Vol. 148, No. 13 — June 18, 2014
SOR/2014-137 May 29, 2014
BRETTON WOODS AND RELATED AGREEMENTS ACT
International Development Association, International Finance Corporation and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency Privileges and Immunities Order
P.C. 2014-623 May 29, 2014
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Finance, pursuant to section 3 of the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act (see footnote a), makes the annexed International Development Association, International Finance Corporation and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency Privileges and Immunities Order.
INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION, INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION AND MULTILATERAL INVESTMENT GUARANTEE AGENCY PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES ORDER
International Development Association
1. Sections 2 to 9 of Article VIII of the Articles of Agreement of the International Development Association, as set out in Schedule III to the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act, have the force of law in Canada.
International Finance Corporation
2. Sections 2 to 9 and 11 of Article VI of the Articles of Agreement of the International Finance Corporation, as set out in Schedule IV to the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act, have the force of law in Canada.
Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
3. Articles 44 to 48 and 50 of Chapter VII of the Convention establishing the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, as set out in Schedule V to the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act, have the force of law in Canada.
COMING INTO FORCE
4. This Order comes into force on the day on which it is registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Order.)
The status, privileges and immunities required by the Articles of Agreement of the International Development Association (IDA) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), as well as the Convention establishing Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) have not yet been given the force of law in Canada. Having ratified the associated agreements, Canada is bound to those treaties and under an obligation to comply with their requirements.
The World Bank Group is made up of five entities: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the IDA, the IFC, the MIGA and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
In 1945, the original Bretton Woods Agreements Act approved the Articles of Agreement of the IBRD. Pursuant to that Act, the Governor in Council gave the status, privileges and immunities of the IBRD (enumerated in its Articles of Agreement) force of law in Canada through Order in Council 7421. The Order in Council specifically refers to the IBRD, as no other World Bank entity had been established at that time.
Since that time, the IDA, IFC, ICSID and MIGA have all come into existence, and Canada has ratified their associated agreements. Indeed, the Articles of Agreement of the IDA and IFC, as well as the Convention establishing MIGA are all approved in the current Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act, and attached as a schedule thereto. The ICSID Convention is implemented by way of the Settlement of International Investment Disputes Act.
As is the case in the IBRD Articles of Agreement, the Articles of Agreement for the IDA, IFC, and the MIGA Convention require that each member take such action as is necessary to make effective in its own law the status, privileges and immunities of the entity in question. The ICSID Convention requires that each contracting State take such legislative or other measures as may be necessary for making the provisions of that Convention effective in its territories. No such action has been taken in Canada in respect of the IDA, IFC and the MIGA.
This issue has been brought to the attention of the Department of Finance officials because of the World Bank’s desire to open a bank account with certain federally regulated financial institutions in Canada in order to transact World Bank business. At present, the World Bank is not able to open these accounts.
- To give the status, privileges and immunities of the IDA, IFC and MIGA force of law in Canada; and
- To satisfy Canada’s international obligations.
The Order gives the force of law in Canada to the status, immunities and privileges set out in the Articles of Agreement of IDA and IFC and the MIGA Convention. Giving them force of law in Canada would
- grant the entities legal personality in Canada such that they could enter into contracts, initiate legal proceedings and purchase/dispose of property;
- protect the assets and property of these entities from judicial, executive, or legislative action;
- protect the assets of these entities from restriction;
- grant certain immunities to the officers and employees of these entities;
- exempt these entities from the normal taxation rules; and
- protect the archives and official communications of these entities.
The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply, as there is no change in administrative costs to business.
Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply, as there are no costs on small business.
The Articles of Agreement for the IDA and IFC and the MIGA Convention require that members take necessary steps to make effective in the member’s territory the status, privileges and immunities set out in the Articles of Agreement/Convention. Canada has ratified these Articles and the MIGA Convention. As a result, Canada has committed to complying with the above requirements.
Non-compliance could result in the suspension, and eventual cessation, of Canada’s membership in the World Bank Group.
- Footnote a
R.S., c. B-7, s. 1; c. 24 (1st Supp.), s. 3