This article has been contributed to the blog by Patrick Riesterer. Patrick Riesterer is an associate in the insolvency and restructuring group of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.
NORTH OF THE BORDER UPDATE
We recently reported on the public consultation process on insolvency law reform initiated by Industry Canada, the Canadian federal department responsible for the principal Canadian insolvency law statutes, the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (“CCAA”) and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (“BIA”). Industry Canada published a discussion paper and sought public submissions on a number of topics relating to insolvency law reform. The period for public comment has now closed and a number of submissions by professionals and members of the public have been published on Industry Canada’s website. The comments can be found here.
The comments cover a range of issues. For example, comments on consumer insolvency matters include submissions regarding proposed changes to ensure that provincial and other law does not frustrate the “fresh start” principle that supports the rehabilitation of insolvent individuals. We discussed issues relating to the fresh start principle in a recent blog entry on licensing regimes. In addition, many submissions were received regarding the treatment of Registered Disability Savings Plans (“RDSPs”) in insolvency and recommending that RDSPs receive protection from the creditors of a bankrupt individual.
A range of comments on commercial insolvency matters were also received. Comments were submitted on topics such as the treatment of employees’ wages, pensions and benefits during an insolvency proceeding, on reform of certain provisions of Canadian insolvency law relating to the insolvency of insurance companies and on matters relating to the role of the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. Industry Canada’s discussion paper included certain comments on derivatives law reform. We have previously blogged on certain matters relating to proposed changes to the treatment of derivatives in Canadian insolvency law. Further comments were submitted to Industry Canada regarding the treatment of derivatives in a Canadian insolvency proceeding.
The Minister of Industry intends to table a report in Parliament regarding the provisions and operation of the CCAA and the BIA by September 2014. The report will draw on the submissions received as a result of the public consultation process and will also draw on the reports and position papers that have been provided to Industry Canada in the past and any additional reports and position papers that will be provided in the future. The public consultation process and the subsequent report may lead to insolvency law reform in a number of areas. More clarity will be available after the Minister’s report is published. We will continue to monitor this process and will publish a future blog reporting on developments.