As of Feb. 4, 2016, the monetary limit for small claims cases in Saskatchewan has risen to $30,000 from $20,000. Photo credit: Shutterstock
Canadian courts are backlogged. People often have to wait months or even years to have their cases heard. In British Columbia, the court backlog was even called “worst we’ve ever seen“ a few years back, as around 7500 cases were found to be delayed by more than 12 months.
To lighten the load on higher courts, many provinces have raised the monetary limit for small claims court to get more cases into that faster process. The advantage of small claims courts is that people can often resolve their civil disputes in a more inexpensive and quicker way.
In the last half a decade or so alone, Alberta and Ontario have increased their small claims court monetary limit. For example, Ontario increased its small claims court limit to $25,000 from $10,000 in January 2010. Alberta, relatively recently raised its limit to $50,000, currently the highest for small claims courts in the country.
See: Small claims - FAQ
See: Small claims limits by province
Saskatchewan is the latest province to raise the monetary limit for small claims court. As of Feb. 4, 2016, the monetary limit for small claims cases has risen to $30,000 from $20,000. This puts Saskatchewan ahead of Ontario and British Columbia in terms of upper limits for small claims court cases.
The change was made following a review by the provincial government last year. The project looked at how the province could make dispute resolution faster and more affordable for people.
Increasing monetary limits for small claims court is likely the wave of the future in Canada, as courts continue to face backlogs and people want faster, easier and more inexpensive ways to bring their cases to court.