Extension of the Suspension Order to June 2, 2020

Limitations periods and procedural deadlines in Ontario have been suspended since March 16, 2020 pursuant to Ontario Regulation 73/20 (the “Suspension Order”) made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, RSO 1990, c E.9 (the “Act”). The Suspension Order was amended on April 9, 2020 by Ontario Regulation 137/20 and on May 1, 2020 by Ontario Regulation 194/20 to deal with the application of the Suspension Order to three specific circumstances, including most notably a carve out for the Construction Act, RSO 1990, c C.30 and the regulations made under it effective from and after April 16, 2020.

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Extension of the Suspension Order to May 12, 2020

Limitations periods and procedural deadlines in Ontario have been suspended since March 16, 2020 pursuant to Ontario Regulation 73/20 (the “Suspension Order”) made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, RSO 1990, c E.9 (the “Act”). The Suspension Order was amended on April 9, 2020 by Ontario Regulation 137/20 to create two carve-outs, including most notably effective from and after April 16, 2020 the Construction Act, RSO 1990, c C.30and the regulations made under it.

The Suspension Order is subject to limitations in its duration and scope, as discussed in our earlier post.

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Ontario to exempt Construction Act from limitation period and procedural timeline suspension

On March 20, 2020, Ontario passed O. Reg 73/20 (Regulation) pursuant to section 7.1(2) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), and suspended the running of limitation periods and procedural timelines in the province. The Regulation is retroactive to March 16, 2020. In our March 25, 2020 article, we discussed the implications of the Regulation for the construction industry. No doubt, an unintended consequence of the Regulation was the suspension of deadlines for the preservation and perfection of liens under the Construction Act (Act), and the uncertainty it created with respect to the release of holdback under section 22(1) of the Act.

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Extension of the Order in Council to April 14, 2020

In an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Government of Ontario recently extended the Declaration of Emergency to April 14, 2020.

A copy of Ontario Regulation 105/20 can be found here.

Accordingly, the Order in Council dated March 20, 2020, suspending statutory limitation periods and, subject to the discretion of the court, tribunal, or other decision-maker responsible for the proceeding, procedural timelines continues in effect until April 14, 2020.

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Suspension of Limitation Periods and Procedural Deadlines in Ontario: An Update

Background

As has been widely discussed, in light of the unprecedented impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), on March 20, 2020, the Lieutenant Governor made an Order in Council under section 7.1(2) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, RSO 1990, c E.9 (the “Act”) suspending limitation periods for the duration of the emergency (the “Suspension Order”). The Suspension Order also suspends procedural time periods, subject to the discretion of the court, tribunal, or other decision-maker responsible for the proceeding. The suspensions are retroactive to March 16, 2020. A copy of the Suspension Order, filed with the Registrar of Regulations (as O.

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Ontario Suspends Limitation Periods

In light of the unprecedented impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), on March 20, 2020, the Lieutenant Governor made an Order in Council under section 7.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, RSO 1990, c E.9 suspending limitation periods for the duration of the emergency. The Order in Council also suspends procedural time periods, subject to the discretion of the court, tribunal, or other decision-maker responsible for the proceeding. The suspensions are retroactive to March 16, 2020. A copy of the Order in Council dated March 20, 2020, filed with the Registrar of Regulations, can be downloaded here.

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Limitation Periods during the Coronavirus Pandemic

To protect health and safety and help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has suspended all regular operations effective March 17, 2020 and until further notice.

In a Notice to the Profession, the Public and the Media Regarding Civil and Family Proceedings released on March 15, 2020, the court provided the following important guidelines that will have consequences on parties approaching statutory limitation periods in Ontario during this unprecedented pandemic:

  1. Ontario courthouses will currently remain open. Regular filings that are not urgent may continue to occur at courthouses. In the event that it becomes impossible to file at the courthouse, or the courthouse is believed to be unsafe, parties can expect the court to grant extensions of time once the court’s normal operations resume.
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