COVID-19 and the courts: Mar. 7, 2022 update

This week's roundup for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: Mar. 7, 2022 update

Courts across Canada have been taking measures to control the spread of COVID-19. Below is a roundup of actions that courts are taking across the country.


Provincial Court of Alberta

COVID-19 court measures update − Feb. 18, 2022

Effective Feb. 22, the court will proceed with all out-of-custody trials, preliminary inquiries and other hearings as scheduled.


Provincial Court of Manitoba

Notice − Resumption of regularly scheduled court sittings and special sittings (Feb. 18, 2022)

The court remains closed to the public. However, an accused or a witness may be accompanied by a maximum of two persons during their appearance until further notice. Subject to specific localized closures, the court will continue to hear all matters, including trials, preliminary inquiries, dispositions and bail applications, in court centres and circuit locations.

Starting Feb. 28, the presumption that counsel and accused persons will appear remotely no longer applies, particularly if a matter is expected to proceed to trial, preliminary hearing or disposition. If counsel or accused wishes to appear remotely, they should file a request within 24 hours prior to their appearance.

If permitted to appear remotely, the preferred platform is videoconferencing. If videoconferencing is unavailable, the parties may appear by telephone. The presiding judge has the discretion to determine if a matter should proceed remotely.

The court will continue to hear bail applications with accused appearing by telephone or video conference. For child protection cases, only those persons whose appearance deemed essential should appear in person.

Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba

Notice − Adjustments to current scheduling protocols for Mar. 7, 2022 until further notice

Effective Mar. 7, the protocols for general division are as follows:

  • The court will proceed with all judge-alone and jury criminal trials in person.
  • If there is presentation of oral evidence, all civil trials will proceed in person.
  • The court will proceed with the protection order hearing list in person.
  • All judicially assisted dispute resolutions will proceed in person and off-site unless otherwise directed by the assigned judge.
  • If remote appearance is possible, all contested applications, motions, summary conviction appeals, special hearing bails and bail reviews will proceed by video conference. Otherwise, they should proceed by audio conference.

While the protocols for family division are the following:

  • If there is presentation of oral evidence, the court will hear all family and child protection trials, set-aside protection order hearings and other family hearings in person.
  • Child protection intake, child protection pre-trial conference and family triage hearing lists will proceed in person.
  • The triage screening list will be heard via telephone.
  • The court will hear all judicially assisted dispute resolutions by video conference unless otherwise directed by the assigned judge.

Court of Appeal of Manitoba

Notice − Resumption of in-person appeal hearings and chambers motions starting Mar. 14, 2022

Beginning Mar. 14, the court will resume in-person appeal hearings and chambers motions.

The court may hear in-person criminal, civil and family trials scheduled between Feb. 28 and Apr. 1.

All other hearings set to be heard virtually will proceed as scheduled. Hearings scheduled to be heard in person may also proceed but are subject to assessment by the court staff.

The court will not schedule new in-person hearings between Feb. 28 and Apr. 1. unless deemed urgent. Urgent matters include:

  • Criminal Proceedings – bail hearings, bail review applications of accused in custody and detention reviews
  • Family Proceedings – requests for urgent relief relating to the safety of a child or parent, applications concerning medical decisions or wrongful removal of a child, applications to preserve property or assets, warrants under the Children, Youth and Families Act and applications under the Adult Protection Act

Other matters that a judge determines to be urgent may also be heard in person, while conferences will be heard virtually.

Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador

Notice to the profession and public − Feb. 25, 2022

Starting Feb. 28, 2022, the court will hear appeals and applications in person unless otherwise notified.

The court will open the registry to the public. However, public access should be limited to one person at a time.

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