Changes to the Occupier’s Liability Act

It is common knowledge that Canadian winters are not only cold and long, but that they can also result in slippery conditions caused by snow, ice, and slush. These slippery conditions can easily lead to injuries, potentially resulting in severe physical, psychological, and emotional pain. The majority of individuals that sustain winter-weather-related injuries do not prioritize contacting a lawyer immediately, however, recent significant changes in the Occupier’s Liability Act have reduced the limitation period in which to provide notice to initiate a claim. It is now even more essential that injured parties consult a lawyer as soon as possible so that no limitation periods under the Act are missed.

Bill 118, known as the Occupier’s Liability Amendment Act, 2020, which received royal assent on December 8, 2020, creates a written notice requirement for private owners and businesses. Prior to the recent amendment, injured parties would be able to make a claim within the standard two-year limitation period under the Limitations Act, 2002. The 2020 amendments instead require a written notice to the occupier within 60 days of the incident, which must include the date, time, and location of the occurrence. Bill 118 creates a significant shortened timeline during which an injured person needs to report their incident, in order to ensure that limitation periods do not run out on their claim for damages resulting from hazardous winter conditions.

This amendment has not changed the notice requirement for any slip and fall due to ice, snow or slush on municipal property, however; the notice requirement for municipal property is ten days, as it has been previously.

If you suffer a slip and fall in snow, ice and/or winter weather conditions, we encourage you to contact the legal professionals at Sicotte Guilbault LLP to explore your legal options.