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The Public Utilities Board Amendment Act

S.M. 1991-92, c. 6

Bill 44, 2nd Session, 35th Legislature

The Public Utilities Board Amendment Act

(Assented to July 5, 1991)

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

C.C.S.M. c. P280 amended

1           The Public Utilities Board Act is amended by this Act.

Section 104.1 added

2           The following section is added after section 104 and as part of Part II:

Discontinuance of supply or service for default

104.1(1)    Where, before or after the coming into force of this section, a person is in default in the payment of any rate, toll, fare or charge due to the owner of a public utility for any product supplied or service rendered, the owner or its authorized agent may, subject to this section,

(a)discontinue to supply the product or to render the service, as the case may be;

(b)remove from the affected premises any meters, pipes, facilities or equipment belonging to the owner;

(c)by action in a court of competent jurisdiction, recover the rate, toll, fare or charge, together with any expense of carrying out the discontinuance or removal and the costs of the action;

notwithstanding any obligation the owner may have under this or another Act of the Legislature or any law, or pursuant to any franchise granted under this Act or The Municipal Act, to supply the product or to render the service for an indefinite period or for a definite period that has not expired.

Residential premises - prohibited disconnection period

104.1(2)    No owner and no agent of an owner shall carry out a discontinuance or removal under subsection (1) during the period commencing on October 1 of any year and ending on May 14 of the following year, where the discontinuance or removal will affect the supply of heat to occupied residential premises.

"Residential premises" defined

104.1(3)    In subsection (2), "residential premises" means premises used as residential premises, whether or not designed or constructed for the purpose and whether or not adjoining, connected to, contained within or forming part of non-residential premises.

Residential premises - exception

104.1(4)    Subsection (2) does not apply where the affected premises are leased to a tenant and the landlord is responsible for payment of the cost of heating the premises.

Conditions and procedures for discontinuance

104.1(5)    No owner and no agent of an owner shall carry out a discontinuance or removal under subsection (1) except after complying with such conditions precedent and following such procedures as may be approved by the board under subsection (6).

Board approval of conditions and procedures

104.1(6)    An owner of a public utility may prepare and submit to the board for approval a list of such conditions precedent and procedures as the owner deems necessary for the purposes of subsection (5), and the board may in its absolute discretion approve or refuse to approve any list so submitted.

List of conditions and procedures

104.1(7)    Without restricting the generality of subsection (6), a list of conditions precedent and procedures prepared under that subsection shall include provisions specifying

(a)the number of notices that shall be given to affected persons preceding a discontinuance or removal under subsection (1);

(b)the manner of giving each notice;

(c)the required length of each period of notice;

(d)the terms and conditions, and required circumstances, for the resumption of any supply or service discontinued under subsection (1);

(e)the content and frequency of reports that an owner or the agent of an owner shall provide to the board respecting any discontinuance or removal carried out or proposed to be carried out by the owner or agent under subsection (1).

Order to resume supply or service

104.1(8)    Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or anything done thereunder, the board may at any time order the cessation of any discontinuance or removal that may be in progress under subsection (1), or the resumption of any supply or service that has already been discontinued under subsection (1), and in determining whether or not to make such an order the board shall consider all reports respecting the discontinuance or removal provided pursuant to clause (7)(e) and all factors that it deems relevant including

(a)the likelihood of danger to life or health;

(b)the likelihood of serious damage to property;

(c)the amount due and owing to the owner;

(d)the length of time that payment of the amount has been in default;

(e)the health and family circumstances of the occupants of the affected premises;

(f)the financial circumstances of the person in default;

(g)the nature, condition and usage of the affected premises;

(h)whether or not the owner has complied with the conditions precedent and followed the procedures required to be complied with and followed under this section;

and the owner shall comply with the order.

No liability for loss or damage

104.1(9)    Neither the owner of a public utility nor its agent is liable for any injury, loss or damage resulting from a discontinuance or removal carried out by the owner or agent under subsection (1) in compliance with this section and without negligence.

Other Acts of the Legislature

104.1(10)   This section is subject to subsection 2(5) of this Act and any other provision of this or another Act of the Legislature setting out or providing for conditions precedent or procedures to be complied with or followed by the owner of a public utility in discontinuing, for default in the payment of any rate, toll, fare or charge due to the owner, or in resuming after such a discontinuance, to supply a product or to render a service normally required to be provided by the public utility.

Regulations Act

104.1(11)   Any list of conditions precedent and procedures submitted to and approved by the board under subsection (6) is not a regulation within the meaning of The Regulations Act.

Coming into force of Act

3(1)        This Act, except subsection 104.1(4) of The Public Utilities Board Act as enacted by section 2 of this Act, comes into force on the day it receives the royal assent.

Coming into force of subsection 104.1(4)

3(2)        Subsection 104.1(4) of The Public Utilities Board Act, as enacted by section 2 of this Act, comes into force on

(a)the day that section 60 of The Residential Tenancies Act, S.M. 1990-91, c. 11, comes into force; or

(b)the day this Act receives the royal assent;

whichever occurs last.