The provisions of the legislation implementing electronic registration of real estate documentation in Ontario have given rise to some interesting issues relating to the exercise of a Power of Attorney.

An attorney acting under a Power of Attorney may sign documents which are to be registered electronically as part of a real estate transaction.

Where an individual is involved, the Power of Attorney in question is registered in the Land Registry Office where the document is being registered. The document must contain: (i) the registration number of the Power of Attorney, (ii) the date of registration of the power of attorney, and (iii) a statement that the power of attorney is in full force and effect.

Under the Land Registration Reform Act – Electronic Registration Regulation a power of attorney must contain: (i) name of the grantee, (ii) a statement that the attorney is entitled to make statements of spousal status under the Family Law Act on behalf of the Grantor, and (iii) a statement that the granting of the Power of Attorney has been witnessed in accordance with the provisions of the Substitute Decisions Act, if applicable.

The Land Registration Reform Act – Electronic Registration Regulation appears, then, to create a Power of Attorney for the purposes of a real estate transaction by electronic registration. The intention behind the legislation is, clearly, to facilitate a completely paper-free regime.