COVID-19 Hub: Latest Updates and Legal Considerations for Your Business

 

The significant impact of COVID-19 has been felt globally and as the situation evolves Canadian and global business leaders must be prepared to deal with a range of scenarios. The information below brings together our firm's thinking on how businesses can manage the various impacts of COVID-19. Due to the rapidly developing nature of the situation, we will be updating this page and the content regularly. Some of the earlier content below may not reflect the latest developments of the COVID-19 outbreak. We will however continue to update and manage the content on this page to provide you with our most up to date perspectives and insights. 

To access a specific section of the Hub, please use the orange links on the right side of this page.

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Latest Updates 

 

COVID-19: Economic Relief Measures Announced to Date
April 1, 2020

Leading lawyers from across the firm break down the economic relief measures put in place by the federal and provincial governments to date. This article will be regularly updated with new measures as they are announced.

Read the full article

 

COVID-19: Emergency Measures Tracker
April 1, 2020

Lawyers from across the firm summarize the emergency measures that have been imposed in jurisdictions across Canada. This article will continue to be updated as further measures are introduced across the country.

Read the full article

 

How will COVID-19 shape the future of arbitration?
April 2, 2020

Lawyers from our International Arbitration Group break down the impact of court closures, and discuss additional options that the world of arbitration provides to the legal system during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Read the full blog post

Podcast: Law in the Time of COVID-19

Hosted by associate Adam Goldenberg, Law in the Time of COVID-19 cuts through the information overload to drive conversations around COVID-19. Listeners receive regular updates, industry insights and legal perspectives, helping to keep them informed and prepared to address the global business implications of the virus.

Law in the Time of COVID-19 is available on SoundCloudSpotify, and Apple Podcasts.

 

On Episode 7: Force Majeure Across Canada, Adam Goldenberg speaks with Gabriel Querry and Miranda Lam about how force majeure will operate under the Civil Code of Québec and across provincial boundaries as businesses and consumers manage the impact of COVID-19.

This program qualifies for up to 0.75 hours of CPD credit under the mandatory education regimes in British Columbia and Ontario. 

Barreau du Québec Continuing Education: This program contains 0.75 hours of content. Upon completion of this podcast, contact us to request your certificate of attendance.

On Episode 7: Force Majeure Across Canada, Adam Goldenberg speaks with Gabriel Querry and Miranda Lam about how force majeure will operate under the Civil Code of Québec and across provincial boundaries as businesses and consumers manage the impact of COVID-19.

This program qualifies for up to 0.75 hours of CPD credit under the mandatory education regimes in British Columbia and Ontario. 

Barreau du Québec Continuing Education: This program contains 0.75 hours of content. Upon completion of this podcast, contact us to request your certificate of attendance.

On Episode 5: Doctors with Borders – and Laws, Solomon McKenzie speaks to Dr. Natasha Crowcroft of the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health about how science has shaped Canadian and international law, and how the law has shaped – and continues to shape – the practice of public health.

This program qualifies for up to 0.75 hours of CPD credit under the mandatory education regimes in British Columbia and Ontario. 

Barreau du Québec Continuing Education: This program contains 0.75 hours of content. Upon completion of this podcast, contact us to request your certificate of attendance.

On Episode 4: Undue Hazards, Adam Goldenberg speaks to leading Labour & Employment lawyers Kate McNeill-Keller, Jacques Rousse, and Donovan Plomp about how the law of the workplace will shape employers' response to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when employees seek to exercise their right to refuse unsafe work, and when temporary layoffs become necessary.

This program qualifies for up to 0.75 hours of CPD credit under the mandatory education regimes in British Columbia and Ontario.

Barreau du Québec Continuing Education: This program contains 0.75 hours of content. Upon completion of this podcast, contact us to request your certificate of attendance.

On Episode 3: Closing Time, Adam Goldenberg speaks to Chad Rogers of Crestview Strategy about the Government of Ontario's decision to order all "non-essential workplaces" to close. How will the government decide which workplaces are "essential" and which are not? 

This program qualifies for up to 0.2 hours of CPD credit under the mandatory education regimes in British Columbia and Ontario.

View a list of past episodes of Law in the Time of COVID-19 here.

Legal Considerations for your Business

Interacting with the B.C. government? Get acquainted with the new lobbying rules.
April 2, 2020

When you or one of your employees, officers, or directors communicates with the B.C. government, your organization may be lobbying. Amid the COVID-19 epidemic, more and more businesses are engaging with the B.C. government in an attempt to protect their interests. Rest assured, lobbying is perfectly lawful – as long as you follow the rules.

Read the full article

 

Lobbying in the Time of COVID-19 — The Rules Still Apply
March 31, 2020

Leading lawyers from across the firm, including Awi Sinha, Alexandra Cocks, Adam Goldenberg, and Jacob Klugsberg highlight the importance of complying with lobbying rules in the face of COVID-19 and provide key questions to consider in determining whether one’s interactions with government are subject to these lobbying rules.

Read the full article

 

COVID-19: Can They do That? Emergency Powers Across Canada
March 31, 2020

In this series, leading lawyers including Eric S. Block and Adam Goldenberg provide a brief overview of the current state of federal and provincial emergency legislation, how our governments are using (and could eventually use) their statutory powers to confront COVID-19, and what the effects of their efforts on Canadian businesses might be. They also canvass some of the constitutional constraints on government action.

Read Part I of the series (Ontario)

Read Part II of the series (Federal)

Read Part III of the series (British Columbia)

Read Part IV of the series (Alberta)

Read Part V of the series (Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Yukon)

Read Part VI of the series (Federal)

Read Part VII of the series  (Québec)

Read Part VIII of the series (Ontario, Québec, British Columbia, Alberta, Federal)

 

COVID-19: Canadian Government Can Now Use Patented Inventions to Respond to the Public Health Emergency

Leading lawyers from our Intellectual Property Group analyze the Government of Canada's decision to enforce Bill C-13, giving itself authority to use and even sell inventions that have been patented by others, to the extent necessary to respond to the public health emergency.

Read the full article

Watch our recent webinar on COVID-19 preparedness for business leaders
March 6, 2020

On March 6th our firm hosted a webinar on COVID-19 response planning for business leaders across the country, expanding upon critical topics outlined in our Legal Update below. To watch a recording of the webinar please use the following link.

Watch the webinar

 

Legal Update: COVID-19 Response Planning: Is Your Business Prepared?
March 3, 2020

As an overview on COVID-19 response planning, please see our legal update from March 3rd that provides overall guidance for businesses regarding Canadian legal issues arising from COVID-19 and key considerations when preparing a COVID-19 response plan, including:

  • Establishing a COVID-19 Response Team
  • Preparing a COVID-19 Response Plan
  • COVID-19-related considerations for businesses

Read the full legal update

Banking & Financial Services

OSFI Announces Regulatory Flexibility to Foster Banks’ and Insurers’ Financial and Operational Resiliency in the Face of the COVID-19 Crisis
March 30, 2020

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) continues to be in close contact with the banks and insurance companies it regulates to monitor the evolving situation with COVID-19. OSFI has announced regulatory flexibility to reduce operational stress on banks and insurers so they can focus on their financial resilience and contributions to financial stability.

Read the full article

 

FCAC responds to COVID-19
April 1, 2020

In this legal update, our counsel from our Business Law Group, Lucie Tedesco, outlines the measures announced by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada in response to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full article

 

OSFI, Department of Finance and Bank of Canada take Measures Applicable to Financial Institutions in Canada in the Face of COVID-19
March 20, 2020

The federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), the Department of Finance Canada and the Bank of Canada have coordinated a number of measures to support the resilience of the Canadian financial system in a time of economic uncertainty and disruption due to COVID-19. This reinforces the approach and stimulus-style proposals of the Government of Canada from March 18, 2020, including tax deferrals, wage subsidies, and direct supports.

Read the full article

 

Potential Insurance Coverage for Loss Caused by COVID-19
March 19, 2020

Many businesses across a range of industries have suffered significant financial loss caused by COVID-19. Members of the National Insurance Law Group explore potential insurance coverage to help offset the losses caused by COVID-19. Business interruption insurance and event cancellation insurance are specifically addressed, and practical tips are provided to help maximize potential insurance coverage.

Read the full article

Competition/Antitrust & Foreign Investment

From Crisis Cartels to COVID “Cures” to Merger Clearance: How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Challenging Canada’s Competition Laws
March 19, 2020

Our Competition/Antitrust & Foreign Investment Group highlights the latest developments and provides some guidance for companies wondering what they are and are not allowed to do to weather the current economic storm.

Read the full article

Force Majeure and Other Contractual Considerations

Do Exceptional Times Call for exceptional measures? Enforcing and avoiding contractual obligations in a time of crisis in British Columbia
March 25, 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic heavily affecting British Columbia, leading lawyers from our Litigation Group in Vancouver, including Jill YatesMichael FederMiranda Lam and Kevan Hanowski, share insights on businesses’ contractual rights and obligations and how they can minimize the financial and legal impacts on their activities.

Read the full article

 

The Impact of COVID-19 on Contractual Obligations: Force Majeure and Frustration
March 22, 2020

Leading lawyers including Eric S. Block, Kristian Brabander, Miranda LamMeghan Bridges and Kara Smyth discuss Force Majeure clauses and contractual obligations, as organizations deal with the continuing impact of COVID-19

Read the full blog post

Labour & Employment

Our Labour & Employment blog discusses Ontario's decisions to provide job-protected Infectious Disease Emergency Leave for employees who are unable to work for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full blog post

 

COVID-19 Update: Considering a Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (“SUB”) Plan? Things to Think About
March 19, 2020

Our Employment and Labour Group, including partner Kate McNeil-Keller and specialist Carolyn Lee, provides specific details related to Supplementary Umployment Benefits, as many employers and employees are facing closure and layoff situation.

Read the full blog post

 

COVID-19 Update: Declared Emergency Leave Now Available for Certain Employees in Ontario
March 19, 2020

Our Employment and Labour Group explains the current state of emergency declared by the Premier of Ontario on March 17 and provide insights on how precarious employees can benefit from a Declared Emergency Leave under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Read the full blog post

 

14-Day Unpaid Leave Available for Employees Quarantined due to COVID-19
March 19, 2020

Member of our Labour & Employment Group break down Alberta's decision to introduce protected unpaid leave in the face of COVID-19

Read the full blog post

 

Read more COVID-19 analysis from the Labour & Employment Group on their blog.

Privacy & Data

COVID-19 and Electronic Contracting
March 24, 2020

While businesses have been moving to transact electronically for a long time now, COVID-19 is creating challenges for organizations that still use traditional methods of entering into agreements and getting documents signed using paper and pen. This post contains a primer for organizations that have to move quickly to adapt traditional to electronic processes for electronic contracting.

Read the full blog post

 

The World Needs Startups During the COVID-19 Crisis
March 23, 2020

In these times of uncertainty, MT>Ventures partners, Aliya Ramji and David Frost, explain the crucial role startups play during a crisis like COVID-19 and how they can cope with the challenges arising from the pandemic.

Read the full blog post

 

COVID 19: Managing Privacy and Cyber Issues
March 17, 2020

The firm's Technology and Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Management Groups provide an overview of critical privacy and cyber issues that organizations are dealing with in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, including in relation to cybersecurity, the collection of personal information in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, and sending COVID-19 related messages.

Read the full blog post

Public Companies

Ontario government issues emergency order providing flexibility with respect to shareholder and director meetings
April 1, 2020

Leading lawyers from our Canadian Securities Regulatory Monitor blog, including partners Wendi Locke, Andrew Parker and Patrick Boucher discuss Ontario’s emergency order enacted March 31, 2020 allowing for OCBA corporations to hold virtual or electronic shareholder and directors meetings and extending the deadline by which annual shareholder meetings are to be held.

Read the full blog post

 

Canadian Securities Regulators Issue Sweeping 45-Day Filing Extensions Due to COVID-19
March 24, 2020

Leading lawyers from our Canadian Securities Regulatory Monitor explain temporary blanket relief announced by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) granting a 45-day extension to market participants amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full blog post

 

TSX Grants Temporary Relief for Listed Issuers From TSX Company Manual Requirements in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
March 24, 2020

Leading lawyers from our Canadian Securities Regulatory Monitor blog, including partners Patrick BoucherWendi LockeAndrew Parker and Sonia Struthers, discuss the TSX Staff Notice issued March 23, 2020 regarding certain blanket relief measures that issuers can rely on amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full blog post

 

CSA announces 45-day Extension for Regulatory Filings Due on or Before June 1, 2020 and Other Announcements Relating to COVID-19
March 19, 2020

Leading lawyers from our Canadian Securities Regulatory Monitor blog break down the CSA's decision to implement a blanket 45-day extension for certain continuous disclosure filings due on or before June 1, 2020.

Read the full blog post

 

CSA Issues Guidance re Continuous Disclosure Deadlines Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic
March 16, 2020

Leading lawyers from our Canadian Securities Regulatory Monitor blog, including partners Wendi LockeAndrew Parker and Sonia Struthers, discuss the CSA’s decision regarding reporting issuers missing filing deadlines amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full blog post

 

Read more COVID-19 analysis for public companies on our Securities Regulatory Monitor blog.

Real Property

COVID-19 Update: Rent Payment and Commercial Lease Enforcement During the Pandemic
March 27, 2020

Leading lawyers across practices provide useful insights relating to commercial tenancy issues in different jurisdictions across the country arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and considerations for possible remedies between landlords and tenants.

Read the full blog post

 

New amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure Permit the Electronic Perfection of Construction Liens
March 25, 2020

Despite the suspension of limitation periods in Ontario, including deadlines for preserving and perfecting constructions liens under the Construction Act, Ontario has now amended the Rules of Civil Procedure to permit the electronic filing of certificates of action to perfect a construction lien.

Read the full blog post

 

Suspension of Limitation and Procedural Time Periods: Construction Lien Expiry Periods are Suspended
March 23, 2020

Ontario’s suspension of limitation periods and procedural time periods retroactive to March 16, 2020 will suspend the running of the clock to preserve and perfect construction liens as contemplated by sections 31 and 36 of the Construction Act for the duration of the emergency.  Payment of holdback will therefore likewise be suspended until the suspension period ends and the lien clock thereafter runs out.

Read the full blog post

Restructuring

COVID-19 Considerations from Our Bankruptcy & Restructuring Experts
March 17, 2020

Lawyers in our Bankruptcy and Restructuring group, including Jamey Gage and Heather Meredith, discuss the strain on businesses caused by COVID-19. Based on their experience assisting clients in challenging circumstances, our restructuring experts from across the country outline key steps and considerations for businesses that may be facing liquidity challenges and financial uncertainty as a result of the present circumstances. 

Read the full blog post

Retail & Consumer Markets

COVID-19 Update: Liquor an Essential Service – Regulators in AB, BC, ON and SK make changes to assist industry
March 31, 2020

In this update, leading lawyers across our offices outline the impact on liquor licensees of some of the recent restrictions and relaxations implemented by provincial liquor boards, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full blog post

 

Retailers: COVID-19 Closures and Reductions in Operations
March 18, 2020

As the number of government and public health directives regarding COVID-19 increase, retailers are facing difficult decisions. This article addresses whether retailers are obligated to close or reduce their operations at this time.

Read the full blog post

 

Toronto Exercises Bylaw Exemption to Permit 24/7 Inventory Deliveries in Response to COVID-19
March 17, 2020

A post from our Retail and Consumer Markets blog on the City of Toronto’s exemption of retail businesses from the usual application of its noise bylaws, paving the way for retailers to accept deliveries 24-hours a day to ensure the stocking of essential goods.  

Read the full blog post

Supply Chain

Supply Chain Stabilization Solutions

Stabilizing your supply chains quickly is critical in sustaining business operations now and going forward. McCarthy Tétrault is here to help with a holistic assessment and stabilization plan for your supply chain providing insights based on our industry and cross-sectoral experience.

Learn more about this client solution

 

BC Uses Emergency Powers to Secure Supply Chain, Defines “Essential Services”
March 28, 2020

A breakdown of the British Columbia Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General's announcement of a series of unprecedented ministerial orders “to secure critical supply chains and safeguard the most vulnerable”.

Read the full article

Government Grants Relief to Importers In the Midst of COVID-19 Crisis:  Deadlines for Payment of Duties and Taxes on Imports Extended
March 27, 2020

In a move intended to ease the financial burden on the Canadian importer community that has resulted from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Canadian Government announced today that it would take the extraordinary step of extending the timeframes for the payment of duties and GST on imported products, as well as certain other payments owing to the Canadian Border Services Agency (“CBSA”).

Read the full blog post

 

Canada seeking to keep cross-border supply chains open in face of growing COVID-19 export controls
March 27, 2020

One early casualty of the COVID-19 crisis has been the international supply chain for medical supplies and medical products. To date, governments of at least 54 countries, including India, China, the United Kingdom, the European Union (with certain exemptions and carve outs), and Russia, have enacted restrictions on the export of medical supplies and devices.

Read the full blog post

 

COVID-19 Guidance for Importers and Exporters
March 24, 2020

Leading lawyers from our International Trade and Investment Law Group provide guidance for importers and exporters so that the global movement of goods is not hampered or unnecessarily delayed.

Read the full blog post

 

Temporary Border Travel Restrictions – Details Announced as Canadian and US Governments Seek to Protect the Cross-Border Supply Chain
March 21, 2020

Leading lawyers from our International Trade and Investment Law Group break down the details and impact of travel restrictions announced between Canada and the United States.

Read the full blog post

 

Canadian Parliament Passes USMCA, but COVID-19 Crisis May Delay Coming into Force
March 18, 2020

On March 13, 2020, the Canadian House of Commons passed Bill C-4, An Act to implement the Agreement between Canada, the United States of America, and the United Mexican States.  This constituted a crucial step in ratification of the new USMCA, or NAFTA 2.0.  However, implementing regulations need to be drafted and promulgated before full ratification has been achieved, and it is likely that the ongoing COVID-19 crisis will delay this process – potentially by several months.  In this post, our International Trade team explores next steps in the ratification process.

Read the full blog post

Tax Planning

Tax Measures Under Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
April 1, 2020

Leading lawyers from our National Tax Group break down the new set of tax and economic measures released under Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan (the “Response Plan”) to support the Canadian economy during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Read the full article

 

Municipal Tax Measures in Canada Aimed at COVID-19 Relief
March 24, 2020

Leading lawyers from our National Tax Group break down municipal tax relief measures introduced in cities across Canada to date as a response to COVID-19.

Read the full article

Additional Resources

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The COVID-19 Hub showcases the most up to date perspectives and key insights from thought-leaders across the firm and timely content, all in one place. It provides a window into the evolving pandemic and ways to manage the various impacts of COVID-19 while driving business success.

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