Federal Law-Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 1 (S.C. 2001, c. 4)

Assented to 2001-05-10

Federal Law-Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 1

S.C. 2001, c. 4

Assented to 2001-05-10

A First Act to harmonize federal law with the civil law of the Province of Quebec and to amend certain Acts in order to ensure that each language version takes into account the common law and the civil law

SUMMARY

This enactment repeals the pre-Confederation provisions of the 1866 Civil Code of Lower Canada that fall within federal jurisdiction and replaces certain provisions with appropriate provisions on marriage applicable only in the Province of Quebec.

This enactment also amends the Interpretation Act to recognize Canadian bijuralism and to provide that provincial law relating to property and civil rights applies to federal legislation on a suppletive basis. It also amends that Act to include interpretation rules relating to bijural provisions in federal enactments.

It harmonizes provisions of the Federal Real Property Act, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act with the civil law of the Province of Quebec.

It also harmonizes certain provisions of other Acts of Parliament with the civil law of the Province of Quebec insofar as those provisions relate to the property law, civil liability law or security law of that Province.

Generally, in provisions that describe a legal concept by using a common law term and a civil law term, the common law term appears first in the English version and the civil law term appears first in the French version. Examples of this are “real property and immovables” in the English version and immeuble et bien réels in the French version.

Preamble

WHEREAS all Canadians are entitled to access to federal legislation in keeping with the common law and civil law traditions;

WHEREAS the civil law tradition of the Province of Quebec, which finds its principal expression in the Civil Code of Québec, reflects the unique character of Quebec society;

WHEREAS the harmonious interaction of federal legislation and provincial legislation is essential and lies in an interpretation of federal legislation that is compatible with the common law or civil law traditions, as the case may be;

WHEREAS the full development of our two major legal traditions gives Canadians enhanced opportunities worldwide and facilitates exchanges with the vast majority of other countries;

WHEREAS the provincial law, in relation to property and civil rights, is the law that completes federal legislation when applied in a province, unless otherwise provided by law;

WHEREAS the objective of the Government of Canada is to facilitate access to federal legislation that takes into account the common law and civil law traditions, in its English and French versions;

AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada has established a harmonization program of federal legislation with the civil law of the Province of Quebec to ensure that each language version takes into account the common law and civil law traditions;

NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

SHORT TITLE

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Federal Law–Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 1.

PART 1FEDERAL LAW AND CIVIL LAW OF THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC

Title

Marginal note:Title

 This Part may be cited as the Federal Law and Civil Law of the Province of Quebec Act.

Civil Code of Lower Canada

Marginal note:Provisions repealed
  •  (1) The provisions of the Civil Code of Lower Canada, adopted by chapter 41 of the Acts of 1865 of the legislature of the Province of Canada, entitled An Act respecting the Civil Code of Lower Canada, are repealed in so far as they relate to subjects that fall within the legislative competence of Parliament and have not been expressly repealed.

  • Marginal note:Interpretation Act

    (2) The Interpretation Act applies to the repeal referred to in subsection (1).

Marriage

Marginal note:Substitution

 Sections 5 to 7, which apply solely in the Province of Quebec, are to be interpreted as though they formed part of the Civil Code of Québec.

Marginal note:Consent required

 Marriage requires the free and enlightened consent of a man and a woman to be the spouse of the other.

Marginal note:Minimum age

 No person who is under the age of sixteen years may contract marriage.

Marginal note:Monogamy

 No person may contract a new marriage until every previous marriage has been dissolved by death or by divorce or declared null.

PART 2R.S., c. I-21AMENDMENTS TO THE INTERPRETATION ACT

 The Interpretation Act is amended by adding the following after the heading “RULES OF CONSTRUCTION” before section 9:

Property and Civil Rights

Marginal note:Duality of legal traditions and application of provincial law

8.1 Both the common law and the civil law are equally authoritative and recognized sources of the law of property and civil rights in Canada and, unless otherwise provided by law, if in interpreting an enactment it is necessary to refer to a province’s rules, principles or concepts forming part of the law of property and civil rights, reference must be made to the rules, principles and concepts in force in the province at the time the enactment is being applied.

Marginal note:Terminology

8.2 Unless otherwise provided by law, when an enactment contains both civil law and common law terminology, or terminology that has a different meaning in the civil law and the common law, the civil law terminology or meaning is to be adopted in the Province of Quebec and the common law terminology or meaning is to be adopted in the other provinces.

PART 31991, c. 50AMENDMENTS TO THE FEDERAL REAL PROPERTY ACT

 The long title of the Federal Real Property Act is replaced by the following:

An Act respecting the acquisition, administration and disposition of real property and immovables by the Government of Canada

 Section 1 of the Act is replaced by the following:

Marginal note:Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Federal Real Property and Federal Immovables Act.

  •  (1) The definitions droits réels and immeubles in section 2 of the French version of the Act are repealed.

  • Marginal note:1995, c. 5, par. 26(1)(c)

    (2) The definitions “Crown grant”, “head of mission” and “licence” in section 2 of the Act are replaced by the following:

    “Crown grant”

    « concession de l’État »

    “Crown grant” means any of the instruments or acts referred to in section 5, a plan referred to in section 7, a notification within the meaning of the Territorial Lands Act or any other instrument or act by which federal real property may be granted or federal immovables may be conceded;

    “head of mission”

    « chef de mission »

    “head of mission”, in relation to real property or an immovable in a country outside Canada, means a person described in subsection 13(1) of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Act who represents Canada in that country;

    “licence”

    « permis »

    “licence” means any right to use or occupy real property or an immovable, other than

    • (a) a real right within the meaning of the civil law of the Province of Quebec and the rights of a lessee under a lease of an immovable, and

    • (b) an interest in land;

  • (3) The definitions “federal real property”, “interest” and “real property” in section 2 of the English version of the Act are replaced by the following:

    “federal real property”

    « bien réel fédéral »

    “federal real property” means any real property belonging to Her Majesty, and includes any real property of which Her Majesty has the power to dispose;

    “interest”

    « intérêt »

    “interest” means

    • (a) in relation to land in any province other than Quebec, any estate, right, title or interest in or to the land, and includes an easement, a servitude and a lease, and

    • (b) in relation to land outside Canada, any estate, right, title or interest that is similar to that referred to in paragraph (a);

    “real property”

    « biens réels »

    “real property” means land in any province other than Quebec, and land outside Canada, including mines and minerals, and buildings, structures, improvements and other fixtures on, above or below the surface of the land, and includes an interest therein.

  • (4) The definition immeuble fédéral in section 2 of the French version of the Act is replaced by the following:

    « immeuble fédéral »

    “federal immovable”

    immeuble fédéral Immeuble appartenant à Sa Majesté ou dont elle a le pouvoir de disposer.

  • (5) Section 2 of the English version of the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

    “federal immovable”

    « immeuble fédéral »

    “federal immovable” means an immovable belonging to Her Majesty, and includes an immovable of which Her Majesty has the power to dispose;

    “immovable”

    « immeuble »

    “immovable” means

    • (a) in the Province of Quebec, an immovable within the meaning of the civil law of the Province of Quebec, and includes the rights of a lessee in respect of such an immovable, and

    • (b) in jurisdictions outside Canada, any property that is an immovable within the meaning of the civil law of the Province of Quebec, and includes the rights of a lessee in respect of any such property;

  • (6) Section 2 of the French version of the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

    « bien réel fédéral »

    “federal real property”

    bien réel fédéral Bien réel appartenant à Sa Majesté ou dont elle a le pouvoir de disposer.

    « biens réels »

    “real property”

    biens réels Dans une province autre que le Québec et à l’étranger, les biens-fonds et les intérêts afférents, y compris les mines et minéraux, bâtiments et autres ouvrages, accessoires fixes ou améliorations de surface, de sous-sol ou en surplomb.

    « immeuble »

    “immovable”

    immeuble

    • a) Dans la province de Québec, immeuble au sens du droit civil de la province de Québec et, par assimilation, tout droit du locataire relativement à l’immeuble;

    • b) à l’étranger, tout bien qui est un immeuble au sens du droit civil de la province de Québec et, par assimilation, tout droit du locataire relativement au bien.

    « intérêt »

    “interest”

    intérêt Ä l’égard d’un bien-fonds :

    • a) dans une province autre que le Québec, tout domaine, droit, titre de propriété ou intérêt portant sur ce bien-fonds, y compris un service foncier, une servitude et un bail;

    • b) à l’étranger, tout domaine, droit, titre de propriété ou intérêt semblable à celui qui est mentionné à l’alinéa a).

 
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