COVID-19 and the courts: June 28, 2021 update

This week’s roundup for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: June 28, 2021 update
Canadian courts have adopted measures to limit COVID-19 transmission

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.

Federal Court of Appeal

Gradual resumption of filing deadlines in all files
The public health situation has improved enough to permit the gradual resumption of filing deadlines, said the notice. The court said that files which were deselected pursuant to the notice on Apr. 21 and which have not otherwise been withdrawn from the suspension period’s application via a court order would reappear on the selected files list of June 21 as reselected files, with deadlines starting to run on June 28.

The court urged parties and counsel in all other proceedings to regularly check the weekly selected files list, posted every Monday on the court’s homepage, to confirm their file’s status, as well as the court’s website for other information about modifications in the scope of the court’s operations.

British Columbia

Court of Appeal for British Columbia

Court of Appeal seeks feedback on modified procedures with COVID-19 public survey
The court launched a public survey, which will be open until July 30, to ask for feedback on the changes to its procedures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Answers to the survey will stay anonymous and will internally assist the court as it develops its pandemic recovery strategy.

Alberta

Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta

COVID-19: Court schedule for the summer term, 2021
The court announced on June 24 that all matters set for July and August will proceed as scheduled in all judicial centres, subject to court announcements and unless otherwise ordered in individual cases, and that all trials and hearings with oral evidence will move forward in person, while all other matters will proceed remotely. The court will stay cautious with its resumption of operations and will keep making efforts to reduce traffic at courthouses in July and August. The court will continue to monitor the public health status and Alberta’s reopening over the summer months and will offer more information about its operations for the fall term as soon as reasonably possible

Saskatchewan

Provincial Court of Saskatchewan

Circuit Point Re-Opening
The court announced that the circuit points will start to reopen on June 21.

Manitoba

Provincial Court of Manitoba

Notice - Return to Sitting for Trials, Dispositions and Special Sittings in Most Location
The notice on June 23 said that the court would recommence hearing all trials, preliminary inquiries and inquests in the court centres, would move forward with all special sittings and seized matters

and would return to most circuit locations, as provided in the notice. The court will hear a maximum of five total dispositions in person or remotely if there are trials set in that circuit location, and will hear a maximum of ten total dispositions in person or remotely if there are no trials set in the circuit location. The notice advises accused individuals not to attend in person, except if their matter is proceeding to trial or disposition. In all other cases, the matter should be spoken to by counsel. Accused individuals and their counsel may attend court in person if the Crown is seeking a custodial sentence, but such dispositions may be conducted remotely where available to all parties. The court remains open to hearing applications relating to urgent matters and encourages all counsel to consider how and when a matter might proceed with all parties making remote appearances. The court will keep conducting child protection dockets virtually in the court centre, unless there are also trials set on the same day in that court location, in which case the court will hold the child protection docket in the community, subject to the restrictions provided in the notice dated Apr. 16, 2020.

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