Government of Canada shares legislative proposals to address issues relating to legislative time limits and deadlines

News release

May 19, 2020 - Ottawa - Department of Justice Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges on many fronts, both for individual Canadians and businesses. Access to justice and effective functioning of our justice and court system is fundamental to a just and fair Canadian society.

The Government recognizes that many Canadians and Canadian businesses could be impacted and face possible legal repercussions if, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they fail to meet deadlines and time periods set by law with respect to legal proceedings and some key regulatory matters.

For this reason, today, the Government of Canada published draft legislative proposals, which outline potential solutions that the Government could implement to address these important issues. The draft legislative proposals will be available online for 10 days. Interested stakeholders are welcome to share their comments.

The draft legislative proposals would suspend certain time limits and enable federal ministers to extend or suspend other time limits included in federal legislation to:

  • ensure that Canadians and Canadian businesses are able to meet regulatory time limits and deadlines found in federal legislation, such as some key deadlines found in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and in regulations made under the Canada Labour Code, during these exceptional times
  • protect Canadians’ rights and access to justice in the context of civil legal proceedings before the courts, by ensuring that individuals are not prevented from asserting their rights for having missed a time limit or deadline during the COVID-19 pandemic

The draft legislative proposals also include provisions to ensure that temporary extensions or suspensions cannot be made after September 30, 2020, and could be retroactive to March 13, 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic officially began.


“A fair and accessible justice system is a fundamental pillar of our democratic society. There are unprecedented times, and we are committed to ensuring that the decisions the Government takes protect Canadians’ rights and access to justice.”

The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

Search for related information by keyword: Law | Department of Justice Canada | Canada | Justice | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | general public | news releases

Page details

Date modified: