On March 20, 2020, the Ontario government passed an Emergency Order to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Order not only suspended all provincial limitation periods for the commencement of proceedings retroactive to March 16, 2020, but it also more broadly suspended "any provision of any statute, regulation, rule, by-law or order of the Government of Ontario establishing any period of time within which any step must be taken in any proceeding in Ontario."
The Emergency Order has been repealed effective September 14, 2020 and all limitation periods have now re-started.
It is important to note that the Emergency Order only applies to Ontario limitation periods and time limits. While most or all federal and provincial jurisdictions across Canada passed similar legislation, not all provinces suspended limitation periods for the same period of time. As such, it is important to keep a close eye on any pandemic-related suspensions of limitation periods for any province that might be the applicable law for a particular claim.
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