COVID-19 and the courts: Mar. 1, 2021 update

Today’s roundup for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: Mar. 1, 2021 update

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.

British Columbia

Provincial Court of British Columbia

Updated NP 19 Court Operations During COVID-19
The court has resumed the process for daytime face-to-face search warrant applications provided in the applicable practice direction, in-person applications for judicial authorizations other than judge-only warrants at the Justice Centre, and in-person applications for judge-only warrants at the courthouses, effective Feb. 16. The notice said that affidavits in support of in-person applications for all judicial authorizations should be properly sworn or affirmed prior to attending at the Justice Centre or at the courthouse to submit the applications.

Revised NP 22 In-Person Proceedings During COVID-19: Health and Safety Protocols
The Judicial Case Managers’ offices are operating remotely, with the exception of in-person applications for judge-only warrants at the courthouses.


Provincial Court of Alberta

Chateh Circuit Court Closure
Court sittings at the Chateh Circuit Court will be heard out of High Level, Alta. until the end of March, given that Chateh Nation has closed its borders due to the high number of COVID-19 cases.

Timing of application for witnesses to appear remotely
Parties should bring an application to allow a witness to remotely testify at least 30 days before the hearing and direct this application to the assigned trial judge or the assistant chief judge of the region or division, or to their designate. The court is allowing virtual applications.


Court House Guidelines During Pandemic
The applicable court and its judge or justice of the peace has the discretion to direct which matters may proceed and the manner in which they proceed, based on the feedback of counsel or parties. The guidelines clarify the steps for ensuring that court matters may proceed if directed.

Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan

Directive Update
The court is postponing jury trials set to begin between Apr. 1 and Apr. 30. This directive applies to all the court’s judicial centres across the province.


Provincial Court of Manitoba

Notice - Precautions - in custody first appearances
Accused individuals making their first appearance should appear in court via teleconference from the interview room or from the holding cells in Thompson Court building and should only be brought into the courtroom for a personal appearance if the presiding judge has so ordered, effective Mar. 1.

Nova Scotia

Provincial Court of Nova Scotia and Youth Justice Court

Further extension of fine payments
The court extended the payment deadline for 90 more days from the summary offence ticket’s original due date. Individuals with such tickets may pay online with a debit card or credit card.

Prince Edward Island

Notice re: COVID February 2021
The party or their lawyer should seek prior approval if they know that other individuals plan or want to attend court proceedings. They should inform court administration about the number and names of such individuals, their contact information and their role in the proceeding.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador

Notice – Supreme Court Operations for February-March 2021
The notice explains the intended changes to the court’s operations for the remainder of February and March.

Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador

Notice to the Profession and General Public Regarding Court of Appeal Operations
The court suspended all matters during the week of Feb. 22 to 26. The court expects that matters scheduled on the docket after Mar. 8 will move forward unless otherwise notified.

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