Following the great success of the 2020 Registrars Conference, the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) convened the 2022 edition of the conference on June 8. The conference, held for Registrars, led by Registrars, provides a national forum for sharing best practices, discussion on insolvency topics of common interest, comparison of the application of insolvency laws in courts nationwide, and consideration of potential improvements to insolvency processes for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Registrars in Bankruptcy are officers of provincial and territorial courts with powers and jurisdiction defined under section 192 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA). Registrars implement important estate administration outcomes in Canada’s insolvency system.
Over 50 participants from jurisdictions across the country engaged in this year’s conference, held once again in virtual format, given the COVID-19 pandemic. As was done in 2020, the topics for the conference were proposed and selected by Registrars. All the volunteer presenters opted to present in English; however, simultaneous translation in both official languages was available for the presentations and for the discussion periods which followed each presentation. The topics during the conference included the following:
- Taxation of statements of fees and disbursements for both proposals and bankruptcies;
- The interplay, if any, between LIT advice to debtors and estoppel;
- Regional differences observed in the application of the BIA, including releasable debts, access to the BIA, and consequences of an annulment;
- Back to Basics: Lessons Learned Over My Eleven Years as a Registrar. One Registrar’s approach to common applications including proposals, high tax debtors, contingent orders, preferences and undervalue transfers, property of the bankrupt, surplus income, tax clauses, undischarged bankrupts absent without leave, and taxation;
- Calculation of surplus income; and
- Superintendent intervention in insolvency proceedings – overview of the processes and statistics regarding the LIT compliance and Debtor compliance programs.
In her opening remarks, the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, Elisabeth Lang, acknowledged that Registrars' work is instrumental to a well-functioning insolvency system and encouraged Registrars to exchange ideas on issues and key topics and to benefit from their network by reaching out, as needed. The Superintendent also asked Registrars to keep the OSB abreast of any potential challenges; in particular, capacity to deal with a possible increase in insolvency filings.
Superintendent Lang thanked Registrars for taking the time to prepare and deliver their presentations, and for coming together to share their perspectives on important issues. She also thanked them for their ongoing commitment and significant contributions to maintaining the integrity of Canada’s insolvency system, all the while continually adapting to the ever-evolving challenges of the pandemic.