We’re Coming Back

Thank you for your patience as we have restricted our services in light of the pandemic. This week, we started our return to the library. While the Great Library will only be accessible to library staff, we are adding back chat and phone reference. And, of course, we have full access to our collection. Our staff are available from 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday.

Additionally, if you would normally come in to get a document and now have to ask us to send it to you, ask anyway. For the time being, we are waiving our document delivery fees for print-sources materials and will continue to fulfill document delivery requests for electronic documents for free. Call, email, or chat and let us know what you need. We can fulfill your requests electronically.

Thanks again for your support and patience. Our staff continue to look forward to serve you remotely. We look forward to serving you in person in the future.

Tracking Government Action on COVID-19

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, all levels of government have enacted new legislation, issued emergency orders and passed by-laws to protect the safety and well-being of their citizens, as well as address the many issues raised by the pandemic, from suspending limitation periods to regulating physical distancing.

With the daily changes and rapid accumulation of new legislative measures, it’s becoming a challenge to keep track. Here are 3 websites that will help you stay current on official government actions relating to COVID-19:

Government of Canada’s response to COVID-19 (Justice Canada)

  • provides the latest information on federal legislation, Charter Statements and orders and regulations

Emergency status on COVID-19 (Government of Ontario)

  • daily government updates, as well as a list of all Ontario emergency orders issued to date

COVID-19: Orders, Directives & Bylaws (City of Toronto)

  • current information on municipal emergency orders, health directives, by-law changes and enforcement. Check your local municipality website for similar webpages.

Family Law Resources and COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has given rise to urgent and evolving family law issues. To help you find current family law information, here are some key resources that address those legal issues directly related to the pandemic, such as access in shared child custody and what constitutes an urgent family law matter that will be heard by the courts.

This Week in Family Law (Franks & Zalev) on WestlawNext Canada – Family Source

Check this newsletter regularly to get the COVID-19 Update, a weekly recap of cases and commentary on new developments, and to access the Epstein Cole COVID-19 Case Chart which includes more than 40 family law cases that have dealt with COVID-19 related issues.

(Thomson Reuters is currently offering all LSO licensees free 30-day access to Westlaw Next Canada.)

Urgent Family Law Cases During COVID-19 (Kathryn Hendrikx) – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance on Lexis Practice Advisor

This source lists all current urgent family law motions heard in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice since March 18, 2020. See the accompanying practice note, Urgent Family Law Motions During COVID-19 for a discussion of procedure on urgent motions.

(LexisNexis Canada is offering a free a trial of Lexis Practice Advisor and free access to their COVID-19 Document Kit)

Lawyer’s Daily COVID-19 Updates

Legal news and updates relating to the corona virus for all practice area are freely accessible on the Lawyer’s Daily website. See for example, Determining urgency in family law during pandemic: Ribeiro v. Wright, by Alex Boland, Lawyer’s Daily, April 06, 2020.

Ontario Court Notices:

Setting out the scope and procedure for urgent matters:

Public Legal Information:

“Urgent” Court Cases and COVID-19, updated April 21, 2020 (NSRLP)

Guidance and recent decisions to clarify what the courts consider to be “urgent” during the pandemic.

Template Social Distancing Clauses for Parents, updated April 16, 2020 (NSRLP)

Sample clauses on social distancing undertakings for parents with shared custody arrangements.

COVID‑19 Family Law (CLEO Steps to Justice)

Answers for the public to questions about access, child and spousal support, family violence and going to court during the pandemic.

A note about library services:

Although the Great Library is closed, staff are working remotely. We are continuing to provide legal research assistance and document delivery service using our online resources. If we can help you in any way, please email us at refstaff@lso.ca.