The suspension of limitation periods in Ontario is coming to an end on September 14, 2020. The suspension is retroactive to March 16, 2020.
If counsel were delaying commencing claims during the period of the suspension, now is the time to think about those claims.
Section 1 of Ontario Regulation 73/20 states:
Any provision of any statute, regulation, rule, by-law or order of the Government of Ontario establishing any limitation period shall be suspended, and the suspension shall be retroactive to Monday, March 16, 2020.
However, if a limitation period was to expire between March 16, 2020 and September 14, 2020, counsel do not have to rush to have all claims issued on September 14, 2020. There is a grace period.
Section 6 of Ontario Regulation 73/20 states:
6. For greater certainty, any limitation period or period of time within which a step must be taken in a proceeding that is temporarily suspended under this Regulation resumes running on the date on which the temporary suspension ends and the temporary suspension period shall not be counted.
Therefore, limitation periods will again start to run on September 14, 2020, but the period of the temporary suspension is not counted towards the limitation period.
A notice from LawPro states: “Limitation periods will start to run again on September 14, with the same time to meet deadlines as there had been on March 16, 2020 [emphasis added]”.
As an example, we believe that, if, on March 16, 2020, you had one month to commence a claim (April 16, 2020), you will now have one month from September 14, 2020 to commence the claim (October 14, 2020).
As another example, if, on March 16, 2020, the limitation period was set to expire one year later (March 16, 2021), we believe that you will now have one year from September 14, 2020 to commence a claim (September 14, 2021).