Just to hit the specific point in the question beyond what @DaleM mentioned, judges have very broad discretion to continue hearings and extend deadlines that have not already expired upon the request of a party, except in a very narrow class of cases that provide otherwise.
The standard for doing so in the jurisdictions where I have practiced is "good cause" and I suspect it is similar in B.C.
Allowing a few days to figure out what is going on in the CRT matter and, in general, affording a party an opportunity to make arguments along those lines, while not immediately ruling on the merits, wouldn't be an abuse of discretion which would be the standard by which a decision to continue a hearing would be reviewed on appeal (except that it is really a higher standard to review it, because it is a non-appealable, non-final interlocutory order that could only be immediately reviewed for extraordinary causes).
Hearings get continued all the time, when the requests are made before the hearing is held or during the hearing, at this level of the court system. The reasons can be as mundane as "my car broke down", "my babysitting arrangements fell through", "I'm actively working on getting a lawyer to help me," and "a winter storm interfered with my ability to prepare for the hearing because the power went out at my home/office most of yesterday."
Courts also not infrequently will continue a hearing sua sponte (i.e. without any party requesting it) because some emergency matter has come up on the judge's schedule (e.g. in the counties where I practice, domestic violence restraining orders have priority over almost everything and any available judge can be interrupted in the middle of another hearing for half an hour or so to deal with one), or in the judge's personal life (I once had a hearing where the judge started to collapse on the bench in the middle of a three day trial that had to be continued for five months after he was rushed to the hospital and then recovered.)
Another fairly common reason to continue a hearing, that happens maybe one hearing out of five or six in my world, is that it takes longer than anticipated for some reason for the parties to present their evidence and make arguments and the allocated time for the hearing runs out, due to no real fault of the parties, so additional time is squeezed in a week or two later.
For example, one of the courthouses where I practice frequently is next to a fire station and in the event of a major fire, the commotion as fire trucks rush out to respond to the fire can make it impossible to hear what is going on for as much as fifteen or twenty minutes, which can disrupt the schedule in a short hearing.
In contrast, if you miss a hearing or deadline entirely, your excuses have to be vastly more impressive (e.g. "I was hit by a bus on the way to court and was taken to the hospital.", something that I've had come up in cases I was involved in, although not personally, knock on wood, three or four times).
In general, there are lots of ways to slow down a judicial proceeding, and there are few effective ways to make it go faster or insist that it stays strictly on schedule.