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A Statutory Declaration is a document where the declarant affirms that the facts stated are true and signs it. It is not a sworn document but rather a “declared” one that must be witnessed by a designated official such as a justice of the peace, notary public, barrister, solicitor, or attorney. While there is little practical difference for the layperson between a Statutory Declaration and an Affidavit, it is a criminal offense to provide false information in either document.
Most Statutory Declarations are in standard forms, particularly government forms. However, in some cases, one may need to create their own declaration. In such cases, one may choose either an Affidavit or a Statutory Declaration, and the wording for administering an Oath, Affirmation, or Statutory Declaration will be the same.
When administering an Oath or Affirmation, a notary public or commissioner of oaths will require the deponent to confirm that the contents of the document are true. If an Oath is being administered, the deponent must confirm: “Do you swear that the contents of this affidavit as subscribed by you are true, so help you God?” Alternatively, the deponent may instead choose to affirm by responding with “yes” to the question: “Do you solemnly affirm and declare that the contents of this affidavit as subscribed by you are true?”
If a Statutory Declaration is required instead, the deponent must declare: “Do you make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing it to be true and knowing that it is of the same force and effect as if made under oath?” In any case, the deponent must be present in person before the designated official and provide proof of their identity to the Notary. In all Canadian jurisdictions, it is illegal to provide false information in an Affidavit or Statutory Declaration.
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