Canada signed the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID) on December 15, 2006 and investors and trade lawyers have been patiently waiting ever since for the Government of Canada to ratify the ICSID . We have been waiting and waiting.
In 2008, the Government of Canada passed legislation that would permit it to ratify ICSID. Trade Lawyers Blog reported on June 13, 2008 that “On March 14, 2008 that Bill C-9 “An Act to Implement the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID Convention)” reached its final point in Canada’s legislative process and received royal assent.” Trade Lawyers Blog reported on February 21, 2010 that Canada has STILL not ratified ICSID.
The reason for the delay in ratifying ICSID is that all of the Canadian provinces must also ratify ICSID due to the fact than many matters relating to the conduct of arbitrations in Canada are covered by provincial legislation. While little information is publicly available, it is understood that to date only Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and British Columbia have agreed to ratify ICSID with the Government of Canada. All the provinces will have to pass implementing legislation.
The Legal Post (Julius Melnitzer) reported on October 2, 2012 in an article entitled “New Brunswick Premier Alward confirms federal pressure to ratify ICSID” that the Government of Canada is putting pressure of the provinces who have not yet agreed to ratify ICSID (Prince Edward island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Manitoba, and Alberta).