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No more time limits to launch persecution of men

Tue, 12 Dec 2000 13:36:12 -0800

Attention News Editors:

New bill revises time limits for lawsuits to improve access to justice and support victims

TORONTO, Dec. 12 /CNW/ - Attorney General Jim Flaherty today introduced  legislation to make much-needed reforms to the province's outdated limitation  laws. If passed, the Limitations Act, 2000 would consolidate, into one Act,  dozens of limitation periods, presently scattered in various statutes, and  replace dozens of confusing limitation periods with two clear and fair time  limits.
     "Much of the province's limitation law is based on old English statutes,  which can be traced back 400 years," said Flaherty. "With no major changes in  the last 100 years, it's time to reform and modernize this law."
     Limitation periods are time limits for starting legal proceedings in  civil and family courts. Legal proceedings not started within the prescribed  time periods may not be allowed to proceed.
     The proposed new Limitations Act balances the interests of plaintiffs and  defendants by:

  1. allowing a two-year time period, after damage has been discovered, to initiate a lawsuit. The limitation period would start from the date the person finds out, or should have found out, about the injury, loss or damage that he/she suffered, and who caused or contributed to it;
  2. allowing 15 years to identify an injury, loss or damage and take legal action. Beyond this time a lawsuit may not be allowed to proceed regardless of the plaintiff's state of knowledge. The 15-year ultimate limitation period is similar to the latest proposals in other jurisdictions;
  3. placing no time restrictions to start a lawsuit on victims of sexual assault in a relationship of trust; 
  4. providing special recognition and safeguards for minors and incapable persons;
  5. not imposing a limitation period on environmental claims that have not been discovered;
  6. providing no limitation period where the Crown is involved in administering social, health or economic programs.

     "We commend the government for taking steps to change this outdated Act," said David Surplis, President of the Council of Ontario Construction Associations. "The province has obviously tried to strike a fair balance between the interests of plaintiffs and defendants."
     "For more than a decade, the CBAO has asked for changes to the limitation periods," said Tim Bates, chair of the Canadian Bar Association Ontario Limitations Committee. "We are pleased the government has put forward an approach that serves the public by standardizing limitation periods."
     The proposed legislation was developed after extensive consultations with individuals and groups and a thorough review of the laws of other jurisdictions within and outside Canada.

     Ce document est aussi disponible en fran—ais.
     -0-                           12/12/2000

For further information: Peggy Huigenbos, Minister's Office, (416) 326-4440; Brendan rawley, Communications Branch, (416) 326-2210


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See also: Family Law — Table of Contents

Posted 2000 12 12
2003 05 02 (added reference to Family Law — Table of Contents