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The growing impact of COVID-19 is being felt around the world, both personally and economically. During these unprecedented times, we understand that new challenges arise each day. As the situation continues to evolve, we want to assure you that we are taking steps at Lawson Lundell to meet these challenges head on. We recognize that our clients are being faced with increasingly difficult hardships, whether they be financial, legal, commercial, regulatory or other. We want you to know that we are ready to support you. Our COVID-19 Response Team is made up of practice group leaders and subject matter experts, who are here to help you navigate through these unchartered waters. 

We have also created this online resource centre to help address some of the issues that you may be facing during this uncertain time. Please do not hesitate to contact our COVID-19 Response Team for any questions you may have, on these topics or any other. We recognize that this is a trying time for everyone and assure you that we are committed to help in any way we can.


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China

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Corporate

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Corporate Governance

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Employer Health and Safety Obligations

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Areas of Expertise:
  • Duty to Notify Workers of Workplace Hazards
  • Ensuring a hazard free workplace
  • WHMIS 2015 and SDS (I can spell this out)
  • Work Refusals
  • WCB Compensation Coverage for Workers

Environmental

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Labour, Employment and Benefits

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Labour and Employment Weekly COVID-19 Updates

Last updated: AUGUST 7, 2020
Federal
  • On August 4, 2020, the government announced a new national mobile app, COVID Alert, which notifies users if they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On August 5, 2020, the government announced an investment of over $33 billion into infrastructure projects across Canada through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The program will allow provinces and territories to allocate 10% of their allotted funds to building COVID-19 resiliency through improving health, education, transportation, and COVID-19 response infrastructure. Allocation details can be found in the backgrounder.
  • On August 6, 2020, the government announced up to $174 million in funding to support essential air access to remote communities and it announced $13.5 million in funding to support urban Indigenous organizations in the Greater Toronto Area to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
BRITISH COLUMBIA
  • On July 30, 2020, Dr. Bonnie Henry published a letter to the public confirming that COVID-19 testing prior to travel is not available to travelers from BC.  This is in response to certain countries announcing that they require COVID-19 testing or proof of a negative test result prior to entry.
  • On July 31, 2020, BC published updated guidance for restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
  • The province has published a “Good Times Guide” online to help prevent community outbreaks.
  • On August 4, 2020, BC announced that it is extending the provincial state of emergency to August 18, 2020.
  • On August 5, 2020, the government reminded employers that the deadline for applying for a variance to the temporary layoff provisions in the ESA, using the ESB’s new online application, is August 25, 2020.
  • On August 5, 2020, the government announced that it is conducting a review of the layoff and recall rights of unionized workers in BC’s hotel sector as a result of COVID-19.
  • On August 6, 2020, the government announced the Surrey Board of Trade will be part of a $402,105 Community and Employer Partnership to develop a back-to-work strategies playbook that can be adapted to other industries and communities.
  • WorkSafeBC has published a guideline to help employers understand their obligation to develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
ALBERTA
SASKATCHEWAN
  • On August 5, 2020, the Saskatchewan school divisions released their plans for a safe return to school in September.
  • On August 7, 2020, the government announced that four sets of temporary Regulations created during COVID-19 that permit the remote witnessing of certain documents will be made permanent:
    • The Land Titles (Remote Witnessing) Amendment Regulations, 2020;
    • The Powers of Attorney (Remote Witnessing) Amendment Regulations, 2020;
    • The Electronic Information and Documents (Remote Witnessing) Amendment Regulations, 2020; and 
    • The Wills Regulations. 
MANITOBA
  • No major updates this week.
ONTARIO
  • On July 31, 2020, the government announced the following extra measures for restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments:
    • All patrons must be seated with limited exceptions; and
    • Establishments must keep client logs for 30 days and disclose these logs upon request to the medical officer of health or an inspector.
  • On August 5, 2020, the Ontario government announced that it is investing $83 million through the Ontario Trillium Foundation to provide grants to help eligible non-profit organizations, including food banks, child and youth programs and Royal Canadian Legion branches, recover from COVID-19 and continue the delivery of vital programming in their communities.
QUEBEC
  • On August 1, 2020, the cap on outdoor public gatherings was increased by 50 individuals to 250 individuals. The Ministerial Order is available here.
TERRITORIES
  • Yukon:
    • On August 4, 2020, the government announced that Whitehorse students will return to school on August 20, 2020.
  • Northwest Territories:
    • On August 5, 2020, the government announced that it has extended the Public Health Emergency through August 18, 2020.
  • Nunavut:
    • On August 6, 2020, the government announced the extension of the Public Health Emergency until August 20, 2020.
Maritimes
  • New Brunswick: no major updates this week.
  • Newfoundland: no major updates this week.
  • Nova Scotia: no major updates this week.
  • PEI:
    • On August 5, 2020, the government announced that schools will return to full-time in-class learning on September 8 with physical distancing, cohorts, and recommended mask-wearing for students and staff. The full Welcome Back to School Plan can be found here.
Areas of Expertise:
  • Workplace contingency planning
  • Temporary and permanent layoffs of non-union workers
  • Layoff and recall of union workers
  • Sick leave
  • Sick leave benefits
  • Short term disability benefits
  • Refusals to work
  • Maintaining an OHS compliant workplace
  • Alternative work arrangements
  • Reductions or freezes in pay or benefits
  • Leaves of absence
  • Rights of quarantined or isolated employees
  • Temporary loan arrangements with employees
  • EI SUB plans
  • Revised employment agreements

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

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Mining

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Northern Canada (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon)

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Table of Regulatory/Legal Service Updates in the Territories

Northwest Territories

Minister of Health and Social Services, Public Health Act

July 7, 2020

  • Territory-wide Public Health Emergency has been extended.
  • Territory-wide State of Emergency has not been extended.

June 25, 2020

  • The “April 10, 2020 Public Health Order Directed at Mineral and Petroleum Industry” is replaced with a new order made by the Minister, upon recommendation from the Chief Public Health Officer.
  • Workers employed to work at a work camp in the mineral or petroleum resources industry must still self-isolate for 14 days before traveling to the workplace.
  • Complete WSCC Workplace Risk Assessment prior to the worker being permitted to travel to the workplace.
  • Implement social distancing measures, conduct health screenings and workplace disinfecting protocols.
  • Required to use the minimum number of workers necessary to maintain operations.

June 25, 2020 Public Health Order does not appear to be very different from the replaced April 10, 2020 Public Health Order.

June 23, 2020

  • Territory-wide Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency have been extended until July 8, 2020.

April 10, 2020

  • All indoor gatherings are banned, the Chief Public Health Officer has defined a gathering as when any amount of people get together in the same indoor space who don’t live in the same household.

March 18, 2020

  • Public Health Emergency was declared in NWT.
Travel Restrictions and Self Isolation Protocols

July 16, 2020

  • All persons are prohibited from travel within the NWT that originated from across any inter-jurisdictional border with the following exceptions: (non-exhaustive list)
  • NWT residents;
  • Persons providing services in the course of import/export of goods and other supply chain transportation workers;
  • Flight crews and airline employees arriving in the NWT;
  • Persons providing essential services in the NWT and persons providing child and dependent care to these persons;
  • Persons travelling directly from Nunavut to the NWT where travel originates in Nunavut;
  • Transient workers employed at a work camp where work is being done in relation to the mineral and petroleum resources industry in the NWT;
  • Persons engaged in work on the construction of public and Indigenous infrastructure projects;
  • Persons traveling within the NWT to pursue the gaining of a livelihood.

June 12, 2020

  • The Territory has entered Phase 2 of the Emerging Wisely Plan.
  • Phase 2 includes a common travel area with Nunavut and the easing of travel restrictions so that persons moving to the Northwest Territories to work or reside are no exempt from travel restrictions.
  • Transient workers employed at a work camp where work is being done in relation to the mineral and petroleum resources industry in the Northwest Territories remain exempt as with the previous order.
  • Additional exemptions to the travel ban in Phase 2 include:
    • persons traveling within the Northwest Territories to pursue the gaining of a livelihood; and
    • persons moving to and taking up residence in the Northwest Territories which includes students moving to and taking up residence in the Northwest Territories to attend an educational facility, college, or trade school;
  • though these individuals must still self-isolate for 14 days and otherwise comply with the order.
Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVRB)

March 18, 2020

  • The Board’s office is closed effective March 19, 2020. The Board continues to operate as staff work remotely. Individuals with questions regarding interruptions are encouraged to reach out to Mark Cliffe-Phillips at mcliffephillips@reviewboard.ca or by phone at (867) 766-7055.
Land and Water Boards of the Mackenzie Valley (GLWB, SLWB, WLWB, MVLWB)

Advisory

  • The Board’s office is closed effective March 19, 2020. The Board continues to operate as staff work remotely. All requests, submissions, and applications will continue to be received; however, timelines for public reviews and proceedings may be affected.
Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission Workers' Compensation Act

April 8, 2020

  • Effective retroactively to April 1, 2020, the WSCC has suspended late payment interest charges and further extended the assessment payment deadline to August 1, 2020.
Mining Recorders Office

June 11, 2020

  • Mineral claims have been secured from March 18 – September 24, 2020. Extension of time applications and related fees are not required during this period. Work reports and simplified work reports will be accepted but will not be reviewed until further notice.
  • New applications to record mineral claims will continue to be accepted.
  • Mineral leases have been secured from March 18 – September 24, 2020. Lease rentals are not required during this period, however payments will be accepted. All other lease-related transactions will continue to be processed, such as transfers.
  • Individual and company prospector licence applications will continue to be processed.

Altered Service Notice (Undated)

  • The office is continuing to process all payments by phone (credit card) and electronic funds transfer.
  • The Mining Recorder’s Office advises that mineral claims are being protected for 90 days, and that work reports and simplified reports are being accepted but do not need to be submitted during this period. (Staff of the office have advised via telephone that this 90 day period ends on June 26th, but we have not seen any written order or confirmation yet.) 
  • The Mining Recorder’s Office advises that Mineral leases are being protected for 90 days, and that lease payments are being accepted but are not required during this period.
  • Prospector’s licence applications will continue to be processed.

Until further notice, client visits to the Mining Recorder’s Office will only be accommodated based on need and by pre-arranged appointment. Call 867-767-9210 ext. 63464.

Department of Lands; various statutes

August 10, 2020

  • Starting August 12, 2020, members of the Bar and the public will be permitted into the counter area of Legal Registries during business hours of 9:30am to 4:00pm.  However, members of the Bar and the public will need to comply with several restrictions (listed in the announcement).

May 11, 2020

  • Department of Lands to waive rent on existing surface dispositions on public land, for the fiscal year 2020-21. This applies to all holders of existing recreational, residential, and commercial and mining surface dispositions on public land.

Altered Service Notices (Undated)

  • Applications for commercial, recreational, residential and industrial leases (Postponed)
  • Applications for land use permits (Postponed)
  • Land Use Planning Forum - May 5-6, Yellowknife (Postponed)
  • Land Use Planning GIS Workshop - March 25-26, Yellowknife (Postponed)
  • Quarrying permits (Postponed)
Northwest Territories Courts

Supreme Court Directive (July 15)

  • Court registry will be open for all services during regular posted hours as of Monday, July 20, 2020.  However, remote services will continue to be offered until further notice.
  • Regular civil matters will continue to proceed by teleconference.
  • Special Chambers hearings may proceed by teleconference, videoconference or in person if witnesses are not required.  Special Chambers hearings requiring witnesses will proceed as in-person hearings.
  • Civil trials will proceed as in-person hearings.

Territorial Court Directive (July 15)

  • Court registry will be open for all services during regular posted hours as of Monday, July 20, 2020.  However, remote services will continue to be offered until further notice.
  • All civil matters may be scheduled in the ordinary course.
  • All Civil and Family docket days in Yellowknife scheduled for dates before August 16th are cancelled unless otherwise directed.
  • All in chambers meetings with judges scheduled are to be dealt with by teleconference.
  • All Civil Proceedings including trials and interlocutory applications of a non-urgent nature scheduled before June 1st will be automatically adjourned by the Court to the first Monday at 9:30am that follows a twelve week period following the previously scheduled court date.
Corporate Registries Business Corporations Act

August 10, 2020

  • Starting August 12, 2020, members of the Bar and the public will be permitted into the counter area of Legal Registries during business hours of 9:30am to 4:00pm.  However, members of the Bar and the public will need to comply with several restrictions (listed in the announcement).
Environment and Natural Resources

April 3, 2020

  • Department of Environment and Natural Resources regional offices closed

April 23, 2020

  • RE Water Licence Holders: Inspectors will be minimizing, but not eliminating, onsite inspections of industrial sites to monitory compliance and enforcement of water licences and required management and monitoring plans.
Nunavut

Minister of Health, Public Health Act

July 23, 2020

  • State of public health emergency for all of Nunavut is extended until the end of August 6, 2020.
  • Effective July 22, 2020, the Order Respecting Social Distancing and Gatherings #5 maintains the below exemptions and includes exemptions for personal service providers and security personnel.
  • reduces the existing restrictions on activities by further including exemptions for activities like swimming pools, fitness centres and other health providers. Also exempt are construction sites, certain Government of Nunavut public agencies, public representatives conducting constituency business and select others, from the order’s social distancing requirements, subject to guidelines and directions issued by the Workers Safety and Compensation Commission, as relevant.

Nunavut Court of Justice

July 8, 2020

  • Nunavut Court of Justice has resumed regular operations.

June 11, 2020

  • There are currently no plans to extend the suspension of regular operations in the NCJ. As a result, the current suspension notice will lapse at the close of business on July 3, 2020.
  • Following the Designated Assignment Court the week of July 6, 2020, the NCJ’s regular schedule will resume.
  • The Court of Appeal sitting scheduled for September 15 is planned to proceed.

May 26, 2020

  • The Court of Justice is not hearing non-emergency civil matters until the regularly scheduled July civil docket. If a matter needs to be heard before the July Docket, counsel may request a special chambers hearing.

Travel Restrictions and Self Isolation Protocols

June 22, 2020

  • Travel Restriction Order #7, effective June 15, 2020, in effect for the duration if the Public Health Emergency, unless otherwise rescinded. The order maintains previous exemptions and includes an exemption for medical escorts traveling from Churchill, Manitoba.
  • The order creates a common travel area with the Northwest Territories wherein individuals who have been in the common travel area for 14 days, complied with any self-isolation protocol in the relevant territory and stay within the boundaries of the common travel area for the duration of the travel.
  • The order further opens up travel restrictions in Nunavut to include non-residents entering Nunavut for the purposes of commencing a contract of employment; temporary foreign workers; and others as contained in the Order.
  • Transient workers in operating mines who enter Nunavut on private flights operating directly to and from the mine site are an exception – they must remain at the mine site and not enter any community or populated area of Nunavut. Exempted persons must comply with all recommendations and directions of Medical Health Officers.

Nunavut Impact Review Board, Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act

March 16, 2020

  • The Board’s office will be closed to the public, but staff members will be responding to emails from home and the toll-free number (1-866-233-3033) and general email account (info@nirb.ca) will continue to be monitored.

Nunavut Water Board, Nunavut Waters and Nunavut Surface Rights Tribunal Act

March 24, 2020

  • The Board’s office will be closed to the public; but staff will be maintaining the public registry at ftp://ftp.nwb-oen.ca and will continue addressing the Board’s various responsibilities and duties throughout this period. Staff are reachable by their emails, but not office phones.

Mining Recorder’s Office (within Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada), Nunavut Mining Regulations (Canada)

May 1, 2020

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MRO recognizes that exploration programs will not be able to proceed this upcoming field season and would like to extend the offer of applying for relief of the reporting requirements contained within the Nunavut Mining Regulations.
  • Permit and claim holders do not have to wait until the anniversary date of your tenure to submit a request for relief pursuant to either Section 16 (prospecting permits) or Section 51 (mineral claims). For more information, proponents are asked to contact Karen Dunphy at karen.dunphy@canada.ca or phone at 867-222-3051.

April 2, 2020

  • The Mining Recorder’s Office is continuing to provide essential services, prioritizing:
    • Filing recorded documents (including liens, assignments etc.)
    • Assessment reports and grouping requests
    • Annual rental payments for mineral leases
    • Applications for mineral leases
    • Requests for mineral lease renewals
  • Requests for licences to prospect (or renewals thereof) may take longer than usual or be processed at a later date, depending on the circumstances;

Nunavut Legal Registries

March 23, 2020

  • Legal Registries office will be closed to the public. Individuals can still access services by contacting 867 975-6590 or emailing Corporate.Registries@gov.nu.ca.
  • The Nunavut POLAR land titles system will remain operational and submissions will continue to be reviewed and signed.
Yukon

Civil Emergency Measures Act

June 12, 2020

  • State of Emergency is extended in Yukon (Order 2020/100)

Civil Emergency Measures Leases, Approvals and Regulatory Timelines (COVID-19) Order

  • A deputy minister may renew or extend the term of a lease or approval, or leases or approvals in a class of leases or approvals that would have otherwise expired during the state of emergency for up to 90 days after the expiration of the original term.

Limitation Periods and Legislated Time Periods Order

  • No limitation period established in a provision of a Yukon law for bringing a civil or family action, appeal or proceeding in a court expires during the state of emergency or during the 30-day period immediately after the termination of the state of emergency.

April 2, 2020

  • Civil Emergency Measures Health Protection (COVID-19) Order (2020/14), effective until the date of termination of the state of emergency (including any extension of that state of emergency) that was declared on March 27, 2020. Covers several topics, including critical services and essential services in Yukon, and self-isolation requirements for travelers entering Yukon. Certain entries from some BC-Yukon border areas are under different rules regarding self-isolation requirements.

Notice to Miners arriving in Yukon for work

  • Everyone arriving in Yukon must self-isolate for 14 days, including workers arriving to work at a placer or hard rock mine, an exploration camp, or any other business or duty associated with the mining and exploration industry. Self-isolating workers cannot conduct regular duties in camp or at a mine.

Interim Guidelines for Work Camps During COVID-19

  • Covers support and advice for  camp residents, and travel restrictions.
Employment Standards Act

May 26, 2020

  • The Leave (COVID-19) Regulation is made, under the new regulation, an employee is entitled to a leave without pay for a period of up to 14 days if they require it.

Travel Restrictions and Social Distancing

July 15, 2020

  • From July 1, all residents of Canada can enter Yukon.  Anyone from outside Canada cannot enter Yukon unless said person is an American transiting to or from Alaska.
  • Anyone who is not a resident of Yukon, BC, NT or Nunavut must self-isolate when you enter Yukon.  If you are a resident of the afore-mentioned 4 jurisdictions but have travelled outside of these 4 jurisdictions in the last 14 days, you must self-isolate when you enter Yukon.
  • Yukon is in Phase 2 of the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board

March 18, 2020

  • The office is open but YESAB asks parties to call ahead before visiting the office.
  • YESAB has asked that employees who are able to work from home do so. Public engagements and business meetings will be either postponed or conducted by teleconference or videoconference.
  • Participants in the assessment process will be notified via the YESAB Online Registry of extensions to project assessment timelines.

Yukon Court Registries

July 15, 2020

Whitehorse Court Registry

  • General access to the Court Registry remains unavailable.  However, the Registry will accommodate in-person attendances as long as physical distancing measures are respected.
  • Email filing is no longer permitted unless there are exceptional circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All documents are required to be served or delivered in accordance with the Rules of Court of the Supreme Court.  No email service is permitted unless done according to the Rules.

Privacy and Cybersecurity

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Private Equity and Venture Capital

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Real Estate

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Regulatory

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Regulator response to COVID-19

British Columbia

Entity

Description

Government of British Columbia – Ministerial Orders

April 8, 2020

  • Ministerial Order No. M098 is issued, replacing Ministerial Order No. M086
  • The power given to persons, tribunals and other bodies with statutory powers of decision to waive, suspend or extend mandatory time periods relating to the exercise of that power under Ministerial Order No. M086 is continued under Ministerial Order No. M098

March 26, 2020

  • Ministerial Order No. M086 is issued
  • 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.

March 26, 2020

  • Ministerial Order No. M085 issued, permitting public bodies to disclose personal information through the use of third party tools and applications (such as software) for reasons related to COVID-19 (for example, disclosure via software is necessary to facilitate social distancing and working remotely)
Office of the Ombudsperson

April 8, 2020

  • The Office of the Ombudsperson person writes to tribunal chairs concerning Ministerial Order No. M098, suggesting that tribunals ensure that all waivers, suspensions, or modifications of mandatory time periods are carefully considered with rationale set out in a formal record of the tribunal

British Columbia Utilities Commission

April 29, 2020

  • BCUC approves Corix Multi-Utility Services Inc. Application for Tariff Changes due to COVID-19

April 9, 2020

  • BCUC issues statement encouraging utility customers to be respectful of essential utility service workers

April 7, 2020

  • BCUC approves COVID-19 Customer Relief Programs for BC Hydro, Fortis Energy, and FortisBC after a web-based Streamlined Review Process on April 6, 2020

April 2, 2020

  • Order in Council 159/2020 issuing Direction to the BCUC Respecting COVID-19 Relief, requiring BCUC to issue order amending BC Hydro’s electric tariff re: COVID Relief Fund

March 31, 2020

  • BCUC issues order granting regulated utilities relief from meter reading

March 27, 2020

  • Letter to regulated utilities re: working to determine path forward

March 23, 2020

  • BCUC directs public utilities to stop disconnections

March 19, 2020

  • BCUC advises regulated entities that the BCUC will consider the impact of COVID-19 on certain mandatory reliability standard requirements

March 15, 2020

  • Commissioners/staff working remotely

March 13, 2020

  • All public events (oral hearings, workshops, stream lined review processes) cancelled

Ongoing

  • Various proceedings adjourned, postponed, or cancelled
  • Regulatory timetables for ongoing proceedings being adjusted (ex: BCH RRA)
  • BCUC requests information about impact of COVID-19 on projects under BCUC jurisdiction (ex: Site C Clean Energy Project)

British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission

April 16, 2020

  • OGC announces adjustments to its business practices in response to COVI9-19, including postponing invoicing of the Orphan Liability Levy and exercising discretion under Ministerial Order 98/2020 to suspend the application timeline to extend a permit or authorization, which postpones expiry of a permit while the suspension is in effect

April 15, 2020

  • OGC issues order suspending the period in which a permit holder may apply for an extension of a permit pursuant to the Oil and Gas Activities Act

April 8, 2020

  • OGC extends deadline for payments of annual levies for pipelines from 30 days to 90 days

April 2, 2020

  • FAQs for industry issued
  • Commission continuing to review and make decision on applications
  • Commission continues to conduce proactive site inspections with modified protocols for physical distancing

March 19, 2020

  • Remaining OGC offices closed
  • Operations and emergency services continue to operate

March 17, 2020

  • Terrace, Kelowna, and Prince George OGC offices closed
  • All non-essential travel suspended
  • Inquiries and meetings to be held by phone
  • Staff and commissioners working remotely

Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal

May 5, 2020

  • WCAT announces that it will use email rather than regular mail for sending correspondence

March 25, 2020

  • All in person hearings through May 31, 2020 postponed – WCAT’s goal is to have hearings proceed by teleconference or in writing but not required (can wait for in-person hearing)
  • Regular timelines for filing notice of appeal remain but can file notice by phone
  • Notify WCAT if having difficulty meeting submission deadline due to COVID-19

March 17, 2020

  • All in-person hearings postponed through April 10, 2020 – parties with hearings scheduled in this time frame will be contacted by WCAT with option to proceed virtually or reschedule
  • Encourage email correspondence with staff, who are working remotely
  • Documents can be served on WCAT via email

Workers Compensation Board - Review Decision

March 26, 2020

  • Effective immediately, all oral hearings are cancelled – parties with scheduled oral hearings scheduled will be contacted re: next steps
  • Review Division will extend their own statutory time limits for making decisions and will be flexible in granting time extensions to parties seeking reviews

March 22, 2020

  • WorkSafeBC offices closed to visitors, staff and officers continuing to work

Mineral Titles Branch, Mineral Tenure Act, Coal Act

March 27, 2020

  • The time limit for registering: a statement of exploration and development, payment in lieu of work, a revised expiry date or a rental payment, is extended until December 31, 2020 for all mineral and placer mineral titles (where the expiry date or rental date is prior to December 31, 2021);
  • The time limit for applying to extend the term of a coal licence, and for making a rental payment on a coal lease, is extended until December 31, 2021.

March 25, 2020

  • To apply for or renew a Free Miner Certificate, please see the updated process.

March 20, 2020

  • The Vancouver Mineral Titles Branch office is temporarily closed to all in-person service. Service is still provided by email (Mineral.Titles@gov.bc.ca) and voice-mail (1-866-616-4999 - must leave a message)
Alberta

Entity

Description

Government of Alberta

May 12, 2020

  • The Utility Payment Deferral Act, which allows Albertans experiencing financial hardship directly related to COVID-19 pandemic to work with their utility company to defect electricity and natural gas bills until June 18, 2020, came into effect

April 9, 2020

  • Alberta Energy defers all public offerings (i.e. land sales) and direct purchase of PNG and oil sands mineral rights for a minimum of 90 days

April 6, 2020

  • Ministerial Order 219/2020 issued, suspending certain reporting requirements under the Coal Conservation Act, the Oil and Gas Conservation Act, Oil Sands Conservation Act on the basis that they are not in the public interest during the COVID-19 public health emergency

March 30 and 31, 2020

  • Ministerial Orders 15/2020, 16/2020, 17/2020 issued
  • Certain reporting requirements under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, Water Act, Public Lands Act, Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Regulation, and Renewable Fuels Standard Regulation are suspended on the basis that these reporting obligations are not in the public interest during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

March 23, 2020

  • Alberta energy offers one year extensions for PNG agreements, oil sands agreements and metallic and industrial mineral permits expiring from March 20, 2020 to December 31, 2020

Alberta Energy Regulator

April 16, 2020

  • AER announces that extensions to complete exploration programs under the Mines and Minerals Act can be requested and will be granted on a case-by-case basis

April 15, 2020

  • AER releases webpage providing clarification on application of Ministerial Orders 219/2020 and 17/2020

April 14, 2020

  • AER announces that timing for collection of the 2020/2021 orphan fund levy is under review (update expected in June)
  • AER announces it is working with the Government of Alberta to determine implications of the government’s $113 million in relief to the industry on the industry levy

April 9, 2020

  • AER issues bulletin notifying industry of Ministerial Order 219/2020 (see above) and Ministerial Order 17/2020 (see above)

March 31, 2020

  • AER announces delay in disclosure of AER expenses

March 20, 2020

  • AER’s emergency response line having technical difficulties – new local phone number provided

March 17, 2020

  • AER offices open but staff working remotely
  • Meetings with stakeholders will be held virtually, instead of in-person
  • Oral portions of AER hearings will not be held - AER is reviewing current and future adjudicative functions to determine future process

Ongoing

  • Various hearings, preheating conferences cancelled
  • AER announces limited hours including for Core Research Centre and Calgary mailroom

Alberta Utilities Commission

May 13, 2020

  • AUC announces that it is accepting applications from service providers under the Utility Payment Deferral Program, announced by the provincial government in March 2020

May 12, 2020

  • Commission requests comments on the Consumers’ Coalition of Alberta’s request that the Commission direct regulated utilities to record and report on decisions, positions and actions due to the impact of COVID-19

May 8, 2020

  • AUC announces changes to industry impact assessment in relation to regulatory burden and lag, including changes to composition of the next roundtable

May 6, 2020

  • In light of impact that COVID-19 may have on participant’s ability to appear before another for the purpose of having a document sworn or witnessed, AUC suspends requirement to have affidavit of fees and disbursements and confidentiality undertaking witnessed or sworn before a commissioner for oaths

April 27, 2020

  • AUC approves deferral of payments for Alberta Electric System operator tariff transmission charges

April 17, 2020

  • AUC issues general update on COVID-19, emphasizing a flexible approach to regulation including a pragmatic approach to compliance and delay of the AUC’s operational plan while they revisit the plan in light of COVID-19

April 14, 2020

  • AUC announces intention to focus ongoing review of AUC Rule 027: Specified Penalties for Contravention of Reliability Standards on placement of new and revised reliability standards in the penalty table as a result of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic

April 7, 2020

  • AUC announces interim changes to AUC participation involvement program for electric and gas facility applications, including requiring applicants and project proponents to give stakeholder increased time to respond to project notifications and discouraging face to face consultations, open houses, and town halls

March 31, 2020

  • AUC announces support for Market Surveillance Administrator’s relaxation of certain reliability standards

March 27, 2020

  • AUC announces suspension of specified penalties program for self-reported contraventions

March 18, 2020

  • AUC announces support for implementation of 90-day utility bill payment deferral option

March 17, 2020

  • AUC offices closed but staff continue to work remotely
  • AUC to lead industry consultation to coordinate customer relief efforts

March 12, 2020

  • AUC defers live proceedings (public hearings, consultations, or information sessions)
  • AUC will explore remote options if there is an economic requirement to proceed with hearing or public proceeding

Ongoing

  • Various regulatory proceedings deferred

Market Surveillance Administrator

March 30, 2020

  • MSA announces that COVID-19 is acceptable reason (case-by-case) for non-compliance with reliability standards (limited to self-reports between March 1/20 to July 31/20)

March 17, 2020

  • MSA offices close, staff working remotely
Ontario

Entity

Description

Mining Lands Administration System, Mining Act

April 17, 2020

  • Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines announces that Ontario claim holders with claim anniversary dates on or before December 31, 2020 may receive exclusion orders for their claims due to COVID-19

March 31, 2020

Federal

Entity

Description

Canadian Energy Regulator

May 12, 2020

  • CER issues update to adjudicative processes during COVID-19, including a summary of recent procedural guidance issued for specific active hearing processes, and states that it expects to meet all of its time limits in its review of the applications before it

April 29, 2020

  • CER announces that it is supporting administrative flexibility during COVID-19, including continuation of inspection and compliance verification activities, postponement of some financial audits and management system audits, and deferring external engagement for regulatory framework improvement initiatives

April 24, 2020

  • CER publishes two news releases (here and here) highlighting how it is continuing to fulfill its mandate to protect people and the environment during COVID-19 as well as keeping energy moving safely during COVID-19
  • CER summarizes regulatory oversight of Trans Mountain Expansion Project during COVID-19

April 21, 2020

  • CER announced procedural changes to remaining detailed route hearings for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project – oral portions of all detailed route hearings replaced with alternate formats not requiring in-person attendance and oral cross examination replaced by written information requests
  • CER exploring alternate ways for sharing of Indigenous knowledge

April 15, 2020

  • CER extends time limit for planning phase for proposed Gazoduq Project at the request of the province of Quebec in light of the impact of COVID-19

March 17, 2020

  • Regulatory filings adjusted - continue to file electronically but requirement to file hard copies postponed

March 16, 2020

  • Oral portions of hearings will not be held as planned. All current adjudication processes are being looked at to determine future processes.
  • Meetings between CER staff and company representatives to be conducted virtually
  • Compliance verification will continue but will be modified to reduce in-person interactions
  • Information sessions, technical conferences, working groups, and committee meetings to be conducted virtually or postponed
  • CER workforce working remotely
  • All international travel suspended; domestic travel limited to critical activities

Ongoing

  • Deadlines for written components of hearings being extended
  • Elements of regulatory hearings being postponed

Tax

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