Effective Friday, September 17, a province-wide mandatory masking order will be implemented for all indoor public spaces. 

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Government Introduces Legislation That Increases Access To Justice

Released on November 16, 2021

The province is putting forward changes to legislation that will enable citizens to take care of various legal matters remotely. 

These changes allow lawyers to remotely witness wills, powers of attorney, and health care directives, and remotely commission other documents. They also allow citizens to name beneficiaries of particular investments electronically - something that could previously only happen in person.

 "These changes improve access to justice and make it easier for members of the public to receive timely legal services," Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said. "The pandemic highlighted the need to augment remote options for those in need of legal or financial services. This legislation will further modernize Saskatchewan laws to meet those needs on a permanent basis."

The changes pertaining to remote witnessing are contained in The Miscellaneous Statutes (Remote Witnessing) Amendment Act, 2021 and in The Miscellaneous Statutes (Remote Witnessing) Amendment Act, 2021 (No.2).

The changes enabling the electronic designation of beneficiaries for specific investments are contained in The Queen's Bench Amendment Act, 2021.

The remote witnessing of wills and powers of attorney and the remote commissioning of other documents were first introduced as a temporary measure in 2020, to allow lawyers to provide these important services to the public during the COVID-19 emergency period. Today's legislation expands these provisions to apply to health care directives and moves those changes from the regulations to their respective acts to ensure these services are available on a permanent, ongoing basis.

The Queen's Bench Amendment Act, 2021 will also allow a citizen's property guardian or power of attorney to name, change or revoke beneficiaries on behalf of a citizen who lacks capacity. Previously, substitute decision makers could not designate beneficiaries for another individual. This change will apply to specific types of investments (set out in The Queen's Bench Act, 1998) and may necessitate a court order - depending on the requirements of each case.


For more information, contact:

Margherita Vittorelli
Justice and Attorney General
Phone: 306-787-8621
Email: margherita.vittorelli@gov.sk.ca

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