Carscallen LLP has made the decision to temporarily close its physical offices in order to work entirely remotely, effective end of business day, March 18, 2020. Both our IT systems and network supports have been designed to allow our lawyers and support staff to seamlessly transition to working remotely, and we ask clients to contact us electronically or by phone for any assistance they may require during this time.
Our lawyers and staff will continue to work remotely throughout this period and are available, as always, as trusted advisors to our clients. We will continue to monitor the situation and are committed to assisting our clients in navigating through any legal issues that may arise at this time. We will be providing related updates and blogs throughout this challenging time.
Please come back to this page and follow us on LinkedIn for further legal updates from us as this situation continues to rapidly evolve.
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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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.