In a topsy-turvy world, the relative strength and stability of
Canada's economy continues to attract foreign investment,
including our commercial and residential real estate sectors.
Since it may not always be advantageous for foreign companies to
incorporate a Canadian entity, Canadian businesses are more likely
today than ever to have dealings with non-resident companies,
whether as buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants or financiers.
Transacting with a foreign company raises a host of issues that
need to be thought about. To illustrate just one, consider a
situation where a Canadian landlord wants to enforce a covenant in
a lease – say a payment or an indemnity – that the
non-resident tenant corporation has failed to honour.
Very likely, the landlord will commence proceedings in the
courts of the province in which the leased property is located.
Unfortunately, unless the tenant is registered to carry on business
in that province, it may be necessary to serve the notice of claim
on the tenant in its home jurisdiction. Even this initial step can
be challenging if the foreign jurisdiction is not a member of the
Hague Convention of 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and
Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters.
Assuming service is successful, the tenant may still challenge
the jurisdiction of the Canadian court to adjudicate the dispute.
Even if the landlord is successful in resisting such a challenge
and goes on to obtain judgment against the tenant, the landlord
will still likely need to obtain a court order to enforce the
First, the extent and location of the tenant's assets need
to be ascertained, which can be difficult. Assuming worthwhile
assets are located in the tenant's home jurisdiction, it will
then be necessary to have the judgment recognized by that
Some Canadian provinces have legislation or agreements in place
with various jurisdictions to reciprocally recognize and enforce
judgments. Unfortunately, the lists of reciprocating jurisdictions
are surprisingly short even for provinces that have such
legislation. In B.C. and Alberta, for example, they include
only a handful of countries and U.S. states.
In the absence of reciprocal enforcement legislation or
agreements, the landlord will need to commence an action in the
foreign jurisdiction seeking to have the foreign court recognize
and enforce the judgment.
Needless to say, the actions described above can be
time-consuming and costly, and their outcomes uncertain. They
demonstrate that in an ever shrinking world, the old axiom
"Always know who you're doing business with" is still
a smart starting point.
The Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that courts will generally support and uphold decisions of condominium directors because they are better positioned than judges to make decisions pertaining to their buildings.
According to the city bylaws in Calgary, the grading of lots for new buildings must be done properly so that the water never flows toward the new building or any other nearby properties, but away from those buildings.
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