Blog: April 2020

CATCH-22: COMMERCIAL TENANCIES AMID COVID-19

UPDATE: On April 16th the Federal Government announced tentative rent relief for small and medium-sized businesses. More details to follow.

You get the dreaded call.  Your tenant can’t pay rent.   Or you’re a commercial tenant forced to close shop and your landlord calls looking for this month’s cheque.  What do you do?

Landlords and tenants alike are facing these all-too-common scenarios amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. While the Government has provided limited assistance to residential landlords, these protections do not extend to commercial tenancies which remain, at their core, a strictly contractual relationship.

Commercial Lease Basics

The commercial lease governs the…

British Columbia Utilities Commission Response to COVID-19

Companies, organizations, and individuals alike have had to work hard to adapt to new realities during the COVID-19 pandemic. One such organization is the British Columbia Utilities Commission (“BCUC”), the independent regulatory agency of the BC Government operating under the Utilities Commission Act. The BCUC’s responsibilities include, among other things, regulation of our province’s energy utilities.

In swift response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, on March 20, 2020, the BCUC issued an Order to all regulated public utilities directing them to suspend customer disconnections for a minimum of 90 days for matters other than safety.

Taking further action,…

Response of BC Courts to the COVID-19 Pandemic – Court Access and Policies

In response to the COVID-19 situation, the BC Provincial Court, Supreme Court, and Court of Appeal have each limited or suspended regular operations to comply with government directives on social distancing. For more information and updates from the Courts, please visit the BC Courts website.

BC Provincial Court

The BC Provincial Court has limited its operations such that only urgent matters will continue to be heard (by telephone). For a full list of matters that have been determined by the Provincial Court to be urgent and more details on the procedure for determining what constitutes an urgent matter,

Categories: COVID-19

Market Update: COVID-19’s impact on British Columbia’s food & beverage sector  

Few industries in British Columbia were hit harder or faster by the emergence of COVID-19 than the food and beverage sector. On March 20, 2020 Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, in accordance with her authority under the Public Health Act, enacted a series of restrictions on the operation of bars and restaurants across the province. The effect of her orders was to limit the operation of restaurants and coffee shops to take-away food service only. For bars, clubs, or restaurants not equipped to handle take-out or delivery food service, Dr. Henry’s order meant immediate closure.

In the days that…