CBABC continues to communicate with the courts, the Law Society and government agencies to bring the perspective of practicing lawyers. Your suggestions and feedback are making a difference in those discussions. Please email us at feedback@cbabc.org with your concerns and solutions.

Submissions to Provincial Government
+

"Thank you for your letter dated July 7, 2020 and for the opportunity to provide input into your proposals on postponing jury trials for civil matters and the use of binding arbitration for motor vehicle actions, as the justice system attempts to manage the backlog of cases that has increased during this COVID-19 pandemic."

Read the Letter

 

+

"On April 8, 2020, the CBABC provided a briefing note to the Ministry of Attorney General which outlines concerns our members have with respect to the witnessing of wills, in light of physical distancing requirements during the pandemic. A copy of that brief is attached. I understand that Ron Usher, General Counsel for the Society of Notaries has also been in touch with the Ministry about witnessing requirements for wills, powers of attorney and representation agreements during COVID-19.

This is an issue our members are deeply concerned about and for which I believe we need a government solution."

Read the Letter

+

"Thank you for your letter of March 19, 2020, regarding the operation of British Columbia’s land title system during the COVID-19 pandemic and your concerns regarding the health and safety of legal professionals during this time.

The Province of British Columbia values the important work and services provided by legal professionals which support BC’s land title system. The province has worked closely with the Land Title and Survey Authority (LTSA) to understand and evaluate the options available for remote execution of land title documents. We believe a solution has been identified that effectively addresses the concerns of all parties while still complying with the legislative provisions currently in place and maintaining the integrity of BC’s land title system."

Read the letter

 

+

"In consultation with the Real Property and Commercial & Real Estate Sections of the Canadian Bar Association (BC Branch), we respectfully request that the Minister consider a revision to the “Land Title (Transfer Forms) Regulation”, B.C. Reg. 53/90 (the “Regulation”) under the Land Title Act, [RSBC 1996] c. 250 to allow for witnessing of land title forms by videoconference during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Read the letter

+

"I write on behalf of the BC branch of the Canadian Bar Association in regards to the effect of Covid-19 which has resulted in the closure of British Columbia courthouses and court rooms, and the ability of people to comply with limitation periods."

Read the letter.

+

Rebeka Breder and Britta Jensen, Co-Chairs for the Animal Law Section, wrote the the Minister of Health and Provincial Health Officer urging them to deem essential pet-related services as "essential services" during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. 

Read the letter

Advocacy Briefing Notes
+

ISSUE

This briefing note summarizes issues that have arisen with respect to applications for Estate Grants (that is, probate of a deceased’s will, or the issuance of a grant of administration with respect to an intestate person) in BC during the COVID-19 pandemic health emergency (“COVID-19”). The CBABC asks that the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the Ministry of the Attorney General direct its attention to this urgent matter to rectify the challenges of executors and administrators who are required to obtain an Estate Grant in order to administer an estate.

While we are aware that there is a plan to resume to normal operations with respect to issuing grants, it remains weeks away. Further, in the event that health considerations place additional limitations on operations, CBABC members ask that the issue of probate grants be treated separately in the future for the reasons which follow.

Download the full Briefing Note

+

PURPOSE

This briefing note provides for the BC Supreme Court to temporarily allow witnessing of wills by use of video technology as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic health emergency.

Download the document

+

PURPOSE: This briefing note summarizes the effect on payments on construction projects regarding builders liens in British Columbia in the event limitations periods are suspended or extended by the BC government as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic health emergency.

Download the document

+

PURPOSE: This briefing note summarizes the impact of recommended physical distancing measures (to avoid the spread of virus during the pandemic) on the execution of land conveyancing documents in British Columbia.

Download the document

CBA National Updates
+

Dear CBA members,

We hope you and your families are well and managing to keep a positive attitude despite the daily challenges you face in the pandemic crisis. The CBA is doing its part to support you at this time.

I am pleased to report the launch of the CBA Task Force on Justice Issues Arising from COVID-19 to address the growing list of legal issues resulting from the pandemic. The Task Force brings together key national partners in the justice system to act on:

  • Immediate issues flowing from public restrictions
  • Evolving need to deliver legal and justice services as pandemic disruptions continue
  • Avoiding backlogs and other consequences as the country transitions into a recovery period
  • What lessons from this crisis can we use to make the justice system more effective every day and to make it ready for future crises.

The CBA and its Branches are committed to delivering current information and resources for you and your practice during the pandemic. A national COVID-19 resource hub is updated regularly with news about the legal and justice systems, professional development offerings from across the country, and other resources for your well-being.

CBA National magazine is staying on top of developments in the legal system, including this article on cracks in the judicial system, and this article about the federal wage subsidy. Watch for an upcoming series of panel discussions and interviews about the justice system’s response to this crisis, and what needs to change for the next one, which will be available on our podcast channel.

We’ve created spots for two podcasts in May focusing on issues relevant to sole and small practitioners to help them navigate this crisis.

Our professional development teams across the country are offering online COVID-19-related programs, and recreating the programming affected when physical-distancing measures demanded that we cancel national conferences for the foreseeable future. 

We’re working with the courts – first in figuring out how they needed to adapt to immediate closures, and now determining how to ensure access to justice in the face of probably longer closures, taking into account the particular needs of different areas of law.

In terms of advocacy, we’re watching the various support programs being rolled out by government, making sure that they’re taking the realities of the legal profession into account. For example, the initial announcement about the wage subsidy program included Canadian Controlled Private Corporations and not-for-profit and charitable organizations. The program has now expanded to include more employers, available to lawyers who work as sole practitioners, in partnerships or in LLPs. We know there’s more to be done, and we will to continue to keep your needs in mind as we advocate on your behalf. 

If you have something to add to the resource hub, or have comments or questions, please contact info@cba.org.

Take care,

Vivene Salmon
CBA President