The BC government has just announced that the province will suspend statutory limitation periods retroactively to March 19, 2020. The Ministerial Order can be found here: Ministerial Order 86/2020.
All civil claims are subject to limitation periods, which are timelines within which a person must commence a legal proceeding if they choose to do so. The failure to bring a legal claim before the expiry of a limitation period results in the loss of that person’s right to bring that claim. For example, in B.C., the limitation period for claims for damage to property as well as physical injuries is two years from the date that the damage or injury was caused.
Since the B.C. Supreme Court and the B.C. Provincial Court have suspended regular operations indefinitely, there was an open question as to whether the courts were accepting claims that were subject to the expiry of a limitation period. With this temporary suspension of limitation periods, parties will no longer need to make an urgent application to the Court to have the limitation period extended or to file a claim that is subject to a soon-to-expire limitation date.
The suspension of the limitation period will remain in force until the state of emergency expires or is cancelled. In the event that the state of emergency is not renewed, it will expire 14 days from March 19, 2020.
If you are unsure of the limitation period of your claim or require assistance in preparing a claim, KZEL remains committed to navigating through your legal matters with you. We are continuing to work through these unique circumstances and are here to provide you with advice, support and representation. Please feel free to contact us.