April 27, 2022 – 8:32 AM – FOLA’s Weekly Update

Please find attached, FOLA’s weekly update.  In addition to some Court and MAG Notices, we are excited to announce that we have a NEW member rewards partner: reStays Ottawa!  reStays Ottawa is a luxury boutique property of 111 suites, located between Queen & Sparks Street one block south of Parliament Hill. It offers a unique and more convenient way of traveling for business and for pleasure with it’s stylish and modern fully furnished suites. And Law Association members get a 15% discount off the standard rates!  More information in the Update.

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director


Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.

Apr. 19, 2022 – 3:23 PM – Notice to the Public and Profession, effective April 19, 2022.

Please see the attached notice.

This Notice to the Public and Profession applies to proceedings in the Superior Court of
Justice, Central South Region, effective April 19, 2022.
The purpose of this notice is to address the presumptive modes of proceeding in the three
areas of responsibility of the court in the Central South region. It includes clarification of the
implementation dates and the process to seek a change from the presumptive mode of
proceeding. It addresses the process of filing of documents and the events for which
CaseLines is to be used. It also is intended to set out the expectations related to limits on
filing of material for various events and the process of scheduling events. This notice also
addresses bankruptcy proceedings in the Central South region.
This Notice supersedes all previous COVID-19 region-specific Notices to the Profession for
the Central South Region issued prior to this date, which are hereby revoked.
Counsel and parties are also advised to refer to the relevant Parts of the Consolidated
Provincial Practice Direction , the Consolidated Practice Direction for Divisional Court
Proceedings as well and the Consolidated Notice to the Profession, Parties, Public and the
Media which are available on the Superior Court of Justice website www.ontariocourts.ca/scj
The Central South Region includes the following Courthouses:
Hamilton – John Sopinka Courthouse – 45 Main St. East
Hamilton Family Court – 55 Main St. West
Waterloo Region Courthouse – 85 Frederick St. Kitchener
St. Catharines – Robert S.K. Welch Courthouse – 59 Church St.
Welland Courthouse – 102 East Main St.
Brantford Superior Court – 70 Wellington St.
Cayuga Courthouse – 55 Munsee St. North
Simcoe Courthouse – 50 Frederick Hobson VC Drive

FOLA’s Monthly Sector Meeting Update

Please find attached, FOLA’s Monthly Sector Meeting Update.  You can also find it online here.

There are three things I’d like to bring your attention to:

  1. We have a NEW Member Reward Partner!  DESTINATION CPD: Destination CPD is a legal conference and travel company in one.  They plan informative legal educational programs with Canadian content, and networking and social events – in exotic locations.  Their next conference/trip is to Las Vegas and Law Association members get 10% off!  Learn more & register here.  Our code is FOLA.
  2. Family Lawyers:  The Courts have offered to meet with a small group of Law Association members who would like to discuss the new procedures related to in-person/virtual matters related to Family Law.  If you are interested (or a member of your Association is interested), please let me know by emailing me at Katie.robinette@fola.ca and indicating the following:  Your name, your Law Association, the top three issues/concerns you have with regards to in-person vs. virtual matters in the Courts moving forward.
  3. Open Calls for Comments:  There are currently three calls for comments that FOLA may be commenting on:  Regulations to address condo cancellations; the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022, and the federal government’s Bill C-5 (amending the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act).  If you or your members would like to share your comments with FOLA for consideration as we draft our Submissions, you can send them to me at katie.robinette@fola.ca.  Info about all three can be found here.

And one more thing:  To help reduce the number of emails in your inbox, FOLA will now ONLY be emailing Court Updates on Wednesdays as opposed to as soon as they are received.  These new weekly Court Updates will contain all Notices from the Courts over the past week.  If there have been no Court Notices over the past week, you will not get an email.  Our regular Monthly Sector meetings are still continuing on the 2nd Wednesday of each month so on those weeks, you’ll get the larger Update.

Please share with your members.

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director



Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.

Feb. 16, 2022 – 1:41 PM – FOLA’s Sector Meeting Update

Please find attached, a copy of today’s update from our Sector Meeting.  You can also find it online here.  Note that we will now be moving to monthly Sector meetings. 

Feb. 15, 2022 – 5:49 PM – NDC – Updated Testing Requirements for Non-Employees

Good morning,

Further to the notification below, this is to advise you of recent updates to the OPS COVID-19 Safe Workplace Directive addressing testing requirements for employees and non-employees who work in congregate living settings, which includes correctional institutions.

Please find attached the following materials re updated testing requirements for non-employees:

  • Letter dated February 15, 2022 re updated Testing Requirements for Non-Employees
  • Questions and Answers on Non-Employee Testing Requirements
  • Non-employee Sign-in Steps Poster

Thank you for your support and the adjustments that your organization is making during this unprecedented time.


Jing ( Jennie ) Zhang

Secretary to the Superintendent

On Behalf of Tom Bradley, Superintendent

Niagara Detention Centre | Ministry of the Solicitor General

1355 Uppers Lane, Thorold Ontario L2V 4A6
Tel 905 227 6321 ext.234 | Fax 905 227 0032| Email: jing.zhang4@ontario.ca

Feb.2, 2022 – 1:19 PM – FOLA update 77

Please fine attached, a copy of today’s Sector Report following today’s Sector Meeting.  You can also find it online here

Jan. 19. 2022 – 1:58 PM -FOLA’s Sector Meeting Update

Please find attached, our first Sector Meeting Update of 2022!  You can also find it online here.  It includes a link to an announcement today from the SCJ about Court proceedings. 

Please share with your members.  Katie

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director


Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.

Jan. 14, 2022 – 9:25 AM – MAG Recovery Secretariat Update: Aligning with Provincial Guidance

Good morning.

In recent days, the ministry has received a number of inquiries regarding our courthouse active screening tool, new provincial isolation requirements, and requests for N95 masks and Rapid Antigen Tests. We are writing today to address these issues.

MAG’s Courthouse Masking Policy and N95 Masks 

Please be assured that throughout the pandemic, the Recovery Secretariat has relied on guidance from our leading provincial health and safety authorities, including the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, to ensure we have the appropriate health and safety measures in place within our courthouses. We have continued to adjust our policies and protocols throughout the pandemic, in line with their evolving direction.  

As of today, there has been no change in direction from the Ministry of Labour Training and Skills Development or the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Office about masking in courthouses, and we have received confirmation that the MAG courthouse masking policy remains appropriate.

N95 masks are not being recommended by our advisors in courthouses or other lower-risk workplaces at this point in time. As you can appreciate, supply of N95 masks is limited and these critical resources are being reserved for prioritized sectors and our most vulnerable populations (e.g. hospitals and other identified high-risk congregate care settings). In order to provide the respirator-level of protection for which they are manufactured, N95 masks must be fit-tested. Any individual who wishes to purchase and wear their own N95 mask may do so, however this is not required by the ministry and, as such, the ministry is unable to provide fit testing or ensure appropriate usage for any individual that chooses to wear one. A well-fitting ASTM Certified Level II surgical/procedural mask – the masks currently being provided in courthouses – continues to provide excellent protection.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Office has again confirmed that the overlapping and robust preventative measures currently in place in our courthouses continue to be effective in mitigating the transmission of all known variants of COVID-19, including Omicron. No new preventative measures have been recommended to us at this time.

Courthouse Active Entrance Screening Tool

The ministry is updating its Courthouse Active Entrance Screening Tool to align with new Ministry of Health guidance. The ministry’s entrance screening tool (available online and in paper-based formats) continues to be a primary layer of protection against the potential spread of COVID-19 – it remains critical that everyone complete the screening before entering a courthouse.

New Isolation Requirements

As a result of recent changes in provincial direction, the ministry is also in the process of updating our Operational Guidelines, which will include updated guidance on isolation requirements. We understand this has been an area of confusion for some individuals.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are simply experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you must isolate. You may also need to isolate if you were exposed to someone who has COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 (exposure to someone in your household who is experiencing symptoms or has tested positive).  

This new provincial guidance was recently updated and is outlined at: Ontario.ca/exposed (links from this webpage are provided above with more details about the specific scenarios described). We encourage everyone to use this authoritative resource to determine if you need to isolate, and for how long.

Rapid Antigen Testing

At this time, the ministry is not providing Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) to anyone in the courthouse setting, beyond those MAG staff identified to require them in line with the Ontario Public Service’s COVID-19 Safe Workplace Directive.

In light of the new Omicron variant and surging COVID-19 case counts, supply of both PCR and take home rapid tests have become limited.  However, the situation is rapidly evolving and we know that the province is attempting to increase its supplies. We will continue to explore opportunities to source RAT tests if supply increases, taking into account prioritization for vulnerable populations and high risk sectors.

We appreciate that information about COVID-19 is abundant and can change quickly – please continue to monitor Ontario.ca/newsroom for provincial updates. The ministry will continue to align its protocols, including around masking and isolation requirements, with the guidance we receive from the province’s leading health and safety authorities.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and commitment to delivering essential justice services throughout the pandemic.

Recovery Secretariat

*** veuillez – distribuer à votre personnel et/ou à vos membres ***


Ces derniers temps, le Ministère a reçu plusieurs demandes de renseignements concernant notre outil de dépistage actif dans les tribunaux, les nouvelles exigences provinciales en matière d’isolement et les demandes de masques N95 et de tests antigéniques rapides. Nous vous adressons donc ce message pour aborder ces questions.

Politique du ministère du Procureur général (MPG) en matière de masques et de masques N95 dans les palais de justice

Sachez que tout au long de la pandémie, le Secrétariat de la reprise s’est appuyé sur les conseils de nos principales autorités de santé et de sécurité de la province, notamment le Bureau du médecin hygiéniste en chef, pour s’assurer que des mesures de santé et de sécurité appropriées sont en place dans nos palais de justice. Nous avons continué à adapter nos politiques et protocoles tout au long de la pandémie, en fonction de l’évolution de leurs directives. 

À ce jour, il n’y a eu aucun changement d’orientation de la part du ministère du Travail, de la Formation et du Développement des compétences ou du Bureau du médecin hygiéniste en chef concernant le port du masque dans les palais de justice. De plus, nous avons reçu la confirmation que la politique en matière de port du masque du MPG dans les palais de justice reste appropriée.

Pour le moment, nos conseillers ne recommandent pas le port des masques N95 dans les palais de justice ou dans les autres lieux de travail à faible risque. Comme vous pouvez le comprendre, l’approvisionnement en masques N95 est limité et ces ressources essentielles sont réservées aux secteurs prioritaires et aux membres de la population la plus vulnérable (par exemple, les hôpitaux et autres établissements de soins collectifs à risque élevé). Afin d’assurer le niveau de protection respiratoire pour lequel ils sont fabriqués, les masques N95 doivent être soumis à des tests d’ajustement. Toute personne qui souhaite acheter et porter son propre masque N95 peut le faire, mais il ne s’agit pas d’une exigence du ministère. Par conséquent, le Ministère ne peut pas effectuer de tests d’ajustement ou garantir que chaque personne qui choisit d’en porter un l’utilise correctement. Un masque chirurgical ou d’intervention de niveau II conforme aux normes ASTM bien ajusté continue d’offrir une excellente protection.

Le médecin hygiéniste en chef a de nouveau confirmé que les mesures préventives solides et complémentaires actuellement en place dans nos palais de justice continuent d’être efficaces pour atténuer la transmission de tous les variants connus de la COVID-19, y compris Omicron. Aucune nouvelle mesure préventive supplémentaire ne nous a été recommandée pour l’instant.

Outil de dépistage actif à l’entrée des palais de justice

Le Ministère met à jour son outil de dépistage actif à l’entrée des palais de justice pour l’aligner sur les nouvelles directives du ministère de la Santé. Cet outil de dépistage à l’entrée (disponible en ligne et en format papier) reste une protection de premier ordre contre la propagation potentielle de la COVID-19. Chaque personne doit absolument se soumettre à ce dépistage avant d’entrer dans un palais de justice.

Nouvelles exigences en matière d’isolement

À la suite de changements récents dans l’orientation provinciale, le Ministère met également à jour ses directives opérationnelles, qui comprendront des conseils actualisés sur les exigences en matière d’isolement. Nous comprenons que ces directives ont été une source de confusion pour certaines personnes.

Si vous avez reçu un résultat positif au test de dépistage de la COVID-19 ou que vous avez simplement des symptômes de la COVID-19, vous devez vous isoler. De plus, vous devrez peut-être aussi vous isoler si vous avez été en contact avec une personne atteinte de la COVID‑19 ou souffrant de symptômes de la COVID-19 (exposition à une personne de votre foyer qui présente des symptômes ou qui a reçu un résultat positif au test de dépistage de la COVID-19). 

Ces nouvelles directives provinciales ont été récemment mises à jour et sont présentées à Ontario.ca/exposé (les liens figurant sur cette page Web sont fournis ci-dessus avec plus de renseignements sur certaines circonstances particulières). Nous vous encourageons tous à utiliser cette ressource officielle pour savoir si vous devez vous isoler, et pendant combien de temps.

Tests antigéniques rapides

À l’heure actuelle, le Ministère ne fournit pas de tests antigéniques rapides à quiconque dans les palais de justice, à l’exception du personnel du MPG identifié comme en ayant besoin conformément à la directive de la fonction publique de l’Ontario concernant la COVID-19 et la sécurité au travail.

Compte tenu du nouveau variant Omicron et de l’augmentation du nombre de cas de COVID-19, l’approvisionnement en tests PCR et en tests antigéniques rapides à emporter est devenu limité. Cependant, la situation évolue rapidement et nous savons que la province tente d’augmenter ses stocks. Nous continuerons à explorer les possibilités d’approvisionnement en tests antigéniques rapides si les stocks augmentent, tout en accordant la priorité aux membres de la population vulnérable et aux secteurs à risque élevé.

Nous comprenons que les renseignements sur la COVID-19 sont nombreux et peuvent changer rapidement. Veuillez donc continuer à surveiller Ontario.ca/salledepresse pour lire les mises à jour provinciales. Le Ministère continuera d’aligner ses protocoles, notamment en ce qui concerne les exigences en matière de port de masque et d’isolement, sur les conseils que nous recevons des principales autorités de santé et de sécurité de la province.

Nous vous remercions de votre patience et de votre engagement à fournir des services de justice essentiels tout au long de la pandémie.

Secrétariat de la reprise

Jan. 4, 2022 – 6:06 PM – New OCJ Chief Justice Maisonneuve message and updated Scheduling of Family Matters notice

The OCJ has updated its Chief Justice’s COVID-19 message and Scheduling of Family Matters notice and I have been told that both will be posted on their website soon.  I have attached the CJ’s message above.

Note that the introduction in the Scheduling of Family Matters notice is the only revision.  It simply restates the CJ’s message. 

The OCJ is encouraging the use of remote proceedings unless an in-person appearance is required to ensure meaningful access to justice. Some courthouses may need to implement additional measures or scheduling changes to address local personnel shortages or other pressures presented by the pandemic in their area.  Where such operational changes are required, priority will be given to criminal proceedings involving in-custody accused and other urgent criminal, family and regulatory matters.

Please share with your members.


Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director


Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.

Dec. 8, 2021 – 2:08 PM – Sector Meeting Update

Please find attached, FOLA’s Update following today’s Sector Meeting.  You can also access it online here.  Our Sector Group will be on hiatus until January 19th and there will not be any formal Updates until then.  However, Notices from MAG and the Courts will continue to go out as they are received.     

Also, as we near the end of the year, some of your members may be in need of CPD hours.  We have that covered!  FOLA has a Playlist on our YouTube channel comprised solely of accredited content.  You can access that here

Please share with your members.

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director


Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.