified for five years from sitting as a member - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the five year disqualification breached s. 3 of the Charter, but was a reasonable limit under s. 1 and was not invalid - See paragraphs 1 to 54.

Civil Rights - Topic 3830

Cruel and unusual treatment or punishment - What constitutes cruel and unusual punishment - Circumstances not consti­tuting - The New Brunswick Elections Act, s. 119, provided, inter alia, that upon conviction for an illegal practice under the Act, an M.L.A.'s seat was vacated and he was disqualified for five years from sitting as a member - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the provisions of s. 119 did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment under s. 12 of the Charter - See paragraphs 30 to 31.

Civil Rights - Topic 8320.4

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Legislative assemblies - [See Civil Rights - Topic 168 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 8348

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Exceptions - Reasonable limits prescribed by law - Charter, s. 1 - [See Civil Rights - Topic 168 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 8348

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Exceptions - Reasonable limits prescribed by law - Charter, s. 1 - The Supreme Court of Canada held that s. 119(c) of the New Brunswick Elections Act (vacating the seat and disqualifying an M.L.A. for five years upon conviction for illegal practices) was a reasonable limit under s. 1 of the Charter - The objectives of the provision were substantial and pressing; there was a rational connection in the maintenance and integrity of the electoral process and the vacating of the seat and disqualification from sitting; the provision was an appropriate response and did not overreach the target; and the effects were proportional to the objectives - See paragraphs 1 to 51.

Civil Rights - Topic 8380.2

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Denial of rights - Remedies - Dec­laration of statute invalidity - Severance - A disqualified member of the New Bruns­wick Legislative Assembly challenged the constitutional validity of s. 119 of the Elections Act - The trial judge found s. 119(a) and the first part of s. 119(c) invalid and declared that the invalid sec­tions should be severed from the re­mainder - No appeal was taken from the dec­la­ration of invalidity of s. 119(a) - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that, no appeal having been taken, the ruling that s. 119(a) was invalid must stand, but the provision could be severed from the re­mainder of the section - See paragraphs 49 to 50.

Elections - Topic 5062

Corrupt and illegal practices - Penalties upon conviction - Members of Legislative Assembly - [See Civil Rights - Topic 168 ].

Cases Noticed:

Schachter v. Canada et al., [1992] 2 S.C.R. 679; 139 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 9].

New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. and Canadian Broadcasting Corp. v. Speaker of the House of Assembly (N.S.) et al., [1993] 1 S.C.R. 319; 146 N.R. 161; 118 N.S.R.(2d) 181; 327 A.P.R. 181, refd to. [paras. 17, 60].

Reference Re Provincial Electoral Boundaries (Sask.), [1991] 2 S.C.R. 158; 127 N.R. 1; 94 Sask.R. 161, refd to. [para. 20].

Carter v. Saskatchewan (Attorney General) - see Reference Re Provincial Electoral Boundaries (Sask.).

R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295; 58 N.R. 81; 60 A.R. 161; [1985] 3 W.W.R. 481; 18 C.C.C.(3d) 385; 18 D.L.R.(4th) 321; 37 Alta. L.R.(2d) 97; 85 C.L.L.C. 14,023; 13 C.R.R. 64, refd to. [para. 20].

R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 103; 65 N.R. 87; 14 O.A.C. 335; 26 D.L.R.(4th) 200; 50 C.R.(3d) 1; 24 C.C.C.(3d) 321; 19 C.R.R. 308, refd to. [para. 20].

Sauvé v. Canada (Attorney General), [1993] 2 S.C.R. 438; 153 N.R. 242; 64 O.A.C. 124, refd to. [para. 22].

Canadian Disability Rights Council et al. v. Canada, [1988] 3 F.C. 622; 21 F.T.R. 268 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 22].

Muldoon and Teitelbaum v. Canada, [1988] 3 F.C. 628; 21 F.T.R. 154 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 22].

Hoogbruin v. British Columbia (Attorney General) (1985), 24 D.L.R.(4th) 718 (B.C.C.A.), refd to. [para. 22].

MacLean v. Nova Scotia (Attorney Gen­eral) (1987), 76 N.S.R.(2d) 296; 189 A.P.R. 296 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 23].

Sheena B., Re, [1995] 1 S.C.R. 315; 176 N.R. 161; 78 O.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 27].

B.(R.) v. Children's Aid Society of Metro­politan Toronto - see Sheena B., Re.

Attis v. Board of Education District No. 15 et al., [1996] 1 S.C.R. 825; 195 N.R. 81; 171 N.B.R.(2d) 321; 437 A.P.R. 321, refd to. [para. 27].

Ross v. New Brunswick School District No. 15 - see Attis v. Board of Edu­cation District No. 15 et al.

R. v. Middlebrook, Miller and Laporta (1988), 29 O.A.C. 95; 65 O.R.(2d) 746 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 30].

R. v. Miller - see R. v. Middlebrook, Miller and Laporta.

Rodriguez v. British Columbia (Attorney General) et al., [1993] 3 S.C.R. 519; 158 N.R. 1; 34 B.C.A.C. 1; 56 W.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 30].

R. v. Smith (E.D.), [1987] 1 S.C.R. 1045; 75 N.R. 321, refd to. [para. 31].

United States of America v. Cotroni; United States of America v. El Zein, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1469; 96 N.R. 321; 23 Q.A.C. 182, refd to. [para. 33].

R. v. Keegstra, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 697; 117 N.R. 1; 114 A.R. 81; 1 C.R.(4th) 129; 77 Alta. L.R.(2d) 193; [1991] 2 W.W.R. 1; 61 C.C.C.(3d) 1; 3 C.R.R.(2d) 193, refd to. [para. 33].

Davidson v. Slaight Communications Inc., [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1038; 93 N.R. 183; 59 D.L.R.(4th) 416; 26 C.C.E.L. 85; 89 C.L.L.C. 14,031; 40 C.R.R. 100, refd to. [para. 34].

Lavigne v. Ontario Public Service Employees Union et al., [1991] 2 S.C.R. 211; 126 N.R. 161; 48 O.A.C. 241, refd to. [para. 37].

RJR-MacDonald Inc. et Imperial Tobacco Ltd. v. Canada (Procureur général), [1995] 3 S.C.R. 199; 187 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 41].

R. v. Videoflicks Ltd. et al., [1986] 2 S.C.R. 713; 71 N.R. 161; 19 O.A.C. 239; 30 C.C.C.(3d) 385; 55 C.R.(3d) 193; 35 D.L.R.(4th) 1; 28 C.R.R. 1, refd to. [para. 44].

Edwards Books and Art Ltd. v. R. - see R. v. Videoflicks Ltd. et al.

R. v. Edwards Books and Art Ltd. - see R. v. Videoflicks Ltd. et al.

Stockdale v. Hansard (1839), 9 Ad. & E. 1; 112 E.R. 1112 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 79].

Statutes Noticed:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 1 [para. 58]; sect. 3 [paras. 18, 58]; sect. 12 [para. 30].

Elections Act, R.S.N.B. 1973, c. E-3, sect. 111(1), sect. 118(2) [para. 2]; sect. 119 [para. 3]; sect. 119(c) [para. 58].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Bourinot, John George, Parliamentary Procedure and Practice in the Dominion of Canada (2nd Ed. 1892), pp. 193, 194 [para. 76].

Dawson, The Government of Canada (6th Ed. 1987), pp. 113 to 117 [para. 65].

Heard, Andrew, The Expulsion and Dis­qualification of Legislators: Parliamen­tary Privilege and the Charter of Rights (1995), 18 Dalhousie L.J. 380, pp. 392 [para. 77]; 394 [para. 81]; 395 [para. 83]; 397 [para. 84]; 398 [para. 86]; 400 et seq. [para. 65]; 401, 402 [para. 66]; 404 [para. 73].

Hogg, Peter W., Constitutional Law of Canada (3rd Ed. 1992), s. 42.2 [para. 23].

Maingot, Joseph, Parliamentary Privilege in Canada (1982), pp. 2 to 4 [para. 65]; 161 [paras. 78, 83]; 162 [para. 78].

May, Thomas Erskine, Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usages of Parliament (5th Ed. 1863), pp. 54 [para. 64]; 58 [para. 76].

Nouveau Petit Robert (1993), p. 733 [para. 25].

Pelletier, Marcel R., Privilege in the Ca­nadian Parliament (1973), 54 Parliamen­tarian 143, p. 149 [para. 83].

Counsel:

E.J. Mockler, Q.C., for the appellant;

Bruce Judah, Q.C., for the respondents, the Attorney General of New Brunswick and the Minister of Municipalities, Cul­ture and Housing;

Graham Garton, Q.C., and Stephen Zaluski, for the intervener, the Attorney General of Canada;

Robert E. Charney and Alan Stewart, for the intervener, the Attorney General for Ontario;

Dominique A. Jobin, for the intervener, the Attorney General of Quebec.

Solicitors of Record :

Mockler, Peters, Oley, Rouse and Williams, Fredericton, New Brunswick, for the appellant;

Paul M. LeBreton, Fredericton, New Brunswick, for the respondents, the Attorney General of New Brunswick and the Minister of Municipalities, Culture and Housing;

Crocco, Hunter, Purvis & Depow, Wood­stock, New Brunswick, for the respon­dents, Dennis Cochrane and Hazen Myers;

George Thomson, Deputy Attorney Gen­eral of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, for the intervener, the Attorney General of Canada;

Robert E. Charney, Toronto, Ontario, for the Attorney General for Ontario;

Dominique A. Jobin, Sainte-Foy, Quebec, for the intervener, the Attorney General of Quebec.

This appeal was heard on February 19, 1996, before Lamer, C.J.C., La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin, Iacobucci and Major, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada. On August 22, 1996, the decision of the court was delivered in both official languages and the following opinions were filed:

La Forest, J. (Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, Iacobucci and Major, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 51;

Lamer, C.J.C. - see paragraphs 52 to 54;

McLachlin, J. (L'Heureux-Dubé, J., con­curring) - see paragraphs 55 to 89.

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