Mr. Speaker, I think it is appropriate to put on the record the purpose of this Bill, not to delay proceedings but in order to provide a written statement as to its purpose.
The Convention between Canada and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland providing for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters was signed in Ottawa on April 24, 1984. This Convention codifies the existing principles for recognition of judgments in Canada and the United Kingdom and also simplifies the procedures in this area. The Bill extends the application of the Convention to judgments rendered by the Federal Court.
The main reason for concluding this Convention was the imminent accession by the United Kingdom to a European Convention on the enforcement of judgments. The European Convention provides for the enforcement of judgments of other European states, including some which would not otherwise have been recognized by the United Kingdom courts because they were based on challengeable, frequently qualified as exorbitant bases of jurisdiction.
The European Convention, however, contains a provision which enables the United Kingdom to declare that it will not recognize or enforce any judgment based on exorbitant
June 29, 1984
grounds of jurisdiction given against a party that is domiciled or habitually resident in a specified non-European state. I refer the House to Article 9 of the proposed Canada-United Kingdom Convention whereby the United Kingdom undertakes to make such a declaration.
Before Canada can ratify this Convention, both federal and provincial legislation must be adopted. Almost all of the provinces have undertaken to adopt the necessary legislation. I can advise the House that this has already been done in Ontario and Nova Scotia. Article 12 of the proposed Convention enables Canada to ratify and expand the application of the Convention to specific provinces, not necessarily all provinces.
Since it is expected that the European Convention will come into force in January, 1985, it is very important that the Bill be granted speedy passage to ensure that Canadian assets in the United Kingdom will be protected against claims and judgments which, but for the European Convention, would not be recognized in the United Kingdom.
I might just add in conclusion, Mr. Speaker, since this is probably the last occasion on which I will be speaking in this House, that I have enjoyed very much my 16 years here. I have enjoyed them not only because of the contact I have had with my colleagues in my own Party, but because of the warm, friendly and co-operative relations I have had with Hon. Members of the two other Parties. I would like to thank them for their co-operation and to say that I will keep a very close and friendly eye on proceedings in this House.
Topic: GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic: CANADA-UNITED KINGDOM CIVIL AND COMMERCIAL JUDGMENTS CONVENTION ACT MEASURE TO ESTABLISH