On December 1, 2016, the Uniform Law Conference of Canada (“ULCC”) formally adopted a revised Uniform Arbitration Act. The ULCC’s mission is to harmonize the laws of the provinces and territories of Canada, and where appropriate the federals laws as well.

The ULCC last considered domestic arbitration legislation over 25 years ago, at which time it developed a Uniform Arbitration Act (1990) which was subsequently implemented, with amendments in some cases, through provincial legislation in many provinces. Since then, changes in laws and practices made in necessary to update and modernize the Uniform Act. Accordingly, the ULCC established a Working Group of arbitration specialists to recommend changes to the Uniform Arbitration Act for consideration by the Conference. Dimitri Maniatis was honoured to form part of the Working Group which, under the chairmanship of Gerald Ghikas, Q.C. of Vancouver, submitted its report and proposed uniform statute, with commentary, to the ULCC at its annual conference in August 2016.

The new Uniform Arbitration Act is a substantial modernization of arbitration legislation in many respects. It will now be up to each of the provinces and territories to consider and implement the Act in their respective jurisdictions in Canada. Of course, having recently undergone a legislative revision which came into force with the new Code of Civil Procedure, the Uniform Act is not expected to have any impact in Quebec.