Persons who are authorized under regional or provincial legislation to
administer and witness the swearing of oaths or solemn affirmations in order to
take an affidavit for any potential legal matter are called “commissioners of
oaths”. The person swearing an oath to make an affirmation or make a
declaration is called a “deponent” or “declarant”.
Commissioners of oaths are also certified to witness any declaration as
required under a given law. A commissioner of oaths officially states that the
required oath or affirmation or declaration has been properly administered.
Commissioners of oaths do not verify the validity of the statements contained
in a document. That responsibility is allocated to the declarants or deponents.
In nearly all provinces, a commissioner of oaths must administer the oath or
declaration in a way prescribed by law, which requires that the deponent be
physically present before the commissioner of oaths.
In addition, the commissioner of oaths must be satisfied concerning the
authenticity of the deponent's or declarant's identity and signature prior to
the signing of the document. Usually, the signature of the deponent or
declarant is confirmed by comparing it to that in existence on a piece of
identification, such as a driver's license or a provincial health insurance
Different Types of Oaths:
If an oath is witnessed by a commissioner of oaths then it is necessary for
the deponent to confirm the following question: “Do you guarantee that the
contents of this affidavit as subscribed by you are true?”
If such a type of oath is not preferred, then the deponent can confirm by responding
'yes' to: "Do you solemnly confirm and declare that the contents of this
affidavit as subscribed by you are true?”.
In consistence with the requirement of a solemn declaration, the deponent
must declare in the positive to: "Do you make this solemn declaration
conscientiously, considering it to be true and knowing that it is of the same
force and effect as if made under oath?".
In all instances, it is required that the deponent be physically present
before the commissioner of oaths.