Dear clients and friends of Boale, Wood & Company Ltd.
As you all are aware, the World Health Organization (“WHO”) recently declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic. This evolving situation is affecting our firm, our clients and our communities in rapidly changing ways. The health and well-being of our firm members, colleagues and clients is paramount and will guide us as we collectively respond to the developing COVID-19 outbreak.
We will continue to closely monitor relevant WHO, Public Health Agency of Canada, and local governmental/health institutions, for guidance on travel, staff exposure, premises and preventative measures to ensure our plans and response aligns with the latest recommendations and best practices.
As part of our initial response plan, we have instituted the following for debtors until further notice:
1. Counselling Sessions – will be held via telephone or video conference. There will be no need to attend our offices in person.
2. Meetings of Creditors – recently updated Directive 22R2 encourages the Chair of a meeting of creditors to make every reasonable effort to hold creditor meetings by electronic or digital means of communication. The chair of the meeting may rely on representations by attendees to confirm their identification.
3. Initial Assessments – Directive 6R3 provides for the use of methods other than in-person assessments in extraordinary circumstances. In our firm, we are able to do almost everything via email or fax or by telephone.
4. Documents that require signature can be exchanged via email, or other electronic means, and we can provide debtors the necessary support to explain the documents via videoconference or over the phone or as otherwise required.
We are exploring legal methods for the witnessing of signatures and swearing of oaths. This will be assessed on a case by case basis.
There is no disruption in service. We are available to assist debtors in need and all our current clients.
We have also instituted a number of internal measures for our staff for their health and safety:
1. Encouraged our staff to work remotely from home to avoid public gathering on transit or other areas;
2. Requested that firm members refrain from attending large business events outside the office;
3. Requested our landlords to have implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols in our offices;
4. Implemented and are regularly updating policies for personnel who become ill or are concerned that they may have been exposed to the virus; and,
5. Encouraged our staff to turn to reputable sources of information, rather than rumours and unfounded speculation.
If you have any questions regarding the firm’s response to COVID-19 or resources we can provide, please contact me at (604) 605-3335.
We wish you and your loved ones good health and safety in these challenging times.
Yours very truly,
Boale, Wood & Company Ltd.
Licensed Insolvency Trustee
Per: David S. Wood, CIRP