Skip to main content
The Courts Modernization Act (Various Acts Amended)

This is an unofficial version.
If you need an official copy, use the bilingual (PDF) version.

S.M. 2019, c. 16

Bill 20, 4th Session, 41st Legislature

The Courts Modernization Act (Various Acts Amended)

Explanatory Note

This note is a reader's aid and is not part of the law.

This Act amends four Acts that govern court proceedings in Manitoba.

The Court of Appeal Act

New procedures are established to make orders respecting persons who are vexatious litigants. The ability of the court to make rules regarding practice and procedure is clarified. The court must make an annual report respecting its activities.

The Provincial Court Act

Committees that were convened to provide a list of candidates when there was a need to appoint a judge or a judicial justice of the peace are made standing committees. Each committee will maintain an ongoing list of qualified candidates. When an appointment is required, the committee will prepare a list of candidates who are recommended for the appointment in question.

Provincial court judges must retire at age 75.

The Court of Queen's Bench Act

New procedures are established to make orders respecting persons who are vexatious litigants.

A committee that was convened to provide a list of candidates when there was a need to appoint a master is made a standing committee. This committee will maintain an ongoing list of qualified candidates and will prepare a list of recommended candidates when a master is to be appointed.

Masters must retire at age 75. The court must make an annual report respecting its activities. The ability of all judges to deal with aspects of certain family proceedings is clarified.

The Court of Queen's Bench Small Claims Practices Act

The monetary limit for a small claim action is raised from $10,000 to $15,000. That limit may be increased by regulation.

A defendant in a small claim action is required to file a defence. Default judgment may be obtained against a defendant who does not file a defence by the deadline set under the rules. A process is established to set aside default judgments.

The amount of costs that can be awarded against a party is increased from $100 to $500. Wrongful dismissal from employment claims cannot be brought in a small claim action.

(Assented to June 3, 2019)

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

PART 1

THE COURT OF APPEAL ACT

C.C.S.M. c. C240 amended

1           The Court of Appeal Act is amended by this Part.

2           Section 31.1 is replaced with the following:

Order restraining vexatious litigant

31.1(1)     If a judge sitting in chambers or the court is satisfied that a person has persistently instituted vexatious proceedings or conducted proceedings in a vexatious manner, the judge or the court may order that

(a) the person must not institute a further proceeding; and

(b) any proceeding already instituted by the person must not be continued;

except with leave of a judge.

Obtaining order

31.1(2)     An order under subsection (1) may be made

(a) on a judge's own motion in chambers or on the court's own motion; or

(b) on application by

(i) a party against whom the alleged vexatious proceedings have been instituted or conducted, or

(ii) any other person, with leave of a judge.

3           Subsection 31.2(4) is repealed.

4           Section 33 is replaced with the following:

Rules

33          The judges of the court may make rules, which may alter the substantive law, with respect to the practice and procedure of the court, including rules

(a) respecting the court's proceedings under an Act that confers jurisdiction on the court or a judge of the court;

(b) establishing a tariff of costs for services by a lawyer in a proceeding;

(c) prescribing forms for use in proceedings of the court;

(d) authorizing the registrar to do anything specified in the rules, and to exercise any authority and jurisdiction that may be exercised by a judge sitting in chambers.

5           The following is added after section 37:

Annual report

38(1)       Within three months after the end of each fiscal year, the Chief Justice of Manitoba must prepare an annual report about the operation, functioning and administration of the court during the year.

Information to be included in annual report

38(2)       The annual report must contain the following information:

(a) the number and type of appeals before the court;

(b) the time to disposition of appeals before the court;

(c) the number of appeal decisions given by the court;

(d) any other information that, in the opinion of the Chief Justice of Manitoba, should be made available to the public to promote public understanding of the courts and the role of the judiciary;

(e) any other information that may be required by the regulations concerning the operation, functioning and administration of the court.

Annual report submitted to minister by Chief Justice

38(3)       The Chief Justice of Manitoba must submit the annual report to the Minister of Justice who must table a copy of the report in the Assembly on any of the first 15 days on which the Assembly is sitting after the minister receives it.

Annual report made available to the public

38(4)       The Minister of Justice must ensure that the report is made available to the public after it has been tabled in the Assembly. If the Assembly is not sitting when the minister receives the report, the minister must make it available to the public within 15 days after receiving it.

Regulations

38(5)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting information that is required to be included in an annual report under clause (2)(e).

PART 2

THE PROVINCIAL COURT ACT

C.C.S.M. c. C275 amended

6           The Provincial Court Act is amended by this Part.

7           Section 3.1 is replaced with the following:

Appointment from list of recommended candidates

3.1         An appointment under subsection 3(1) must be made from a list of candidates that are recommended for appointment by the judicial appointment committee under section 3.6.

8           The following is added before section 4:

Judicial appointment committee

3.3(1)      The judicial appointment committee is hereby established.

Composition of committee

3.3(2)      The committee consists of the following:

(a) the Chief Judge, who is the chair of the committee;

(b) three persons, who are not lawyers, judges or retired judges, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council;

(c) a judge designated by the judges of the Provincial Court;

(d) the president of the Law Society of Manitoba, or a member of the Law Society of Manitoba designated by the president;

(e) the president of the Manitoba Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, or a member of the Manitoba Branch of the Canadian Bar Association designated by the president.

Appointment considerations

3.3(3)      When appointing or designating persons under clauses (2)(b), (d) and (e), the diversity of Manitoba must be taken into account.

Term

3.3(4)      Committee members under clauses (2)(b), (d) and (e) are to be appointed or designated for a term not exceeding three years and may be re-appointed or designated for an additional term not exceeding three years.

Receiving applications for judicial appointment

3.4(1)      The judicial appointment committee must

(a) make information publicly available about the process by which persons may apply for appointment as a judge; and

(b) accept applications, on an ongoing basis, from persons seeking appointment as a judge.

Encouraging diverse pool of candidates

3.4(2)      The committee must make efforts to ensure that the pool of candidates reflects the diversity of Manitoba.

Reviewing applications

3.4(3)      The committee must meet at least annually to review applications that have been received and evaluate candidates.

Evaluation criteria

3.4(4)      In addition to the requirements of subsection 3(2), the committee must establish criteria for the evaluation of candidates, which must include

(a) an assessment of a candidate's professional excellence, community awareness and personal suitability; and

(b) a consideration of whether the appointment of the candidate would reflect the diversity of Manitoba within the court.

Interviews and inquiries

3.4(5)      The committee may conduct interviews and make any inquiries that it considers advisable in order to evaluate a candidate.

List of qualified candidates

3.5(1)      After reviewing an application and conducting any necessary inquiries, the judicial appointment committee must place a candidate on a list of qualified candidates if it determines that the candidate has the professional and personal qualifications necessary to serve as a judge.

Ongoing list

3.5(2)      The committee must maintain an ongoing list of candidates whom the committee has determined are qualified for judicial appointment.

Review and revision of list

3.5(3)      The committee may conduct periodic reviews of the list of qualified candidates to ensure that persons on the list are still seeking judicial appointment and remain qualified for appointment. The committee may make revisions to the list based on those reviews.

List of recommended candidates to minister

3.6(1)      When the minister advises the Chief Judge that the appointment of a judge is required, the judicial appointment committee must meet and provide the minister with a list of at least three and no more than six persons from the list of qualified candidates whom the committee recommends for the appointment in question. The names on the list must not be ranked.

Interviews and inquiries

3.6(2)      The committee may conduct further interviews and make any inquiries that it considers advisable in order to establish the list of recommended candidates.

Confidentiality

3.7         The committee must conduct its proceedings in private and committee members must not disclose any information obtained from or about a candidate.

9           The centred heading before section 5 is amended by adding "AND RETIREMENT" after "RESIGNATION".

10          The following is added after section 5 and before the centred heading that follows it:

Mandatory retirement

5.1         A judge ceases to hold office at the end of the month in which they turn 75 years of age.

11          Subsection 6.5(1) is amended by adding "who is under 75 years of age and" after "A retired judge".

12          Section 8 is replaced with the following:

Appointing Chief Judge

8(1)        The Lieutenant Governor in Council must appoint a person as Chief Judge. If the person to be appointed is not already a judge, that person must also be appointed as a judge of the court.

Appointment from list of recommended candidates

8(2)        The appointment must be made from the list of recommended candidates provided under subsection (6).

Appointment committee

8(3)        When the position of Chief Judge is vacant or when a vacancy is imminent, an appointment committee must be established. The committee consists of

(a) a person appointed by the minister, who is the chair of the committee; and

(b) the members of the judicial appointment committee referred to in clauses 3.3(2)(b) to (e).

Direction re scope

8(4)        The minister must advise the chair of the appointment committee whether the committee is to recommend judges only or whether it may also recommend any person qualified under subsection 3(2).

Committee duties

8(5)        The appointment committee must

(a) advertise for applications for Chief Judge in such manner as it considers appropriate;

(b) accept applications from persons seeking appointment as Chief Judge;

(c) conduct interviews and make any inquiries that it considers advisable in order to evaluate a candidate;

(d) meet and evaluate candidates using the criteria under subsection 3.4(4); and

(e) comply with the confidentiality requirements set out in section 3.7.

Providing list of recommended candidates

8(6)        The appointment committee must provide the minister with a list of at least three and no more than six candidates whom it determines have the professional and personal qualifications necessary to serve as Chief Judge. The names on the list must not be ranked.

13          Subsection 8.0.1(1) is amended by striking out "The Chief Judge" and substituting "Subject to section 5.1, the Chief Judge".

14          Subsection 9.1(1) is amended by striking out "An Associate Chief Judge" and substituting "Subject to section 5.1, an Associate Chief Judge".

15(1)       Subsection 11.2(1) is amended by striking out "the activities and functioning" and substituting "the operation, functioning and administration".

15(2)       Subsection 11.2(2) is replaced with the following:

Information to be included in annual report

11.2(2)     The annual report must contain the following information:

(a) the number and type of cases before the court;

(b) the time to disposition of criminal cases before the court;

(c) the average number of appearances before the court by an accused person;

(d) the clearance rate of criminal cases before the court;

(e) the number of inquests conducted under The Fatality Inquiries Act;

(f) with respect to each inquest report under The Fatality Inquiries Act completed that year, the length of time from the completion of the inquest until the report was completed;

(g) the contingent liability of the government for public funds that results from unused vacation leave or retirement allowances of the judges of the court;

(h) any other information that, in the opinion of the Chief Judge, should be made available to the public to promote public understanding of the courts and the role of the judiciary;

(i) any other information that may be required by the regulations concerning the operation, functioning and administration of the court.

15(3)       Subsection 11.2(5) is replaced with the following:

Regulations

11.2(5)     The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting information that is required to be included in the annual report under clause (2)(i).

16          Section 42 is replaced with the following:

Appointment from list of recommended candidates

42          The appointment of a judicial justice of the peace under subsection 40(1) must be made from the list of candidates that are recommended for appointment under section 42.4.

Appointment Committee for Judicial Justices of the Peace

42.1(1)     The Appointment Committee for Judicial Justices of the Peace is hereby established.

Composition of committee

42.1(2)     The committee consists of the following:

(a) the Chief Judge, or a judge designated by the Chief Judge, who is the chair of the committee;

(b) two persons appointed by the minister.

Term of appointment

42.1(3)      Members appointed to the committee are to be appointed for a term not exceeding three years and may be re-appointed for an additional term.

Receiving applications for appointment

42.2(1)     The Appointment Committee for Judicial Justices of the Peace must

(a) make information publicly available regarding the process by which persons may apply for appointment as a judicial justice of the peace; and

(b) accept applications, on an ongoing basis, from persons seeking appointment as a judicial justice of the peace.

Encouraging diverse pool of candidates

42.2(2)     The committee must make efforts to ensure that the pool of candidates reflects the diversity of Manitoba.

Committee to meet to review applications

42.2(3)     The committee must meet at least annually to review applications that have been received and evaluate candidates.

Evaluation criteria

42.2(4)     In addition to the requirements of section 41, the committee must establish criteria for the evaluation of candidates, which must include

(a) an assessment of a candidate's applicable experience and knowledge, community awareness and personal suitability; and

(b) a consideration of whether the appointment of the candidate would reflect the diversity of Manitoba within the court's roster of judicial justices of the peace.

Committee may conduct inquiries

42.2(5)     The committee may conduct interviews and make any inquiries that it considers advisable in order to evaluate a candidate.

List of qualified candidates

42.3(1)     After reviewing an application and conducting any necessary inquiries, the Appointment Committee for Judicial Justices of the Peace must place a candidate on a list of qualified candidates if it determines that the candidate is qualified to serve as a judicial justice of the peace.

Ongoing list

42.3(2)     The committee must maintain an ongoing list of candidates whom the committee has determined are qualified for appointment as a judicial justice of the peace.

Review and revision of list

42.3(3)     The committee may conduct periodic reviews of the list of qualified candidates to ensure that persons on the list are still seeking appointment as a judicial justice of the peace and remain qualified for appointment. The committee may make revisions to the list based on those reviews.

Appointment committee to meet re appointment

42.4(1)     When the minister advises the Chief Judge that the appointment of a judicial justice of the peace is required, the Appointment Committee for Judicial Justices of the Peace must meet to consider candidates for the appointment in question.

List of recommended candidates to minister

42.4(2)     Subject to subsection (4), the committee must provide the minister with a list of at least three and no more than six persons from the list of qualified candidates whom the committee recommends for the appointment in question. The names on the list must not be ranked.

Interviews and inquiries

42.4(3)     The committee may conduct further interviews and make any inquiries that it considers advisable in order to establish the list of recommended candidates for the appointment in question.

Certifying list with fewer than three candidates

42.4(4)     If the committee is unable to recommend at least three candidates, the committee must certify this to the minister and provide the minister with the names of the candidates that it recommends for the appointment in question.

Confidentiality

42.5        The committee must conduct its proceedings in private and committee members must not disclose any information obtained from or about a candidate.

17          Section 43 is repealed.

Transitional — judges already over 75

18          A judge who is 75 years of age or older when section 10 comes into force may continue to hold office until six months after that section comes into force.

PART 3

THE COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH ACT

C.C.S.M. c. C280 amended

19          The Court of Queen's Bench Act is amended by this Part.

20          The definition "nominating committee" in section 11 is repealed.

21          Section 11.1 is amended by renumbering it as subsection 11.1(1) and adding the following as subsection 11.1(2):

Appointment from list of candidates

11.1(2)     An appointment under subsection (1) must be made from a list of candidates that are recommended for appointment by the masters appointment committee under section 11.5.

22          Sections 11.3 to 11.5 are replaced with the following:

Masters appointment committee

11.3(1)     The masters appointment committee is hereby established.

Composition of committee

11.3(2)     The committee consists of the following:

(a) the Chief Justice, or a judge designated by the Chief Justice, who is the chair of the committee;

(b) three persons, who are not lawyers, judges or retired judges, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council;

(c) the senior master;

(d) the president of the Law Society of Manitoba, or a member of the Law Society designated by the president;

(e) the president of the Manitoba Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, or a member of the Manitoba Branch of the Canadian Bar Association designated by the president.

Appointment considerations

11.3(3)     When appointing or designating persons under clauses (2)(b), (d) and (e), the diversity of Manitoba must be taken into account.

Term of appointment

11.3(4)      Committee members under clauses (2)(b), (d) and (e) are to be appointed or designated for a term not exceeding three years and may be re-appointed or designated for an additional term not exceeding three years.

Confidentiality

11.3(5)      The committee must conduct its proceedings in private, and committee members must not disclose any information obtained from or about a candidate.

Receiving applications for appointment

11.4(1)     The masters appointment committee must

(a) make information publicly available about the process by which persons may apply for appointment as a master; and

(b) accept applications, on an ongoing basis, from persons seeking appointment as a master.

Encouraging diverse pool of candidates

11.4(2)     The committee must make efforts to ensure that the pool of candidates reflects the diversity of Manitoba.

Committee to meet to review applications

11.4(3)     The committee must meet at least annually to review applications that have been received and evaluate candidates.

Evaluation criteria

11.4(4)     In addition to the requirements of section 11.2, the committee must establish criteria for the evaluation of candidates, which must include

(a) an assessment of a candidate's professional excellence, community awareness and personal suitability; and

(b) a consideration of whether the appointment of the candidate would reflect the diversity of Manitoba within the masters of the court.

Committee may conduct inquiries

11.4(5)     The committee may conduct interviews and make any inquiries that it considers advisable in order to evaluate a candidate.

List of qualified candidates

11.4(6)     After reviewing an application and conducting any necessary inquiries, the masters appointment committee must place a candidate on a list of qualified candidates if it determines that the candidate has the professional and personal qualifications necessary to serve as a master.

Ongoing list

11.4(7)     The committee must maintain an ongoing list of candidates whom the committee has determined are qualified for appointment as a master.

Review and revision of list

11.4(8)     The committee may conduct periodic reviews of the list of qualified candidates to ensure that persons on the list are still seeking appointment to the position of master and remain qualified for appointment. The committee may make revisions to the list based on those reviews.

Appointment committee to meet re appointment

11.5(1)     When the minister advises the Chief Justice that the appointment of a master is required, the masters appointment committee must meet to consider candidates for the appointment in question.

List of recommended candidates to minister

11.5(2)     Subject to subsection (4), the committee must provide the minister with a list of at least three and no more than six persons from the list of qualified candidates whom the committee recommends for the appointment in question. The names on the list must not be ranked.

Interviews and inquiries

11.5(3)     The committee may conduct further interviews and make any inquiries that it considers advisable in order to establish the list of recommended candidates for the appointment in question.

Certifying list with fewer than three candidates

11.5(4)     If the committee is unable to recommend at least three candidates, the committee must certify this to the minister and provide the minister with the names of the candidates that it recommends for the appointment in question.

23          Section 11.6 is replaced with the following:

Appointing senior master

11.6(1)     The Lieutenant Governor in Council must appoint a person as senior master. If the person to be appointed is not already a master, that person must also be appointed as a master of the court.

Appointment from list of recommended candidates

11.6(2)     The appointment must be made from the list of recommended candidates provided under subsection (6).

Appointment committee

11.6(3)     When the position of senior master is vacant or when a vacancy is imminent, an appointment committee must be established. The committee consists of

(a) a person appointed by the minister, who is the chair of the committee; and

(b) the members of the masters appointment committee referred to in clauses 11.3(2)(b) to (e).

Direction re scope

11.6(4)     The minister must advise the chair of the appointment committee whether the committee is to recommend masters only or whether it may also recommend any person qualified under section 11.2.

Committee duties

11.6(5)      The appointment committee must

(a) advertise for applications for senior master in such manner as it considers appropriate;

(b) accept applications from person seeking appointment as senior master;

(c) conduct interviews and make any inquiries that it considers advisable in order to evaluate a candidate;

(d) meet and evaluate candidates using the criteria under subsection 11.4(4); and

(e) comply with the confidentiality requirements set out in subsection 11.3(5).

Providing list of recommended candidates

11.6(6)     Subject to subsection (7), the appointment committee must provide the minister with a list of at least three and no more than six candidates whom it determines have the professional and personal qualifications necessary to serve as senior master. The names on the list must not be ranked.

Certifying list with fewer than three candidates

11.6(7)     If the committee is unable to recommend at least three candidates, the committee must certify this to the minister and provide the minister with the names of the candidates that it recommends for the appointment in question.

24          The following is added after section 11.13:

Mandatory retirement

11.13.1     A master ceases to hold office at the end of the month in which the master turns 75 years of age.

25          Clause 11.28(1)(a) of the English version is amended by striking out "Nominating" and substituting "Appointment".

26(1)       Subsection 43(1) is amended by adding ", except for a proceeding referred to in subsection (1.1)" after "in the family division".

26(2)       The following is added after subsection 43(1):

Exception

43(1.1)     An application to set aside a protection order made under The Domestic Violence and Stalking Act where the parties to the order are persons referred to in subsection 2(1) of that Act may be heard by any judge if there are no other ongoing family proceedings involving the parties to the order.

27          Section 73 is replaced with the following:

Order restraining vexatious litigant

73(1)       If a judge is satisfied that a person has persistently instituted vexatious proceedings or conducted proceedings in a vexatious manner, the judge may order that

(a) the person must not institute a further proceeding; and

(b) any proceeding already instituted by the person must not be continued;

except with leave of a judge.

Obtaining order

73(2)       An order under subsection (1) may be made

(a) on the judge's own motion; or

(b) on application by

(i) a party against whom the alleged vexatious proceedings have been instituted or conducted, or

(ii) any other person, with leave of a judge.

28          Subsection 74(3) is repealed.

29          The following is added after section 99:

Annual report

99.1(1)     Within three months after the end of each fiscal year, the Chief Justice must prepare an annual report about the operation, functioning and administration of the court during the year.

Information to be included in annual report

99.1(2)     The annual report must contain the following information:

(a) the number and type of cases before the court;

(b) the time to disposition of criminal cases before the court;

(c) the average number of appearances before the court by accused persons in criminal cases;

(d) the clearance rate of criminal cases before the court;

(e) any other information that, in the opinion of the Chief Justice, should be made available to the public to promote public understanding of the courts and the role of the judiciary;

(f) any other information that may be required by the regulations concerning the operation, functioning and administration of the court.

Annual report submitted to minister by Chief Justice

99.1(3)     The Chief Justice must submit the annual report to the Minister of Justice who must table a copy of the report in the Assembly on any of the first 15 days on which the Assembly is sitting after the minister receives it.

Annual report made available to the public

99.1(4)     The Minister of Justice must ensure that the report is made available to the public after it has been tabled in the Assembly. If the Assembly is not sitting when the minister receives the report, the minister must make it available to the public within 15 days after receiving it.

Regulations

99.1(5)     The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting information that is required to be included in an annual report under clause (2)(f).

Transitional — masters already over 75

30          A master who is 75 years of age or older when section 24 comes into force may continue to hold office until six months after that section comes into force.

PART 4

THE COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH SMALL CLAIMS PRACTICES ACT

C.C.S.M. c. C285 amended

31          The Court of Queen's Bench Small Claims Practices Act is amended by this Part.

32          The definition "document" in subsection 1(1) is amended by adding "a defence filed under section 8.0.1" after "section 6,".

33(1)        Subsection 3(1) is amended

(a) in clause (a), by striking out "$10,000." and substituting "$15,000, or a higher amount prescribed by regulation,"; and

(b) in clause (b), by striking out everything after "motor vehicle accident".

33(2)       The following is added after clause 3(4)(d):

(d.1) an allegation of wrongful dismissal from employment;

34          Section 4 is amended

(a) in the section heading, by striking out "$10,000" and substituting "claim limit"; and

(b) by striking out "not exceeding $10,000." and substituting "that does not exceed the claim limit established under clause 3(1)(a) and".

35          Subsection 5(1) is amended

(a) in the section heading, by striking out "$10,000" and substituting "claim limit"; and

(b) by striking out "exceeding $10,000." and substituting "that exceeds the claim limit established under clause 3(1)(a)".

36          The following is added after section 8 and before the centred heading that follows it:

FILING A DEFENCE AND DEFAULT DECISIONS

Filing defence

8.0.1(1)    A defendant must file a defence to a claim at the administrative centre of the court where the claim was filed in the form required by the small claims rules.

Deadline for filing defence

8.0.1(2)    The defendant must file the defence by the deadline set out in the small claims rules in the same administrative centre where the claim was filed.

Serving defence

8.0.1(3)     The defendant must serve a copy of the defence on the claimant not later than 30 days after the defence was filed.

Late filing of defence

8.0.1(4)    A defendant may file a defence at any time before default is noted under section 8.0.2.

Noting default

8.0.2(1)    If a defendant fails to file a defence by the deadline set out in the small claims rules, the claimant may, on filing proof of the service of the claim, require a court officer to note the defendant in default.

Setting aside the noting of default

8.0.2(2)    At any time before a certificate of decision under section 8.0.3 has been obtained, a court officer may set aside the noting of default on such terms as the officer considers just.

Decision when defendant noted in default

8.0.3(1)    When a defendant has been noted in default, the claimant may obtain a certificate of decision against the defendant in accordance with the procedures set out in the small claims rules.

Judgment of court

8.0.3(2)    A certificate of decision obtained by a claimant in accordance with subsection (1) is a judgment of the court and may be enforced as a judgment of the court.

37          The centred heading before section 11 is replaced with "SETTING ASIDE DECISIONS".

38(1)       Subsection 11(1) is replaced with the following:

Application to set aside decision

11(1)       If a decision has been issued against a defendant under subsection 8.0.3(1) or 9(2), the defendant may file an application, in the form required by the small claims rules, to have the decision set aside.

38(2)       Subsection 11(5) is amended by striking out "under subsection 9(2)".

38(3)       Subsection 11(6) is amended

(a) by replacing the section heading with "Setting aside decision";

(b) in the part before clause (a), by striking out "made under subsection 9(2)";

(c) in clause (a), by adding "the defendant has a reasonable explanation for failing to file a defence or" before "the defendant did not"; and

(d) in clause (b), by striking out "under section 9".

38(4)       Subsection 11(7) is amended by replacing clause (b) with the following:

(b) if the decision is set aside, set a date for a new hearing of the claim and, if the decision was made under section 8.0.3, set a new deadline for the defendant to file a defence; and

38(5)       Subsection 11(8) is amended by striking out "under subsection 9(2)".

38(6)       Subsection 11(9) is amended by striking out "made under subsection 9(2)".

39          Subsection 14(1) is amended

(a) in the part before clause (a), by striking out "the successful party" and substituting "a party to the claim"; and

(b) in clause (a), by striking out everything after "considers appropriate" and substituting "that does not exceed $500, except in exceptional circumstances;".

40          The following is added after clause 24(a):

(a.1) prescribing claim limits for the purpose of clause 3(1)(a);

Transitional rules re filing a defence

41(1)       Sections 32, 36, 37 and 38 do not apply to a claim filed under The Court of Queen's Bench Small Claims Practices Act before the day those sections come into force.

Transitional rules re increase in claim limits

41(2)       Sections 33, 34, 35 and 40 do not apply to a claim filed under The Court of Queen's Bench Small Claims Practices Act before the day those sections come into force.

PART 5

COMING INTO FORCE

Coming into force

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