R. v. Morgentaler, (1990) 99 N.S.R.(2d) 293 (ProvCt)

JudgeKennedy, P.C.J.
CourtProvincial Court of Nova Scotia (Canada)
Case DateOctober 19, 1990
JurisdictionNova Scotia
Citations(1990), 99 N.S.R.(2d) 293 (ProvCt)

R. v. Morgentaler (1990), 99 N.S.R.(2d) 293 (ProvCt);

    270 A.P.R. 293

MLB headnote and full text

R. v. Henry Morgentaler

(PHFX-69568 to 69581)

Indexed As: R. v. Morgentaler

Nova Scotia Provincial Court

Kennedy, P.C.J.

October 19, 1990.

Summary:

The Medical Services Act, S.N.S. 1989, c. 9, prohibited certain medical services outside a hospital, including abortion. Dr. Henry Morgentaler was charged under the Act with performing therapeutic abortions in Nova Scotia. He pleaded in defence that the Act was unconstitutional.

The Nova Scotia Provincial Court acquitted the accused on the ground that the Act was an invalid invasion of the federal criminal law power, because it was directed at the prevention of Dr. Morgentaler's abortion clinic.

Constitutional Law - Topic 6493

Federal jurisdiction - Criminal law - Abortion - The Medical Services Act, S.N.S. 1989, c. 9, sought to prohibit certain private medical services, including abortion - The Nova Scotia Provincial Court examined the social and political background of the legislation and concluded that it was directed at preventing Dr. Morgentaler's private abortion clinic and as such was an invalid invasion of the federal criminal law power.

Criminal Law - Topic 1456

Offences against the person and reputation - Abortion - General - [See Constitutional Law - Topic 6493 ].

Statutes - Topic 518

Interpretation - General principles - Mischief rule - The Nova Scotia Provincial Court held that in determining the constitutional validity of the Medical Services Act, S.N.S. 1989, c. 9, which prohibited private abortions, the court could look to the "mischief" the legislators were addressing and the political context of the legislation - See paragraphs 44 to 82 - These factors led the court to conclude that the legislation was directed at the prevention of Dr. Morgentaler's private abortion clinic and was an invalid invasion of the federal criminal law power.

Statutes - Topic 1601

Interpretation - Extrinsic aids - General - [See Statutes - Topic 518 ].

Statutes - Topic 1607

Interpretation - Extrinsic aids - Policy of legislation - [See Statutes - Topic 518 ].

Statutes - Topic 1644

Interpretation - Extrinsic aids - Legislative history - Legislative debates - The Nova Scotia Provincial Court in determining that the Medical Services Act, S.N.S. 1989, c. 9, was aimed at preventing Dr. Morgentaler's private abortion clinic and as such was an invalid invasion of the federal criminal law power considered the legislative debates and the positions of lobbyists surrounding the legislation - See paragraphs 44 to 82.

Statutes - Topic 1649

Interpretation - Extrinsic aids - Legislative history - Lobbying - [See Statutes - Topic 1644 ].

Statutes - Topic 1655

Interpretation - Extrinsic aids - Legislative history - Social and political background - [See Statutes - Topic 518 ].

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Morgentaler, Smoling and Scott, [1988] 1 S.C.R. 30; 82 N.R. 1; 26 O.A.C. 1, consd. [para. 13].

R. v. Morgentaler, [1976] 1 S.C.R. 616; 4 N.R. 277, consd. [para. 20].

Reference re Freedom of Informed Choice (Abortions) Act (1985), 44 Sask.R. 104 (C.A.), appld. [para. 24].

R. v. Westendorp, [1983] 1 S.C.R. 43; 46 N.R. 30, 41 A.R. 306, appld. [para. 24].

Attorney General of Alberta v. Attorney General of Canada, [1939] A.C. 117 (P.C.), appld. [para. 45].

R. v. Videoflicks Ltd., [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; 14 D.L.R.(4th) 10, appld. [para. 74].

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

Irwin Toy Ltd. v. Québec (Procureur général), [1989] 1 S.C.R. 927; 94 N.R. 16; 24 Q.A.C. 2, appld. [para. 74].

McGee v. Pooley (1931), 56 C.C.C. 325 (B.C.C.A.), consd. [para. 93].

Statutes Noticed:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 7, sect. 15.

Constitution Act, 1867, sect. 91(27) [para. 14]; sect. 92(7), sect. 92(13), sect. 92(16) [para. 29].

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34, sect. 251 [para. 21].

Environmental Protection Act, R.S. N.S. 1989, c. 150, sect. 48 [para. 88].

Health Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 195, sect. 128 [para. 84].

Health and Hospitals Act Regulations, Abortion Regulation, N.S. Reg. 33/89 [para. 55].

Medical Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 278, sect. 49 [para. 84].

Medical Services Act, S.N.S. 1989, c. 9, sect. 2 [para. 30]; sect. 6(1) [para. 83].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Hogg, Peter W., Constitutional Law of Canada (2nd Ed.), pp. 314 [para. 28]; 319 [para. 50].

Counsel:

Marion Tyson, Alison Scott and Craig Botterill, for the Crown;

Anne S. Derrick, for the defendant.

This case was heard at Halifax, Nova Scotia, before Kennedy, P.C.J., of the Nova Scotia Provincial Court, who delivered the following judgment on October 19, 1990:

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6 practice notes
  • R. v. Morgentaler, (1993) 125 N.S.R.(2d) 81 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • September 30, 1993
    ...Nova Scotia. Morgentaler claimed the Act and Regulation were unconstitutional. The Nova Scotia Provincial Court, in a judgment reported 99 N.S.R.(2d) 293; 270 A.P.R. 293 , acquitted Morgentaler on the ground that the Act and Regulation were an invalid invasion of the federal criminal law p......
  • R. v. Morgentaler, (1993) 157 N.R. 97 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • September 30, 1993
    ...Nova Scotia. Morgentaler claimed the Act and Regulation were unconstitutional. The Nova Scotia Provincial Court, in a judgment reported 99 N.S.R.(2d) 293; 270 A.P.R. 293 , acquitted Morgentaler on the ground that the Act and Regulation were an invalid invasion of the federal criminal law p......
  • R. v. Morgentaler, (1991) 104 N.S.R.(2d) 361 (CA)
    • Canada
    • Nova Scotia Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (Canada)
    • July 5, 1991
    ...abortions in Nova Scotia. Morgentaler claimed the Act was unconstitutional. The Nova Scotia Provincial Court, in a judgment reported 99 N.S.R.(2d) 293; 270 A.P.R. 293 , acquitted Morgentaler on the ground that the Act was an invalid invasion of the federal criminal law power, because it wa......
  • Johnston et al. v. Prince Edward Island, (1995) 128 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 1 (PEITD)
    • Canada
    • August 29, 1994
    ...Secretary) v. Egan, [1941] S.C.R. 396, consd. [para. 149]. Smith v. R., [1960] S.C.R. 776, consd. [para. 150]. R. v. Morgentaler (1990), 99 N.S.R.(2d) 293; 270 A.P.R. 293; 270 A.P.R. 229 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. Bonham's Case (1610), 8 Co. Rep. 114(a); 77 E.R. 646, not folld. [para. 194......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • R. v. Morgentaler, (1993) 125 N.S.R.(2d) 81 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • September 30, 1993
    ...Nova Scotia. Morgentaler claimed the Act and Regulation were unconstitutional. The Nova Scotia Provincial Court, in a judgment reported 99 N.S.R.(2d) 293; 270 A.P.R. 293 , acquitted Morgentaler on the ground that the Act and Regulation were an invalid invasion of the federal criminal law p......
  • R. v. Morgentaler, (1993) 157 N.R. 97 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • September 30, 1993
    ...Nova Scotia. Morgentaler claimed the Act and Regulation were unconstitutional. The Nova Scotia Provincial Court, in a judgment reported 99 N.S.R.(2d) 293; 270 A.P.R. 293 , acquitted Morgentaler on the ground that the Act and Regulation were an invalid invasion of the federal criminal law p......
  • R. v. Morgentaler, (1991) 104 N.S.R.(2d) 361 (CA)
    • Canada
    • Nova Scotia Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (Canada)
    • July 5, 1991
    ...abortions in Nova Scotia. Morgentaler claimed the Act was unconstitutional. The Nova Scotia Provincial Court, in a judgment reported 99 N.S.R.(2d) 293; 270 A.P.R. 293 , acquitted Morgentaler on the ground that the Act was an invalid invasion of the federal criminal law power, because it wa......
  • Johnston et al. v. Prince Edward Island, (1995) 128 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 1 (PEITD)
    • Canada
    • August 29, 1994
    ...Secretary) v. Egan, [1941] S.C.R. 396, consd. [para. 149]. Smith v. R., [1960] S.C.R. 776, consd. [para. 150]. R. v. Morgentaler (1990), 99 N.S.R.(2d) 293; 270 A.P.R. 293; 270 A.P.R. 229 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. Bonham's Case (1610), 8 Co. Rep. 114(a); 77 E.R. 646, not folld. [para. 194......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Provincial Jurisdiction over Abortion.
    • Canada
    • Queen's Law Journal Vol. 45 Nbr. 1, September 2019
    • September 22, 2019
    ...note 3 at 494. (56.) See ibid at 505-13. (57.) Ibid at 512. (58.) See ibid at 499-505. (59.) Ibid at 506, citing R v Morgentaler (1990), 99 NSR (2d) 293 at 302, 270 APR 293 (Prov (60.) Morgentaler 1993, supra note 3 at 491-94. (61.) The meaning ascribed to colourability in this paper impl......

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