News Release Article from  Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Canada Passes Legislation to Implement the International Convention on Investment Dispute Resolution

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March 14, 2008
No. 57

The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced today that Canada has completed the enactment of Bill C-9, An Act to Implement the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID Convention). The bill has been passed by both the House and the Senate and has received Royal Assent.


"This Act enables Canada to ratify a convention that has already been ratified by 143 countries, and that will provide Canadian investors with another internationally recognized instrument for protecting their assets abroad," said Minister Bernier.


"This is welcome news for Canadian business," said the Honourable David Emerson, Minister of International Trade. "Entrenching international standards will both promote and protect two-way investment between Canada and its trading partners around the world. These are key objectives of the Global Commerce Strategy."


The ICSID Convention is a World Bank-sponsored instrument aimed at facilitating the free flow of international investment. It does this by providing foreign investors and host states with tools that enable dispute resolution through conciliation and arbitration, and it has become an internationally recognized, efficient and reliable mechanism for settling investment disputes. The ICSID arbitration rules were modified in 2006 to facilitate open hearings and the filing of amicus briefs. Canada's ratification of the Convention not only provides additional protection to Canadian investors but also reinforces Canada's investment-friendly image among foreign states.


The Convention can also be used by provinces and territories that pass implementing legislation. In recent years, four provinces-British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and Saskatchewan-have adopted legislation implementing the Convention in their jurisdictions. Nunavut has also legislated to that effect. The Government of Canada welcomes provincial and territorial support for the Convention and invites all provinces and territories that wish to use ICSID arbitration to pass implementing legislation.


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