Governments across Canada are responding to COVID-19 by using emergency laws, regulations, and orders. This page is a COVID-19 emergency law tracker for Canada.
This page will be updated regularly, but legislative developments are happening fast. Be sure to confirm legal updates directly with government institutions. For a list of resources specific to the construction industry, visit the list here.
If you notice anything missing from this Canada COVID-19 emergency law tracker, submit a resource on the contact page.
Federal COVID-19 Emergency Law Tracker
The Government of Canada has a running tracking list of legislation, charter statements, orders and regulations on its website.
The following legislation has been enacted:
- An Act to amend the Financial Administration Act (special warrant) (S.C. 2020, c.4)
- COVID-19 Emergency Response Act (S.C. 2020, c. 5)
The following charter statements have been enacted:
- Bill C-12: An Act to amend the Financial Administration Act (special warrant)
- Bill C-13: An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19
The following orders have been enacted. An explanation of each order, its purpose, and whether it is still in effect can be found on the Government of Canada’s response to COVID-19:
- Order pursuant to Section 32.1 of the Railway Safety Act Due to COVID-19
- Interim Order to Prevent Certain Persons from Boarding Flights in Canada due to COVID-19
- Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States)
- Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any country other than the United States)
- Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation)
- Interim Order to Prevent Certain Persons from Boarding Flights to Canada due to COVID-19, No. 3
- Regulations Maintaining the Safety of Persons in Ports and the Seaway
- Interim Order Respecting the Importation and Sale of Medical Devices for Use in Relation to COVID-19
- Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order (Persons Not on Government Flight)
- Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order
- Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to 2019-nCoV Acute Respiratory Disease in Canada Order
Provincial COVID-19 Emergency Law Tracker
Provinces across Canada have enacted emergency legislation, regulations, and mandatory orders in reaction to COVID-19.
Alberta (AB) Emergency Law Tracker
The Province of Alberta’s Ministerial Order under the Public Health Act declares a state of emergency and suspends a number of limitations periods.
British Columbia (BC) Emergency Law Tracker
British Columbia’s Limitation Periods (COVID-19) Order under the province’s Emergency Program Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 111, s. 10, suspends limitations periods and mandatory time periods to commence litigation processes in BC.
Ontario (ON) COVID-19 Emergency Regulation Tracker
Ontario enacted emergency regulation 50/20 under its Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to suspend certain limitations periods and close non-essential workplaces in the province.
Quebec (QC) Emergency Law Tracker
Quebec appears to have suspended its prescriptive and procedural limitation periods.
New Brunswick (NB) Mandatory Order
The Province of New Brunswick has issued a mandatory order affecting workplace and public area closures to respond to COVID-19.
Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) Emergency Legislation
The Province of Newfoundland has passed legislation to temporarily vary statutory timelines and deadlines.
On April 3, 2020, Ontario updated its list of construction workplaces considered “essential”. All other non-essential construction workplaces must close by no later than April 4, 2020 at 11:59 pm while the emergency COVID-19 regulation remains in effect.
The closure was planned to last for at least 14 days, until April 18, 2020. On April 14, 2020 the emergency workplace closure was extended 28 days to May 12, 2020. The Ontario news release announcing the extension can be found here.
Importantly, construction companies remain responsible for occupational health and safety requirements during the shutdown.
Daily Commercial News reported that there were 583 Ministry of Labour inspections over week prior to the April 3, 2020 announcement and five Ontario construction sites were shut down. During Premier Ford’s April 3, 2020 announcement, he stated that “Those few sites that will remain open will be placed under the highest level of scrutiny possible.”
Construction projects supporting “critical” provincial infrastructure, healthcare, and healthcare-related manufacturing have been deemed essential and are permitted to remain open. Certain residential projects that have permits granted or renovation work that started prior to April 4, 2020 have also been spared from the shutdown.
A copy of Ontario’s list of “essential” construction services is included below and accessible here:
- Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space.
- Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of, or to provide new capacity in, critical provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance.
- Critical industrial construction activities required for,
- the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries,
- significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work has already commenced,
- industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance, and/or enhancement of Personal Protective Equipment, medical devices (such as ventilators), and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Residential construction projects where,
- a footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhomes
- an above grade structural permit has been granted for condominiums, mixed use and other buildings, or
- the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before April 4, 2020.
- Construction and maintenance activities necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused or are not active and to ensure ongoing public safety.
Below is a list of links and resources to help the construction industry navigate COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Mandatory worksite closures and occupational health and safety laws are a concern for construction employers, employees, and suppliers right now. In addition, COVID-19 has caused supplier closures, limited courthouse access, disrupted supply chains, and frustrated contract performance in many cases. People at every level of the construction supply chain may want to better understand the government support programs available while COVID-19 runs its course.
Fortunately, there are many legal resources available to the construction industry online to better understand their rights in the context of COVID-19. For a focus on emergency legislation, please visit our Canada COVID-19 Emergency Law Tracker. If you have a resource to add to this list, please submit it for review on the Contact page.
Canadian (Federal and Provincial) COVID-19 Legal Resources
There are resources across Canada at the federal and provincial levels to assist individuals and organizations in the construction industry to navigate COVID-19 (Coronavirus) legal issues.
Canada (CA) – Federal COVID-19 Construction Industry Legal Resources
The Canadian federal government has implemented legislation and a number of national programs and initiatives to support the construction industry. The following organizations and law firms have prepared collections of links and information that construction industry stakeholders may find useful:
- The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has prepared a helpful table of legal updates for construction companies across every Canadian province. The table features information on whether construction activities have been shut down, suspension of limitations periods, court closures, and COVID-19 emergency legislation.
- The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) has a list of resources for construction businesses including a “Pandemic Preparedness Guide” published by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, “COVID-19 Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites,” and “COVID-19 Resources from Local Construction Associations.”
- The Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCAC) has prepared a resource page on COVID-19 along with articles and resources related to labour, IT, and occupational health and safety. In addition, MCAC published “COVID-19 Guidelines for the Mechanical Contracting Sector.”
- Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP centralized its COVID-19 legal updates on a site called, “Coronavirus: Navigating legal implications and business impacts” for updates related to Canadian laws and regulations.
- McCarthy Tetrault LLP’s “COVID-19 Hub: Latest Updates and Legal Considerations for Your Business” has a selection of resources and updates geared towards private-sector businesses in Canada. Few are specific to the construction industry, but many of the resources will be applicable. McCarthy Tetrault LLP has also prepared a “COVID-19 Emergency Measures Tracker” for a running list of emergency measures being implemented across Canada.
- Miller Thomson LLP has prepared a “COVID-19 Resources” page with information updates broken out by industry sector, including construction and infrastructure.
- The Government of Canada has a running tracking list of legislation, charter statements, orders and regulations on its website.
- The Canadian Home Builders Association has a members-only resource center for COVID-19 related guidance and information.
- Dentons has a COVID-19 Hub with resources on force majeure and insurance coverage, in addition to a workplace law resource collection and employer toolkit.
- BDO Canada has its own COVID-19 Hub with a focus on trending issues, target industries, and specific services.
- The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum has gathered resources for apprentices across the country to check in on the status of their apprenticeship. The CAF also has resources related to COVID-19 occupational health and safety.
- The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction has a COVID-19 support and resource page for its membership.
- The Canadian Roofing Contractors Association has a COVID-19 resource page that includes specific information related to government programs, finances, human resources, and other pandemic-related support.
- The Surety Association of Canada has a COVID-19 Updates page with current news on the pandemic’s impact on holdback, limitations periods, force majeure, and links to further resources.
Ontario (ON) – Construction Industry COVID-19 Legal Resources
Construction stakeholders with a presence in Ontario, Canada may find the following legal information and links helpful:
- The Province of Ontario established a list of essential businesses to remain open, including certain construction businesses and stakeholders.
- The Province of Ontario’s “Construction Site Health and Safety During COVID-19” website including information, resources and best practices.
- Glaholt Bowles LLP has a COVID-19 Resource Center, including an article explaining Ontario’s “COVID-19 Emergency Regulation,” its anticipated impact on construction liens and limitations periods in Ontario, and a podcast on Force Majeures.
- The Law Society of Ontario has compiled a comprehensive list of COVID-19 resources, news updates, court announcements, and resources for its members.
- The Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) developed a COVID-19 information and resource site for its members and the public.
- The Ontario Association of Architects curated a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to answer questions about architects’ legal obligations related to COVID-19.
- The Grand Valley Construction Association (GVCA) has created a running list of provincial and federal updates, along with COVID-19 resources geared towards the construction industry, on the GVCA updates page.
- Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP compiled a “Construction statutes and COVID-19” article that summarizes the impact of Ontario’s emergency regulation on key construction legislation in the province.
- BILD has a resource list of member updates related to COVID-19 that include announcements, best practices, information sheets and more.
- Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP/s.r.l. has prepared a “COVID-19 Construction Law Update“.
- Miller Thomson LLP wrote “COVID-19 and Construction Contracts,” an article on key actions construction industry stakeholders should take to mitigate risks.
- Dentons (Canada) LLP wrote “Delay and frustration: COVID-19’s impact on the construction industry in Ontario” to canvass two issues contractors can expect to encounter in the wake of COVID-19.
- WeirFoulds LLP put together a web-page titled, “Construction Site and COVID-19: Health and Safety Resources,” which features a substantial list of reference material and information for construction industry stakeholders in Ontario.
- Kennaley Construction Law has prepared a series of articles on COVID-19 and its impacts to construction activities, including the extension of lien deadlines, the costs of delay,workplace slowdowns and stoppages, amendments to Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Emergency Act, and construction that is allowed to continue in Ontario during the pandemic.
- The Ontario Stone & Gravel Association has a resource page with “COVID-19 Industry Operations Practices” including best practices, site health and safety and specific guidance for transport drivers.
- The Construction & Design Alliance of Ontario issued its “CDAO Briefing Note: COVID-19 and Force Majeure” to discuss the possible adoption of a province-wide definition of force majeure to include “quarantine restrictions” and/or “epidemics.”
Alberta (AB) – COVID-19 Legal Resources
- The Government of Alberta has developed a “COVID-19 Info for Albertans” page with updates on provincial orders, policies and health news.
- The Province of Alberta’s Ministerial Order under the Public Health Act declared a state of emergency.
- Alberta issued a press release announcing temporary changes to its Employment Standards Code, covered by Stikemans in this article.
- The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench news and announcements related to COVID-19 based court closures and procedure
- The Government of Alberta has an occupational health and safety page with more information and resources about COVID-19.
- The Calgary Construction Association developed a “COVID-19 Project Suspension Impact Checklist” to tackle project issues expected to arise as a result of the pandemic.
- The Alberta Construction Association and Calgary Construction Associations published, “Pandemic Planning for the Construction Industry: A Guide.”
British Columbia (BC) – Construction Industry COVID-19 Legal Resources
- The Government of British Columbia has a COVID-19 resource center with information on provincial support programs for organizations and individuals
- The Government of British Columbia has a List of COVID-19 Essential Services permitted to continue operating during the COVID-19 emergency shutdown, which includes construction as a “Non-Health Essential Services Provider.”
- The British Columbia Construction Association put together a “Construction Briefing – COVID-19“
- The Vancouver Regional Construction Association has curated a list of COVID-19 resources for its members.
- WorkSafe BC has issued guidelines for worker safety on construction sites to limit exposure to COVID-19.
- The BC Construction Safety Alliance has also prepared safety guidelines to help workers prevent contracting COVID-19.
- The Government of British Columbia issued “Guidance to construction sites operating during COVID-19” that includes basic measures to implement in order to slow the spread of Coronavirus.
- British Columbia court websites:
- BC Court of Appeal’s announcement and news page for COVID-19 updates related to appeals from construction law and civil decisions in the province
- BC Supreme Court for updates and announcements related to ongoing and prospective construction and civil court case
- British Columbia’s Limitation Periods (COVID-19) Order under the province’s Emergency Program Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 111, s. 10, which suspends limitations periods and mandatory time periods to commence litigation processes in BC.
- The Vancouver Island Construction Association published, “COVID-19 & Construction: 7 Simple Steps to Keep Your Crew Healthy On Site & In The Office“
- Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP wrote an article about a British Columbia order that has limited liability for essential service providers in the province.
- The BC Road Builders & Heavy Construction Association developed a “COVID-19 Strategy” that sets out best practices, cleaning protocols, common area protocols, and industry strategies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
Saskatchewan (SK) – COVID-19 Legal Resources
- The Saskatchewan Construction Association has put together a COVID-19 resource hub.
The Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench has a COVID-19 update for civil claimants in the province regarding a suspension of services, modified access and procedures
Manitoba (MB) – COVID-19 Legal Resources
- The Manitoba Courts three levels of court have issued notices regarding COVID-19 and collected them all in a single page
- Pitblado Law’s update on Manitoba’s COVID-19 response, “Construction Law Considerations in Light of COVID-19”
- The Construction Safety Association of Manitoba has prepared a COVID-19 resource page with regular update bulletins and resources, including its “COVID-19 Prevention Best Practices for Construction Sites.”
- The “Association de la construction de Quebec” has a resource page in French for COVID-19 guidance and information.
- The “Commission de la construction du Quebec” also has a COVID-19 resource page in French for the construction industry.
- The Quebec Court of Appeal has a COVID-19 notice page.
- Quebec also appears to have suspended its prescriptive and procedural limitation periods.
- The Government of Quebec has a list of essential services entitled to continue operating during the COVID-19 pandemic in the province.
- Miller Thomson LLP’s Montreal office prepared a briefing on issues related to COVID-19 and published it online here.
- Blakes prepared an article on “COVID-19 and Force Majeure: A Quebec Law Perspective.”
- BCF published an article called, “COVID-19 and Construction: Impacts on Your Legal Hypothecs, RBQ Licences and Surety Bonds.”
- Dentons published “Construction, COVID-19 and Force Majeure in Québec.”
New Brunswick (NB) – COVID-19 Legal Information Resources
The New Brunswick Courts have posted an advisory notice on the website for each level of court:
- The New Brunswick Court of Appeal.
- The New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench.
- Probate Court.
- Provincial Court.
Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) – COVID-19 Legal Information Resources
- The Newfoundland Court of Appeal and Supreme Court both have announcements and procedural updates related to COVID-19.
- The Province of Newfoundland has passed legislation to temporarily vary statutory timelines and deadlines.
Nova Scotia (NS)
- The Nova Scotia courts have posted an advisory about COVID-19 and a procedural update in response.
- Construction Safety Nova Scotia prepared a resource page called “COVID-19 Guidance” to offer information on the virus and links to government websites.
Prince Edward Island (PEI)
The Prince Edward Island’s three levels of court all have advisory notices about COVID-19: the PEI Court of Appeal, PEI Supreme Court, and PEI Provincial court.
The Yukon territorial courts website has information on COVID-19 closures.
Northwest Territories (NT)
The Northwest Territories courts website has up to date information on its response to COVID-19.
The Nunavut courts website has information on its suspension of services due to COVID-19.
American (USA) COVID-19 Construction Law Resources
There are enumerate resources available online for businesses, organizations and individuals across the construction industry looking for more information on legal issues related to COVID-19.
- America’s Association of General Contractors (ACG) has prepared “Coronavirus COVID-19” updates and resources on its website.
- Construct Connect has an interactive map showing which states have declared construction an “essential service”.
- The American Bar Association’s ABA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force
- The Self-Represented Litigation Network’s COVID-19 Resources for remote court resources, remote legal hotlines, and remote pro bono legal services.
- Construction Dive has prepared a resource page with daily updates on Coronavirus related news in the United States.
- BakerHostetler’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center including tax, labor and employment and business updates, focused largely on American legal updates
- The American Bar Association’s Legal Fact Check for “Pandemic Authority“
- Norton Rose Fulbright’s “COVID-19 and the construction sector: issues to consider” with a review of legal issues relevant to construction stakeholders
- HansonBridgett prepared “Guidelines for Contractors Responding to COVID-19” including best practices around contracts, people and projects.
- The Center for Construction Research and Training has a COVID-19 Resources page with guidance in English and Spanish as well as links to external sites.