Commissioners for Oaths

Commissioners for Oaths perform important functions in our society. They are expected to comply with the highest standards of behaviour as set out in the Notaries and Commissioners Act and the Commissioners for Oaths Regulation. Commissioners for Oaths can administer oaths and take and receive affidavits, affirmations and declarations.

The Township of Whitewater Region offers a commissioner of oaths service. The individual or persons required to execute the document must attend the office and provide personal identification that includes your photo and signature. The document must be signed before the Commissioner of Oaths Please note that not all documents can be commissioned. Examples that cannot be commissioned include wills, codicils to wills, power of attorney forms, divorce, separation or custody documents, and non-municipal real estate documents.

Also, if your document requires a notarized signature, please contact your legal counsel as this type of document cannot be commissioned. The current fee for the commissioning of a document is $10.00 payable to the Township of Whitewater Region, for further information, please contact The Township of Whitewater Region at 613-646-2282.

What is an Oath?

  • An oath is a solemn declaration by which a person signifies he or she is bound in conscience to perform an act faithfully and truthfully.  

What is an Affirmation?

  • An affirmation is a solemn declaration that serves the same purpose as an oath, if an oath is objectionable to the person on religious or ethical grounds.

What is an Affidavit?

  • An affidavit is a document containing statements that are verified by the swearing of an oath or by an affirmation.  Affidavits are generally used for the purpose of establishing legal rights and may be required to attest to a certain fact or set of facts.

    There are four parts to an affidavit:

  1. Identification of the person giving the affidavit (deponent or affiant);
  2. Body of the affidavit, which provides the evidence or the statement of facts;
  3. The signature of the deponent; and
  4. Jurat – including the signature of the Commissioner taking the affidavit.  The jurat is the certificate of the commissioner before whom the document was sworn.  It sets out the location of where the oath was administered and the date of the oath.  By signing the jurat, the commissioner is certifying that he or she has administered the oath to the deponent.  If exhibits are attached to the affidavit, then the commissioner must also sign the exhibits certifying them to be part of the affidavit.

What is a Commissioner of Oaths?

  • A Commissioner of Oaths (also known as a Commissioner for Taking Affidavits) is a person authorized to take your oath or solemn affirmation when you sign an affidavit or a statutory declaration.
  • Commissioner of Oaths service is offered at the Town of Deep River municipal office. Since the nature of documents varies, it is recommended that you contact the Town prior to your visit to confirm your attestation can by commissioned by staff. 
  • A Commissioner does not certify the statements being made in the affidavit or statutory declaration are true, but only certifies that an oath or solemn affirmation has been administered properly.

What is the duty of the Commissioner of Oaths?

  • Every oath and declaration shall be taken by the deponent in the presence of the commissioner, notary public, justice of the peace or other officer or person administering the oath or declaration who shall satisfy himself or herself of the genuineness of the signature of the deponent or declarant and shall administer the oath or declaration in the manner required by law before signing the jurat or declaration. (Commissioner of Oaths Act R.S.O. 1990, c. C. 17, s.9).
  • There is a fee for this service.

Is there a difference between a Commissioner of Oaths and a Notary Public?

  • Yes - a Notary Public has broader authority than a Commissioner of Oaths. A Commissioner is not able to notarize documents such as complete passport documentation or certify documents as true. We are not able to offer notary public services at this time. A list of notary publics or lawyers can be found in your local telephone directory.
  • Certified copies: A Commissioner of Oaths and Affidavits are only empowered to administer oaths and take Affidavits and Declarations. You will require a Notary Public to certify true copies of documents.

Please Note:  The request for Commissioner of Oaths service must be made by the same individual taking the oath and signing the document.  You must present one original piece of photo identification in the form of government-issued photo ID (i.e. valid drivers licence, valid passport, valid age-of-majority card).  If your identification and/or document is in a language other than English or French, an official translation of the identification and/or document may be required.  The deponent must sign the affidavit in the presence of the Commissioner.  If the document has already been signed, the person will be asked to sign a second time in front of the Commissioner.  Any changes that have been made in the body of the document that are present at the time of signing must be initialed by both the deponent and the Commissioner.  Any changes that are not initialed may be deemed to have been fraudulently changed after being commissioned and invalidate the document.  If your affidavit requires both a witness and a Commissioner signature, you must provide your own witness.  The Commissioner cannot prepare affidavits or provide you with any advice with respect to the documents you are swearing.  You need to read and fully understand the documents yourself.  The Commissioner reserves the right to refuse to commission documents.

Periodically, municipal officials are named as persons able to certify documents for such purposes as applications for Canada Pension, Old Age Security etc.  Any such certification will be noted as limited to the purpose for which it was obtained and this service will be provided only where the customer supplies evidence that the municipal official is explicitly authorized to certify the document.