In view of COVID-19, on March 20, 2020, the Attorney General of Ontario ordered the suspension of limitation periods and other procedural time periods. The Order is retroactively dated to March 16, 2020.
The provincial government has made this Order pursuant to s. 7.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act [“Act”], which authorizes the Lieutenant Governor to make appropriate orders in cases of a provincial emergency with respect to the operation of the law of Ontario.
This Order also suspends any procedural time periods for steps to be taken in any proceeding in Ontario, subject to the discretion of the court.
Pursuant to s. 7.1 (4) of the Act, the length of the temporary suspension shall not exceed 90 days. However, the Lieutenant Governor has the power to make an order to extend the temporary suspension for another 90 days. It is currently not known how long the Ontario government intends to suspend limitation periods and procedural time periods.
This new legislation is yet another unprecedented move in the current climate of uncharted waters due to the COVID-19 outbreak.