COVID-19 and the courts: Apr. 12, 2021 update

Today’s roundup for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: Apr. 12, 2021 update
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Courts across Canada have been taking measures to control the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19. Below is a roundup of actions courts are taking across the country.


Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan

Notice to the profession and the public concerning COVID-19
Effective Mar. 23, appeals or applications before a panel of three judges will be heard either via teleconference or videoconference if available, while matters heard by a single judge in Chambers will proceed by teleconference or videoconference if available. If a party believes an in-person oral hearing is needed, they may send a letter or email to the registrar explaining their reasons. The chief justice or his designate, or the Chambers judge, will then decide how and when the matter will proceed. The notice also includes information on limitation periods, filing deadlines and filing mechanics.


Ontario Court of Justice

Latest Announcements About Provincial Offences Act Proceedings in the OCJ
On Mar. 31, the chief justice issued an order pursuant to s. 85 of the Provincial Offences Act, which extended timelines until Sept. 7 for appeals that would have expired on or after Mar. 15, 2020. As of Apr. 12, a Provincial Offences Act appeal already before the court can be scheduled for a remote hearing. No in-person Provincial Offences Act appeals can proceed earlier than Oct. 4.

Court of Appeal for Ontario

Consolidated Practice Direction Regarding Proceedings in the Court of Appeal During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The court amended the practice direction on Mar. 31, including parts relating to the counsel slip and hearing information form and the new standard wording of the surrender condition found in draft orders for release from custody pending appeal.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador

Notice – Supreme Court Operations for April 2021
The court issued notices to clarify its current operations following the public health authority’s order lowering the COVID-19 alert level to level 2. The court will keep implementing a hybrid in-person/virtual services model, with certain matters presumptively proceeding in person and others presumptively proceeding virtually, subject to judicial direction to the contrary.

Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador

Notice to the Profession and General Public
The update on Mar. 31 says that the courtroom has been retrofitted with plexiglass partitions and installed with amplification microphones to ensure that the offering of in-person hearings can proceed safely and with better acoustics. Effective Apr. 5, the registry will reopen to the public with hours of operation from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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