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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.


Capital Markets

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China

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Construction

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Contract Issues

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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

Insolvency and Restructuring

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Labour, Employment and Benefits

Key Contact(s):
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
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Litigation and Dispute Resolution

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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

Ministerial Order No. M086, Emergency Program Act

March 26/20

  • 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.
Ministerial Order No. M085, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

March 26/20

  • Public bodies (including BCUC, BC OGC, WCAT, and WorkSafeBC) may 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)

British Columbia Utilities Commission

March 13/20

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

March 15/20

  • Commissioners/staff working remotely

March 23, 2020

  • BCUC directs public utilities to stop disconnections

March 27/20

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

March 31/20

  • BCUC issues order granting regulated utilities relief from meter reading

Ongoing

  • Various proceedings adjourned, postponed, or cancelled; regulatory timetables for ongoing proceedings being adjusted (ex: BCH RRA)

British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission

March 17/20

  • 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

March 19/20

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

Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal

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

March 24, 2020

  • Documents can be filed by email but decisions must be sent in hard copy (cannot be emailed) (per MEC1 call with WCAT registry)

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

Workers Compensation Board - Review Decision

March 22, 2020

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

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
Alberta

Alberta Energy Regulator

March 17/20

  • 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

March 20/20

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

Ongoing

  • Various hearings, preheating conferences cancelled

Alberta Utilities Commission

March 12/20

  • 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

March 17/20

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

March 18/20

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

March 31/20

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

Market Surveillance Administrator

March 17/20

  • MSA offices close, staff working remotely

March 30/20

  • 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)
Federal

Canadian Energy Regulator

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

March 17/20

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

March 27/20

  • Technical conference scheduled for April 8 in Enbridge Mainline application postponed

Ongoing

  • Deadlines for written components of hearings being extended

Tax

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Technology

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Resources

COVID-19 Response Team

Capital Markets

China 

Construction

Contract Issues

Corporate

Corporate Governance

Employer Health and Safety Obligations

Insolvency and Restructuring

Labour, Employment and Benefits

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Privacy and Cybersecurity

Private Equity and Venture Capital

Real Estate

Regulatory

Tax

Technology

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