An Act relating to bills of exchange, cheques and promissory notes
Marginal note:Short title
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 1
2 In this Act,
acceptance means an acceptance completed by delivery or notification; (acceptation)
action includes counter-claim and set-off; (action)
bank means a bank or an authorized foreign bank within the meaning of section 2 of the Bank Act; (banque)
bearer means the person in possession of a bill or note that is payable to bearer; (porteur)
bill means bill of exchange; (lettre)
defence includes counter-claim; (défense)
delivery means transfer of possession, actual or constructive, from one person to another; (livraison)
endorsement means an endorsement completed by delivery; (endossement ou endos)
holder means the payee or endorsee of a bill or note who is in possession of it, or the bearer thereof; (détenteur)
issue means the first delivery of a bill or note, complete in form, to a person who takes it as a holder; (émission)
- non-business days
non-business days means days directed by this Act to be observed as legal holidays or non-juridical days, and any other day is a business day; (jours fériés)
note means promissory note; (billet)
value means valuable consideration. (Version anglaise seulement)
- R.S., 1985, c. B-4, s. 2
- 1999, c. 28, s. 148
Marginal note:Thing done in good faith
3 A thing is deemed to be done in good faith, within the meaning of this Act, where it is in fact done honestly, whether it is done negligently or not.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 3
4 Where, by this Act, any instrument or writing is required to be signed by any person, it is not necessary that he should sign it with his own hand, but it is sufficient if his signature is written thereon by some other person by or under his authority.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 4
Marginal note:What required of corporation
5 In the case of a corporation, where, by this Act, any instrument or writing is required to be signed, it is sufficient if the instrument or writing is duly sealed with the corporate seal, but nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring the bill or note of a corporation to be under seal.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 5
Marginal note:Computation of time
6 (1) Where, by this Act, the time limited for doing any act or thing is less than three days, in reckoning time, non-business days are excluded.
(2) In all matters relating to bills or notes,
(a) if the time for doing any act or thing expires or falls on a Saturday, that time is deemed to expire or fall, as the case may be, on the next following business day;
(b) a bill or note payable on demand cannot be duly presented for acceptance or payment on a Saturday; and
(c) failure to do any act or thing on a Saturday does not give rise to any rights.
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, a cheque may be presented and paid on a Saturday or a non-juridical day if the drawee is open for business at the time of the presentment and the presentment in all other respects is in accordance with this Act, and the non-acceptance or non-payment of a cheque so presented gives rise to the same rights as though it had been presented on a business day other than a Saturday.
Marginal note:Where bank not open for business
(4) In all matters relating to bills or notes, notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, if a branch of a bank carrying on business is not open for business on a business day
(a) the time for doing any act or thing at the branch, if the time expires or falls on that day, is deemed to expire or fall, as the case may be, on the next following business day on which the branch is open for business;
(b) a bill or note payable on demand cannot be duly presented for acceptance or payment at the branch on that day; and
(c) failure to do any act or thing by reason of the branch not being open for business on that day does not give rise to any rights.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 6
Marginal note:Crossing dividend warrants
7 The provisions of this Act relating to crossed cheques apply to a warrant for payment of dividend.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 7
Marginal note:Bank Act not affected
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 8
Marginal note:Common law of England
9 The rules of the common law of England, including the law merchant, save in so far as they are inconsistent with the express provisions of this Act, apply to bills, notes and cheques.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 10
Marginal note:Protest evidence
10 A protest of any bill or note within Canada, and any copy thereof as copied by the notary or justice of the peace, is, in any action, evidence of presentation and dishonour, and also of service of notice of the presentation and dishonour as stated in the protest or copy.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 11
Marginal note:Copy of protest, evidence
11 Where a bill or note, presented for acceptance, or payable outside Canada, is protested for non-acceptance or non-payment, a notarial copy of the protest and of the notice of dishonour, and a notarial certificate of the service of the notice, shall be received in all courts as evidence of the protest, notice and service.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 12
Marginal note:Officer of bank not to act as notary
12 No clerk, teller or agent of any bank shall act as a notary in the protesting of any bill or note payable at the bank or at any of the branches of the bank in which he is employed.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 13
Marginal note:Purchase of patent right
13 (1) Every bill or note the consideration of which consists, in whole or in part, of the purchase money of a patent right, or of a partial interest, limited geographically or otherwise, in a patent right, shall have written or printed prominently and legibly across the face thereof, before it is issued, the words “Given for a patent right”.
Marginal note:Absence of necessary words
(2) If the words “Given for a patent right” are not written or printed on any instrument in the manner prescribed in subsection (1), the instrument and any renewal thereof is void, except in the hands of a holder in due course without notice of the consideration.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 14
Marginal note:Transferee to take with equities
14 The endorsee or other transferee of any instrument referred to in section 13 having the words “Given for a patent right” printed or written thereon takes the instrument subject to any defence or set-off in respect of the whole or any part thereof that would have existed between the original parties.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 15
Marginal note:Offence and punishment
15 Every person who issues, sells or transfers, by endorsement or delivery, any instrument referred to in section 13 not having the words “Given for a patent right” printed or written across the face thereof in the manner prescribed by that section, knowing the consideration of that instrument to have consisted, in whole or in part, of the purchase money of a patent right, or of a partial interest, limited geographically or otherwise, in a patent right, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for any term not exceeding one year, or to such fine, not exceeding two hundred dollars, as the court thinks fit.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 16
PART IIBills of Exchange
Form and Interpretation of Bill
Marginal note:Bill of exchange
16 (1) A bill of exchange is an unconditional order in writing, addressed by one person to another, signed by the person giving it, requiring the person to whom it is addressed to pay, on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time, a sum certain in money to or to the order of a specified person or to bearer.
Marginal note:Non-compliance with requisites
(2) An instrument that does not comply with the requirements of subsection (1), or that orders any act to be done in addition to the payment of money, is not, except as hereinafter provided, a bill.
Marginal note:Unconditional order
(3) An order to pay out of a particular fund is not unconditional within the meaning of this section, except that an unqualified order to pay, coupled with
(a) an indication of a particular fund out of which the drawee is to reimburse himself or a particular account to be debited with the amount, or
(b) a statement of the transaction that gives rise to the bill,
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 17
Marginal note:Instrument payable on contingency
17 (1) An instrument expressed to be payable on a contingency is not a bill and the happening of the event does not cure the defect.
Marginal note:Addressed to two or more drawees
(2) A bill may be addressed to two or more drawees, whether they are partners or not, but an order addressed to two drawees in the alternative, or to two or more drawees in succession, is not a bill.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 18
Marginal note:Payee, drawer or drawee
18 (1) A bill may be drawn payable to, or to the order of, the drawer, or it may be drawn payable to, or to the order of, the drawee.
Marginal note:Two or more payees
(2) A bill may be made payable to two or more payees jointly, or it may be made payable in the alternative to one of two, or one or some of several payees.
Marginal note:Holder of office payee
(3) A bill may be made payable to the holder of an office for the time being.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 19
Marginal note:Drawee to be named
19 The drawee must be named or otherwise indicated in a bill with reasonable certainty.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 20
Marginal note:Transfer words
20 (1) When a bill contains words prohibiting transfer, or indicating an intention that it should not be transferable, it is valid as between the parties thereto, but it is not negotiable.
Marginal note:Negotiable bill
(2) A negotiable bill may be payable either to order or to bearer.
Marginal note:When payable to bearer
(3) A bill is payable to bearer that is expressed to be so payable, or on which the only or last endorsement is an endorsement in blank.
Marginal note:Certainty of payee
(4) Where a bill is not payable to bearer, the payee must be named or otherwise indicated therein with reasonable certainty.
Marginal note:Fictitious payee
(5) Where the payee is a fictitious or non-existing person, the bill may be treated as payable to bearer.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 21
Marginal note:Bill payable to order
21 (1) A bill is payable to order that is expressed to be so payable, or that is expressed to be payable to a particular person, and does not contain words prohibiting transfer or indicating an intention that it should not be transferable.
Marginal note:When payable to person or order
(2) Where a bill, either originally or by endorsement, is expressed to be payable to the order of a specified person, and not to him or his order, it is nevertheless payable to him or his order at his option.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 22
Marginal note:When payable on demand
22 (1) A bill is payable on demand
(a) that is expressed to be payable on demand or on presentation; or
(b) in which no time for payment is expressed.
Marginal note:Endorsed when overdue
(2) Where a bill is accepted or endorsed when it is overdue, it shall, with respect to the acceptor who so accepts it, or any endorser who so endorses it, be deemed a bill payable on demand.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 23
Marginal note:Determinable future time
23 A bill is payable at a determinable future time, within the meaning of this Act, that is expressed to be payable
(a) at sight or at a fixed period after date or sight; or
(b) on or at a fixed period after the occurrence of a specified event that is certain to happen, though the time of happening is uncertain.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 24
Marginal note:Inland bill
24 (1) An inland bill is a bill that is, or on the face of it purports to be,
(a) both drawn and payable within Canada; or
(b) drawn within Canada on a person resident in Canada.
Marginal note:Foreign bill
(2) Any other bill is a foreign bill.
(3) Unless the contrary appears on the face of a bill, the holder may treat it as an inland bill.
- R.S., c. B-5, s. 25
- Date modified: