News Release Archive

  The provincial government is making major changes in the way
  personal property is registered and secured throughout Nova
  Scotia. As a first step, Municipal Affairs Minister Sandy
  Jolly introduced a Personal Property Security Bill in the
  Legislature today.
  The proposed legislation is based on the New Brunswick
  Personal Property Security Act. Commonly registered items of
  personal property include such items as motor vehicles,
  mobile homes, and major appliances. The changes contained in
  the legislation will bring the process of registering
  personal property security in line with practices elsewhere
  in Canada. Many jurisdictions in Canada have abandoned the
  old personal property registry systems and adopted the
  modern Personal Property Security Act model.
  "Nova Scotia, through the bill introduced today, is joining
  with its sister provinces and territories and moving to a
  well-recognized, proven system," said the minister. "We are
  not reinventing the wheel but supporting the move to a
  consistent Canadian personal property security system."
  The legislation was put through an extensive consultation
  process prior to its introduction. The draft act and
  proposed administrative regulations were widely circulated
  to the banking, commercial, legal and academic communities
  this past July. Comments received were carefully considered
  and incorporated into the draft bill and proposed
  regulations where possible, the minister said.
  "Existing legislation dealing with personal property is
  outdated," said the minister. "This new act will improve the
  environment for commercial activities in this province. This
  legislative reform process was undertaken jointly with the
  Department of Justice. There will be one act and one
  province-wide system."
  The minister outlined several reasons for an overhaul of the
  system. Currently there are four main personal property
  security statutes: the Bills of Sale Act, the Conditional
  Sales Act, the Assignment of Book Debts Act and the
  Corporations Securities Registration Act. Each act has its
  own set of registration and affidavit requirements.
  Registration is currently on a county basis in a registry of
  deeds office. There is no provision for a centralized
  province-wide registry to ensure the protection of financial
  interests in a more mobile society. The minister said the
  existing registry is paper-based and offers no automated
  search capability.
  "The net effect is a fragmented, costly and cumbersome
  system," she said.
  For many years the financial and legal communities have
  expressed frustration over the existing system. Increasingly
  the difficulty in searching documents is causing individuals
  and firms to abandon the system.
  For example, when a consumer buys a used car today, that
  individual could have to conduct a manual search in 19
  registry offices throughout the province to be certain there
  are no outstanding debts against that vehicle. Most people
  take a risk that they are not assuming someone else's debts
  rather than attempt to use the existing system.
  "This new legislation will streamline registration processes
  and enable the use of a virtually paperless personal
  property registry system," the minister said.
  The benefits of such a system include: a significant
  reduction in paper burden and storage costs for registry
  operations; self-entry of information by clients, allowing
  them better control over information transfers into the
  system; vastly improved search capabilities, allowing
  potential purchasers of personal property a far greater
  degree of assurance of the financial encumbrances, if any,
  on the item; substantially improved security and control
  over personal property records; and a major increase in the
  level of service to clients via the institution of
  electronic registration and search, a particularly important
  feature to the business community.
  The long term goal is for the business community to be able
  to do searches directly from their offices.
  The minister said work began this fall on implementation of
  a new automated system in registries throughout the
  province. The Department of Municipal Affairs, which
  operates the personal property registries, is partnering
  with the private sector to develop and implement an
  electronic registry. UNISYS was selected as a partner
  through the government's cooperative business solutions
  process after a public tender call.
  The new act has a delayed proclamation date to allow time to
  put the new electronic system in place, expected in late
  1996. The regulations will also not come into effect until
  the act does. This delayed implementation period has the
  added benefit of allowing plenty of time for users to
  educate themselves on the new system and financial and
  commercial institutions to carry out any necessary staff
  Contact: Christine McCulloch  902-424-7485
  trp                    Oct. 30, 1995