Separation & Divorce Proceedings During COVID-19

Published May 28, 2020

As we enter the third month of the COVID-19 pandemic (“Pandemic”), both the Provincial Court of Alberta and the Court of Queen’s Bench (“Alberta Courts”) have effectively been closed since March 20, 2020 for all but “emergency and urgent matters”. However, this week marks the Provincial Court’s commencement of Part One of the COVID-19 Staged Resumption of Court Operations, which will allow the court to start hearing certain additional civil, criminal and family matters (in addition to hearing emergency and urgent” matters).

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Federal Rent Assistance Program Opens May 25

Published May 21, 2020

The federal government announced yesterday that the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (“CECRA”) program for small businesses will open for online applications on May 25, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. EST (6:00 a.m. MST).

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Provincial Court of Alberta to Commence Remote Hearings

Published May 20, 2020

The Provincial Court of Alberta and the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench (together, the “Alberta Courts”) are currently closed (as of March 17, 2020) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, other than for emergency and urgent matters.

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The ABTraceTogether App and its Privacy Safeguards

Published May 12, 2020

The Alberta government recently launched a new, voluntary COVID-19 contact-tracing application for Albertans to download to their cell phones and mobile devices, called ABTraceTogether (the “App”). Since the App’s release, it has been downloaded by over 100,000 people.

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Federal Rent Assistance and Canadian Businesses

Published May 7, 2020

The Canadian government, in partnership with the provinces and territories, recently announced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (“CECRA”) for small businesses that are struggling to pay their landlords as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic (“Pandemic”). This is welcome news for many local businesses, with many rents already overdue for the months of April and May. 

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COVID-19 and Privacy Law in the Workplace

Published April 22, 2020

The rapid outbreak of COVID-19 (the “Pandemic”) is presenting a number of ongoing privacy law issues for businesses to navigate. From a legal perspective, privacy laws (both in Alberta and federally) are still in effect for organizations that collect, use and disclose personal and/or health information, notwithstanding the Pandemic.

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COVID-19 and Frustration of Contract


As we previously discussed in our article on Force Majeure, the COVID-19 Outbreak (“Outbreak”) is disrupting economies across the world and having deleterious effects on contractual relationships across industries. Many contracting parties are currently and will continue to be unable to perform their contractual obligations as a result of the Outbreak. In these instances, the issues of (i) liability for the non-performance of contractual obligations, and (ii) the ultimate validity of such contracts come into question.

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Alberta Government introduces temporary changes to employment standards legislation

Published April 9, 2020

The Alberta Minister of Labour and Immigration enacted Ministerial Order 18.2020 (“Order”) on April 6 that will introduce temporary changes to the Employment Standards Code[1] (the Code”) and the Employment Standards Regulation[2] (the Regulation”) in order to help businesses further respond to COVID-19.

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COVID-19: Important builders' lien deadlines and notice periods remain in effect

Published: April 7, 2020

Despite the fact that COVID-19 has shut down many governmental services (including temporarily closing Alberta Land Titles offices ("LT") to the general public), important builders' lien registration and filing deadlines still remain in effect.

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COVID-19: Commercial lease considerations for Alberta business

Published: March 30, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic (the “Pandemic”), a number of Alberta businesses have now been ordered temporarily closed by the provincial government, including the majority of retail businesses, all public recreation facilities and private entertainment facilities, all dine-in services for restaurants, cafes and bars, and all personal services businesses.

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New COVID-19 EI Benefit announced by Government of Canada

Published: March 26, 2020

The federal government announced a new, streamlined Employment Insurance (EI”) benefit for those affected by COVID-19. The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”) will replace the previously-announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit that we wrote about earlier on the blog.

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Force Majeure: Non-performance of contracts due to COVID-19

Published: March 26, 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak (the “Outbreak”) has disrupted economies, international and domestic trade, and business across the world and locally in both Canada and Alberta.

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A message from Wills, Trust, Estates & Estates Litigation: Peace of mind in uncertain times

Published: March 26, 2020

With the emergence of COVID-19, the Carscallen LLP Wills and Estates group has received many requests from new and existing clients to help them prepare and update Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, and Personal Directives.

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COVID-19 Employment Law considerations: Temporary layoffs in Alberta and EI benefits

Published: March 25, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to slow the economy, many places of employment across Alberta are now temporarily closed, including bars, restaurants, retail establishments, fitness facilities, schools and daycares, offices, and public spaces (such as theatres, cinemas, libraries, sports arenas etc.).

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COVID-19 Employment Law considerations: Alberta statutory leave and federal EI sickness and benefits

Published: March 20, 2020

One serious implication of the recent outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV, or “COVID-19”) for both employees and employers across Alberta and Canada is that many people are and will be unable to work due to either being under self-isolation and quarantine, having contracted COVID-19, or because they are caring for a family member who has contracted the virus. These workers will experience a loss of employment income during their recovery period, for caregiving, or during their self-isolation/quarantine period.

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COVID-19 Employment Law considerations: occupational health and safety issues

Published: March 18, 2020

The recent international outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV, or “COVID-19”) is having many implications for employees and employers across Alberta and Canada, including relating to such factors as: workplace health and safety laws, statutory leaves available for workers in Alberta and Canada, human rights laws, temporary layoffs and terminations of employees, and many other issues.

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COVID-19 Updates

As the COVID-19 situation evolves rapidly, we would like to update you with any legal updates that come.

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