Following on our previous blog last week entitled COVID-19 | Ontario Allows More Businesses To Reopen Soon, the Ontario government announced today plans for stage 1 to reopen the province, including allowing more businesses to reopen and/or relaxing restrictions on the delivery of goods and services. While the reopening of more businesses is welcome news after eight weeks in quarantine, Premier Doug Ford warned that individuals must still continue to practice social and physical distancing, and businesses should only reopen if they are ready to comply with the strict public health guidelines. We cannot risk moving one step forward, but moving two steps back. The following is a list of some businesses that may reopen or expand their services on the following dates: May 16, 2020 Golf courses may open to the public but clubhouses only for washroom access and restaurants only for take-out (previously, golf courses could only prepare … Read More
Following on the Ontario government’s announcement last week allowing a select few businesses to re-open earlier this week, there was another announcement yesterday allowing more businesses to re-open under the same strict public and health safety guidelines. The following is a list of businesses that may re-open, and their scheduled re-opening dates over the next week: May 8, 2020: Garden centres and nurseries can re-open for in-store payment and purchases (previously, these businesses could only offer curbside pick-up and delivery); May 9, 2020: Hardware stores and safety supply stores can re-open for in-store payment and purchases (previously, these businesses could only offer curbside pick-up and delivery); May 11, 2020: Retail stores with street entrances can re-open but they can only offer curbside pick-up and delivery (previously, non-essential businesses were required to be closed). Small businesses that are planning to re-open are reminded to follow public and health safety guidelines including The … Read More
Since March 16, 2020, all hearings in the Ontario Small Claims Court have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the Superior Court of Justice has had procedures in place to bring an urgent civil or commercial list hearing since March 15, 2020, the Small Claims Court was left without the ability to hear urgent motions and garnishment hearings until today. Today, the Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Justice released the updated Notice Regarding the Suspension of Small Claims Court Operations to outline the procedure to request an urgent hearing in Small Claims Court and to provide guidance on the type of matters a judge may find to be urgent. Urgent hearings may include: Cases in which a judgment debtor has an outstanding warrant for arrest issued in relation to a Small Claims Court proceeding; or Time-sensitive cases that would result in immediate and serious financial hardship … Read More
On May 1, 2020, the Ontario government announced that a select few businesses will be allowed to re-open on Monday, May 4, 2020 but with strict public health and safety measures in place. Most of these businesses are seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects. This announcement follows from the release earlier this week of the three-staged Framework for Reopening our Province which included stage 1 to reopen certain Ontario businesses gradually under strict guidelines in order to allow the economy to return to some sense of normalcy while continuing to safeguard the public and limit health risks. The following is the list of businesses that may be re-opened on May 4, 2020: Garden centres and nurseries – but they are restricted to alternative methods of sale such as curbside pickup and delivery; Lawn care services and landscaping services; Essential construction projects including shipping and logistics; broadband, telecommunications and digital … Read More
On April 14, 2020, the Ontario legislature passed a bill during an emergency sitting to extend the state of emergency to May 12, 2020. The state of emergency in Ontario was initially declared on March 17, 2020, and subsequently extended to April 14, 2020. Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, any further extensions must be passed by the legislature, and can only be extended for additional periods of no more than 28 days. On May 12, 2020, the state of emergency was extended to June 2, 2020 (Updated: May 12, 2020). Although the extension of the state of emergency does not automatically apply to individual orders such as the closure of non-essential businesses, it is expected the mandatory closure of non-essential businesses will be extended as well to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, many small businesses (deemed essential) have voluntarily closed due to safety concerns for their … Read More
Nick Poon was recently asked to comment on the doctrine of frustration and force majeure clauses in the context of travel refunds during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Huffington Post article is found here: You Can Still Get a Refund for a Flight Cancellation During Coronavirus Pandemic. If you require legal advice and representation in respect to contract termination and cancellation, frustration of contract and force majeure clauses and/or travel and tourism, please contact us for an initial consultation.