COVID-19 and the courts: May 1 update

Today's update for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: May 1 update

Courts across Canada are taking extraordinary 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
Supreme Court of British Columbia

Message from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia
On Mar. 18, the court suspended its regular operations for civil, family and criminal proceedings, with a view to safeguarding the health and safety of visitors to the court and to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Since then, the court has been working to provide access to justice by finding ways to hear urgent and essential matters and to broaden the range of matters that it can remotely address through technological means, such as telephone and video. While, even before the outbreak, the court had already been exploring remote ways to conduct its operations and to hear cases, the court said that the public health crisis has accelerated these efforts.

Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta

COVID-19 and bar admission ceremonies
If one wishes to be admitted to the bar and is eligible for such, one may file an online application via the court’s emergency or urgent hearing request form.

Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia Supreme Court

Order providing flexibility in insolvency proceedings
The court has adjusted bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings to be more flexible, considering the economic consequences of the pandemic. The order issued for this purpose applies to active commercial proposals, active consumer proposals and active bankruptcy files. The court has extended certain timelines for the duration of the suspension period, defined in the order as the period from Apr. 27 to June 30. These timelines include those for holding a meeting of creditors, scheduling a mediation, and for the trustee to apply to the court for a hearing.

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