Province suspends legal time limitations due to COVID-19

LIMITATION periods to commence court proceedings in British Columbia have been suspended, and statutory decision-makers have been provided discretion to waive, suspend or extend time periods related to their powers.

At the request of the Attorney General, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General has made the order under the Emergency Program Act to protect public health and to recognize that during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, British Columbians involved in legal or administrative proceedings may be unable to take steps required by legislation.

The order provides that mandatory limitation periods, and other mandatory time periods established in an enactment or law of British Columbia, within which a civil or family action, proceeding, claim or appeal must be commenced in the provincial court, Supreme Court or Court of Appeal are suspended. It also provides that a person, tribunal or other body that has a statutory power of decision may waive, suspend or extend a mandatory time period relating to the exercise of that power.

The order applies during the current state of emergency, including any extension of the state of emergency.