The Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG), which is responsible for court administration and courthouse facilities, has established an incremental plan to prepare courthouses and courtrooms to facilitate the return to full court operations across Ontario. The MAG has announced the first phase of the plan will be implemented Monday, July 6, 2020, in a limited number of courthouses and courtrooms. Court operations will continue to expand with additional courthouses and courtrooms added as the MAG continues to implement its plan, with a targeted completion date of November 1, 2020.
The gradual reopening of courtrooms will include strict health and safety protocols to protect staff and everyone required to attend a courthouse from COVID-19. As the MAG proceeds with preparing to resume some in-court operations beginning July 6, 2020, it continues to keep its justice sector partners informed of the changes that have been made in courthouses to ready the courts for a safe return to work.
The MAG has shared the following resources with its justice sector partners:
- guidebook for courthouse recovery;
- links to videos of the recovery town hall;
- COVID-19 information seminar and Brampton courthouse tour;
The resources provide an overview of the measures and planning that the MAG has taken to date. If you have not yet received the above materials and wish to have a copy, you may email the Recovery Secretariat at MAGRecoverySecretariat@ontario.ca, and the resources will be sent to you.
Furthermore, The MAG is inviting its justice sector partners to participate in local courthouse visits to see first-hand the measures that have been put in place. These visits will occur the week of July 6, 2020. The visits are specifically related to the preparations implemented in response to COVID-19. Should you be interested in attending a visit, please send an email to Ms. Laura Wardle at firstname.lastname@example.org with your top two preferred dates/times. The Tours will be capped at 10 people. Please see below the possible dates/times:
- Monday, July 6th, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, July 7th, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
- Wednesday, July 8th, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
- Friday, July 10th, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
To ensure the safety of those involved, attendees are asked to practice physical distancing and adhere to precautionary measures in place in the courthouse, including wearing a face covering.
More information about the precautionary health and safety measures at courthouses implemented by the MAG is available on the following website: COVID-19: Reopening courtrooms.
More information on which Ontario Court of Justice is scheduling in-person proceedings on July 6th, 2020 is available on the following website: https://www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/covid-19/resumption-trials-preliminary-hearings/