The BC Provincial Government has confirmed that lawyers and paralegals are considered an essential service. Essential services are those daily services essential to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning.
In consultation with the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), the Province advises that these services should and are encouraged to remain open. They must, however, follow the orders and guidance provided by the PHO to ensure safe operations and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
In response to the suggestions and concerns of members, CBABC has written to the Province requesting legislation to permit the Land Title Survey Authority to accept documents executed by video similar to what the courts have permitted for the execution of affidavits and LSBC has authorized for client identification.
We are also in communication with the courts, the Law Society and other agencies affecting legal service delivery to understand what accommodations are being made and to bring the perspective of practicing lawyers to the conversation.
If you have suggestions for adaptations during this time, or want our government, courts and other institutions to be aware of the day-to-day impacts to your practice, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. CBABC will advocate for solutions and connect you to resources whenever possible.
Province takes unprecedented steps to support COVID-19 response (Backgrounder at bottom of article lists all Essential Services)
Centre for Disease Control Guidance for Essential Businesses