If you are involved in litigation in Ontario, you are likely aware that Ontario suspended its limitation periods and procedural deadlines on March 16, 2020. The suspension order was made under O. Reg. 73/20.

As of Monday, September 14, 2020, the suspension order will be lifted and all limitation periods and other procedural time periods will resume. This change is made in accordance with Ontario’s gradual reopening, under O. Reg. 457/20 made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.

How does this affect your matter?

– Suspended timelines and limitation periods will pick up from where they were on March 16, 2020. For example, if your matter had a deadline of March 19, 2020, three days after the suspension, the deadline will now be September 17, 2020, three days after the limitation periods resume.

– Any and all hearing dates or other scheduled dates with the Small Claims Court and Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, among other courts and administrative tribunals, will be rescheduled.

– Note that this suspension order only applied to Ontario limitation periods and did not impact limitation periods and procedural timelines under federal laws.

What does this mean?

Given that Courts and tribunals have been suspended, we can expect a backlog and delays in moving some matters through the litigation process.

While the suspension has largely benefited employers by allowing them to delay litigation, they can expect employees to take steps to move their matters along.