Legislative Update

2nd session, 42nd legislature

Notice

Legislature suspended due to Covid-19

From the Legislative Assembly Website: “On March 19, 2020 the Members of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly unanimously agreed to suspend its sittings due to the ongoing public health crisis brought on by the COVID-19 virus and the need for social distancing. Although public access to the Legislative Building has been limited for the same reason, Assembly offices remain open with a reduced staff complement and can be reached through phone or email.”

COVID-19 Update

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Legislative Update

2nd session, 42nd legislature

New Bills

Government Bills

Bill 34: The Budget Implementation and Tax Statutes Amendment Act, 2020 – This Bill implements various tax and other measures announced in the 2020 Manitoba Budget. Additional amendments implement and support the budget.

Bill 35: The Climate and Green Plan Implementation Act, 2020 – This Bill enacts a new Act and substantially amends four others to implement carbon pricing in Manitoba.

Bill 36: The Water Resources Administration Amendment Act – This Bill amends The Water Resources Administration Act to provide the government with increased powers to manage water control works and protect provincial water infrastructure.

Bill 37: The Reducing Red Tape and Improving Services Act, 2020 – This Bill amends several Acts and repeals five Acts to reduce or eliminate regulatory requirements or prohibitions, to streamline government operations and to eliminate committees.

Bill 38: The Consumer Protection Amendment Act – This Bill amends The Consumer Protection Act. The direct sale of furnaces, air conditioners, windows and other household systems and supplies is prohibited. Leases for household systems and supplies or for any product bought through a direct sale cannot be for an indefinite term.

Bill 39: The Horse Racing Regulatory Modernization Act (Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act and Pari-Mutuel Levy Act Amended) – This Bill amends The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act to transfer responsibility for the regulation of all types of horse racing in Manitoba to the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba (“the Authority”).

Bill 40: The Election Financing Amendment and Elections Amendment Act (Government Advertising) – Amendments are made to change the restrictions on government advertising set out in The Election Financing Act. Coordinated amendments are made to The Elections Act and The Election Financing Act to require that the restrictions on government advertising be in place for at least 32 days before a non-fixed date election is called.

Bill 41: The Advanced Education Administration Amendment Act – This Bill amends The Advanced Education Administration Act to enable the minister to issue guidelines concerning tuition fees and student fees charged by universities. For colleges, these fees may be set by regulation.

Bill 42: The University College of the North Amendment Act – This Bill enables the University College of the North to make by-laws about parking on property that is under the control of the college.

Bill 43: The Civil Service Superannuation Amendment Act – This Bill makes a number of changes to The Civil Service Superannuation Act.

Bill 44: The Public Utilities Ratepayer Protection and Regulatory Reform Act (Various Acts Amended) – This Bill amends various Acts. The governance and funding provisions for the Public Utilities Board (the “PUB”) are changed. A new legislative framework is established for the regulation of electricity rates, natural gas rates and basic auto insurance rates, as well as water and wastewater rates within the City of Winnipeg. Other adjustments are made to the PUB’s mandate.

Bill 45: The Public Health Amendment Act (Food Safety and Other Amendments) – This Bill amends The Public Health Act to deal with food safety by, establishing a duty to serve safe food; expanding powers to seize unsafe food; clarifying inspection powers related to food; and expanding regulation-making powers for starting and operating a food establishment.

 Bill 48: The Planning Amendment and City of Winnipeg Charter Amendment Act – This Bill amends The Planning Act and The City of Winnipeg Charter to provide for planning regions and to make local land use decisions subject to appeal to the Municipal Board.

Bill 49: The Building and Electrical Permitting Improvement Act (Various Acts Amended and Permit Dispute Resolution Act Enacted) – This Bill enacts a new Act and amends two other Acts. Schedule A enacts a new Act to resolve disputes related to building and electrical permits. Schedule B makes a number of changes to The Buildings and Mobile Homes Act. Schedule C makes two major changes to The Manitoba Hydro Act.

Bill 53: The Interim Appropriation Act, 2020

Check the Bill Status to follow the legislative process.

Legislative Update

2nd session, 42nd legislature

New Bills

Government Bills

Bill 23: The Vehicle Technology Testing Act(Various Acts Amended)/Loi sur la mise àl’essai des technologies des véhicules (modification de diverses lois) – amends The Highway Traffic Act, The Insurance Act and The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Act to allow for the testing of vehicles with automated driving systems or other new technology.

Under a technology testing permit, a vehicle or a new vehicle technology can be exempted from certain highway traffic law requirements.

A vehicle operated under such a permit may also be exempted from being insured through Manitoba Public Insurance. MPI may recover from the permit holder the costs of property damage and personal injury benefits paid out as a result of an at-fault accident caused by the vehicle.

Bill 26: The Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Amendment Act/Loi modifiant la Loi sur les caisses populaires et les credit unions – amends The Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act to change the oversight and governance framework for Manitoba’s credit union system. The changes are necessary because the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions no longer oversees provincial credit union centrals.

Bill 27: The Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Control of Traffic by Flag Persons)/Loi modifiant le Code de la route (contrôle de la circulation par des signaleurs) – amends The Highway Traffic Act to enable traffic authorities to authorize a flag person to temporarily control traffic on behalf of a third party, such as a festival organizer or a film production company.

Bill 28: The Legal Profession Amendment Act – amends The Legal Profession Act to expand the range of people who can provide legal services beyond lawyers.

The Law Society of Manitoba may issue a limited practice certificate that authorizes a person who is not a lawyer to engage in a limited law practice, subject to conditions and restrictions set out in the rules and regulations. These limited practitioners must meet education and training requirements and are regulated by the Law Society.

The Legal Profession Act currently allows specified persons who are not lawyers to perform certain legal functions identified in the Act. The amendments allow the Law Society to make rules that permit specified classes of people who are not lawyers to provide the legal services set out in the rules. The Law Society may impose conditions and restrictions on people who are permitted to provide those legal services.

Bill 29: The Municipal Statutes Amendment Act – amends eight Acts respecting municipal elections and governance in Manitoba.

The Municipal Assessment Act is amended to exempt regional libraries from municipal taxation except for local improvements. The Municipal Councils and School Boards Elections Act is amended. The council size provisions in The Brandon Charter, The Flin Flon Charter, The Portage la Prairie Charter and The Thompson Charter are repealed. Instead, the municipalities may determine their own council size in accordance with The Municipal Act.

Bill 30: The Fisheries Amendment, Forest Amendment and Provincial Parks Amendment Act – amends three Acts to enable licences and permits under these Acts to be issued using the Internet.

The Forest Act and The Provincial Parks Act are amended to enable private parties to issue licences and permits. Both Acts are amended to provide regulatory authority to issue licences and permits using the Internet.

A requirement in The Fisheries Act that all licences must be signed is removed so that licences may be issued in an electronic format.

Bill 31: The Human Rights Code Amendment Act: amends The Human Rights Code.
The Manitoba Human Rights Commission’s current responsibilities for administering complaints will now be carried out by the Commission’s executive director. The power to dismiss complaints is broadened and made available before an investigation. If the executive director terminates proceedings or dismisses a complaint on certain grounds, the complainant may ask the Commission to review the decision.

An adjudicator must follow a time limit when holding a hearing and issuing a decision and may make certain orders and decisions on an oral basis before issuing them in writing. A $25,000 cap on damages for injury is established as well as factors to consider when awarding such damages. A different adjudicator may be appointed to explore settlement with the parties before a hearing.

The Bill also clarifies and modernizes existing wording in the Code as well as certain notice requirements.

Bill 32: The Administrative Tribunal Jurisdiction Act: establishes The Administrative Tribunal Jurisdiction Act. This Act addresses the ability of administrative tribunals to decide questions of constitutional law. An administrative tribunal cannot decide a question of constitutional law unless the tribunal has been designated by regulation as having jurisdiction to decide that question.

A person who intends to raise a question of constitutional law in a proceeding that is to be decided by a designated administrative tribunal must give notice to specified recipients before the start of the proceeding. The Attorney General of Canada and the Attorney General of Manitoba may make submissions in such a proceeding. Consequential amendments are made to several Acts.

Private Bills

Bill 210: The Wildlife Amendment Act (Protecting Property from Water and Wildlife Damage): amends The Wildlife Act. A municipality, local government district or incorporated community may authorize a person to destroy a beaver lodge or beaver dam, or to remove an obstruction to water flow caused by an accumulation of debris, if it adversely affects local water flow or land use. An authorized person may enter onto affected land for that purpose.

Currently, a landowner has the right to kill or take certain wildlife in defence of their property. The Bill extends the right to tenants of private or leased Crown land.

Passed

Bill 33: The Supplementary Appropriation Act, 2019-2020: authorizes expenditure for the Health Services Insurance Fund.

Check the Bill Status to follow the legislative process.

Legislative Update – New Proclamation

The Government has issued the following proclamation:

The Sustainable Watersheds Act (Various Acts Amended) (S.M. 2018, c. 6)

With the advice and consent of the Executive Council of Manitoba, we name January 1, 2020, as the day on which Part 1 of The Sustainable Watersheds Act (Various Acts Amended) (S.M. 2018, c. 6) comes into force.

Part 1 refers to renaming conservation districts as “watershed districts”.

A board of a district may now do work outside its boundaries if the work benefits the district. For that purpose, a board may enter into agreements with others, including First Nations. When assessing the benefits, a board must consider the relevant watershed management plan prepared under The Water Protection Act.