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3rd Session, 40th Legislature

This HTML version is provided for ease of use and is based on the bilingual version that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.

Bill 61

THE PEATLANDS STEWARDSHIP AND RELATED AMENDMENTS ACT


Table of Contents Bilingual version (PDF) Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

WHEREAS Manitoba contains millions of hectares of peatlands;

AND WHEREAS peatlands form part of large, complex, interconnected ecosystems;

AND WHEREAS peatlands are the most efficient terrestrial ecosystem for storing carbon, especially over the long term;

AND WHEREAS peatlands provide environmental benefits, such as filtering and storing water and preserving Manitoba's biodiversity;

AND WHEREAS peatlands provide social benefits and community and rural economic opportunities;

THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

PART 1

INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS

Definitions

1(1)        The following definitions apply in this Act.

"commercial development of peat" means the exploration of peat or the harvesting of peat, or both, for commercial purposes. (« exploitation commerciale de la tourbe »)

"Crown land" means Crown land as defined in The Crown Lands Act. (« terre domaniale »)

"Crown peatland" means Crown land that contains a peat bog, fen or swamp and in respect of which

(a) the surface rights in the land have not been conveyed in fee simple; and

(b) some or all of the mineral interest in the land is vested in the Crown in right of Manitoba. (« tourbière domaniale »)

"director" means the person appointed as the director of peatlands stewardship under subsection 40(1). (« directeur »)

"exploring" means, in relation to exploring for peat, to excavate, drill or otherwise disturb land to determine if the quality and volume of peat on the land is suitable for harvesting. (« exploration »)

"minister" means, except in Part 7, the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act. (« ministre »)

"peat" means sedge and sphagnum and includes peat moss and woody peat. (« tourbe »)

"peat exploration permit" means a peat exploration permit issued under subsection 10(1). (« permis d'exploration tourbière »)

"peat harvesting" means to remove peat from land for commercial purposes and includes any activity undertaken on or in respect of the peatland to facilitate the removal of peat. (« extraction de la tourbe »)

"peat harvesting licence" means a peat harvesting licence issued under subsection 19(1), 57(1) or 59(1). (« licence d'extraction de la tourbe »)

"prescribed" means prescribed by regulation under this Act.

"provincial park" means a park designated under The Provincial Parks Act. (« parc provincial »)

"provincially significant peatland" means Crown peatland that is designated as a provincially significant peatland under section 4. (« tourbière d'importance provinciale »)

"recovery" means one or more of the following activities:

(a) restoration of peatlands;

(b) rehabilitation of peatlands;

(c) reclamation of peatlands. (« remise en état »)

"wildlife management area" means land designated as a wildlife management area under The Wildlife Act. (« zone de gestion de la faune »)

Reference to "Act" includes regulations

1(2)        In this Act, a reference to "this Act" includes the regulations made under this Act.

Peat on, in or under land

1(3)        In this Act, a reference to peat that is on the land or in an area of land includes peat that is under the land.

Application

2           This Act applies to peat that is vested in the Crown in right of Manitoba and is on Crown peatland.

Purposes

3(1)        The purposes of this Act are

(a) to protect and conserve Crown peatland;

(b) to regulate the commercial development of peat on Crown peatland to ensure that it is carried out in a sustainable manner; and

(c) to ensure that the recovery of Crown peatland takes place.

Principles

3(2)        In administering this Act, regard must be had to the following principles:

(a) peatlands play a significant role in storing carbon, preserving biodiversity and maintaining the health of wetlands and ground and surface waters;

(b) peatlands that are disturbed or destroyed release carbon into the atmosphere, resulting in increased greenhouse gas emissions;

(c) peatlands with high ecological value ought to be protected;

(d) healthy, sustainably managed peatlands provide responsible economic development opportunities, particularly in rural Manitoba;

(e) the financial cost of recovering wetlands, including peat bogs, fens and swamps, often exceeds the costs associated with protecting existing wetlands;

(f) a comprehensive approach to peatland management promotes the health and sustainability of peatlands within larger ecosystems.

PART 2

PROTECTION

Provincially significant peatland designated by regulation

4(1)        On the recommendation of the minister, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations designating any area of Crown peatland as a provincially significant peatland.

Considerations

4(2)        In deciding whether to recommend a regulation that designates Crown peatland as a provincially significant peatland, the minister must consider the following:

(a) the principles set out in subsection 3(2);

(b) the appropriateness of the designation for supporting and facilitating the study of peatlands and research into the recovery of peatlands;

(c) any other matter the minister considers appropriate.

Prohibition — commercial development of peat in certain areas

5           No person shall explore for or harvest peat on land in

(a) a provincially significant peatland;

(b) a provincial park; or

(c) a wildlife management area.

Prohibition — specified development in provincially significant peatland

6           No person shall engage in mining, the development of oil, petroleum, natural gas or hydro-electric power or any other prescribed activity on land in a provincially significant peatland.

PART 3 DEVELOPMENT

PROHIBITIONS

Prohibition — peat exploration without permit

7(1)        No person shall engage in peat exploration on Crown peatland without a peat exploration permit.

Prohibition — peat harvesting without licence

7(2)        No person shall engage in peat harvesting on Crown peatland without a peat harvesting licence.

PEAT EXPLORATION PERMIT

Scope of permit

8           A peat exploration permit gives the holder the exclusive right to explore for peat within the area, continued vertically downward, of Crown peatland specified in the permit in accordance with this Act and the permit's terms and conditions.

Application to explore for peat

9           A person may apply for a permit to explore for peat by providing to the director

(a) an application in the approved form;

(b) the prescribed application fee;

(c) the prescribed information; and

(d) any additional information requested by the director.

Director may issue permit

10(1)       In accordance with this section and the regulations, the director may issue a permit that authorizes the holder to explore for peat in the area of Crown peatland specified in the permit.

No permit issued if area subject to another permit or licence

10(2)       A peat exploration permit must not be issued for an area that is within the area specified in an existing peat exploration permit or peat harvesting licence.

Considerations

10(3)       In deciding whether a peat exploration permit should be issued to an applicant, the director must consider

(a) the principles set out in subsection 3(2);

(b) the effects, if any, that exploration may have on the exercise of aboriginal or treaty rights;

(c) any other prescribed matter; and

(d) any other relevant considerations.

Terms and conditions

10(4)       A peat exploration permit is subject to

(a) any prescribed terms and conditions; and

(b) the terms and conditions imposed by the director at the time the permit is issued.

Period of validity

11          A peat exploration permit is valid for up to two years from the date it is issued, as specified on the permit.

Holder must keep records, submit reports

12          The holder of a peat exploration permit must, in accordance with the regulations,

(a) make and maintain records about the holder's peat exploration activity and any other prescribed matters; and

(b) prepare reports about the holder's peat exploration activity and any other prescribed matters and submit them to the director.

Holder must pay annual land exploration charge

13          Each year, the holder of a peat exploration permit must pay the prescribed land exploration charge in accordance with the regulations.

Restriction on transfer or assignment

14          A peat exploration permit is transferable or assignable only with the written consent of the director.

Access rights

15(1)       For the purpose of exploring for peat in the area of Crown peatland specified in a peat exploration permit, the holder of the permit may enter

(a) that Crown peatland; and

(b) if necessary to access that Crown peatland, other Crown land.

Other approvals, authorizations for access not affected

15(2)       Subsection (1) does not affect any other approvals or authorizations to enter Crown land that the holder of the peat exploration permit is required to obtain for entry.

Holder must comply with other enactments

16          The holder of a peat exploration permit must comply with any other federal or provincial enactments that apply in respect of the land on which the peat exploration activity takes place.

PEAT HARVESTING LICENCE

Scope of licence

17          A peat harvesting licence gives the holder the exclusive right to harvest peat within the area, continued vertically downward, of Crown peatland specified in the licence in accordance with this Act and the licence's terms and conditions.

Application to harvest peat

18(1)       The holder of a peat exploration permit may apply for a licence to harvest peat in all or any part of the area of Crown peatland specified in the permit by providing to the director

(a) an application in the approved form;

(b) the prescribed application fee; and

(c) the following:

(i) a summary of the exploration work that has been performed within the specified area,

(ii) a proposed peatland management plan that includes the prescribed content,

(iii) a proposed peatland recovery plan that includes the prescribed content,

(iv) any other prescribed information,

(v) any additional information requested by the director.

Holder of permit may apply for licence

18(2)       To avoid doubt, only the holder of a peat exploration permit may apply for a licence to harvest peat within the area of Crown peatland specified in the permit.

Director may issue licence

19(1)       Subject to this section and the regulations, the director may issue a licence that authorizes the holder to harvest peat in the area of Crown peatland specified in the licence.

Considerations

19(2)       In deciding whether a peat harvesting licence should be issued to an applicant, the director must consider

(a) the principles set out in subsection 3(2);

(b) the effects, if any, that development may have on the exercise of aboriginal or treaty rights;

(c) the suitability of the proposed peatland management plan and the proposed peatland recovery plan for the harvesting area;

(d) any other prescribed matter; and

(e) any other relevant considerations.

Requirement before licence will be issued

19(3)       A peat harvesting licence may be issued only if the director approves the applicant's proposed peatland management plan and proposed peatland recovery plan.

Terms and conditions

20(1)       A peat harvesting licence is subject to

(a) the terms and conditions in the approved peatland management plan and approved peatland recovery plan;

(b) any prescribed terms and conditions; and

(c) any terms and conditions imposed by the director at the time the licence is issued.

Additional terms and conditions

20(2)       If he or she considers it appropriate given the principles set out in subsection 3(2), the director may, by written notice to the holder of the peat harvesting licence, impose additional terms and conditions on the licence, or rescind or vary terms and conditions that are not prescribed.

Annual land reservation charge

21(1)       Each year, the holder of a peat harvesting licence must pay the prescribed land reservation charge in accordance with the regulations.

Charge payable in addition to royalties

21(2)       The land reservation charge is payable for the year whether or not peat is harvested in that year and is in addition to any royalties paid by the holder of the peat harvesting licence during that year.

Term of licence

22          A peat harvesting licence may be issued for a term of up to 15 years.

Prohibition — harvesting outside boundaries

23          The holder of a peat harvesting licence must not harvest peat outside the boundaries of the area specified in the licence.

Holder must provide security

24(1)       The holder of a peat harvesting licence must provide the prescribed security in accordance with the regulations.

Holder must keep records, submit reports

24(2)       The holder of a peat harvesting licence must, in accordance with the regulations,

(a) make and maintain records about the holder's peat harvesting activity and recovery activities and any other prescribed matters; and

(b) prepare reports about the holder's peat harvesting activity and recovery activities and any other prescribed matters and submit them to the director.

Restriction on transfer or assignment

25          A peat harvesting licence is transferable or assignable only with the written consent of the director.

Access rights

26(1)       For the purpose of harvesting peat in the area of Crown peatland specified in a peat harvesting licence, the holder of the licence may enter

(a) that Crown peatland; and

(b) if necessary to access that Crown peatland, other Crown land.

Other approvals, authorizations for access not affected

26(2)       Subsection (1) does not affect any other approvals or authorizations to enter Crown land that the holder of the peat harvesting licence is required to obtain for entry.

Holder must comply with other enactments

27          The holder of a peat harvesting licence must comply with any other federal or provincial enactments that apply to the land on which the peat harvesting activity takes place.

Renewal of licence

28(1)       A peat harvesting licence may be renewed in accordance with this section and the regulations.

Considerations

28(2)       In deciding whether a peat harvesting licence should be renewed, the director must consider

(a) the matters referred to in clauses 19(2)(a), (b) and (c) as they relate to the application for renewal;

(b) the appropriateness of any amendments or additions to the peatland management plan or peatland recovery plan that the holder of the peat harvesting licence proposes for the renewal term;

(c) the compliance with this Act by the holder of the peat harvesting licence during the licence term;

(d) any other prescribed matter; and

(e) any other relevant considerations.

Peat harvesting rights subject to other rights

29(1)       A peat harvesting licence is subject to any other enactment dealing with or affecting the disposal of mines and minerals or oil and gas rights on, in or under the area of Crown peatland specified in the licence.

Use of land and roads by holders of mineral or oil and gas rights

29(2)       The holder, grantee, lessee, or permittee of the mineral rights or oil and gas rights in respect of land described in the licence, grant, lease or permit that is also in an area of Crown peatland specified in a peat harvesting licence has

(a) the right to secure, use, and hold possession of that land as is necessary for quarrying stone, drilling or operating a well or working a mine; and

(b) the right to open any roads necessary in connection with such works.

Definitions

29(3)       The following definitions apply in this section.

"mineral rights", "minerals" and "mines" have the same meaning as in The Mines and Minerals Act. (« droits miniers », « mines » et « minéral »)

"oil and gas rights" means oil and gas rights as defined in The Oil and Gas Act. (« droits gaziers et pétroliers »)

COMPLIANCE

Holder must comply with Act and permit

30          The holder of a peat exploration permit must comply with this Act and the permit's terms and conditions.

Holder must comply with Act and licence

31          The holder of a peat harvesting licence must comply with this Act and the licence's terms and conditions.

Notice and requirement to comply

32(1)       If the holder of a peat exploration permit or peat harvesting licence does not comply with this Act or the terms and conditions of the permit or licence, as the case may be, the director may notify the holder of the failure and may require the holder to comply within the period specified in the notice.

Suspension, cancellation, refusal to renew

32(2)       If the failure to comply is not remedied to the satisfaction of the director within the time specified in the notice, the director may, with notice and in accordance with the regulations,

(a) suspend the operations of the holder until the default is remedied;

(b) if the holder fails to remedy the default, cancel the permit or licence; or

(c) refuse to renew the holder's licence until the holder complies.

ROYALTIES

Royalty reserved to Crown

33(1)       A royalty is reserved to the Crown on peat that is harvested under a peat harvesting licence.

Royalty amount set by regulation

33(2)       The holder of a peat harvesting licence who harvests peat must pay the prescribed royalty to the government on or before the prescribed date.

Interest payable if royalty unpaid

33(3)       The holder of a peat harvesting licence who fails to pay a royalty when it is due must pay interest on the unpaid amount at the prescribed rate, calculated from the time the unpaid amount becomes due until payment is made.

Duty to submit royalty and reports

33(4)       Every person required to pay a royalty must prepare a report respecting the royalty due, in the form and manner required by the director, and submit the royalty and the report to the director on or before the prescribed date.

Penalty — failure to submit royalty or provide report

33(5)       If a person required to pay a royalty fails to comply with subsection (4), the person must, in addition to any royalty payable, pay the prescribed penalty.

Regulations — royalties

34          The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing a royalty or a method of calculating a royalty;

(b) respecting the assessment and reassessment of a royalty;

(c) respecting appeals from an assessment or reassessment;

(d) respecting the refund of a royalty paid;

(e) respecting exemptions from payment of a royalty;

(f) respecting time limits and time periods related to royalties;

(g) prescribing the interest rate on a royalty that is unpaid or overpaid.

RECOVERY OF CROWN PEATLAND

Peatlands must be recovered by licence holder

35          The holder of a peat harvesting licence

(a) must ensure that the activities set out in the holder's approved peatland recovery plan are undertaken and completed at the time or times set out in the plan; and

(b) must comply with the prescribed requirements for recovery of the peatlands.

Director's order re recovery performance

36(1)       If the director is of the opinion that the holder of a peat harvesting licence has failed to comply with clause 35(a) or (b), the director may, by order, direct that those activities, and any other recovery activities that the director considers appropriate, be performed by a person or persons named in the order.

Notice of order

36(2)       At least 15 days before issuing an order, the director must serve the holder of the peat harvesting licence with written notice of the order.

Use of security

36(3)       The director may use the prescribed security provided by the holder of the peat harvesting licence to pay all or part of the costs incurred in carrying out the recovery activities.

Costs not covered by security

36(4)       If the recovery costs exceed the amount of the security provided by the holder of the peat harvesting licence, the excess amount is a debt due and owing to the government by the holder. The holder must pay the amount of the debt within 30 days after being served written notice of it by the director.

EXTENSION AND SURRENDER

Extending licence

37          Despite section 22 (term of licence), the director may extend a peat harvesting licence for such period as, and with such terms and conditions that, the director considers reasonable to allow the holder to perform the activities set out in the approved peatland recovery plan to the satisfaction of the director.

Surrendering licence

38          The director may accept the surrender of a peat harvesting licence upon being satisfied that the fees, charges and royalties payable under this Act have been paid and that the activities set out in the approved peatland recovery plan have been performed to the satisfaction of the director.

PENALTY — FAILURE TO PAY

Penalty may be imposed

39          If, as a result of an audit or inspection or on the basis of other information, it appears that a charge, royalty or fee payable under this Act should have been paid but was not, the director may impose a penalty against the person who failed to pay it. The penalty is to be in an amount equal to the amount that should have been paid plus interest at the prescribed rate calculated on the amount that should have been paid.

PART 4

ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT

DIRECTOR OF PEATLANDS STEWARDSHIP

Director of peatlands stewardship

40(1)       A director of peatlands stewardship is to be appointed under The Civil Service Act to administer and enforce this Act.

Director may delegate

40(2)       The director may, in writing, authorize a person to carry out any of the director's duties or exercise any of the director's powers under this Act.

Forms

41          The director may approve forms for use in the administration of this Act and may require them to be used.

Director may require records

42(1)       The director or a person authorized by the director may require a person to provide records or copies of records that the person is required to make and maintain under this Act for the purpose of

(a) determining compliance with this Act or the terms and conditions of a peat exploration permit or peat harvesting licence;

(b) verifying the accuracy or completeness of a record or other information provided to the director or authorized person; or

(c) performing any other duty or function that the director or authorized person considers necessary or advisable in the administration or enforcement of this Act.

Duty to provide records

42(2)       A person required to provide records or copies of records under subsection (1) must do so.

INSPECTORS

Appointment of inspectors

43(1)       The minister may appoint any person as an inspector for the purposes of this Act.

Designating inspectors

43(2)       The minister may designate a person or class of persons employed by the government as inspectors for the purpose of administering and enforcing this Act.

Identification

43(3)       An inspector exercising a power under this Act must produce identification on request.

INSPECTIONS

General inspection powers

44(1)       An inspector may, at any reasonable time and where reasonably required to administer or determine compliance with this Act,

(a) enter and inspect

(i) any business premises of any person who holds a peat exploration permit or peat harvesting licence, or who formerly held a peat exploration permit or peat harvesting licence or whose permit or licence has been cancelled, or

(ii) subject to subsection (3), any other premises where the inspector has reasonable grounds to believe that records relevant to the administration and enforcement of this Act are maintained;

(b) conduct any test, take any sample or make any other examination of the premises, peat or other thing found in or on the premises;

(c) take photographs or videos or otherwise make a record of

(i) the premises or anything in or on the premises, or

(ii) peat, peat exploration activity or peat harvesting activity;

(d) require any person to provide information or produce any record for examination, auditing or copying; and

(e) take any other steps the inspector considers necessary.

Assistance

44(2)       An inspector conducting an inspection may be accompanied by a person having special, expert or professional knowledge of any matter relevant to the inspection.

Authority to enter a dwelling

44(3)       An inspector may not enter a dwelling to conduct an inspection except with the consent of the occupant or under the authority of a warrant.

Warrant to conduct inspection

44(4)       A justice, upon being satisfied by information on oath that

(a) an inspector has been refused entry to any premises to carry out an inspection; or

(b) there are reasonable grounds to believe that

(i) an inspector would be refused entry to any premises to carry out an inspection, or

(ii) if an inspector were to be refused entry to any premises to carry out an inspection, delaying the inspection in order to obtain a warrant on the basis of the refusal could be detrimental to the inspection;

may, at any time, issue a warrant authorizing an inspector and any other persons named in the warrant to enter the premises and carry out an inspection.

Application without notice

44(5)       A warrant under this section may be issued upon application without notice.

Assistance to be given

45(1)       The owner or person in charge of the premises being inspected or having custody or control of the relevant records or things must

(a) produce or make available to the inspector any records and things that the inspector requires for the inspection;

(b) provide any assistance or additional information, including personal information, that the inspector reasonably requires to perform the inspection; and

(c) answer any questions related to the purpose of the inspection that are asked of them by the inspector.

Electronic records

45(2)       In order to inspect records that may be accessed electronically at the place being inspected, the inspector may require the person in charge of the premises or the relevant records to produce the records in the form of a printout or to produce them in an electronically readable format.

Inspector may make copies

45(3)       An inspector may use equipment at the place being inspected to make copies of relevant records and may remove the copies from the place of inspection for further examination.

Inspector may remove records to make copies

45(4)       If an inspector is not able to make copies of records at the premises being inspected, he or she may remove them to make copies, but must give a receipt to the person from whom they were taken and return the originals as soon as practicable.

Warrant for search and seizure

46(1)       A justice, upon being satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that

(a) an offence under this Act is being or has been committed; and

(b) there is to be found in any premises any thing that will afford evidence of the offence;

may, at any time, issue a warrant authorizing an inspector and any other person named in the warrant to enter and search the premises for any such thing and to seize it and as soon as practicable bring it before a justice or report on it to a justice, to be dealt with according to law.

Application without notice

46(2)       A warrant under this section may be issued upon application without notice.

OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

False statements

47          No person shall knowingly make a false statement in any application, record or report made or maintained under this Act.

Offences

48(1)       A person commits an offence who does any of the following:

(a) explores for peat on Crown peatland other than as permitted under this Act;

(b) harvests peat on Crown peatland other than as permitted under this Act;

(c) contravenes a provision of this Act;

(d) refuses to provide or submit any information required under this Act;

(e) hinders, obstructs or interferes with an inspector conducting an inspection, refuses to answer questions on matters relevant to the inspection or provides the inspector with information on matters relevant to the inspection that the person knows to be false or misleading.

Continuing offence

48(2)       When a contravention of this Act continues for more than one day, the person is guilty of a separate offence for each day the offence continues.

Directors and officers of corporations

48(3)       If a corporation commits an offence under this Act, a director or officer of the corporation who authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the commission of the offence is also guilty of an offence.

Limitation period

48(4)       A prosecution for an offence under this Act may not be commenced later than two years after the day on which evidence sufficient to justify a prosecution for the offence came to the knowledge of the director or an inspector. The certificate of the director or an inspector as to the day on which the evidence came to his or her knowledge is evidence of that date.

Penalties

49(1)       A person who commits an offence under this Act is liable on summary conviction,

(a) in the case of an individual,

(i) for a first offence, to a fine of not more than $50,000 or imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or both, and 

(ii) for each subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $100,000 or imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or both; or

(b) in the case of a corporation,

(i) for a first offence, to a fine of not more than $250,000, and

(ii) for each subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $500,000.

Additional fine

49(2)       If a person is convicted of an offence under this Act and the court is satisfied that, as a result of the commission of the offence, the person acquired any monetary benefit or that a monetary benefit accrued to the person, the court may order the person to pay a fine of not more than the court's estimation of the amount of that monetary benefit. A fine under this subsection is in addition to, and not in place of, a fine under subsection (1).

PART 5

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Crown bound

50          This Act binds the Crown.

Agreements

51          With the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the minister may enter into agreements for the purposes of this Act, including, without limitation, agreements relating to climate change mitigation and research relating to peatlands, and partnerships respecting the use and development of Crown peatlands.

Information sharing

52(1)       The minister may require another government department, branch or office of the executive government, or a government agency, to provide the minister with information in order to

(a) prepare and maintain an inventory of peatlands in Manitoba;

(b) determine how different activities and practices enhance, maintain or degrade peatlands;

(c) determine how peatlands may be recovered; and

(d) further the purposes of this Act.

Duty to provide information

52(2)       An entity that receives a request under this section must provide the information requested in the form and within the time specified by the minister.

Meaning of "information"

52(3)       In this section, "information" includes personal information as defined in The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Non-identifying information

52(4)       If information required to be provided under this section includes personal information, that personal information must be limited to the minimum amount necessary to accomplish the purpose for which it is required or disclosed, and the minister must not request personal information if other information will serve the purpose of the request.

Liability protection

53          No action or proceeding may be brought against any person acting under the authority of this Act for anything done, or omitted to be done, in good faith, in the exercise or intended exercise of a power or duty under this Act.

PART 6

REGULATIONS

Regulations

54(1)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) regulating or prohibiting any use or activity related to the development, disturbance or destruction of peat on Crown peatland;

(b) regulating or prohibiting any use or activity in a provincially significant peatland or in any part of a provincially significant peatland;

(c) respecting the establishment of Crown peatland zones and regulating or prohibiting the issuance of peat exploration permits and peat harvesting licences in a zone;

(d) respecting peat exploration permits and peat harvesting licences, including

(i) applications for permits, licences and renewals,

(ii) qualifications of, and requirements to be met by, applicants for permits, licences and renewals,

(iii) terms and conditions of a permit or licence,

(iv) the effect of a change in the ownership or control of the holder of a licence,

(v) exploration work performance summaries,

(vi) peatland management plans and peatland recovery plans and the approval of those plans,

(vii) insurance that must be obtained by the holder of a permit or licence,

(viii) renewal of licences, and

(ix) suspension or cancellation of permits or licences;

(e) respecting security to be provided by the holder of a peat harvesting licence, including

(i) the terms, conditions and amount of a bond or other security, and

(ii) the forfeiture of a bond or other security and the disposition of proceeds of forfeiture;

(f) respecting recovery of peatlands, including

(i) the manner in which and the time within which peatlands must be recovered,

(ii) the standards and criteria to be used to determine whether recovery has been completed in a satisfactory manner, and

(iii) the manner in which any kind of activity may or must be conducted for purposes in connection with or incidental to recovery of peatlands;

(g) respecting the establishment of the Peatland Practices Committee and requiring holders of peat exploration permits and peat harvesting licences to comply with guidelines issued by the committee as a condition of the permit or licence;

(h) respecting records, including the form and content of records and the manner in which they must be maintained;

(i) respecting reports under this Act, including the content of reports and the manner in which they must be prepared and submitted to the director;

(j) prescribing the fees and charges payable under this Act, including application fees, land exploration charges and land reservation charges, or a method of calculating them, and the manner and time of payment and the interest or a method of calculating the interest payable on a failure to pay the fee or charge;

(k) prescribing the penalty amount for the purpose of subsection 33(5) or a method of calculating it, which must not exceed $5,000;

(l) respecting service of notices and other documents under this Act;

(m) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act;

(n) prescribing anything referred to in this Act as being prescribed;

(o) respecting any matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the purposes of this Act.

Application

54(2)       A regulation under this section may be general or particular in its application and may apply to one or more classes of persons, activities or things and to the whole or any part of the province.

Codes and standards

54(3)       A regulation under this section may incorporate or adopt by reference, and with any changes that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate, all or part of a code or standard, as amended before or after the making of the regulation and relating to the subject matter of this Act, whether the code or standard is promulgated by any governmental authority or by any association or other body of persons.

Maps

54(4)       Land that is designated or categorized for any purpose by a regulation under this Act is sufficiently described if its boundaries are shown or its area is indicated on a map incorporated or adopted by reference in the regulation.

PART 7

TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

Purpose

55(1)       The purpose of this Part is to transition the regulatory scheme for the commercial development of peat on Crown peatland from The Mines and Minerals Act to this Act.

Definitions

55(2)       The following definitions apply in this Part and Schedules A and B.

"former Act" means The Mines and Minerals Act. (« loi antérieure »)

"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer The Mines and Minerals Act. (« ministre »)

"peat application" means an application described in clause (3)(d) or (e), as the case may be. (« demande concernant la tourbe ou la mousse de tourbe »)

"peat quarry lease" means a quarry lease for peat or peat moss described in clause (3)(b). (« bail d'exploitation tourbière dans une carrière »)

"peat quarry permit" means a quarry permit for peat or peat moss described in clause (3)(a). (« licence d'exploitation tourbière dans une carrière »)

"related surface lease" means a surface lease described in clause (3)(c). (« bail de surface subordonné »)

Permits, leases and applications under former Act

55(3)       This Part applies to

(a) a quarry permit for peat or peat moss issued under subsection 14(7) or 133(2) of the former Act before the coming into force of this section;

(b) a quarry lease for peat or peat moss granted under subsection 139(2) of the former Act before the coming into force of this section;

(c) a surface lease issued under section 149 of the former Act before the coming into force of this section and that relates to a peat quarry lease;

(d) an application to enlarge the area covered by an existing quarry lease for peat or peat moss that was made under subsection 139(2.1) of the former Act before the coming into force of this section; and

(e) an application for a quarry permit or a quarry lease for peat and peat moss that was made before the coming into force of this section.

Quarry permits cancelled

56(1)       Every peat quarry permit is cancelled and any interest of a holder in the permit is extinguished.

Quarry leases cancelled and deemed surrendered

56(2)       Every peat quarry lease is cancelled and any interest or right of a lease holder in the lease is extinguished. The holder is deemed to have surrendered the lease to the minister.

Effect on quarry leases re peat and other quarry minerals

56(3)       Despite subsection (2), a quarry lease granted under subsection 139(2) of the former Act in respect of peat and peat moss and one or more other quarry minerals is cancelled only in so far as it relates to the peat or peat moss. The quarry lease as it relates to the quarry minerals other than peat or peat moss remains in effect, but any reference to peat or peat moss in the lease is extinguished and deemed to be of no force and effect.

Related surface leases cancelled and deemed surrendered

56(4)       Every related surface lease is cancelled and any interest or right of a holder in the lease is extinguished. The holder is deemed to have surrendered the lease to the minister.

Peat applications cancelled

56(5)       Every peat application is cancelled.

No compensation payable

56(6)       No right of compensation exists against the government or any person for any loss resulting from a cancellation or extinguishment under this section.

Director must issue peat harvesting licence

57(1)       The director must issue a peat harvesting licence to any person who held a peat quarry lease that is cancelled under section 56. The peat harvesting licence authorizes the holder to harvest peat in the same area as was specified in the lease.

Plans and information to be provided

57(2)       The holder of a peat harvesting licence issued under subsection (1) must, within the prescribed time period or if no period is prescribed within the first three years of the licence term, submit to the director

(a) a peatland management plan that includes the prescribed content;

(b) a peatland recovery plan that includes the prescribed content;

(c) any other prescribed information; and

(d) any additional information requested by the director.

Lease under Crown Lands Act

57(3)       A person who

(a) held a related surface lease that is cancelled under subsection 56(4); and

(b) is issued a peat harvesting licence under this section;

must be granted a lease under clause 7(1)(a) of The Crown Lands Act in respect of the land that was the subject of the related surface lease.

Existing harvesting operations in wildlife management area continued

58          Clause 5(c) (no harvesting in wildlife management area) does not apply to a person who

(a) held any of the peat quarry leases listed in Schedule A; and

(b) is also issued a peat harvesting licence under subsection 57(1) for the same area specified in the peat quarry lease even though that area is located within the wildlife management area described in Schedule A.

Director may issue peat harvesting licence

59(1)       Subject to this section and the regulations, the director may

(a) issue a peat harvesting licence to any person who held a peat application for a quarry lease listed in Schedule B that is cancelled under subsection 56(5); or

(b) amend the area already specified in a peat harvesting licence to include one or more areas that are the subject of a peat application for a quarry lease listed in Schedule B.

The peat harvesting licence authorizes the holder to harvest peat in the area of Crown peatland specified in the licence.

Other provisions apply

59(2)       Subsection 18(1), except for subclause (c)(i), and subsections 19(2) and (3) apply to the issuance of a peat harvesting licence under this section.

Transitional regulations

60          The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations to remedy any difficulty, inconsistency or impossibility resulting from regulating the commercial development of peat on Crown peatland under the former Act to regulating it under this Act.

PART 8

RELATED AND CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS

C.C.S.M. c. C205 amended

61(1)       The Contaminated Sites Remediation Act is amended by this section.

61(2)       Subsection 3(3) is replaced with the following:

Application to sites under other Acts

3(3)        Except as otherwise provided in the regulations, this Act does not apply to a site to which the provisions of the following Acts respecting the rehabilitation of land apply:

(a) The Oil and Gas Act;

(b) The Mines and Minerals Act;

(c) The Peatlands Stewardship Act.

61(3)       Subsection 3(4) is amended by striking out "rehabilitation of the site under The Oil and Gas Act, The Mines and Minerals Act" and substituting "rehabilitation or reclamation of the site under The Oil and Gas Act, The Mines and Minerals Act, The Peatlands Stewardship Act".

61(4)       Clause 60(1)(k) is amended by striking out "or The Mines and Minerals Act" and substituting "The Mines and Minerals Act or The Peatlands Stewardship Act".

C.C.S.M. c. E3 amended

62(1)       The East Side Traditional Lands Planning and Special Protected Areas Act is amended by this section.

62(2)       Clause 18(2)(e) is amended by striking out "plants," and substituting "plants, peat and peat moss,".

62(3)       The following is added after subsection 27(2):

Reference includes peat

27(3)       A provision of a regulation made under this Act that refers to mines and minerals or mining is deemed to apply to peat or the commercial development of peat, as those terms are defined in The Peatlands Stewardship Act, unless the contrary is explicitly provided for in the regulation.

C.C.S.M. c. E125 amended

63          The Environment Act is amended by adding the following after section 12.1:

Peat harvesting licence to be obtained before development licence

12.2        A licence, or an alteration to a licence issued under section 11, in respect of a development to harvest peat must not be issued unless the applicant has first obtained a peat harvesting licence under The Peatlands Stewardship Act.

C.C.S.M. c. M162 amended

64(1)       The Mines and Minerals Act is amended by this section.

64(2)       Subsection 1(1) is amended by striking out "peat, peat moss" in

(a) the definition "mineral"; and

(b) clause (a) of the definition "quarry mineral".

64(3)       Subsection 14(7) is amended by striking out "Subject to section 128.1, the director" and substituting "The director".

64(4)       Section 20 is amended by striking out "and" at the end of clause (c), adding "and" at the end of clause (d) and adding the following after clause (d):

(e) land that is designated as a provincially significant peatland under The Peatlands Stewardship Act.

64(5)       Clause 29(2)(a) is amended by striking out "or" at the end of subclause (iv), adding "or" at the end of subclause (v) and adding the following after subclause (v):

(vi) a holder of a lease or mineral disposition and a holder of a peat exploration permit or peat harvesting licence under The Peatlands Stewardship Act;

64(6)       Section 128.1 is repealed.

64(7)       Subsection 133(2) is amended by striking out "section 128.1 and".

64(8)       Subsection 139(2.1) is amended by striking out ", subject to section 128.1,".

64(9)       Subsection 139(3) is amended by striking out "For the period of the moratorium under section 128.1, a conversion may not be granted in respect of a permit for peat or peat moss.".

C.C.S.M. c. M225 amended

65          Clause 335(4)(i) of The Municipal Act is amended by adding ", peat, peat moss" after "gravel".

C.C.S.M. c. M226 amended

66(1)       The Municipal Assessment Act is amended by this section.

66(2)       Subsection 1(2) is amended by adding ", peat, peat moss" after "gravel".

66(3)       Subsection 31(4) is amended

(a) in clause (g), by adding ", peat" after "gas"; and

(b) by replacing clause (j) with the following:

(j) is equipment used for

(i) the mining or removal of aggregate, as defined in The Mines and Minerals Act, or

(ii) peat harvesting, as defined in The Peatlands Stewardship Act;

C.C.S.M. c. M240 amended

67          Clause 98(b) of The Municipal Board Act is amended by adding ", peat" after "shale".

C.C.S.M. c. P20 amended

68          The Provincial Parks Act is amended by adding the following after subsection 7(6):

Prohibition on commercial development of peat

7(7)        The commercial development of peat within the meaning of The Peatlands Stewardship Act is prohibited in provincial parks in accordance with clause 5(b) of that Act.

C.C.S.M. c. P35 amended

69          The Personal Property Security Act is amended in the definition "goods" in section 1 by adding "peat until it is harvested," after "they are severed,".

C.C.S.M. c. R30 amended

70          The following provisions of The Real Property Act are amended by adding "and peat" after "mines and minerals":

(a) clauses 47(2)(d) and (e);

(b) subsections 47(3) and (4), wherever it occurs.

PART 9

C.C.S.M. REFERENCE AND

COMING INTO FORCE

C.C.S.M. reference

71          This Act may be cited as The Peatlands Stewardship Act and referred to as chapter P31 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

72          This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Explanatory Note

This Bill proposes a regulatory scheme to protect Crown peatland while providing for sustainably managed commercial development of peat.

Provincially significant peatlands may be designated by Cabinet regulation. Specified development activities will not be permitted within a designated peatland. Peat exploration and peat harvesting will be prohibited in wildlife management areas (with one exception) and in provincial parks.

The director of peatlands stewardship may issue peat exploration permits and peat harvesting licences to exploration permit holders. Harvested peatlands must be restored, rehabilitated or reclaimed. Licence holders will be required to post security to ensure that happens. Annual land charges will be levied and royalties will be imposed on harvested peat.

Peat will no longer be considered a mineral under The Mines and Minerals Act. Existing quarry leases for peat issued under that Act become peat harvesting licences that are subject to the new regulatory scheme. Specified quarry lease applicants may apply directly for a peat harvesting licence.

The Environment Act is amended to require that a peat harvesting licence be obtained before a development licence can be issued under that Act. The Provincial Parks Act is amended to prohibit the commercial development of peat in provincial parks. Consequential amendments are made to other Acts, including The Mines and Minerals Act and The East Side Traditional Lands Planning and Special Protected Areas Act.