On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially designated the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Since that time, the federal government of Canada has announced various measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and provide economic aid to businesses and individuals impacted by the virus, and on March 18, 2020, the provincial government of British Columbia declared a provincial state of emergency. In these unprecedented times, we would like to reassure our clients that we are open for business and remain committed to delivering the high-quality service you have come to expect from us.
The majority of our lawyers, paralegals and staff are working remotely in an effort to heed the directives of the federal and provincial governments to stay home in order to prevent the spread and minimize the impact of COVID-19. We are keeping regular hours while working remotely and have access to all resources necessary to continue working for you. We are and will remain available to you as and when needed, and we will continue to meet deadlines with minimal interruptions.
We encourage our clients to reach out to their responsible lawyer by email or telephone, as that may be the quickest way to get a response. Our office phone lines will be redirected, where possible, to our mobile devices and we will be regularly picking up voicemail messages.
At this time, our office will remain open during our standard office hours with a pared back staff to handle tasks essential to our ongoing operations. However, we are taking steps to prepare all staff to work from home if the federal or provincial governments so direct, or if prudence so dictates, including obtaining the requisite information and authorization from our clients to make all payments via wire transfer. While we currently have staff present at our physical office to receive communications by mail and courier, we ask that, wherever possible, you send us communications electronically.
Our commitment to delivering the highest level of service to our clients remains unchanged. We encourage all of our clients with questions or concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on their projects, developments or businesses to reach out to their responsible lawyer by email or phone in a timely manner for a confidential discussion about next steps. As the situation develops, we will take additional appropriate steps and measures.
We will continue to closely monitor ongoing developments related to COVID-19 in Canada and in British Columbia, and will provide further updates to you through our website and via email. We wish everyone good health as we work through this together.