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COVID-19 Updates

  • Supreme Court Resumes Trial Management Conferences - Parties must file and serve all required documents

    Date:
    July 27, 2020

    Accordingly, effective July 27, 2020, the amendment of certain requirements in the Supreme Court Civil Rules and the Supreme Court Family Rules regarding the timing of certain TMCs and the timeframes for filing and serving trial briefs, trial records, and trial certificates no longer apply. Parties must schedule TMCs and file and serve trial briefs, trial records and trial certificates pursuant to the Supreme Court Civil Rules and the Supreme Court Family Rules and Administrative Notice #13. The Court’s direction that TMCs proceed by telephone unless the Court otherwise orders continues to apply.

    For more information, or to learn how to schedule a TMC or rebook a trial, see COVID-19 Notice No. 40

  • Court of Appeal extends filing deadline suspensions to August 5, 2020

    Date:
    July 24, 2020

    On July 22, the BC Court of Appeal extended deadline suspensions until August 5 2020. For more information, see the Notice to the Public Regarding the Court of Appeal for British Columbia’s Response to COVID-19.

  • Civil Jury Selections and Civil Trials Cancelled up to and including January 1, 2021

    Date:
    July 17, 2020

    Effective March 19, 2020, Chief Justice Hinkson suspended regular operations of the Supreme Court of British Columbia at all of its locations to protect the health and safety of court users and to help contain the spread of COVID-19. As part of the suspension, civil jury selections and civil jury trials were cancelled up to and including September 7, 2020, everywhere in the province. 

    Effective July 17, 2020, Chief Justice Hinkson has extended the cancellation of civil jury selections and civil jury trials up to and including January 1, 2021. The Court will resume civil jury selection and civil jury trials at the earliest opportunity when it is safe and practicable to do so.

    Civil trials that are scheduled to be heard before January 4, 2021, where a Notice Requiring Trial by Jury has been filed and served, but where jury fees have not yet been paid, will automatically proceed by judge alone.

  • BC Provincial Court: How to apply to new process for changing child or spousal support due to COVID-19

    Date:
    July 15, 2020

    When there is a court order or written agreement for child or spousal support payments, unpaid amounts become a debt that must be paid in the future. People who have had trouble paying support because their income has decreased since January 2020 due to COVID-19 may want to apply to court to change or suspend their support order. The Provincial Court of BC has set up a new 2-step process to deal with these applications more quickly.

    If you want to change or suspend an existing BC Provincial Court support order or an agreement about support that has been filed with the Court, you may choose to use this process, although you don’t have to. Click HERE to learn how it works.

  • Trudeau: Federal Wage Subsidy to be extended to December 2020

    Date:
    July 13, 2020

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today the federal government is extending the emergency wage subsidy program to December of this year. The program covers 75 percent of wages, up to a weekly maximum of $847, for workers at eligible companies and nonprofits affected by the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    "This week we'll be announcing an extension to the wage subsidy program until December, to give greater certainty and support to businesses as we restart the economy," said Trudeau.

  • Supreme Court registries to re-open for in-person services and end COVID urgent hearing process July 13, 2020; Court of Appeal extends filing deadline suspensions to July 27, 2020

    Date:
    July 8, 2020

    Effective July 13, 2020, in-person registry services will resume at all Supreme Court registries in British Columbia, and the interim process that the Court established for requesting a hearing of an urgent or essential matter will no longer be available. While in-person filing is available, parties are strongly encouraged to use e-filing, or one of the other methods. 

    Urgent matters: With the resumption of chambers as set out in COVID-19 Notice No. 28 dated June 5, 2020, as of June 18, 2020 the Request for Urgent Hearing process is only available for urgent applications on short notice ("short leave applications") under Rule 8-5 of the Supreme Court Civil Rules and Rule 10-9 of the Supreme Court Family Rules. Other applications should be made through regular chambers.

    For additional information, see the Notices to the Profession, Public and Media regarding Criminal Proceedings and Civil and Family Proceedings. 

    Also, on July 7, the BC Court of Appeal extended deadline suspensions until July 27 2020. Parties may now request that their appeal hearing proceed in a courtroom or by Zoom videoconference.  For more information, see the Notice to the Public Regarding the Court of Appeal for British Columbia’s Response to COVID-19.

  • Emergency supports extended for vulnerable people

    Date:
    July 8, 2020

    The Province is extending federal employment insurance exemptions and the provincial temporary crisis supplement. These extensions will help ensure people on income or disability assistance and low-income seniors will continue to have access to the supports they need during the pandemic. This exemption, which now includes the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (effective May 1, 2020), has been extended for the duration of these federal emergency support programs so that eligible people will continue to fully benefit without any reductions to their monthly income or disability assistance payments.

    For those who are not eligible for the federal benefits, the Province’s temporary COVID-19 Crisis Supplement, which has been provided since April, will be extended an additional two months. This supplement will continue to be provided to low-income seniors receiving the BC Seniors Supplement and income assistance and disability recipients residing in special care facilities. No action is required from recipients. The temporary $300 crisis supplement will continue to be automatically applied to cheques distributed July 22 and Aug. 26, 2020. Click HERE for more information.

  • New temporary process to allow for changes to a child or spousal support agreement or order of the Provincial Court

    Date:
    July 6, 2020

    Starting on July 2, 2020 and for a limited time as we deal with the challenges of COVID-19, there is a new process to change a child or spousal support agreement or order of the Provincial Court. This process is only for situations where support needs to change because income has changed since January 2020 as a result of COVID-19. Other issues, such as parenting arrangements or changes to child or spousal support for reasons that are not related to COVID-19 will not use this process. If you reach an agreement out of court, this service can help you document it, including preparing a written agreement or consent order package for the court, if applicable.

    To get started, contact the Family Justice Services Division (FJSD) to schedule your individual needs assessment at 1-844-747-3963 or CSVariation@gov.bc.ca (B.C.-wide) or 250-356-7012 (Victoria). For more information, see HERE.

    Note: If you need a protection order or have an urgent matter concerning a child’s safety or well-being or where irreparable harm will occur if it is not heard quickly, do not use the support variation process. See “How can I get a protection order in BC during the COVID-19 Coronavirus?

  • Provincial Court to return to pre-COVID court process for having urgent matters come before the court; more filings urged to be made via email, mail or fax

    Date:
    July 2, 2020

    Starting July 2 traffic court filings can be made by email, mail or fax. Starting July 8 Provincial Court family and criminal court filings can be made by email, mail or fax. Starting July 13 small claims filings can be made by email, mail, fax or using CSO. And there’s a new, faster process for applications to change child or spousal support orders related to COVID – See Notice NP19 (July 2) for details.

  • 80% of BC families get additional $450 with boosted climate action tax credit

    Date:
    July 2, 2020

    Starting this week, more than 80% of families and individuals in British Columbia will automatically receive an enhanced climate action tax credit. 

    Eligible individuals will receive up to $218, children will receive up to $64 in a one-time increase and a family of four will receive up to $564. That is a $174.50 boost for individuals, a $51.25 increase for children and a lift of $451.50 for a family of four – double the annual amount eligible households would have received prior to B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan.

    Prior to BC’s COVID-19 Action Plan, the scheduled July payment was up to $43.50 per adult and up to $12.75 per child. An eligible family of four was set to receive up to $112.50. British Columbians will receive the climate action tax credit along with their federal GST/HST returns. Those who are eligible for the enhanced benefit will automatically receive it if they have completed their BC 2019 income tax return.

    To learn more visit One-Time Enhanced July 2020 Payment for the Climate Action Tax Credit.