Extension of the Suspension Order to June 14, 2020

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We have previously reported on the suspension of limitations periods and procedural deadlines in Ontario effective March 16, 2020 pursuant to Ontario Regulation 73/20, as amended (the “Suspension Order”) made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, RSO 1990, c E.9 (the “Act”). The Suspension Order is subject to limitations in its duration and scope, as discussed in our earlier posts, which are listed at this link.

With respect to duration, the Suspension Order will continue in effect until June 14, 2020, because:

  • by its terms, the period of suspension under the Suspension Order is tied to the “duration of the emergency.” However, the period of suspension under the Suspension Order is also subject to subsection 7.1(4) of the Act which provides that the period of temporary suspension under the Suspension Order shall not exceed 90 days, subject to the Lieutenant Governor in Council making a renewal order or a new order for a further period of temporary suspension; and

  • while the Ontario legislature extended the duration of the emergency to June 30, 2020 by a government motion carried on June 2, 2020, the truncating effect of subsection 7.1(4) of the Act is that the Suspension Order will continue in effect until June 14, 2020 (being 90 days from March 16, 2020), subject to any further order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

It remains to be seen whether the Suspension Order will be renewed or replaced in the same or some altered form for the period after June 14, 2020. In our view, delinking the Suspension Order from the state of emergency will be beneficial to get rid of the unnecessary confusion arising from dual clocks determining the expiry date of the suspension.

The initial duration and extensions of the Suspension Order are summarized in the following chart:

 Initial DurationFirst ExtensionSecond ExtensionThird ExtensionFourth Extension
PeriodMarch 16, 2020 – March 31, 2020April 1, 2020 – April 14, 2020 (14 days)April 15, 2020 – May 12, 2020 (28 days)May 13, 2020 – June 2, 2020 (21 days) June 3, 2020 – June 14, 2020 (12 days)
Manner of ExtensionN/AOrder in Council extending the state of emergencyGovernment motion extending the state of emergencyGovernment motion extending the state of emergencyGovernment motion extending the state of emergency to June 30, 2020, subject to s. 7.1(4) of the Act which creates a 90-day expiry of the Suspension Order

Errata and update: This blog post, as published on May 29, 2020, incorrectly reported that a government motion was carried on May 27, 2020 which extended the state of emergency to June 30, 2020. This motion was in fact proposed on May 27, 2020 and carried on June 2, 2020. As explained in the May 29, 2020 blog post, the result of the extension of the state of emergency is that the current Suspension Order remains in effect until June 14, 2020 (its 90 day limit) unless it is renewed or replaced.