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4. Results: Answers
International Arbitration
Enforcement of awards
Are awards enforced in your jurisdiction? Under what procedure?

Answer ... Awards are enforced in the common law provinces of Canada. There is some variety between the provinces for domestic arbitration awards. The acts of British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Yukon provide that they are treated the same way as court judgments (Arbitration Act (British Columbia), RSBC 1996, c 55, s 29 ; Arbitration Act (Nova Scotia), RSNS 1989, c 19, s 17; Arbitration Act (Prince Edward Island), RSPEI 1988, c A-16, s 13; Arbitration Act (Northwest Territories), RSNWT 1988, c A-5, s 25; Arbitration Act (Yukon), RSY 2002, c 8, s 24). In Newfoundland and Labrador, an award may be registered in the cause book of the court and enforced the same way as a judgment (Arbitration Act (Newfoundland and Labrador), RSNL 1990, c A-14, s 15).

The procedure to enforce domestic arbitral awards is different in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan. A person must first apply to the court for an order enforcing an award and notice must be given to the person against which enforcement is sought. If the award was made in the same jurisdiction where this application is made, there is no discretion involved, except in specific circumstances, such as if the period for commencing an appeal to set the award aside has not yet elapsed or the award is a family arbitration award (in Ontario, this can be enforced only under the Family Law Act). Extra-provincial awards are enforced under the legislation governing the reciprocal enforcements of judgments, such as the various arbitration acts and reciprocal enforcement of judgments acts (Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act (Alberta), RSA 2000, c R-6; Court Order Enforcement Act (British Columbia), RSBC 1996, c 78; Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act (Manitoba), CCSM c J20; Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act (New Brunswick), RSNB. 2014, c 127; Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act (Newfoundland and Labrador), RSNL 1990, c R-4; Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act (Nova Scotia), RSNS. 1989, c 388; Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act (Ontario), RSO 1990, c R 5; Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act (Prince Edward Island), RSPEI 1988, c R-6; Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act (Saskatchewan), 1996, SS 1996, c R-3.1; Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act (Northwest Territories), RSNWT 1988, c R-1; Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act (Yukon), RSY 2002, c 189).

In the international context, an arbitral award must be recognised as binding and enforced by an application in writing to a competent court. The party applying for its enforcement must supply the original award or a certified copy, as well as an original or certified copy of the arbitration agreement. A certified translation is necessary if the award or agreement is not in the official language of the province (Proctor v Schellenberg, [2002] MJ No 188, 164 Man R (2d) 188 (Man QB), affd [2002] MJ No 496, 2002 MBCA 170 (Man CA)).

An application to enforce an award is limited to parties to the arbitration and may be made by way of application for summary judgment. A foreign arbitral award is a remedial order for the purposes of domestic limitations legislation, and the limitation period under a province’s limitations act begins to run as of the date the relevant appeal period expires. In Ontario, the Limitations Act, 2002 does not govern applications under the New York Convention or UNCITRAL Model Law for enforcement of awards. Instead, applications must be made within 10 years of the award (Duncan W Glaholt, Markus Rotterdam (Contributors) Halsbury's Laws of Canada - Alternative Dispute Resolution (2018 reissue) II. PRIVATE DISPUTE RESOLUTION11. International Commercial Arbitration (12) Recognition and Enforcement).

Article 645 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) provides that the arbitration award is enforceable only after having been homologated by a court of law. Indeed, a party may apply to the court for the homologation of an arbitration award. As soon as it is homologated, the award acquires the force and effect of a judgment of the court.

The court to which an application for the homologation of an arbitration award is submitted cannot review the merits of the dispute. It may stay its decision if the arbitrator has been asked to correct, supplement or interpret the award. In such a case, if the applicant so requires, the court may order a party to provide a suretyship. The grounds upon which the court may base its refusal to homologate the arbitration award are the same as those for the annulment of such an award and are listed at Article 646 of the CCP.

For more information about this answer please contact: Mark Gelowitz from Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
International Arbitration