Closure of the Great Library

Effective immediately, the library will be closed and staff will be working remotely. Lawyers who are at the Courts may enter the library by asking security staff to let them in.

Please email us at and be sure to review the resources available behind the Member’s Portal. You now have access to British law under the vLex subscription, as well as Canadian and U.S. decisions and commentary.

Please stay healthy and we will be back to full service as soon as possible.

The Great Library and COVID-19

The Manitoba Courts have restricted access to the courts as a proactive measure to reduce and slow down the spread of COVID-19. While the Great Library will remain open, members may prefer to take advantage of our services remotely.

We can scan or download sections of texts and email them to you, subject to copyright restrictions. If you require a complete text, we can prepare it for pickup at the staff entrance on Kennedy. Please contact us by phone or email and we would be happy to help.

This is the time to take advantage of all the resources available to you behind the Member’s Portal. We subscribe to several collections of e-books, the Rangefindr sentencing digest, HeinOnline and the vLex caselaw database.

We will continue to distribute the newsletters in our Current Awareness collection. We know your work doesn’t stand still, and we will support you in whatever way we can. Please contact us by phone (204-945-1958) or email (

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.


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.

New Practice Direction: Detention Review Hearings

Re: Detention Review Hearings Under ss. 520 and 525 of the Criminal Code

Thompson and The Pas Judicial Centres

As part of the Court of Queen’s Bench’s ongoing attempts to improve access to justice in all areas of its jurisdiction, the following direction applies to detention review hearings under sections 520 and 525 of the Criminal Code in the Thompson and The Pas judicial centres. Informing this practice direction are the following reference points:

  • To ensure the integrity of the administration of justice, generally, criminal matters are to be adjudicated in the judicial centre most proximate to the community where the alleged offence took place.
  • The constitutional obligation that flows from the Charter right not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause requires that bail review hearings take place without unreasonable delay.
  • The Thompson judicial centre has a particularly high volume of criminal cases and in-custody accused.
  • There is no remand facility in Thompson.
  • It is not unusual that accused in criminal matters originating in Thompson and The Pas judicial centres are held in custody in a facility that is a significant distance from the courthouses in these judicial centres.
  • Bail review hearings may take place in person, by video, or by teleconference.

Read more for the full practice direction.

This practice direction comes into effect immediately (dated March 5, 2020).