Thanks to Bill 5, recently passed by the Alberta Legislature, the maximum amount for a Provincial Court of Alberta (Court) civil claim could significantly increase from C$50,000 to C$200,000.

Currently, the maximum monetary value of civil claims within the jurisdiction of the Court is C$50,000. If a claim exceeds this amount, then it must be filed in the Court of King's Bench.

Bill 5, the Justice Statutes Amendment Act, 2022 (No. 2) (Act), which received royal assent on December 15, 2022, sets the groundwork for a significant increase to the limit of claims that can be filed in the Court. Specifically, the Act amended section 9(1) of the Provincial Court Act, which provides for the maximum value of claims within the Court's jurisdiction that can be provided for by regulation, increasing the maximum from C$50,000 to C$200,000.

This change permits the Government of Alberta to publish a new regulation allowing claims with a value of up to C$200,000 to be filed in the Court. This change has not yet happened. As a result, section 2 of the Provincial Court of Civil Procedure Regulation continues to limit Court claims to C$50,000. If the limit is increased, however, many more claims will be subject to the much quicker timelines and less onerous procedures of the Court — to the benefit of plaintiffs and detriment of defendants.

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