Action Committee on Court Operations in Response to COVID-19 played a key role in maintaining safe court operations during the pandemic

News release

Action Committee on Court Operations in Response to COVID-19 played a key role in maintaining safe court operations during the pandemic

July 29, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada

The Action Committee on Court Operations in Response to COVID-19 has released its first Progress Report, Playing a leadership role during the pandemic, the Committee successfully engaged in new ways of collaboration across the justice system, and fostered information sharing during the COVID-19 crisis.

Being open to new ways of working has sparked innovation, allowing for the implementation of reforms proposed before the pandemic and creating a window of opportunity to make lasting changes to the justice system.The publications of the Action Committee have provided a snapshot of what the courts have done across the country to respond to the pandemic. They also helped to highlight best practices of courts across the country and promote dialogue. Some of the themes of these publications included:

Most recently, the Committee has published a document on the impact of vaccination on court operations. Going forward, the Action Committee will continue to bring together leaders from across the country to support recovery from the pandemic, as well as the long-term changes that will increase access to justice for all Canadians.


“The impact of the health crisis caused by COVID 19 has been felt in every aspect of Canadians’ lives. As this Progress Report shows, the operations of courts across the country have not been spared from this crisis. For more than a year now, the Action Committee has made it its mission to safeguard the right of Canadians to an accessible and safe justice system. Like Minister Lametti, I am very pleased that the Action Committee plans to continue its efforts to this end.”

The Right Honourable Richard Wagner, P.C.
Chief Justice of Canada and Chairperson, Canadian Judicial Council

“This Progress Report demonstrates how the Action Committee, supported by many participants in the justice system, has played a key role in stabilizing and restoring court operations during the pandemic. The courts are a pillar of Canada’s democracy and provide an essential service to Canadians. I look forward to continuing to work with Chief Justice Wagner and the Action Committee members to ensure the safety and equal access of justice system participants.”

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

Quick facts

  • The Action Committee was formed in May 2020 with a mandate to ensure justice system participants are supported by the best available public health information, practices and resources as they work to adapt and restore court operations in response to COVID-19.

  • The Action Committee is co-chaired by Chief Justice Richard Wagner and Minister David Lametti, and includes the following members:

    • Hon. Geoffrey Morawetz, Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice
    • Hon. Mary Moreau, Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta
    • Hon. Lise Maisonneuve, Chief Judge of the Ontario Court of Justice
    • Hon. David Eby, Attorney General of British Columbia
    • Nathalie G. Drouin, Ad. E., Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General of Canada
    • Iain Stewart, President of the Public Health Agency of Canada
    • Renée Thériault, Executive Legal Officer, Supreme Court of Canada (member ex officio)
  • The Action Committee develops national guidance, facilitates information sharing and communication across jurisdictions, identifies common needs and solutions, and promotes a nationally harmonious approach to restoring Canadian court operations that places the health, safety, and the best interests of Canadians at the forefront.

  • The Action Committee’s work respects the responsibility of provinces and territories for the administration of justice in their jurisdictions and upholds the principle of judicial independence, while advancing Canadians’ common interest in an accessible and safe justice system.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Chantalle Aubertin,
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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