The Parliament of Canada has exclusive jurisdiction to regulate matters relating to bankruptcy and insolvency, by virtue of s.91 of the Constitution Act, 1867. It has passed the following statutes as a result:
- The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act ("BIA") 
- The Companies' Creditors Arrangements Act ("CCAA") 
- The Farm Debt Mediation Act 
- The Wage Earner Protection Program Act 
- The Winding-Up and Restructuring Act (which essentially applies only to financial institutions under federal jurisdiction) 
In applying these statutes, provincial law has important consequences. Section 67(1)(b) of the BIA provides that "any property that as against the bankrupt is exempt from execution or seizure under any laws applicable in the province within which the property is situated and within which the bankrupt resides".
Provincial legislation under the property and civil rights power of the Constitution Act, 1867 regulates the resolution of financial difficulties that occur before the onset of insolvency. Notable legislation is in effect for governing:
- creation of security interests (with notable caveats)
- absconding debtors
- bulk sales (in Ontario only)
- fraudulent conveyances
- relief of creditors
- seizure of assets
- assignments and preferences
Administration of insolvency law
The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy is charged with the administration of the BIA and the CCAA. All records relating to matters under those Acts are accessible at their website. The Office also licenses trustees in bankruptcy (LTIR), who are authorized to:
- administer estates of bankrupts
- handle consumer and commercial proposals in order to forestall an assignment in bankruptcy
- act as a monitor under the CCAA
- act as a receiver under Part XI of the BIA, to take possession and administer property as a consequence of provisions in a security agreement or by virtue of any federal or provincial law that authorizes the appointment of a receiver or receiver-manager
- "Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. B-3)". Retrieved August 25, 2011.
- "Companies' Creditors Arrangements Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-36)". Retrieved August 25, 2011.
- "Farm Debt Mediation Act (S.C. 1997, c. 21)". Retrieved August 25, 2011.
- "Wage Earner Protection Program Act (S.C. 2005, c. 47, s.1))". Retrieved August 25, 2011.
- "Winding-up and Restructuring Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. W-11)". Retrieved August 25, 2011.
- John R. Sandrelli, Christopher J. Ramsay and Anjili I. Bahadoorsingh (2002-09-18). "Remedies under Security Interests in Canada: An Overview" (PDF). Fraser Milner Casgrain. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
- "Federal Security Interests: Contract #99-08-2" (PDF). Fraser Milner Casgrain under contract to the Law Commission of Canada. June 2000. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- "Absconding Debtors Act (Ontario), R.S.O. 1990, c. A.2".
- "Bulk Sales Act (Ontario), R.S.O. 1990, c. B.14".
- "Fraudulent Conveyances Act (Ontario), R.S.O. 1990, c. F.29".
- "Creditors' Relief Act, 2010 (Ontario) , S.O. 2010, c. 16, Sch. 4".
- "Execution Act (Ontario), R.S.O. 1990, c. E.24".
- "Assignments and Preferences Act (Ontario), R.S.O. 1990, c. A.33". Retrieved 2011-09-13.
- "Basic Concepts". Office of Superintendent of Bankruptcy. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
- "Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada - Home". Retrieved August 25, 2011.