Class Proceedings Changes in Force Today

Significant changes to Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act, 1992 take effect today, October 1, 2020.

A picture of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa

Significant changes to Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act, 1992 take effect today, October 1, 2020.

Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act, 1992 (S.O. 1992, c. 6) was proclaimed in force on January 1, 1993.

Legislative background

Apart from a minor technical amendment in 2006, the Act has remained unchanged since its adoption.

The current amendments are contained in Schedule 4 of the Smarter and Stronger Justice Act, 2020 (S.O. 2020, c. 11 – Bill 161), omnibus legislation that amends 18 legal statutes. The legislative and committee debates for Bill 161 can be found on the Ontario Legislative Assembly website.

Overview of the changes

The changes in effect today are largely based on the recommendations contained in the Law Commission of Ontario’s (LRO) 2019 report, Class Actions: Objectives, Experiences and Reforms. These include new provisions for multi-jurisdictional class proceedings, competing carriage motions, fees and third party funding, as well as procedural amendments related to notices, certification orders appeals and settlements approvals. Bill 161 also includes a substantive change rejected by the LCO – the introduction of additional requirements to the test for certification of class actions.

A summary of the amendments to the Class Proceedings Act can be found in the explanatory note to Bill 161.   For guidance in researching class action law, see the Great Library’s Research Guide – Getting Started: Class Actions.