The GAA was enacted in 1939 as consumer protection legislation. Under the GAA, a guarantee is given when a person enters into an obligation under a deed or written agreement to answer for another party's default or omission.
Alberta is the only province with this legislation. A guarantee that is subject to the GAA is not legally enforceable in Alberta unless certain requirements are met. The GAA requires an individual guarantor to appear before a lawyer and acknowledge that he or she is the person who executed the guarantee. The lawyer must then examine the person to be satisfied that the guarantor is aware of the contents of the guarantee and understands its effect. On being satisfied, the lawyer then issues a certificate to that effect, which must be signed by the guarantor.
The COVID-19 pandemic required amendments to the GAA and Regulation to allow for two-way videoconferencing. The COVID-19 Pandemic Response Statutes Amendment Act, 2020 amended the GAA to allow for signing and witnessing of documents via videoconferencing to complete certificates under the GAA and its Regulation. The Regulation allows for this practice to continue until August 15, 2022.
Alberta Justice and Solicitor General is soliciting feedback from those who have experience in applying the GAA. The feedback will be used to determine if the protection the GAA seeks to provide is still needed and, if it is, to determine how the GAA is working, in practice, and whether amendments are needed to allow it to work more effectively. Alternatively, if the GAA is no longer serving the purpose for which it was intended, whether the GAA and Regulation can be repealed.
The GAA can be found here
. The Regulation can be found here
Alberta Justice and Solicitor General is seeking feedback on whether the GAA should be repealed, retained, or retained with amendments (and the reason for amendments). This feedback would be appreciated by Sept. 24, 2021
and may be emailed to the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General