Focus On



Thursday, July 02, 2020 @ 11:26 AM

Canada extends mandatory isolation, quarantine requirements till Aug. 31

The federal government announced that it has extended the emergency order requirements related to mandatory isolation and quarantine until Aug. 31, 2020, for travellers entering Canada. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 @ 4:15 PM

Canada extending travel ban for non-U.S. foreign nationals

Canada will be extending its ban on non-essential travel into the country by foreign nationals coming from places other than the United States. The ban, put in place in March as part of sweeping measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, will now remain in place until at least July 31, confirmed a Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) spokesperson. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 @ 1:15 PM

COVID-19 and U.S./Canadian border: Not all bad news border_lineup_sm

The U.S./Canadian border closed on March 19 of this year for the first time since 2001 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. While essential workers, including those in the health-care industry are still allowed to cross, the nearly 200,000 people who cross on a daily basis for both recreation and tourism purposes have had this important lifeline cut off. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 @ 12:12 PM

Tips for safe, legal videoconferencing Maskwearingcomputeruser.jpg

Due to COVID-19 and social distancing, we now have no better alternative to videoconferencing. It has essentially become the new default for meetings, but this has brought about a very serious question as to whether Zoom or other videoconferences are safe for lawyers, doctors, government organizations and others to use.  ... [read more]

Monday, June 29, 2020 @ 3:48 PM

Federal Court announces end of last suspension order

Emerging from its COVID-19 closure, the Federal Court is poised to resume full proceedings across Canada with the expiration of its last remaining suspension period. The Federal Court served notice in a June 25 practice direction and order that its suspension period for Ontario, Quebec, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon will expire at day’s end June 29. ... [read more]

Monday, June 29, 2020 @ 9:32 AM

National pro bono initiative responds to Canadians hit hard by pandemic legal problems Alex Don sm

A growing movement to support Canadians struggling with legal problems brought on by the COVID-19-pandemic has so far recruited about 25 lawyers and 415 law students. Launched in May by McGill University Faculty of Law graduates Alex Don, Mark Mejia Kuznetsova and Rapti Ratnayake, the National Canadian Lawyers’ Initiative (NCLI) has so far assisted more than 100 people, providing one to five hours of legal advice online per person or referring them to a local pro bono legal service, where possible. ... [read more]

Friday, June 26, 2020 @ 2:52 PM

Nomad visas and economic resurgence: Lessons from Estonia | Christiana Sagay

Undoubtedly the COVID-19 pandemic has come at a great human and economic cost while also creating an immigration shortfall — a dip in the admission of economic migrants. With the spread of the virus, while applications for permanent residency were still accepted, the ability to review the applications was significantly skewed, as applications of Canadians returning to the country, vulnerable groups and people performing or supporting essential services took precedence. In addition to the processing lapse, admission of landed migrants into Canada was put on hold from March 16, 2020, creating a 30 per cent decline in economic migrants in March alone. ... [read more]

Friday, June 26, 2020 @ 9:11 AM

Remote hearings, examination of witnesses: Best practices online_courtroom_sm

With the adoption of remote hearings by the courts in this pandemic, concern has been expressed as to due process issues, particularly regarding the remote examination of witnesses. In the seminal case of Arconti v. Smith 2020 ONSC 2782 for example, the plaintiffs objected to the remote examination for discovery of a defendant because “the plaintiffs do not trust the defendants not to engage in sleight of hand to abuse the process,” among other reasons. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 @ 8:51 AM

Ethics during the pandemic: Avoiding Faustian bargain | Joël Roy

As trial attorneys, to say our professional (and, often, personal) lives have been turned upside down by COVID-19 would be a major understatement. Postponed trials, anxious clients and a growing sense of helplessness have surely marked our practices in these troubled times. Yet, many of us see the justice system’s increased openness to technology as one potential silver lining. Indeed, courts now seem more and more willing to engage in remote hearings, virtual discovery and e-filing, which is truly something to celebrate amidst the otherwise chaotic state of litigation across the country. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 @ 2:38 PM

Alberta and Ontario courts warm to videoconferencing zoom_screen_sm

Despite differences in the applicable court rules, recent cases from Ontario and Alberta in the context of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions demonstrate a similar willingness to use videoconferencing to facilitate cross-examinations on affidavits and questioning for discovery. ... [read more]