Commissioner of Oaths Changes – CPD


Paralegal SCOPE contributor, paralegal Judit Schonwald, participated in the live webinar June 7, that explained Commissioner of Oaths changes. Starting July 1, paralegals are commissioners of oaths by virtue of office. For those who were unable to register, here is an overview of the information.

It seems that we, as a profession, are making progress one baby step at a time. From July 1, we will become Commissioners of Oath by virtue of our office. On June 7, the LSUC administered a free CPD session, reflecting the change.

The one-hour information session shed light on the role, duties and responsibilities of a Commissioner. Here are some highlights:

  1. You will not need to have a Commissioner’s stamp (although I think it would still look better on a document).

  2. Your appointment has no expiry date, unless you are no longer practicing as a P1, by voluntarily surrendering your license, or becoming suspended.

  3. Due diligence: paralegals must follow the rules, including ensuring proper identification and carefully reading the documents.

  4. It is up to you if you charge for this service, but if an oath is administered as part of an ongoing procedure, no charge should be applied.

  5. You cannot commission virtually or by proxy. The person has to be there, when commissioning a document.

  6. You must administer the oath or affirmation before signing.

  7. More on the legal responsibilities can be found in s.134 and s.136 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

  8. No, you will not become a Notary Public by virtue of office.

  9. No, “Commissioner” and “Notary” are not interchangeable terms.

  10. You can commission only for the Province of Ontario.

The CPD is available to view at the LSUC site.

See related SCOPE article, and the Law Society Gazette.


One comment

  1. This webcast on: A Primer for Paralegals as Commissioners for Taking Affidavits is accredited by the LSUC for 1.0 Substantive CPD Hours. However, this Substantive Hour is not applicable for New Member Paralegals.
    The Webcast included the following :
    Tab 1 O.Reg. 386/12 Under the Commissioner for Taking Affidavits
    Tab 2 Excerpts from the Criminal Code of Canada
    131 Perjury
    132 Punishment
    134 Idem
    137 Fabricated Evidence
    138 Offences relating to affidavits
    139 Obstructing justice
    Tab 3 Law Society of Upper Canada v. Edward Emil Patrick Eglar, 2004 ONSLAP 7 (CanLII)
    Tab 4 Stacey Lynn Stevens v. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2005 ONSHP 15 ( CanLII)
    Tab 5 Notaries Act, RSO 1990, c N.6 ( CanLII)
    Tab 6 Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act R.S.O. 1990, Chapter C.17

    There were two speakers on the webcast, namely Phil Brown and Robert Schipper, C.S.
    The questions and answers discussion was interesting and informative.

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