Saturday, 19 December 2009

NWT's Proposed Electronic Commerce Act


The Department is currently seeking feedback on a proposed Electronic Commerce Act

Legal relationships have long been based on paper documentation, and most laws use language that refers to paper documents. Over the past generation, however, more and more people have begun communicating through the Internet and by e-mail.  The result is that documents and information are now routinely transmitted electronically.

To some extent, courts have come to terms with technology, people have drafted contracts to provide standards for computer communications between them, and legislation has been enacted to provide for the use of electronic documents in specific areas.  However, the benefits of electronic communications are reduced by the legal uncertainty created by the absence of legislation to deal with issues raised by electronic commerce.

The proposed Electronic Commerce Act would make it clear that electronic communications and documents are recognized under NWT law.  It would provide for minimum standards that must be met where electronic documents and information are used.  However, it is important to note that it does not require people to use electronic communications against their will.

In the case of the GNWT and its boards and agencies, as well as community governments, the draft Act also sets standards for public bodies that choose to communicate with the public electronically. 

The Act is based on a model law that all other Canadian provinces and territories have used to develop their own laws addressing the issues associated with electronic commerce.

Please note that  neither a legislative proposal nor the consultation draft has been considered by Cabinet or any Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly and that this consultation is not in substitution for the public review of Bills by a Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly when a Bill has received second reading.

For more information, or to submit comments, please contact Mike Reddy, Senior Policy  He can also be reached by calling 867-920-3362. We would appreciate any general or specific comments you may have regarding the proposed Electronic Commerce Act by Monday, February 8, 2010. 

Proposed Bill

This page last updated: December 2009

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