As the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic unfolds, we know you are worried about your health and that of your family, colleagues, clients and businesses.
The CBA is monitoring the pandemic and response. While the situation continues to change rapidly, our top priority remains the health, safety and well-being of our members, staff and members of the public who interact with our justice system. We have a business continuity plan in place and we are planning for several contingency scenarios, managing risk and taking informed action to limit the spread of COVID-19 based on the directives of public health officials and those of communities and jurisdictions across the country.
We are monitoring staff for COVID-19 symptoms and regularly communicating the Public Health Agency of Canada’s guidance on the established steps to take to stay safe and avoid spreading the virus. CBA national office staff have the option to work remotely to the extent that their positions allow.
We are evaluating the CBA’s in-person spring conference line-up on a case-by-case basis in consultation with Section executives and organizing committees. We will advise participants as decisions are made and will post notices on the event pages. If an event is cancelled, existing registration fees will be applied to the rescheduled event. If you are unable to participate on the new date, you will have the opportunity to request a full refund.
All planned in-person Section and committee meetings will transition to virtual meetings until further notice.
The CBA is committed to supporting our justice system partners in whatever ways we can. The Supreme Court of Canada advised yesterday that all public access to the court building is restricted, including any planned public gatherings. Scheduled public events are cancelled until further notice. Hearings are currently proceeding as scheduled (with none scheduled for next week). The Court will permit parties to seek adjournments or appear via teleconference or video link. There are no changes to filing deadlines. All National Judicial Institute training is cancelled until further notice.
The Tax Court of Canada has cancelled sittings for the next two weeks. Non in-person events such as conference calls will proceed as scheduled. The Federal Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal will announce measures they are adopting next week. Please see courts and tribunals in your jurisdiction for details about their proceedings.
The CBA has a new podcast, "Pandemics in the workplace: Are you prepared?", available free to members. You can also consult the pandemic guide that was prepared by the Labour and Employment Law Section.
We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you for your understanding. We will continue to update members regularly to keep you informed of additional measures.
We will get through this together.
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President of the Canadian Bar Association