COVID-19 Update: Federal Court Opens Up Across Canada

July 3, 2020

This post is an update of a post originally published June 12, 2020.

Earlier this month the Canadian Federal Court announced the gradual lifting of temporary measures implemented to address the COVID-19 pandemic across Canada, except in Ontario, Quebec and the three Canadian territories. Effective June 30, 2020, the gradual lifting will be implemented across Canada.

Full lifting of Suspension Period

The Federal Court will allow the suspension period in Ontario, Quebec and all three territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut) expire effective June 29, 2020.

As such, on June 30, 2020 the suspension period will be lifted in all provinces and territories across Canada.

Hearings in Ontario, Quebec and the three Territories

The Court announce the following provisos with respect to the resumption of hearings in Ontario, Quebec and the three Territories:

  • Hearings will not be heard before Monday, July 27, 2020.
  • Until further notice, the Court will continue to schedule all applications for judicial review as well as all general sittings to be heard by video conference or exceptionally by teleconference. Requests to have matters heard in-person will be considered and determined after considering recommendations by public health authorities, the availability of court staff and court officers, and any delays that may occur in reconfiguring the Court’s facilities to ensure safety.
  • The mode of hearing for other proceedings, including, motions, mediations and actions, will be determined after providing parties and their counsel with an opportunity to make representations.

Registry and Filing Fees

The Court re-opened its Registry counters across Canada on June 29, 2020. However, the Registry will only accept filings for paper copies of confidential documents. All other documents to be filed should be e-filed, faxed or emailed.

The waiver of court filing fees effective expired across Canada as of June 30, 2020. As of that date, fees may be paid by phone using a credit card.

Viewing of court files at Registry counters continues to be suspended until further notice. However, members of the media and the general public may request electronic copies of non-confidential court documents.

Copies of the notice issued by the Federal Court easing the COVID-19 measures in Ontario, Quebec and the three territories, along with a consolidated practice direction setting out the COVID-19 practice directions and orders that remain in force can be located at the links below:

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