– By Shreya Bose, Associate Lawyer
On March 16, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada that all hearings scheduled for the months of March, April and May were adjourned in light of the health concerns around COVID-19. On April 29, 2020, the Supreme Court announced that they will hear four cases, by video conferencing, in June 2020 and four cases in September 2020. All other hearings will be heard during the Supreme Court’s regular fall session, which begins October 5, 2020.
Two of the hearings currently set for September involve high-profile challenges by the provinces of Saskatchewan and Ontario to the constitutionality of the federal carbon tax. Renée Thériault, the Supreme Court’s Executive Legal Officer, emphasized that these video hearings are unprecedented in the history of the Supreme Court and that the court is working to balance the need for the court to discharge it’s duties to the public in hearing and rendering decisions while dealing with the technological challenges that will naturally arise from virtual hearings.