CRT COVID-19 Response Plan
By Shannon Salter, CRT Chair
The CRT is open and operating normally during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our goals are to protect the health and safety of our team and their loved ones, as well as the public, while also doing our best to maintain normal access to the CRT’s dispute resolution services.
Public health authorities continue to advise that the best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19 are through social distancing and frequent handwashing. You can find up-to-date information and advice on the BC Centre for Disease Control website. Consistent with this advice and our goals, see below for the steps we’re taking.
What is the CRT doing to protect staff and the public?
The CRT has always provided service to the public remotely, and staff continue to be available by phone and email.
The CRT is already primarily a remote workplace, and we have transitioned our remaining non-remote staff to work from home. Remote staff will no longer visit our office or schedule in-person meetings.
We have also taken steps to accommodate team members who may have childcare or other circumstances as a result of COVID-19.
Limitation periods and statutory deadlines
In July 2020, the Province of British Columbia enacted a provision under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act which said that statutory decision makers, like the CRT, may waive, suspend or extend mandatory time periods.
This provision was in effect until 90 days after June 30, 2021, which was the date of the end of the state of emergency declared on March 18, 2020.
The CRT could only waive, suspend or extend mandatory time periods while the provision was in effect.
IMPORTANT: The provision was repealed as of as of September 29, 2021. The CRT no longer has the authority to waive, suspend or extend mandatory time periods.
If a party to a CRT dispute is unhappy with the outcome, depending on the circumstances they may be able to ask the Supreme Court to review it, or ask the Provincial Court to re-hear the matter through the notice of objection process. There are deadlines for starting a court proceeding after a CRT decision. These deadlines were suspended on March 26, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these deadlines resumed effective March 26, 2021.
Parties with a low income don’t have to pay CRT fees.
If you can’t afford CRT fees due to a COVID-19 related loss of income, but do not yet fit the fee waiver guidelines, you can contact us with your Dispute Number and the details of your situation. The CRT will decide whether to waive your fees.
The CRT is monitoring the COVID-19 situation as it progresses. We will post further updates on this page.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.