To prevent men belonging to a certain class getting into another class and escaping service, any man married after July 6th, 1917, was deemed to be unmarried. The Act provided for the calling out of the classes by proclamation for active service either in Canada or beyond Canada. Those guilty of failure to report were liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for any term, not exceeding five years, with hard labour. To prevent escape it was further provided that any man after his class had been called must produce his certificate or answer truthfully any questions put to him by persons having authority under the Act. Failure to comply with this section involved fines up to $100 or imprisonment up to a year.
Regulations under the Act had much to do with employers. Penalties were provided for employers keeping in their employ men called out in any class unless exemption had been granted. It was the duty of the employers to make enquiries regarding their men, and every employer was required to report the names and addresses of every man in the class called to the Minister of Justice after the time limit of the proclamation.
Each man had the right to claim exemption. First the applicant had to appear before a local tribunal or send in his reasons in writing. These tribunals were generously scattered throughout the country and easy of access to any applicant. The membership of the tribunal was two, one appointed by the Government and the other by the County Judge or District Court Judge. Attached to each tribunal were military representatives who were active in securing every fit man and who frequently investigated every case coming before them. If the applicant thought he failed to secure justice at the local tribunal he could go before the appeal tribunals in each province, and from there to the final court of appeal, a member of the Supreme Court of Canada, in this case Mr. Justice Duff.