Blog: April 2020

APRIL 30 – UPDATE TO CANADA EMERGENCY COMMERCIAL RENT ASSISTANCE (CECRA)

On April 24, 2020, the federal government reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the CECRA program for qualifying small businesses. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that morning that eligible small businesses affected by Covid-19 will be receiving 75% in rent relief. Those details along with further particulars from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (“CMHC”) include the following:

Eligible Tenants. The commercial tenants eligible for this program will be those that are paying no more than $50,000 gross per month in rent AND have either temporarily ceased operations (i.e. generating no revenues) or have…

COVID-19: Executing a Will in a Pandemic

UPDATE – this post is now out of date. Please see our updated post of May 21, 2020

With reports of the COVID-19 pandemic prompting floods of people to update their Wills, or finally write one, just how easy is it to comply with the formal requirements for making a Will during the current state of emergency?

For a Will made in British Columbia to be valid, it needs to be signed by the will-maker in the presence of two witnesses, who both need to sign too (still in each other and the will-maker’s presence).  There are strict rules…

Cullen Commission Assessing Alternatives to May Money Laundering Hearings

The Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia (the “Commission”), led by Commissioner Austin Cullen, was established by the provincial government pursuant to the Public Inquiry Act on May 19, 2019. The Commission was established following the provincial government’s commissioning of four reports dealing with money laundering in BC:

Dirty Money: An Independent Review of Money Laundering in Lower Mainland Casinos Conducted for the Attorney General of British Columbia , Peter M. German, Q.C., March 31, 2018; Dirty Money – Part 2: Turning the Tide – An Independent Review of Money Laundering in B.C. Real Estate, Luxury Vehicle…

CANADA EMERGENCY COMMERCIAL RENT ASSISTANCE (CECRA) UPDATE

The federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the CECRA program for qualifying small businesses. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this morning that eligible small businesses affected by Covid-19 will be receiving seventy-five percent (75%) in rent relief. Details released this morning include the following:

Eligible Tenants. The commercial tenants eligible for this program will be those that are paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and have either temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70% drop in revenues. This will also include non-profit organizations. Further details are…

Probate in BC during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The current COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered the day-to-day operations of the British Columbia Supreme Court. The British Columbia Supreme Court suspended all regular operations as of March 19, 2020, and adjourned all non-urgent matters until May 29, 2020, or until the Court directs otherwise. Please review the most current Court updates here.

Probate

The Courts perform many important functions, including probating wills as part of the administration of an estate. In granting probate, the Court certifies that the will, or document submitted as a will, is valid and confirms the appointment of the executor(s). A grant of probate…

Federal Government Launches Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

As many small businesses across Canada are struggling to keep the lights on as the world continues to contend with the COIVD-19 pandemic, a measure of help may finally be on the way.

On March 27, the federal government announced additional measures to support businesses and not-for-profits. More information on Canada’s COIVD-19 Economic Response Plan, can be found at  https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

A number of lenders have subsequently been in consultation with the government on these measures, designing them specifically to help small and medium sized employers with their most pressing needs and position our economy to recover.  As a result, the government has…

Underscoring Urgency: Family Matters in the COVID Crisis

On March 18, 2020, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia announced a suspension of all regular operations to protect the health and safety of court users and to help contain the spread of COVID-19, with only essential and urgent matters to be heard.  A copy of the notice may be found here.

In the family law context, the Court outlined what is essential and urgent, including:

Orders relating to the safety of a child or parent due to a risk of violence or immediate harm (e.g., a protection order, conduct orders, or exclusive possession of…

Builders Lien Limitation Periods Are Back!

Parties on all sides of construction contracts including, owners, contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, and consultants should be aware that the recent suspension of limitation periods has been softened.  On March 26, 2020, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General issued Ministerial Order no. M086 titled Limitation Periods (COVID-19) Order (the “Original Order”). The Original Order temporarily suspended certain limitations periods in the province of British Columbia, and had been slated to continue until the current state of emergency declared on March 18, 2020 expired or was cancelled.

On April 8, 2020, by way of a further Ministerial Order no….

New Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) Program Announced

On April 16 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Federal Government plans to introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance.  This program is slated to provided rent relief to small and medium-sized business amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

While the finer details of the new program are yet to be released, aspects that have been alluded to thus far by the Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bill Morneau include:

a measure of relief is to be provided for rents due in the months of April, May and June; there will be an offer of loans (including forgivable loans) to commercial…

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