March 01, 2012

About the Author

  • Silvia de Sousa

    Silvia’s practice is concentrated in the area of business law with an emphasis on intellectual property law and technology law.
    (204) 934-2592

Part 2 of The Electronic Commerce and Information Act (Manitoba) (the “ECIA”) finally came into force on November 28, 2011, more than eleven years after the rest of the ECIA. Part 2 contains a section relating to “electronic signatures”, which the ECIA defines as “electronic information that a person has created or adopted in order to sign an electronic document and that is in, attached to or associated with the document.” The ECIA now permits the use of “electronic signatures” to fulfil signature requirements found in a “designated law” if certain criteria are met, namely that the electronic signature is reliable for (i) identifying the person who signed and (ii) “associating the signature with the document for the purpose for which the signature is applied.”

“Designated laws” to which Part 2 applies are listed in the Electronic Documents Under Designated Laws Regulation. Interestingly, the only “designated laws” that are currently listed in that Regulation are certain sections of The Business Names Registration Act (Manitoba), The Corporations Act, and regulations associated with these Acts.

The ECIA has yet to facilitate the use of electronic signatures to fulfill signature requirements found in Manitoba laws generally. Therefore, if you wish to use an electronic signature to meet a signature requirement, you will have to check the Regulation to determine if the section of the Act under which the particular requirement arises is listed there. Assuming the electronic signature fulfills the reliability requirement, only then may you rely on the ECIA to support your use of an electronic signature. Ultimately, Part 2 of the ECIA provides very limited support at this time for the use of electronic signatures to fulfill signature requirements found in Manitoba laws.

This article is presented for informational purposes only. The content does not constitute legal advice or solicitation and does not create a solicitor client relationship. The views expressed are solely the authors’ and should not be attributed to any other party, including Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS), its affiliate companies or its clients. The authors make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to via this article. The authors are not able to provide free legal advice. If you are seeking advice on specific matters, please contact Keith LaBossiere, CEO & Managing Partner at, or 204.934.2587. Please be aware that any unsolicited information sent to the author(s) cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

While care is taken to ensure the accuracy for the purposes stated, before relying upon these articles, you should seek and be guided by legal advice based on your specific circumstances. We would be pleased to provide you with our assistance on any of the issues raised in these articles.