COVID-19 and the courts: May 18 update

Today’s update for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: May 18 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.


Federal Court of Appeal

Notice regarding further extension of the COVID-19 suspension period and remote commissioning of affidavits

The court has extended the suspension period until May 29. During the suspension period, the court is accepting affidavits sworn or affirmed remotely using methods deemed acceptable in any Superior Court of any province.

British Columbia

Supreme Court of British Columbia

COVID-19 Notice No. 21 — Resumption of some regular court operations — Criminal proceedings

The notice gives directions about criminal proceedings scheduled on June 1 and after.

COVID-19 Notice No. 20 — Resumption of trial management conferences and trials — Civil and family matters

Trial management conferences scheduled on or after June 1 and civil and family trials scheduled on or after June 8 will resume unless the court otherwise directs.

COVID-19 Notice No. 19 — Resumption of some court operations — Civil and family matters

The notice provides instruction regarding what matters will be phased in and what matters will still be adjourned, over the coming weeks.

Court of Appeal for British Columbia

Updated Notice to the Public Regarding Access to Court Proceedings During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Beginning May 15, members of the public can observe live appeal hearings by videoconference. The court has shared public Zoom links in its weekly hearing list.


Provincial Court of Alberta

COVID-19 staged resumption of court operations — Part 1

The first part of the court’s staged resumption of its operations covers the period from May 25 to July 3.

Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta

COVID-19: Extension of suspension of hearings — Master Order #4

The court will extend its limitation of hearings to emergency and urgent matters to June 26 and will extend the adjournment of criminal jury trials and jury selections to Sept. 8.


Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan

Directive Update Respecting Chambers Applications and Additional Pre-Trial Conferences

The directive gives information on how chambers applications will be scheduled in June. The court has also set aside a substantial number of dates for pretrial conferences to be conducted in July and August.


Provincial Court of Manitoba

Notice — COVID-19 Suspension and Reopening of some Courts

Starting June 1, the court will reopen proceedings on a staged and incremental basis.

Notice — Child Protection Hearings

The child protection dockets will continue to sit in the court centers in June, except in Steinbach and Beausejour.

Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba

Notice — Small Claims Court

Effective June 8, small claims court officers will resume hearing small claims actions.

Notice — Hearing of Civil Motions During Summer Court Recess

During the recess from June 29 to Sept. 7, the Winnipeg uncontested civil motions list will sit on Wednesdays and Fridays each week via teleconference.

The court’s notice on media and public access has been revised as of May 15.

Court of Appeal for Ontario

Consolidated Notice to the Profession, Litigants, Accused Persons, Public and the Media Re: Expanded Operations of Ontario Superior Court of Justice

The notice dated May 19 consolidates previously issued directives in a single document.

New Brunswick

Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick

COVID-19 Trial Directives

The list gives information on how many people can be in the courtroom at any given time and on other trial-related matters.

Nova Scotia

Provincial Court of Nova Scotia and Youth Justice Court

COVID-19: Dartmouth Wellness Court to resume remote hearings

Effective June 4, the Dartmouth Wellness Court will recommence telephone hearings only for scheduled matters in the Mental Health Court Program, the Opioid Court Program and the Alcohol Court Program.

COVID-19: Some in-custody trials and in-custody preliminary inquiries will resume in Provincial Court

Effective June 1, certain in-custody trials and in-custody preliminary inquiries may proceed with in-person appearances, as long as all public health directives are followed.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The court is expanding the types of appearances that will proceed and the types of documents it will accept for filing or processing.


Territorial Court of Yukon

Notice to the profession

Effective May 15, the court will deal with short video appearances in Judges’ Docket at 9:00 a.m. and will adjourn lengthier video matters to later times in the morning.


Nunavut Court of Appeal

Memo to counsel, members of the bar and media

The court has cancelled the sitting on May 12. Matters scheduled on that day will be spoken to on July 22.

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