HONOURABLE DAVID R. P. EBY
ATTORNEY GENERAL

BILL 19 – 2020

COVID-19 RELATED MEASURES ACT

Contents
Part 1 – Definitions and Application
1  Definitions
2  Conflict
Part 2 – COVID-19 Provisions
3  Re-enactment and continuation of EPA instruments
Part 3 – Limits on Actions and Proceedings
4  No actions or proceedings
5  Protection continues
6-8  Repeal and Related Amendments
9  Commencement
Schedule 1
Schedule 2

This Bill enacts ministerial orders made under section 10 of the Emergency Program Act in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also authorizes regulations respecting actions for damages related to that pandemic and amends the Emergency Program Act to authorize regulations that may be made in relation to that pandemic by the Lieutenant Governor in Council during a state of emergency.

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:

Part 1 – Definitions and Application

Definitions

1  In this Act:

"COVID-19 pandemic" means the pandemic that was the subject of the declaration of a state of emergency made under the Emergency Program Act on March 18, 2020;

"COVID-19 provision" means a provision enacted by section 3 (1);

"declaration of a state of emergency" has the same meaning as in the Emergency Program Act;

"EPA instrument" means an order or regulation, listed in Schedule 1 or 2, that was made under section 10 or 10.1 of the Emergency Program Act.

Conflict

2  If there is a conflict between

(a) this Act, including a COVID-19 provision, or a regulation under this Act, and

(b) any other Act or regulation,

the enactment referred to in paragraph (a) prevails.

Part 2 – COVID-19 Provisions

Re-enactment and continuation of EPA instruments

3  (1) Each of the EPA instruments is enacted as a provision of this Act.

(2) An EPA instrument is repealed on its enactment as a COVID-19 provision by subsection (1).

(3) Subject to subsection (8) (b), the enactment of a COVID-19 provision by subsection (1) is effective,

(a) respecting EPA instruments in Schedule 1, on the date of the relevant declaration of a state of emergency, and

(b) respecting EPA instruments in Schedule 2, on the date the instrument was made under section 10 or 10.1 of the Emergency Program Act.

(4) For certainty, a COVID-19 provision remains in effect in accordance with this section despite

(a) the Emergency Program Act, and

(b) anything in the COVID-19 provisions to the contrary.

(5) Subject to subsections (6) and (8), a COVID-19 provision is repealed as follows:

(a) respecting items 1 to 6 in Schedule 1 and items 1, 2, 5, 7 to 9, 13, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21 in Schedule 2, 90 days after the date on which the last extension of the declaration of a state of emergency made March 18, 2020 under section 9 (1) of the Emergency Program Act expires or is cancelled;

(b) respecting items 3, 4, 6, 10 to 12, 14, 15 and 18 in Schedule 2, 45 days after the date on which the last extension of the declaration of a state of emergency made March 18, 2020 under section 9 (1) of the Emergency Program Act expires or is cancelled;

(c) respecting EPA instruments added to Schedule 1 or 2 after this Act comes into force, as determined by regulation.

(6) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, before a COVID-19 provision is repealed under subsection (5), specify by regulation a later date on which the COVID-19 provision is repealed, and if a later date is so specified, the COVID-19 provision is repealed on that later date.

(7) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may not specify a date for the purposes of subsection (6) that is later than the date that is one year after the date this Act comes into force.

(8) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation,

(a) repeal a COVID-19 provision or a portion of a COVID-19 provision, and

(b) add to Schedule 1 or 2 an order made under section 10 of the Emergency Program Act or a regulation made under section 10.1 of that Act respecting the COVID-19 pandemic.

(9) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make a regulation under subsection (6) or (8) (b) only if satisfied it is necessary to do so to respond to or alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(10) A regulation under subsection (8) may be made retroactive to a specified date and, if made retroactive, is deemed to have come into force on the specified date.

(11) This section is retroactive to the extent necessary to give full force and effect to its provisions and must not be construed as lacking retroactive effect in relation to any matter because it makes no specific reference to that matter.

Part 3 – Limits on Actions and Proceedings

No actions or proceedings

4  (1) Subject to subsection (2) and the regulations, no legal proceeding for prescribed damages related to the COVID-19 pandemic lies or may be commenced or maintained against a prescribed person or a person in a prescribed class of persons because of

(a) any prescribed act or omission of the person, or

(b) any act or omission of the person in a prescribed class of acts or omissions.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to damages caused by gross negligence.

(3) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations for the purposes of this section, including, without limitation, regulations restricting the protection provided under subsection (1) or imposing conditions on the protection.

(4) A regulation under subsection (3) may be made retroactive to a specified date and, if made retroactive, is deemed to have come into force on the specified date.

Protection continues

5  For certainty, despite the repeal of section 4, the repeal does not affect any protection acquired under that section.

 
Repeal and Related Amendments

Repeal

6  Sections 1 to 4 of this Act are repealed on the date that is one year after the date this Act comes into force.

Emergency Program Act

7 Section 10 of the Emergency Program Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 111, is amended by adding ", without limitation," after "an emergency or a disaster, including".

8 The following sections are added:

Powers of Lieutenant Governor in Council in declared state of emergency

10.1  (1) After a declaration of a state of emergency is made under section 9 (1), and for the duration of the state of emergency, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, subject to this section, make regulations as follows to prevent, respond to or alleviate the effects of an emergency or a disaster:

(a) making an exception to an enactment;

(b) establishing limits on the application of an enactment;

(c) establishing powers, duties, functions or obligations that apply in place of or in addition to an enactment;

(d) establishing conditions in relation to anything done or established under paragraphs (a) to (c).

(2) Without limiting subsection (1) and subject to this section, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows to prevent, respond to or alleviate the effects of an emergency or a disaster:

(a) suspending the application of a provision that establishes a limitation period or a period of time within which a proceeding or process must be commenced or a step must be taken in a proceeding or process;

(b) setting out a replacement limitation period or period of time for one suspended under paragraph (a) of this subsection;

(c) authorizing an issuer of a permit, licence or other authorization to modify the conditions of a permit, licence or other authorization or to add or remove conditions of a permit, licence or other authorization;

(d) authorizing a person, tribunal or other body that has a statutory power of decision to waive, suspend or extend a mandatory time period relating to the exercise of that power.

(3) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make a regulation under subsection (1) or (2) only if satisfied that the benefit of making the regulation is proportionate to the benefit of the continued application of the enactment as it is before the making of the regulation.

(4) A limitation period or period of time established under subsection (2) (b) or extended by authorization under subsection (2) (d) may extend beyond the date when the relevant declaration of a state of emergency expires or is cancelled.

(5) If a provision establishing a limitation period or a period of time within which a proceeding or process must be commenced or a step must be taken in a proceeding or process is temporarily suspended by regulation under subsection (2) (a) and the regulation does not provide for a replacement limitation period or period of time, the limitation period or period of time resumes running on the date on which the relevant declaration of a state of emergency expires or is cancelled, and the temporary suspension period is not to be counted.

(6) If a provision requiring the payment of a fee is temporarily suspended by a regulation under subsection (1) or (2) and the regulation does not provide for a replacement fee, no fee is payable at any time with respect to things done during the temporary suspension period.

(7) This section does not authorize regulations

(a) shortening a limitation period or a period of time within which a proceeding or process must be commenced or a step must be taken in a proceeding or process, or

(b) increasing the amount of a fee.

(8) A regulation under subsection (1) or (2) may be made retroactive to a specified date that is not earlier than the date of the relevant declaration of a state of emergency and, if made retroactive, is deemed to have come into force on the specified date.

Enforcement

10.2  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, specify that a failure to comply with a provision of a regulation made under section 10.1 (1) or (2) is to be treated as though it were a failure to comply with the Act to which that provision relates.

Commencement

9  This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Schedule 1

Item Column 1
Ministerial Order Title
Column 2
Ministerial Order Number
1 Electronic Attendance at Strata Property Meetings (COVID19) Order M114/2020
2 Electronic Attendance at Corporate Meetings (COVID19) Order M116/2020
3 Electronic Attendance at Credit Union Meetings (COVID19) Order M138/2020
4 Local Government Meetings and Bylaw Process (COVID19) Order No. 2 M139/2020
5 Electronic Attendance at Statutory Meetings (COVID19) Order M167/2020
6 Correctional Centre Measures (COVID19) Order M193/2020

Schedule 2

Item Column 1
Ministerial Order Title
Column 2
Ministerial Order Number
1 Bylaw Enforcement Officer (COVID19) Order M082/2020
2 Local Authorities and Essential Goods and Supplies (COVID19) Order M084/2020
3 Limitation Periods (COVID19) Order M086/2020
4 Residential Tenancy (COVID19) Order M089/2020
5 Provincial Compliance Officer (COVID19) Order M093/2020
6 Protection Against Liability (COVID19) Order M094/2020
7 Limitation Periods (COVID19) Order No. 2 M098/2020
8 Health Care Labour Adjustment (COVID19) Order M105/2020
9 Prohibition on Unconscionable Prices for Essential Goods and Supplies (COVID19) Order M115/2020
10 Protection Against Liability (COVID19) Order No. 2 M120/2020
11 Supreme Court Civil and Family Applications (COVID19) Order M121/2020
12 Encampment Health and Safety (COVID19) Order M128/2020
13 Employment and Assistance (COVID19) Order M133/2020
14 Encampment Health and Safety (COVID19) Order No. 2 M150/2020
15 Encampment Health and Safety (COVID19) Vancouver Enforcement Order M152/2020
16 Local Government Finance (COVID19) Order M159/2020
17 Electronic Witnessing of Enduring Powers of Attorney and Representation Agreements (COVID19) Order M162/2020
18 Encampment Health and Safety (COVID19) Victoria Enforcement Order M166/2020
19 Electronic Attendance at UBCM Convention (COVID19) Order M168/2020
20 Protection Against Liability for Sports (COVID19) Order M183/2020
21 Local Government Meetings and Bylaw Process (COVID19) Order No. 3 M192/2020


Explanatory Note

This Bill enacts ministerial orders made under section 10 of the Emergency Program Act in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also authorizes regulations respecting actions for damages related to that pandemic and amends the Emergency Program Act to authorize regulations that may be made in relation to that pandemic by the Lieutenant Governor in Council during a state of emergency.