Suspension Order Extended to September 11, 2020 and Decoupled from Duration of Emergency Declaration

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On June 5, 2020, the Lieutenant Governor in Council amended Ontario Regulation 73/20 (the “Suspension Order”), made under section 7.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, RSO 1990, c E.9 (the “Act”), which temporarily suspends limitation periods and other procedural deadlines.

There are four important amendments to the Suspension Order:

  1. the duration of the Suspension Order is decoupled from the duration of the emergency declaration. This is a welcome amendment and addresses the need for predictability and notice. Indeed, further to our blog post of May 29, 2020, we had supported a going forward “delinking” of the Suspension Order from the duration of the state of emergency in order to remove the confusion arising from dual clocks when determining the expiry date of the suspension. Moving forward, the duration of the Suspension Order will be based on all relevant factors and not simply the state of emergency;

  2. the suspension of limitation periods and procedural deadlines will continue up to and including September 11, 2020, which is the maximum renewal period permitted under the Act;

  3. clarification that the discretion of a court or tribunal to suspend procedural deadlines (not limitation periods), referred to in section 2 of the Suspension Order, can be exercised en bloc and also on a case-by-case basis; and

  4. effective June 8, 2020, the suspension of drivers’ licenses under Part V of the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act, 1996, SO 1996, c 31 can resume in appropriate situations to enforce family law support orders.

The amendments (i.e., Order No. 258/20 and Order No. 259/20) are available for download here.