Legal Word of the Day: “Limitation Period”


Limitation Period — Time limit on initiating an action, claim or complaint. The action may be related to remedy an injury, loss or damage from an act or omission.

In Ontario, these time limits are set out in the Limitations Act, 2002. It came into force in 2004 and was amended in 2006 to permit parties to a business agreement after October 19, 2006 to vary, extend, shorten or suspend the application of the periods fixed by the Limitations Act.

Certain claims are not subject to limitation periods. This includes proceedings:

  • For a declaration where no consequential relief is sought
  • To enforce an order
  • To obtain support under the Family Law Act
  • To enforce an award under the Arbitration Act, 1991
  • By a debtor in possession of collateral to redeem it
  • By a creditor in possession of collateral to realize against it
  • By the Crown to recover fines, taxes, penalties and interest
  • To recover student loans, awards, social assistance recoveries and grants
  • For an environmental claim that has not been discovered
    More Information:

    Promissory Notes — A Paralegal’s Limitations success story

    Paralegal Scott McEachern explains Limitation Periods.

    Meady v. Greyhound Canada Transportation Corp., 2008 ONCA 468 (CanLII)
    This case also considers the common-law doctrine of special circumstances.

    Duchesne v. St-Denis, 2012 ONCA 699 (CanLII),
    Court of Appeal found that the Act should not be interpreted as providing that it can only apply to a minor if a litigation guardian has been appointed.

    Seguin (Township) v. Hamer, 2014 ONCA 108
    Ontario Court of Appeal found it unnecessary to consider whether a counter-application to dismiss a Township’s injunction appeal was statute-barred by a limitation period. The appeal was allowed on its merit.
    At the heart of that case: the right to feed bears — by hand.

    Limitations Period chart, from PracticePro

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