Legislative Updates – New Bills

The Government of Manitoba recently introduced the following bills:

Third Session, Forty-First Legislature

Bill 22: The Queen’s Counsel Act

Queen’s Counsel (Q.C.) is an honorary title bestowed on a lawyer to recognize exceptional merit in their profession. A Queen’s Counsel is appointed by Cabinet on the advice of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General. Before giving that advice, the minister must consult with an advisory council.

A new Act is established and consequential amendments are made to The Legal Profession Act.

Bill 23: The Commodity Futures Amendment and Securities Amendment Act

This Bill amends The Commodity Futures Act and The Securities Act.

After holding a hearing, the Manitoba Securities Commission may file an order in the Court of Queen’s Bench. The order may then be enforced as if it were a judgment of the court.

The Bill further amends the two Acts to make the following changes with respect to self-regulatory organizations recognized by the Manitoba Securities Commission:

  • allowing a party affected by a decision of a self-regulatory organization to apply to the Commission for a review of the decision;
  • allowing a decision of a self-regulatory organization to be filed in the Court of Queen’s Bench and enforced as if it were a judgment of the court;
  • providing immunity to a self-regulatory organization for actions taken in good faith under a power or duty assigned to the organization under Manitoba securities law.

Bill 24: The Social Services Appeal Board Amendment Act

This Bill adds a provision to The Social Services Appeal Board Act stating that the appeal board has no jurisdiction to consider constitutional challenges to legislation or to grant remedies under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Bill 25: The Non-Smokers Health Protection and Vapour Products Amendment Act (Prohibiting Cannabis Consumption in Outdoor Public Places)

This Bill amends The Non-Smokers Health Protection and Vapour Products Act to prohibit the smoking or vaping of cannabis in outdoor public places and other places specified by regulation. Prohibitions relating to cannabis apply to areas under federal jurisdiction.

The title of the Act is changed to reflect the broader regulation of smoking and vaping. Consequential amendments are made to three Acts because of the title change.

Bill 26: The Impaired Driving Offences Act (Various Acts Amended)

On April 13, 2017, the federal government introduced Bill C-46, which adds several new offences to the Criminal Coderelated to driving while impaired by drugs, including cannabis. Bill C-46 also modernizes the provisions that deal with drug- and alcohol-impaired driving.

This Bill follows the structure and timing of Bill C-46.

The Drivers and Vehicles Act and The Highway Traffic Act are amended to include the new criminal offences in relation to administrative driver’s licence suspensions and disqualifications for impaired driving.

The list of offences that must be reported to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles is updated, along with the list of suspensions and disqualifications that may be appealed to the Licence Suspension Appeal Board.

Novice drivers are prohibited from driving if they fail a roadside drug screening test.

The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Act is amended to update the list of offences for which a conviction reduces or cancels the entitlement to receive compensation under that Act.

Consequential amendments are made to The Blood Test Act and The Provincial Offences Act.

Bill 27: The Fiscal Responsibility and Taxpayer Protection Amendment Act

The Fiscal Responsibility and Taxpayer Protection Act requires the government not to incur a deficit greater than the baseline amount and penalizes ministers by reducing their salaries if the deficit is not reduced by at least $100 million each year.

This Bill amends the Act:

  • to correct an anomaly in the definition “baseline amount” as a result of which salaries for the current fiscal year would be reduced even if the deficit were to come in at least $100 million under budget;
  • to remove a disincentive against reducing the deficit by more than $100 million a year;
  • to require all salary reductions under section 8 of the Act to be reported in the public accounts;
  • to clarify that the ministerial salary reduction is the only consequence of a deficit that contravenes the Act; and
  • to provide for the repayment of any salary reductions if the deficit is eliminated in the 2024-2025 fiscal year or earlier.

The Bill allows the government to adjust the deficit or surplus for the purposes of the Act by excluding a one-time deficit or reduction in revenue greater than $25 million that results from changes in public sector accounting standards or in what is included in summary financial statements.

Bill 28: The Public Sector Construction Projects (Tendering) Act

This Bill concerns tenders issued by government and other public sector bodies in relation to construction projects.

It prohibits the issuing of a tender that would require the successful bidder to employ unionized employees or non-unionized employees for work on the project.

Related amendments are included.

 

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