Updated: COVID-19 Impacts on mortgage enforcement processes by province and territory

Updated June 15 2020

15 June 2020

Originally published April 29, 2020

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Gowling WLG's Recovery Services Practice Group has assembled the following information about COVID-19's impact on the mortgage enforcement process in each of the provinces and territories. Recognizing that court and government operations and restrictions are changing daily, we will strive to keep the information current to the extent possible. For any specific questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to a member of our team.


BRITISH COLUMBIA

LAND REGISTRY

Registry Operations

  • The Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia is accessible only to employees, direct access pass holders and Registry Agents until further notice. Although the front counters are closed, all other office operations (including e-filing) continue as usual.

More Information

  • More information on the Registry's operations can be found here.

COURTS

Court Operations

  • UPDATE: All civil matters scheduled for hearing between March 19, 2020 and May 29, 2020 were adjourned generally, unless directed otherwise by the Court. This automatic adjournment extended to all trials, conferences and chambers applications or other hearings scheduled for hearing before May 29, 2020.
  • UPDATE: The Court has now begun to resume some of its operations, though it cannot guarantee that matters will proceed as scheduled.
  • UPDATE: Effective June 1, 2020, chambers matters already scheduled for hearing on the trial list will resume by telephone.
  • UPDATE: Effective June 8, 2020, the Court will resume hearing chambers applications, other than short leave applications, of two hours or less, in accordance with procedures that can be found here. Hearings will proceed by telephone unless the Court orders otherwise.
  • UPDATE: The Court will continue to hear or consider the following civil matters during the resumption of its operations:
    • essential and urgent civil matters;
    • essential and urgent insolvency matters;
    • telephone conference hearings;
    • applications by written submissions;
    • trial management conferences; and
    • desk order applications.
  • UPDATE: Effective March 30, 2020, and until further notice, hearings of the Supreme Court will only be scheduled at the following seven central locations, unless otherwise ordered by the Court:
    • Vancouver Law Courts;
    • New Westminster;
    • Victoria;
    • Kamloops;
    • Kelowna;
    • Prince George; and
    • Nanaimo.
  • UPDATE: Hearings will occur by telephone or video conferencing where appropriate and available, unless otherwise directed by the Court.xx

Emergency Hearings

  • The Court permits ‘essential and urgent’ Applications to be heard, by telephone. The Court presumptively considers the following matters to be ‘essential and urgent’. The Court has discretion to hear matters other than those listed, and to decline to hear a matter listed. Matters where there is a prima facie urgency include:
    • Housing evictions, including interim stays of orders of possession under the Residential Tenancy Act;
    • Civil restraining orders;
    • Preservation orders;
    • Urgent injunction applications; and
    • Urgent orders in the nature of habeas corpus, certiorari, mandamus and prohibition.
  • On April 17, 2020, the Court issued further guidance, permitting certain matters to be heard via telephone. Matters that were scheduled to be heard between March 19 and May 29, which were adjourned because of the COVID-19 crisis, may be heard through a telephone conference if they meet the following conditions:
    • The matter is limited to one disputed issue, or (if the matter involves more than one issue) the parties have reached consent on some or all of the issues;
    • The disputed issue is suitable for determination by telephone and is estimated to take less than one hour; and
    • The disputed issue can be addressed on the basis of a single affidavit filed per party, no longer than 10 pages.
  • The Court will also adjudicate certain applications. The Court has stated that a party may bring an application by way of written submissions in lieu of a hearing if:
    • The matter is limited to one disputed issue, the parties have reached consent on all but one issue, or the parties bringing the application have identified all of the disputed issues and chosen one issue to proceed by written submissions; and
    • The issue can be addressed on the basis of one affidavit filed per party, no longer than 10 pages.

More Information

  • More information on the Court's operations can be found here.

Filing Deadlines & Limitation Periods

  • UPDATE: Effective March 18, 2020, filing and service deadlines under the Supreme Court Civil Rules were suspended until May 29, 2020. As of May 29, the suspension was lifted and both filing and service timelines began to run as of that date.

    • With the exception of any document associated with a Request for Urgent Hearing, Telephone Conference Hearing, or Application by Written Submissions, documents filed between March 19 and May 28, 2020 are deemed to have been filed on May 29, 2020.

  • Effective March 26, 2020, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General suspended limitation periods and mandatory time periods for the commencement of a civil proceeding. Once this suspension is lifted, more directions will be provided by the Court.

  • Effective April 15, 2020, however, Order MO98 provided that the suspension of limitation periods and mandatory time limits do not apply to any limitation period or time limit in:
    • Builders Lien Act, SBC 1997, c. 45; or
    • Division 5 [Builders Liens and Other Charges] of Part 5 [Property] of the Strata Property Act, SBC 1998, c. 43.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Unless a matter may be heard by telephone (as noted above), the Court in BC is effectively closed for all hearings, until further notice. For mortgage enforcement matters, the following can still be done:

    • Sending demands for payment;

    • Commencing foreclosure proceedings;

    • Obtaining and registering certificates of pending litigation;

    • Serving parties; and

    • Submitting written appplications; and

    • Applying for "ex parte Desk Orders" - Orders that can be granted without a hearing (e.g., – Orders for alternative service).

  • Other than the foregoing, the mortgage enforcement process in BC is now at a halt and, as a result, the following cannot be done, unless the lender can persuade the Court that such is genuinely urgent, in a particular matter (i.e., on rare occasions, very unusual facts):
    • Applying for an Order Nisi or a Judgment;

    • Applying for an Order allowing a lender to list a property for sale;

    • Applying for an Order approving a sale; and

    • Applying for an Order Absolute.

  • Consultations are ongoing between representatives of the Vancouver mortgage enforcement bar and the Court in relation to the possibility of the Court allowing 30 minute attendances (with physical distancing measures) once a week for each lawyer with a substantial mortgage enforcement practice. During these attendances, the Court will hear all the usual applications that are made in mortgage enforcement proceedings, including applications for Orders Nisi, Orders for conduct of sale, Orders approving sales, Orders Absolute, etc. If this takes effect it should soon clear the growing backlog.

  • Effective May 26, 2020, parties not appearing in person before the Court are required to file their affidavits of service or delivery. These affidavits may be e-filed through Court Services Online.

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ALBERTA

LAND REGISTRY

Registry Operations

  • Land Registry Offices are closed to the public, but the offices are still accepting documents.

  • The Registry is temporarily allowing the registration of Land Titles documents that have been witnessed, sworn or affirmed by Alberta lawyers using two-way teleconferencing.

More Information

  • More information on the Registry's operations can be found here.

THE COURTS

Court Operations

  • All civil matters scheduled to be heard between March 16, 2020 and June 26, 2020 are adjourned sine die, unless otherwise directed by the Court.

  • Consent orders can be processed via email.
  • The Court is now processing electronic Without Notice Applications before a Justice or a Master in Chambers province-wide in accordance with procedures that can be found here (for Justices) and here (for Masters).
  • Provided each party is represented by counsel, the Court will also adjudicate with notice applications that would otherwise be heard in Masters Chambers. These applications must be submitted as desk applications with written argument.
  • Beginning June 3, 2020, the Court will commence hearing regular Masters Chambers applications (with an anticipated length of 20 minutes or less) remotely.
    • Regular Masters Chambers will be reserved for parties who are unable to use the consent order, electronic without notice or with notice desk processes (i.e. due to lack of consent by Counsel, for example) as announced by the Court
  • Effective May 27, 2020, Masters Chambers in Calgary will no longer accept "paper" without notice desk applications. These applications must be submitted electronically.

Emergency Hearings

  • Matters of the highest priority requiring immediate attention are as follows:

    • Emergency matters, in which serious consequences to persons or harm to property may arise if the hearing does not proceed, or if there is a risk of loss of jurisdiction or expiration of an existing protection or restraining order, including, but not limited to:

      • Injunctions, where there is prima facie urgency;

      • Civil restraining Orders;

      • Preservation Orders; and

      • Urgent Orders in the nature of habeas corpus, certiorari, mandamus and prohibition.

  • Matters that do not rise to the level of the first priority, but must nevertheless be addressed in a timely way in the context of a reduction in Court services, include (but are not limited to):
    • Urgent Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Orders;

    • Urgent or time sensitive commercial matters where there are immediate and significant financial consequences which may result if there is no judicial hearing;

    • Urgent Surrogate Orders;

    • Anton Piller or Mareva-type injunctions; and

    • Freezing Orders.

  • On March 26, 2020, the Court of Queen's Bench issued further guidance, stating that any matter in the following category will likely be considered urgent:

    • Initial Orders under the CCAA;

    • CCAA stay extensions;

    • Receivership Applications;

    • Plans of Arrangements;

    • Injunctions;

    • Approval and Vesting Orders;

    • Sales Orders, which have been pre-scheduled; and

    • Urgent Bankruptcy Applications.

More Information

  • More information on the Court's operations can be found here.

Filing Deadlines & Limitation Periods

  • All filing deadlines under the Alberta Rules of Court, including Rule 13.41(4), are suspended until June 26, 2020, with the exception of those Rules applicable to the commencement of proceedings, including originating applications.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Although mortgagees will never be in the position of landlord, borrowers who are landlords cannot terminate a residential tenancy for non-payment of rent/recover possession, unless they can demonstrate attempts to create a reasonable rent payment plan or the tenant did not comply with an existing payment plan.
    • Landlords remain capable of evicting tenants for reasons unrelated to non-payment of rent or utilities.
    • More information can be found here.

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SASKATCHEWAN

LAND REGISTRY

Registry Operations

  • ISC's Saskatchewan Customer Service Centre locations are closed to the public and in-person counter service have been suspended as of March 16th, until further notice.

  • Registry services may be accessed through its online channel.

More Information

  • More information on the Registry's operations can be found here.

THE COURTS

Court Operations

  • Beginning March 20, 2020, regular operations of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench were suspended.

  • Formerly, the Court would only hear urgent and emergency matters; however, it has relaxed these restrictions. In addition to urgent and emergency matters, the Court will continue adjudicating:
    • Non-urgent consent orders, which may be brought by way of an application without notice;
    • Appearance Day Applications and Case Conferences via telephone; and
    • Non-urgent chambers applications.

Emergency Hearings

  • Urgent and emergency civil matters will be heard by the Court in chambers. These include matters in which serious consequences to persons or harm to property may arise if a hearing does not proceed expeditiously.
  • The following is a list of what constitutes an urgent or emergency matter:

    • Preservation orders, such as those pursuant to s. 5 of The Enforcement of Money Judgments Act;

    • Injunctions, where there is a prima facie urgency;

    • Residential tenancy appeals where a writ of possession has been ordered;

    • Foreclosure actions in which confirmation of judicial sale is sought; and

    • Any other matter the Court deems necessary to hear on an urgent basis with prior permission of the Court, and these matters will be strictly limited.

More Information

  • More information on the Court's operations can be found here.

Filing Deadlines & Limitation Periods

The Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench has not issued guidance stating that filing deadlines or limitation periods have been suspended.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • As part of the Court's "chambers blitz", the Court may schedule an application to be heard on any week day between June 8 and June 26, at any time between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

  • The Court has advised that it has set aside a substantial number of dates in July and August for pretrial conferences. Parties that wish to secure one these dates may contact the appropriate local registrar to schedule a conference.

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MANITOBA

LAND REGISTRY

Registry Operations

  • The Property Registry continues to function, but the offices are closed to in-person service.

More Information

  • More information on the Registry's operations can be found here.

THE COURTS

Court Operations

  • The Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench has re-opened, and civil matters may be scheduled as necessary.
  • Small Claims hearings will resume as of June 8th.
    • Contested matters (trials) scheduled on or after June 8th will proceed in person.
    • All other Small Claims matters scheduled on or after June 8th will proceed by way of teleconference until further notice. Parties or their respective counsel must contact the court office within 5 days of the hearing to obtain the teleconference details.
  • Civil trials scheduled between May 26 and June 30 will continue as scheduled; however, they will not proceed with a jury. They will continue by judge alone or will be rescheduled to begin at a later date.

Emergency Hearings

  • N/A

More Information

  • More information on the Court's operations can be found here.

Filing Deadlines & Limitation Periods

  • The Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench has not issued guidance stating that filing deadlines or limitation periods have been suspended.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • The Court's operations, as noted above, can vary by region. Further region-specific guidance can be found here.
  • During the summer court recess (June 29 to September 7), the Winnipeg uncontested civil motions list will sit on Wednesdays and Fridays each week.

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ONTARIO

LAND REGISTRY

Registry Operations

  • Land Registry Offices remain open to the public.

More Information

  • More information on the Registry's operations can be found here.

THE COURTS

Court Operations

  • The Superior Court of Justice's suspension of in-person proceedings will continue until (at least) July 6, 2020.
    • The Court will continue hearing urgent civil matters and some non-urgent civil matters. Each court region will determine which non-urgent matters may be heard. The notices outlining each region' procedures can be accessed here.
  • All Divisional Court matters scheduled for in-person hearings after August 31, 2020 are scheduled to proceed (for now). In the interim, the Court will continue hearing non-urgent matters, but priority will generally be given in the following sequence:

  1. Urgent matters
  2. Non-urgent, time sensitive matters
  3. All other matters, with priority determined by the length of time the matter has been awaiting a hearing and the likely delay if the matter is not heard before in-person hearings resume.
  • The Court will not recommence criminal or civil jury selection or jury trials until September, 2020, at the earliest.

Emergency Hearings

  • The Court will continue to hear urgent matters during this emergency period.

  • The following urgent and emergency civil matters will be heard:

    • Urgent and time-sensitive motions and applications in civil and commercial list matters, where immediate and significant financial repercussions may result if there is no judicial hearing;

    • Outstanding warrants issued in relation to a Small Claims Court or Superior Court civil proceeding; and

    • Any other matter that the Court deems necessary and appropriate to hear on an urgent basis, for which counsel and the public are advised that these matters will be strictly limited.

  • On April 6, 2020, remote hearings were expanded to include the following civil matters in most court locations:
    • Pre-trial conferences that were cancelled between March 16 and May 31, 2020 due to the court operations can be rescheduled at the request of the parties. The objective of the pre-trials will be settlement of the action. Parties must certify that the case is capable of settlement with the assistance of a pre-trial judge;
    • Rule 7 motions or applications for approval of settlement, in writing; and
    • Consent motions, in writing.

More Information

  • More information on the Court's operations can be found here.

Filing Deadlines & Limitation Periods

  • As of March 16, 2020:
    • all limitation periods have been suspended, retroactive to March 16, 2020, for the duration of the emergency; and
    • time periods for taking any step in a proceeding, including an intended proceeding, are, subject to the discretion of the Court, tribunal or decision-maker responsible for the proceeding, suspended for the duration of the emergency.
  • UPDATE: As of June 5, 2020, the suspension of limitation periods and time periods in proceedings have been extended until September 11, 2020.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Mortgagees can continue to commence actions upon default, and various court offices are now accepting non-urgent ex parte basket motions and motions in writing where both parties have consented to the matter being heard in writing. Detailed instructions on how to file such matters and what each court region is prepared to hear can be found in the Court operations link, above.
  • However, during the suspension of regular court operations, the eviction of residents from their homes, pursuant to eviction orders issued by the Landlord and Tenant Board or writs of possession, are suspended unless the court orders otherwise upon leave being granted to a party by the court pursuant to the court's procedures for urgent and non-urgent motions.
  • Mortgagees may, in appropriate circumstances, secure properties where peaceable possession of the property can be taken without the need of an eviction (for example, where a property is found vacant or where possession is voluntarily surrendered to the creditor). Mortgagees may also market and sell properties, under power of sale, where Notices of Sale have been issued and expired.
  • While the Ontario government has closed many non-essential services and businesses, property managers and real estate agent services remain open and available to secure, maintain and market properties for sale. The Appraisal Institute of Canada has advised that appraisers do not need to go inside a property to complete appraisals and may instead use third party data, video or photographs. Many realtors have developed revised practices including virtual showings and limiting the physical visitation of properties.
  • Where a mortgagee's interest in land is in jeopardy, the mortgagee may wish to consider the protection of a Caution registered pursuant to the Land Titles Act. While Cautions typically expire after 60 days, the Director of Land Titles has advised that it will consider granting second Cautions and successive Cautions upon request, in appropriate circumstances, until some reasonable time after the courts resume regular operations. At that time, the cautioner will be required to seek a Certificate of Pending Litigation or other judicial relief.

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QUEBEC

LAND REGISTRY

Registry operations

  • The Land Registry Office has closed all but one office in Quebec City.

THE COURTS

Court Operations

  • The Court of Quebec, Superior Court and the Court of Appeal have generally suspended all trials scheduled to be heard.

  • The Court of Quebec has postponed all hearings before its Administrative and Appeal Division on the merits of appeal applications and contestations of a decision by an administrative organization. Settlement conferences are also postponed to a date to be determined in accordance with the practice established for the district where they were scheduled.

  • UPDATE: Despite the foregoing, the Courts have progressively started to hear trials and urgent civil matters, as well as some non-urgent civil matters. Each courthouse is determining its own guidance on how to proceed. Matters that can be addressed without in-person hearings are being prioritized.

Emergency Hearings

  • The courts will continue to hear urgent matters, including:

    • Applications for interim injunction;

    • Seizures before judgment;

    • Orders for release from seizure, quashing of seizures before judgment or contested eviction orders;

    • Delivery of notices of execution (eviction) following a decision by a tribunal;

    • Safeguard orders;

    • Habeas corpus orders; and

    • Any other matter a judge deems urgent.

More Information

  • More information on the Court's operations can be found here.

Filing Deadlines & Limitation Periods

  • Limitation periods and filing deadlines were suspended as of March 13, 2020.The suspension will cease once the declaration of a health emergency is lifted.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • The Government of Quebec announced that all "non-essential" services and businesses must close until May 4, 2020. Since May 4th, retail business situated elsewhere than the greater Montreal region were permitted to open with certain restrictions. The Montreal region was permitted to gradually open retail businesses as of May 25th with restrictions.

  • Starting on May 11, 2020, manufacturing enterprises, the mining and the construction sector were permitted to open.

  • Property managers remain open, and if properties become vacant, property managers remain able to proceed with securement.

  • As of May 11, 2020, there was a full resumption of real estate brokerage activities for both residential and commercial brokerages. The full resumption of activities will also apply to home/building inspectors, land surveyors, and chartered appraisers.

  • While notaries are classified as an essential service, they are not required to remain open. It's anticipated that some notarial offices will close as a result.

  • Notaries are now temporarily permitted to conclude acts remotely, subject to certain conditions

  • More information on notaries' operations can be found here.

  • Bailiffs are now temporarily permitted to effect service by technological means – for example, by email or fax, subject to certain conditions.

    • The Quebec courts, however, are currently only permitting issuance of urgent motions and are not yet equipped to receive proceedings electronically.

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NEW BRUNSWICK

LAND REGISTRY

Registry Operations

  • The Provincial Land Registration Office in St. Stephen is closed to the public until further notice, but all online services are maintained as usual and mail/courier deliveries are accepted.

More Information

  • More information on the Registry's operations can be found here.

THE COURTS

Court Operations

  • All matters currently scheduled on or after June 1, 2020 will proceed as scheduled.
  • Jury trials will resume as of August 15, 2020.

  • Case Management Masters have resumed in-person matters as of June 1, 2020.
  • Small Claims hearings will resume as of September 1, 2020.

Emergency Hearings - Update

  • N/A

More Information

  • More information on the Court's operations can be found here.

Filing Deadlines & Limitation Periods

  • The New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench has not issued guidance stating that filing deadlines or limitation periods have been suspended.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • The Court of Queen's Bench will accept the filing of documents via electronic means and fax, as well as in the traditional manner.
  • Anyone, who has come from outside the province, that is participating in a proceeding will be asked to provide their arrival date, as well as the date when they have completed their 14 days of mandatory isolation.
  • If documents will be tendered during a hearing, counsel must prepare copies for all matter participants (e.g. the judge, the lawyers, the parties, and any relevant witnesses) in advance.
    • Counsel are strongly encouraged to exchange all documents electronically before a hearing to minimize the need for physically sharing documents.
  • Multiple hearings scheduled before a single judge on a single day may need to be rescheduled to limit the number of people attending any particular courtroom at any given time.

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NOVA SCOTIA

LAND REGISTRY

Registry Operations

  • The Land Registration Office is not open for general public drop-in, but couriers can still deliver document packages.

  • E-submission of documents will continue as usual, and signing requirements for documents have been modified to accommodate the provincial government's request for social distancing.

More Information

  • More information on the Registry's operations can be found here.

THE COURTS

Court Operations

  • The Nova Scotia Supreme Court has adopted an essential services model but began expanding its model on May 4th, 2020, allowing General Chambers matters and Appearance Day matters in Halifax to proceed by telephone.

    • General Chambers matters in Halifax will be heard Monday through Friday beginning at 9:30 a.m., while Appearance Day matters will be held every Friday beginning at 12:00 p.m.

  • Beginning May 7th, the Court has permitted the use of Skype for judicial settlement conferences if the judge, counsel and parties agree to proceed virtually.

  • The Court will also hear civil motions or applications virtually, provided the following criteria are satisfied:

    • Parties are represented by counsel;

    • The matter will take four hours or less;

    • There is no viva voce evidence, including cross-examination; and

    • All parties consent, or a judge otherwise orders.

  • The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia has extended the suspension of all jury trials until September 8, 2020.

  • Effective June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court will begin to move away from its modified essential services model and transition to a safety services model. Counsel and parties will no longer have to establish that a matter is urgent or essential to proceed. An increased number of in-person hearings will be permitted, provided they can be conducted safely and in accordance with established protocols to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Emergency Hearings

  • The Supreme Court will continue to hear matters that have been deemed urgent or essential by a judge.

More Information

  • More information on the Court's operations can be found here.

Filing Deadlines & Limitation Periods

  • UPDATE: Effective June 5, 2020, the Supreme Court lifted the suspension of filing deadlines outlined in the Civil Procedure Rules for civil matters in the General Division. Accordingly, all deadlines related to Supreme Court matters under the Civil Procedure Rules are once again in effect. Moving forward, counsel and parties shall not include the period from March 19, 2020 up to and including June 5, 2020, when calculating the time for the filing of a document or doing anything required under the Rules.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • All foreclosure matters and public auctions inside courthouses are suspended until further notice.

  • Personal service may be effected by email as required by the Civil Procedure Rules for civil matters in the General Division, but service requirements established by any statute are not affected. For personal service to be effected by email, the party, or counsel for the party, to whom personal service is required must agree in advance to receive the documents via email. Additionally, the party serving the documents through this method must receive an acknowledgement of receipt, and counsel or a party who is self-represented must acknowledge receipt of service.

    • Service of any materials sent by email to counsel for a party or to a party who is self-represented shall be deemed effective on the date the email is sent, or, if sent after 4:30 p.m., on the next business day.

  • Effective June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court will return to its normal processes for filing court documents. Courthouses will no longer accept electronic filings for Supreme Court matters; counsel and parties will be expected to file paper copies of documents at courthouses.
    • Filings will be done at drop boxes at courthouse doors, rather than at the front counters.
  • After June 15, the Court expects to start receiving large volumes of paper filings; however, the courthouses are still working with reduced staff. Counsel are asked to keep these limitations in mind and stagger their filings, whenever possible.
    • Counsel should expect some delays in processing paperwork filed with the Court. All documents will be date-stamped the day they are delivered to the court. Date-stamped copies will be provided to counsel in due course (not the date that they were filed).
  • Counsel, who had a General Chambers or Appearance Day matter, a DAC or a Motion for Directions that was adjourned due to the pandemic, are advised to contact the scheduling office to reschedule their matter.
    • No DACs or Motions for Directions will be rescheduled to be heard before July 2020.

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NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

LAND REGISTRY

Registry Operations

  • The Registry of Deeds and the Registry of Crown Lands are accessible by appointment only. This means that all title searches requiring title information prior to 1982 can only be accessed by making an appointment.

  • Purchase and Sale Deeds can continue to be registered online in Newfoundland and Labrador.

More Information

  • More information on the Registry's operations can be found here.

THE COURTS

Court Operations

  • Beginning May 19th, the Court will hear settlement conferences and applications via teleconference/videoconference. The Court intends to proceed with matters that can be completed in a day or less via audio and/or video link, although a settlement conference or application may be scheduled for longer if the judge and parties agree.

  • Starting May 19th, the Court will also accept all filings, except notices of examination that require in-person appearances; however, it has advised that processing times will be considerably longer than normal. It is worth noting that if a document to be filed requires the setting of an appearance, such as a return date, the Court may not be able to provide such a date at this time.

  • Jury trials will not recommence until September 2020 at the earliest.

Emergency Hearings

  • Priority will continue to be given to urgent and emergency matters.

More Information

  • More information on the Court's operations can be found here.

Filing Deadlines & Limitation Periods

  • For all non-urgent matters, the Court will grant extensions of time for filing when normal operations resume.
  • The Court advises that it is extending all periods contained in the Rules of the Supreme Court that require or authorize a person to do or abstain from doing any act in a proceeding. This includes periods for service, filing, or amendment of any pleading or other document. This extension is for the period from March 18, 2020 to the date when the Court resumes normal operations.

    • This does not apply to filing deadlines or periods set out in other legislation. The Court's March 20, 2020 Notice to the Profession and General Public allows for electronic filing if a statutory deadline or a limitation period is imminent. Please refer to that Notice for further information.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, a practitioner must be able to complete a full search to ensure that any Crown interest has been displaced. Often, title searches must go back to at least the 1950s. Since title searches predating 1982 now require an appointment, title searches could be delayed, which could delay purchase and sale closings.
  • Beginning June 8th, the Court will return to its normal processes for filing court documents. Courthouses will no longer accept emailed documents for Supreme Court matters.
    • Filings must be sent by regular mail or left in one of the drop-boxes provided at each Judicial Centre.
    • Where applicable, signatures on court documents that must be witnessed by a Commissioner for Oaths, should be so witnessed before being filed.

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PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

LAND REGISTRY

Registry Operations

  • The Registry Offices remain open at this time.

More Information

  • More information on the Registry's operations can be found here.

THE COURTS

Court Operations

  • The Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island has reduced operations to an essential services model.
  • All in-person court appearances and matters, other than for emergency matters, are suspended until the end of May.
  • Starting the week of May 19th, the Court will be conducting case management conference calls for those calls that did not proceed due to COVID-19.
  • The Court will also be scheduling calls with parties in relation to pre-trial conferences and settlement conferences that did not proceed because of COVID-19, with a view to proceeding via technological alternatives to in-person sessions.
  • Beginning June 15th, the Court will no longer be in the "urgent, emergency, or essential services" model. As such, parties will no longer have to establish a matter is urgent, an emergency or essential in order to proceed. In-person hearings will be scheduled, provided the hearings can be conducted in accordance with established protocols to address COVID-19. The court will continue to explore with counsel and the parties the option of utilizing technology to conduct hearings.

Emergency Hearings

  • While the court will continue hearing urgent, emergency and essential in-person matters, non-urgent matters will be heard as noted above.

More Information

  • More information on the Court's operations can be found here.

Filing Deadlines & Limitation Periods

  • Filing deadlines will not be extended, and limitation periods must be adhered to.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Parties may now proceed with filing documents, but the use of the drop-box is encouraged. Likewise, e-filing or filing via fax remains available.

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YUKON

LAND REGISTRY

Registry Operations

  • The Registry Office remains open at this time.

More Information

  • More information on the Registry's operations can be found here.

THE COURTS

Court Operations

  • There will be no Civil Chambers or Appearance Days in April, May or June 2020.

  • Applications or other hearings, such as summary trials, currently scheduled in Whitehorse may proceed by telephone, subject to the judge's discretion.

  • Any matters requiring in person testimony will be rescheduled when it becomes possible to appear in person

  • Judicial settlement conferences will be rescheduled when it becomes possible to appear in person

  • Case management conferences, both currently scheduled and newly requested, may proceed as long as all counsel and their clients, if permitted to attend, appear by telephone

  • Other than urgent matters, no new hearing dates are being scheduled at this time. Scheduling will resume as soon as it is possible to do so.

Emergency Hearings

  • New contested matters will be scheduled and heard if urgent. A judge will determine if the matter is urgent. Generally, the following matters may be considered urgent, subject to the judge's discretion:

    • Injunctions, where there is prima facie urgency;

    • Requests for civil restraining orders;

    • Requests for preservation orders;

    • Emergency Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Orders, where there is a risk of harm to an individual or their property; and

    • Other commercial matters where there are immediate and significant financial consequences which may result if there is no judicial hearing, including bankruptcy and insolvency matters such as stays of proceedings and applications of court-appointed receivers.

More Information

  • More information on the Court's operations can be found here.

Filing Deadlines & Limitation Periods

  • The Supreme Court of Yukon has not issued guidance stating that filing deadlines or limitation periods have been suspended.

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NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

LAND REGISTRY

Registry Operations

  • The Land Titles Office is closed to walk in services for the immediate future due to social distancing and health and safety precautions.
  • Submissions can continue to be made by mail, or through arrangements with Land Titles staff.

More Information

  • More information on the Registry's operations can be found here.

THE COURTS

Court Operations

  • Appearances in civil chambers will proceed, but until further notice, counsel and self-represented parties will appear by telephone.

  • Civil hearings where witnesses are to be called and are scheduled to proceed between June 1st and June 30th are cancelled, subject to other directions that may be given by the assigned judge after a case conference with counsel. The registry will contact counsel to set up case conferences as may be needed. Matters that do not proceed will be rescheduled.

  • For special chambers hearings scheduled to proceed between June 1st and June 30th that do not involve calling evidence, the assigned judge will hold case conferences to determine whether they will proceed with the parties attending by telephone or video. Hearings that cannot proceed remotely will be rescheduled.

  • All case management conferences will proceed by phone until further notice.

  • All Judicial Settlement Conferences scheduled between June 1st and June 30th are cancelled, unless they can proceed by phone.

More Information

  • N/A

Filing Deadlines & Limitation Periods

  • The Northwest Territories Supreme Court has not issued guidance stating that filing deadlines or limitation periods have been suspended.

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NUNAVUT

LAND REGISTRY

Registry operations

  • The Land Titles Office remains open, but it is closed to the public.

More information

  • More information on the Registry's operations can be found here.

THE COURTS

Court Operations

  • All court operations, including scheduled sittings at the Courthouse in Iqaluit together with Court Registry operations, have been suspended through July 3, 2020.

  • All special civil sittings scheduled, territory-wide, for June have been adjourned sine die.

Emergency Hearings

  • Emergency civil applications/hearings are being accommodated.

More Information

  • More information on the Court's operations can be found here.

Filing Deadlines & Limitation Periods

  • All filing deadlines between March 18, 2020 and June 1, 2020 are extended to the close of business on June 1, 2020.

  • Where procedural rules or court orders require the delivery of documents during this emergency period (i.e. between March 17 and May 31), and such delivery is not possible, parties can expect the Court to grant extensions of time once the Court's normal operations resume.

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NOT LEGAL ADVICE. Information made available on this website in any form is for information purposes only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. You should not rely on, or take or fail to take any action based upon this information. Never disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking legal advice because of something you have read on this website. Gowling WLG professionals will be pleased to discuss resolutions to specific legal concerns you may have.