BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

Report of Mining Commission Wilson, William 1891

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Victoria, B. C, 27th January, 1891.
The Honourable the Minister of Mines :
Sir,—We, the undersigned, members of the Mining Commission now sitting in Victoria
for the consideration of the mineral laws of this Province, and other laws affecting mining, beg
herewith to lay before you a draft of a proposed " Mineral Act."
In order to make the proposed Act work in unison with the other laws of the Province, it
will be necessary to amend section 95 of the "Land Act," so that proper security for
loss or damage be given to the Gold Commissioner, and so alter the form of Crown
grant under the " Land Act" as to reserve all minerals, precious and base, excepting coal;
and to repeal section 79 of the "Companies Act," and also the words "For every miner's
licence the sum of five dollars annually," in section 80 of the same Act; and in the
" Licences Act," in Schedule A, to repeal paragraph (i), and to add to the " Assessment Act,'
as a rider to section 6, the following :—" In addition to the above, there shall be levied and
" collected from the owner or occupier of every mineral claim of which a Grown grant has
" issued, an annual tax of one dollar for every acre and fractional part of an acre of land
"conveyed by the grant, payable on the 31st day of December in each year. Such tax shall
" form a charge upon the claim : Provided, always, that on the production to the Assessor, or
" to the Judge of the Court of Revision and Appeal, of a certificate of work, signed by the
" Mining Recorder of the district or division in which such mineral claim is situate, certifying
" that at least $200 worth of work has been done on such claim within the year, the above tax
" shall be remitted."
It is the unanimous opinion of the Commission that section 13 of the "Railway Aid Act,
1890," should be repealed, and we strongly urge upon you the necessity for this repeal.
We have the honour to be,
Your obedient servants,
William Wilson,
G.  B. Wright,
J. M. Kbllib,
George Oo^van. Part V.
Gold Commissioner.
Unrepealed Sections relating to the appointment of Gold Commissioners and giving them certain judicial and other powers.
4. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may from time to time
appoint such persons as he shall think proper to be respectively Chief
Golil Commissioner and Gold Commissioners, either for the whole
Province or for any particular districts therein, and from time to time
in like manner fix and vary the limits of and subdivide such districts,
and make and revoke all such appointments.
5. Within every such district or districts there shall be a Court, to
be called the " Mining Court," in which the Gold Commissioner of the
district shall preside as Judge thereof.
6. Such "Mining Court" shall have original jurisdiction as a
Court of Law and Equity, to hear and determine all mining disputes
arising within its district, and shall be a Court of Record with a
specific seal; and in determining suits or actions brought therein, the
Gold Commissioner may render such judgment, or make such order or
decree, as he shall deem just, and for the purposes thereof and for
enforcing the same he shall have and exercise, save as hereinafter
excepted, the same powers and authority, legal and equitable, as are
now exercised in the Supreme Court by any Judge thereof: Provided,
however, that the Gold Commissioner shall, if desired by both parties
to a cause in cases of liquidated damages, or if desired by either party
to a cause in cases of unliquidated damages, summon a jury of from
three to five free miners to assess the amount of such damages.
13. The Gold Commissioner may, in cases of disputed boundaries or
measurements, employ a surveyor to mark and define the same, and
cause the reasonable expense thereof to be paid by either or both of
the parties interested therein.
19. It shall be lawful for the Gold Commissioner, upon being so
requested, to mark out for business purposes or gardens, on or near
any mining ground not previously pre-empted, a plot of land of such
size as he shall deem advisable, to be held subject to all the rights of
free miners to enter upon and use such lands for mining purposes, upon
reasonable notice to quit being given to the occupier, such notice to be
subject to the approval of the Gold Commissioner ; and, further, upon
the payment of due compensation for any crops thereon, and for the
buildings and improvements erected on such plots; such compensation
to be assessed by the Gold Commissioner previous to entry, with or
without a jury of not less than three. A monthly rent of five dollars
shall in every such case be payable by the grantees of such plot, or
their assignees, to the Gold Commissioner.
22. No prescribed forms shall be necessary, provided that the substance of the matter complained of be properly expressed in writing
and embodied in a summons to be issued from the Court, and served
on the opposite party, or as may be directed; and such summons may,
by leave of the Gold Commissioner, be amended, if requisite, by either
party upon such terms as he may impose, and the sum of ten dollars
shall be charged for every summons so issued. 27. Any Judge of the Supreme Court may, with the advice and
consent of the Gold Commissioner of any particular district, from time
to time, make, repeal, and alter any rules and regulations for the
conduct of the business before such Gold Commissioner, and for the
costs incident thereto.
2 8. Where any mining cause, wherein the sum of damages sought
to be recovered shall be less than two hundred and fifty dollars, is
brought in the first instance before the Supreme Court, it shall be
lawful for the Court, after issue joined, to direct the cause to be tried
before any particular Gold Commissioner, upon such terms as the
Court shall think fit.
29. An appeal shall lie from any judgment of a Mining Court to
the Supreme Court at Victoria sitting as a Full Court. The appellant
shall, within ten days from the date of such judgment, give notice of
the appeal to the other party, and also give security, to be approved of
by the Gold Commissioner, for the costs of appeal, and for fulfilling any
orders which may be made in the course of such appeal by the Supreme
Court: and the said Supreme Court may either order a new trial on
such terms as it shall think fit, or order judgment to be entered for
either party, or try the cause de novo, and make such order as to costs
as may be deemed proper. The appeal may be in the form of a case
settled and signed by the parties or their solicitors ; and if they cannot
agree, the Gold Commissioner may settle and sign the same, upon
being applied to by the parties or either of them: Provided that
in the Electoral District of Cariboo the appeal shall lie to a Judge
of Assize and Nisi Prius, and if either party be dissatisfied with his
decision he may appeal therefrom to the Supreme Court at Victoria,
sitting as a Full Court, upon giving, within four days from the
decision of the Judge of Assize, notice of appeal to the opposite party,
and, within ten days from such decision, or within such delay as such
Judge may allow or as may be allowed by the Appellate Court, furnishing such security in the matter of the appeal as the Judge of
Assize may direct.


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