On Saturday, June 6, the Ontario government, after consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health,  extended all emergency orders currently in force under sub-section 7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until June 19, 2020.

"It is critical that we keep these emergency orders in place so we can continue to reopen the province gradually and safely," said Premier Doug Ford. "We are not out of the woods yet, and this deadly virus still poses a serious risk. We encourage businesses to begin preparing to reopen, so when the time comes, they will be able to protect employees, consumers and the general public."

In particular, due to COVID-19's unprecedented impact on the justice system, the province is extending the suspension of limitation periods and time periods in proceedings until September 11, 2020 under sub-section 7.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

This is intended to ensure people will not experience legal consequences if the original time requirements of their case are not met while this order is in effect.

The province is reportedly working closely with the Courts to ensure operations can resume as soon as it is safely possible.

In this regard, Ontario's Attorney General’s notice to the legal community on June 5, 2020 reads: 

“First, one of the amendments is intended to enhance certainty as to the duration of the order by ‘decoupling’ the order from the state of emergency. Considering the uncertainty as to the nature and duration of the emergency, it is no longer appropriate for the duration of the order to be so closely tied to the duration of the emergency declaration. Going forward, the duration of the order will be based on all relevant factors and not just the state of emergency.

Second, in light of the concerns raised during my consultations, the suspension of limitation and procedural time periods will now continue up to and including September 11, 2020 (the maximum renewal period allowed for under the EMCPA)." 

Here is a link to the amended Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.9:

Anyone who suspects they may have COVID-19, or may have been exposed to the virus, is encouraged to visit an assessment centre to be tested.

To help stop the spread, people should practice physical distancing by staying at least two metres apart from anyone outside their immediate household, wash hands thoroughly and frequently, and, if physical distancing is a challenge, wear a face covering.

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