International arbitration in Canada is, for the most part, a matter of provincial jurisdiction. Each province and territory has enacted legislation adopting the UNCITRAL Model Law, occasionally with slight variations, as the foundational law for international arbitration. Canada’s federal parliament has also adopted a commercial arbitration code based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, which is applicable when the federal government or one of its agencies is a party to an arbitration agreement or where a matter involves an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction under Canada’s constitution. In addition, each of the provinces and the federal government has, either directly or indirectly, adopted the New York Convention.
In 2011, the Uniform Law Conference of Canada (the “Conference”) appointed a working group to formulate recommendations to update Canada’s laws relating to international commercial arbitration in accordance with the 2006 UNCITRAL Model Law amendments. The report was released on August 18, 2012, and was followed by a discussion paper in January, 2013, which set forth recommendations concerning the preparation and implementation of a new Uniform International Commercial Arbitration Act (the "Uniform Act").