A temporary suspension of limitation periods to commence court proceedings in British Columbia will end March 25, 2021.
On Dec. 22, 2020, the Province announced a fixed March 25, 2021, end date for the suspension period, providing certainty and advance notice for lawyers and litigants to prepare to commence actions and appeals. People were encouraged to act early, rather than waiting until the end date of their limitation periods.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, limitation periods for commencing a new civil or family action or appeal were suspended on March 26, 2020. Since then, the justice system has adapted its operations. The decision to end the suspension was made following extensive consultations with the judiciary, as well as the Law Society of British Columbia, the British Columbia branch of the Canadian Bar Association and the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia.
At the request of the Attorney General, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General made an order last year under the Emergency Program Act to suspend limitation periods in recognition that, during the pandemic, British Columbians involved in legal or administrative proceedings may have been unable to take steps required to commence legal proceedings.
Persons, tribunals and other bodies with a statutory power of decision will continue to have a temporary discretionary power to waive, suspend or extend mandatory time periods relating to the exercise of that power, but this does not extend to courts. This power will remain in force for 90 days beyond the end of the provincial state of emergency that remains in place and was initially declared on March 18, 2020, under the Emergency Program Act.
For more information about the end of the suspension of limitations, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020AG0079-002121
For more information about the suspension of limitations, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020AG0028-000578
COVID-19 Related Measures Act - limitation periods updated bulletin: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/12-21-20_AG_RMA.pdf