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The Interpretation Act
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This version is current as of September 23, 2016.
It has been in effect since November 5, 2015.

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C.C.S.M. c. I80

The Interpretation Act

(Assented to August 18, 2000)

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

DEFINITIONS

Definitions

1           In this Act,

"Act" means an Act of the Legislature or part of an Act; (« loi »)

"regulation" means

(a) a regulation as defined in The Statutes and Regulations Act, or part of such a regulation, and

(b) an order, rule, by-law, resolution, form, or tariff of costs or fees made in the execution of a power given by or under an Act, or part of such an order, rule, by-law, resolution, form or tariff of costs or fees; (« règlement »)

"repeal" includes strike out, revoke, cancel and rescind. (« abroger »)

S.M. 2013, c. 39, Sch. A, s. 66.

WHEN THIS ACT APPLIES

This Act applies unless there is a contrary intention

2           This Act applies to the interpretation of every Act and regulation — whether enacted or made before or after this Act comes into force — unless a contrary intention appears in the other Act or regulation.

This Act applies to its own interpretation

3           This Act applies to the interpretation of this Act.

Common law rules continue to apply

4           Nothing in this Act prevents the use of common law interpretive rules that are not inconsistent with this Act.

GENERAL RULES OF INTERPRETATION

Law is "always speaking"

5           When a provision of an Act or regulation is expressed in the present tense, it applies to the circumstances as they arise.

Rule of liberal interpretation

6           Every Act and regulation must be interpreted as being remedial and must be given the fair, large and liberal interpretation that best ensures the attainment of its objects.

Bilingual versions

7           The English and French versions of Acts and regulations are equally authoritative, in accordance with section 23 of the Manitoba Act, 1870.

Aboriginal rights protected

8           No Act or regulation is to be interpreted so as to abrogate or derogate from the aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada that are recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

WHEN ACTS AND REGULATIONS COME INTO FORCE

When Acts come into force

9(1)        An Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent, unless it states otherwise.

When coming into force provision is effective

9(2)        When an Act contains a provision stating that the Act or any part of it is to come into force on a day after royal assent, that provision is deemed to come into force on the day of assent.

Coming into force at the beginning of the day

10(1)       When an Act or regulation states that it comes into force on a particular day, or on a day fixed by proclamation or otherwise, it comes into force at the beginning of that day.

Expiry or lapse at the end of the day

10(2)       When an Act or regulation is expressed to expire, lapse or otherwise cease to have effect on a particular day, it ceases to have effect at the end of that day.

Staggered proclamations

11(1)       When an Act is to come into force on a day fixed by proclamation, proclamations may be issued at different times for different provisions of the Act.

Effective day of proclamations

11(2)       A proclamation may state that the Act or any provision of the Act is proclaimed into force on the day the proclamation is issued or on a later day.

Exercising powers before coming into force

12          If an Act or regulation that is not in force confers a power to make regulations or appointments or do any other thing, the power may be exercised before the Act or regulation comes into force. But until the Act or regulation is in force, the exercise of the power is effective only to the extent necessary to make the Act or regulation effective when it comes into force.

PREAMBLES AND REFERENCE AIDS

Preamble

13          The preamble of an Act forms part of it and is intended to assist in explaining its meaning and intent.

Reference aids

14          Tables of contents, headings, notes, historical references, overviews, examples and other readers' aids are included in an Act or regulation for convenience of reference only and do not form part of it.

S.M. 2014, c. 32, s. 13.

IMPERATIVE AND PERMISSIVE LANGUAGE

Imperative and permissive language

15          In the English version of an Act or regulation, "shall" and "must" are imperative and "may" is permissive and empowering. In the French version, obligation may be expressed by using the present indicative form of the relevant verb, or by other verbs or expressions that convey that meaning; the conferring of a power, right, authorization or permission may be expressed by using the verb "pouvoir", or by other expressions that convey those meanings.

DEFINITIONS

Different forms of defined terms

16          If a term is defined, other parts of speech and grammatical forms of the same term have corresponding meanings.

General definitions

17          The definitions in the Schedule apply to every Act and regulation.

MAJORITY, QUORUM AND MEETINGS

Majority

18          If an Act or regulation requires or authorizes something to be done by three or more persons, a majority of them may do it.

Quorum

19          If an Act or regulation requires or authorizes a body consisting of three or more members to do anything, the following rules apply:

1.

If the body has a fixed number of members, a majority of that number is a quorum.

2.

If the body has a minimum or maximum number of members rather than a fixed number, a majority of the members in office is a quorum.

3.

Anything done by a majority of the members present at a meeting, as long as a quorum is present, is deemed to have been done by the body.

4.

As long as a quorum is present, a vacancy on the body does not affect the body's power or jurisdiction, or impair the right of the members remaining in office to act or make a decision.

Meetings, teleconferences and documents

20(1)       If an Act or regulation requires or authorizes two or more persons to act or make a decision, they may do so:

(a) at a meeting;

(b) by using a method of communication that permits them to communicate with each other simultaneously, if all the persons required or authorized to act or make the decision consent to communicating in that way; or

(c) by means of a document that is signed by all the persons required or authorized to act or make the decision.

Number of persons

20(2)       For the purpose of clauses (1)(a) and (b), if there are two persons, both must be present at the meeting or must participate in the communication, and if there are more than two, a quorum must be present or must participate.

CORPORATIONS

Powers of corporations

21          When a corporation is created by an Act or regulation,

(a) the corporation may sue and be sued and enter into contracts in its corporate name, have a seal and change it, and acquire, hold and dispose of personal property;

(b) a majority of the members of the corporation have the power to bind the others by their acts; and

(c) individual members of the corporation who do not contravene the Act or regulation incorporating them are exempt from personal liability for the corporation's debts, obligations and acts.

TIME PERIODS AND HOLIDAYS

Time period beginning or ending on a specified day

22(1)       A period of time described as beginning or ending on, at or with a specified day includes that day.

Time period beginning after a specified day

22(2)       A period of time described as beginning after, or as being from, a specified day does not include that day.

Number of days between events

22(3)       A reference to a number of clear days or a minimum number of days between two events does not include the days on which the events happen.

Within a time

22(4)       When anything is to be done within a time after, from or before a specified day, the time does not include that day.

Holidays

23(1)       The following days are holidays:

1.

Sundays

2.

New Year's Day

2.1

The third Monday in February, to be known as "Louis Riel Day"

3.

Good Friday

4.

Victoria Day

5.

Canada Day

6.

Labour Day

7.

Thanksgiving Day

8.

Remembrance Day

9.

Christmas Day

10.

The day after Christmas Day, known as "Boxing Day"

11.

Any day declared a holiday by a proclamation of the Governor General or Lieutenant Governor.

Holidays falling on Sunday

23(2)       When a holiday other than Sunday or Remembrance Day falls on a Sunday, the next day is a holiday. When Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, December 27th is a holiday.

S.M. 2007, c. 18, s. 2.

Time limits are extended for holidays

24(1)       A time limit that would otherwise expire on a holiday is extended to include the next day that is not a holiday.

Days on which offices closed

24(2)       When a time limit for registering or filing a document, or for doing anything else, expires on a day when the place for doing so is not open for any reason during its regular hours of business, the time limit is extended to include the next day the place is open.

NAMES, NUMBER AND GENDER

Bilingual proper names

25          When an Act or regulation that creates or continues an entity refers to it by both an English and a French name, or if the English and French versions of an Act or regulation refer to an entity by different names, the entity may be referred to by either name or by both names.

Common names

26          In an Act or regulation, the commonly understood name of a country, place, person, entity or thing has the same meaning as any formal or extended designation.

Plural and singular

27          Words in the singular include the plural, and words in the plural include the singular.

Gender

28          Gender specific terms include both genders and include corporations.

PUBLIC OFFICERS AND OTHERS

Public officers hold office during pleasure

29(1)       A public officer appointed under an Act or regulation or otherwise holds office during pleasure only, unless the Act or regulation or the appointment states otherwise.

Appointing public officers

29(2)       A provision authorizing the appointment of a public officer includes, in the discretion of the appointing authority, the power to do the following:

(a) establish the public officer's term of office;

(b) determine and pay remuneration and reasonable expenses to the public officer;

(c) reappoint or reinstate the public officer;

(d) remove or suspend the public officer or terminate the appointment;

(e) appoint a person as the public officer's deputy, subject to specified conditions, or with limited powers as specified;

(f) appoint another person in the public officer's place if he or she is absent or unable to act or if the office becomes vacant.

Public officer's successor or deputy

29(3)       A provision directing or authorizing a public officer to do any act or thing also applies to his or her successor and deputy.

Public officer: location of authority

29(4)       If an Act or regulation requires or authorizes something to be done by or before a public officer, it may be done only by or before a public officer who is authorized to act in the place where it is to be done.

Retroactive appointments

30          If an Act or regulation authorizes a person's appointment to a position, the document appointing the person may state that the appointment is effective on or after the day on which the person began performing the duties of the position.

Who may act for a minister

31(1)       Words in an Act or regulation that direct or authorize a minister of the Crown to do anything, or that otherwise apply to the minister by the name of his or her office, include the following persons:

(a) another minister acting for the minister;

(b) if the office is vacant, another minister who is designated to act in the office by an order in council;

(c) the minister's successors in office;

(d) the minister's deputy minister.

Deputy minister cannot make regulations

31(2)       Clause(1)(d) does not authorize a deputy minister to make a regulation as defined in The Statutes and Regulations Act.

S.M. 2013, c. 39, Sch. A, s. 66.

Exercising powers under an Act or regulation

32(1)       The power to do a thing or to require or enforce the doing of a thing includes all necessary incidental powers.

Authorized act depending on another act

32(2)       If the doing of an act that is expressly authorized depends on the doing of another act by the Lieutenant Governor in Council or a public officer, the Lieutenant Governor in Council or public officer, as the case may be, may do the other act.

Powers to be exercised and duties performed when required

32(3)       A power that is conferred on a person or body may be exercised, and a duty that is imposed on a person or body must be performed, whenever the occasion requires.

Power exercised by current holder of office

32(4)       A power that is conferred on the holder of an office may be exercised, and a duty that is imposed must be performed, by the person who holds the office at the time.

REGULATIONS

Terms used in regulations

33          Terms used in a regulation have the same meaning as they have in the Act that authorizes the regulation.

Amending, repealing and replacing regulations

34(1)       The power to make a regulation includes the power to amend, repeal or replace it. But the power to amend, repeal or replace must be exercised in the same manner and subject to the same conditions, if any, as the power to make the regulation.

Repealing regulations

34(2)       The power to repeal a regulation remains even if the power to make it has been repealed.

Adopting codes and standards

35(1)       The power to make a regulation respecting a matter may be exercised by adopting by reference, in whole or in part, a code or standard made by a non-governmental body that deals with the matter.

Changes

35(2)       The code or standard may be adopted as amended from time to time and subject to any changes that the maker of the regulation considers necessary.

FORMS

Using an approved form to report information

36          If an Act requires information to be given to a person or body, or authorizes a person or body to require information to be given, but does not provide for a prescribed form for doing so, the person or body may approve a form and require it to be used to give the information.

Differences in forms

37          A form that differs from the one prescribed or approved under an Act or regulation may be validly used if the differences do not affect the substance and are not likely to mislead.

English and French forms

38          If both an English and a French version of a form are prescribed or approved, either version may be used.

CITING AND REFERRING TO ACTS AND REGULATIONS

Citing an Act

39(1)       In an Act, regulation or other document, an Act may be cited by referring to any of the following:

(a) its English or French title, or its long title if there is one, with or without a reference to its chapter number;

(b) the chapter number in the continuing consolidation or in the Revised Statutes;

(c) the chapter number in the statute volume for the year or the regnal year in which it was enacted.

Citing other Canadian laws

39(2)       Subsection (1) also applies when citing Acts of Canada and other provinces and territories of Canada.

Reference includes amendments

40(1)       A reference to an Act or regulation is a reference to the Act or regulation as amended.

Reference to other Canadian laws

40(2)       Subsection (1) also applies to references to Acts and regulations of Canada and other provinces and territories of Canada.

Reference to a replaced Act or regulation

41(1)       If an Act or regulation that is referred to has been repealed and replaced, the reference is — with respect to a later transaction, matter or thing — a reference to the provisions of the new Act or regulation that relate to the same subject-matter as the former Act or regulation.

Reference to a repealed Act or regulation

41(2)       If the Act or regulation referred to has been repealed without being replaced, the reference is to the Act or regulation as it read immediately before the repeal, to the extent necessary to maintain or give effect to the Act or regulation containing the reference.

Reference to other Canadian laws

41(3)       This section also applies to references to Acts and regulations of Canada and other provinces and territories of Canada.

Reference to a series

42          When reference is made to a series of numbers or letters, the first and last items in the series are included.

AMENDMENTS AND REPEALS

Legislature's power to repeal or amend

43(1)       The Legislature may at any time repeal or amend an Act and revoke or modify a power or benefit that it confers.

Amending at same session

43(2)       An Act may be amended or repealed by another Act passed in the same session of the Legislature.

Amendment is part of what is amended

44          An amendment made to an Act or regulation forms part of the Act or regulation.

Expired Acts and regulations deemed to be repealed

45          An Act or regulation that expires, lapses, is replaced or otherwise ceases to have effect is deemed to be repealed.

Effect of repeal

46(1)       The repeal of an Act or regulation, whether or not it is also replaced, does not

(a) revive any Act or regulation or anything not in force or existence at the time the repeal takes effect;

(b) affect the previous operation of the repealed Act or regulation or anything done under it;

(c) affect a right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accruing or incurred under the repealed Act or regulation;

(d) affect an offence committed in contravention of the repealed Act or regulation or a penalty or forfeiture incurred under it; or

(e) affect an investigation, proceeding or remedy concerning a matter referred to in clause (c) or (d).

Effect of repeal on investigations, etc.

46(2)       Subject to section 47, an investigation, proceeding or remedy described in clause (1)(e) may be instituted, continued or enforced, and any penalty or forfeiture may be imposed, as if the Act or regulation had not been repealed.

Effect of amendment or replacement

47(1)       This section applies if an Act or regulation is amended or if it is repealed and replaced.

Authorized persons may continue to act

47(2)       A person authorized to act under the former Act or regulation has authority to act under the new one until another person becomes authorized to do so, unless the authority is revoked.

Proceedings continue under the new Act

47(3)       A proceeding commenced under the former Act or regulation must be continued under the new one, in conformity with the new one as much as possible.

When the new procedure must be used

47(4)       To the extent it can be adapted, the procedure established by the new Act or regulation must be followed in the following cases:

(a) in recovering a fine or enforcing a penalty or forfeiture imposed under the former Act or regulation;

(b) in enforcing a right existing or accruing under the former Act or regulation; and

(c) in a proceeding in relation to matters that happened before the repeal or amendment.

Reduction of penalties

47(5)       If the new Act or regulation provides for a lesser penalty or forfeiture, the new Act or regulation applies when a penalty or forfeiture is imposed after the repeal or amendment, in respect of a matter that happened before that time.

Regulations remain in force

47(6)       Regulations made under an Act that is replaced or amended remain in force, except to the extent that they are inconsistent with the new or amended Act, until they are themselves repealed or replaced.

Bonds and securities

47(7)       Every bond and security given by a person appointed under the former Act or regulation remains in effect.

No implications from repeal or amendment

48(1)       The repeal or amendment of an Act or regulation does not imply a declaration as to the previous state of the law or a declaration that the Act or regulation was previously in force.

Amendment does not imply a change in the law

48(2)       The amendment of an Act or regulation does not imply a declaration that the law under that Act or regulation before the amendment was different — or was considered by the Legislature or other body or person who made it to have been different — from the law under the amendment.

No implications from amendment, revision or re-enactment

48(3)       The amendment, revision or re-enactment of an Act or regulation must not be interpreted to be or to involve an adoption of the interpretation that has, by judicial decision or otherwise, been placed on the language in the Act or regulation or on similar language.

CROWN

Crown not bound unless expressly stated

49          An Act does not bind Her Majesty or affect Her Majesty's rights or prerogatives unless it expressly states that Her Majesty is bound.

MISCELLANEOUS

Pending litigation

50          An Act or regulation does not affect litigation pending at the time of its enactment, unless the Act or regulation expressly states that it does.

51          [Repealed]

S.M. 2013, c. 39, Sch. A, s. 66.

Private Acts

52          No provision in a private Act affects the rights of a person unless a contrary intention appears in the Act.

Proclamation to be issued under order in council

53          When the Lieutenant Governor is authorized to do anything by proclamation, the proclamation is to be issued under an order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council. But the proclamation need not mention that it is issued under the order.

Security

54(1)       A requirement to give security is a requirement to give sufficient security for the purpose.

Sureties

54(2)       A requirement for a surety or sureties means sufficient surety or sureties, and one person is sufficient unless the Act or regulation expressly requires otherwise.

55 to 64    

NOTE:  These sections contained consequential amendments to other Acts, which are now included in those Acts.

REPEAL AND COMING INTO FORCE

Repeal

65          The Interpretation Act, R.S.M. 1987, c. I80, is repealed.

C.C.S.M. reference

66          This Act may be cited as The Interpretation Act and referred to as chapter I80 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

67          This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

SCHEDULE OF DEFINITIONS (Section 17)

"Act" means an Act of the Legislature; (« loi »)

"adult" means a person 18 years of age or older; (« adulte »)

"affidavit" includes a statutory declaration; (« affidavit »)

"Assembly" or "Legislative Assembly" means the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba; (« Assemblée » ou « Assemblée législative »)

"Auditor General" means the Auditor General appointed under The Auditor General Act, and includes officers and employees acting under his or her direction; (« vérificateur général »)

"bank" means a bank, or an authorized foreign bank, within the meaning of section 2 of the Bank Act (Canada), and includes a branch, agency and office of a bank or an authorized foreign bank; (« banque »)

"certified mail" includes registered mail; (« courrier certifié »)

"child" means a person under the age of 18 years; (« enfant »)

"city" means a city that is continued or formed under The Municipal Act or continued or incorporated under any other Act of the Legislature; (« ville »)

"Commonwealth" has the same meaning as it has in the Interpretation Act (Canada); (« Commonwealth »)

"Consolidated Fund" means the Consolidated Fund as defined in The Financial Administration Act; (« Trésor »)

"Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba" or "C.C.S.M." means the consolidation of the statutes of the province published under The Statutes and Regulations Act as the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba; (« Codification permanente des lois du Manitoba » ou « C.P.L.M. »)

"contravene" includes fail to comply with; (« contravention »)

"credit union" means a credit union or caisse populaire to which The Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act applies; (« caisse populaire »)

"district registrar" means a district registrar designated under The Real Property Act; (« registraire de district »)

"electoral division" means an electoral division established under The Electoral Divisions Act; (« circonscription électorale »)

"enactment" means an Act, or a regulation as defined in The Statutes and Regulations Act, or any part of an Act or regulation; (« texte »)

"Executive Council" has the same meaning as it has in The Executive Government Organization Act; (« Conseil exécutif »)

"gazette" means The Manitoba Gazette published by the Queen's Printer of Manitoba; (« Gazette »)

"government" means Her Majesty the Queen acting for the Province of Manitoba; (« gouvernement »)

"Government of Canada" means Her Majesty the Queen acting for Canada; (« gouvernement du Canada »)

"Governor in Council" or "Governor General in Council" means the Governor General of Canada acting by and with the advice of, or by and with the advice and consent of, or in conjunction with, the Queen's Privy Council for Canada; (« gouverneur en conseil » ou « gouverneur général en conseil »)

"great seal" means the Great Seal of Manitoba; (« Grand Sceau »)

"Her Majesty", "His Majesty", "the Queen", "the King" or "the Crown" means the Sovereign of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other realms and territories, and Head of the Commonwealth; (« Sa Majesté », « la Reine », « le Roi » ou « la Couronne »)

"holiday" means a holiday as described in section 23; (« jour férié »)

"international system of units (SI)" means the units of measurement set out in Schedule 1 of the Weights and Measures Act (Canada); (« système international d'unités »)

"judicial centre" means a judicial centre designated under The Court of Queen's Bench Act;  (« centre judiciaire »)

"justice" means a justice of the peace, and includes a provincial judge; (« juge »)

"land titles district" means a land titles district established or continued under The Real Property Act; (« district des titres fonciers »)

"land titles office" means a land titles office established or continued under The Real Property Act; (« bureau des titres fonciers »)

"Legislature" means the Lieutenant Governor acting by and with the advice and consent of the Assembly; (« Législature »)

"licensed dentist" means a person holding a valid licence under The Dental Association Act; (« dentiste »)

"Lieutenant Governor" means the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, or the administrator carrying on the government of Manitoba for the time being in Her Majesty's name, by whatever title the administrator is designated; (« lieutenant-gouverneur »)

"Lieutenant Governor in Council" means the Lieutenant Governor acting by and with the advice of the Executive Council; (« lieutenant-gouverneur en conseil »)

"local government district" means a local government district that is incorporated or continued under The Local Government Districts Act; (« district d'administration locale »)

"minor" means a person under the age of 18 years; (« mineur »)

"month" means a calendar month; (« mois »)

"municipal council" means a council as defined in The Municipal Act; (« conseil municipal »)

"municipality" means a municipality that is continued or formed under The Municipal Act, and includes The City of Winnipeg; (« municipalité »)

"oath" includes an affirmation, declaration, solemn affirmation and solemn declaration; (« serment »)

"peace officer" includes

(a) a mayor, reeve, sheriff, deputy sheriff, sheriff's officer, and justice of the peace,

(b) a correctional officer of a penitentiary, custodial facility or other place of detention, and any other officer or person who is in the service of the government and is employed in a penitentiary, custodial facility or place of detention,

(c) a police officer, police constable, constable, special constable, and any other person employed to preserve and maintain the public peace,

(d) a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and

(e) a person appointed under any Act for the enforcement of that Act; (« agent de la paix »)

"person" includes a corporation and the heirs, executors, administrators or other legal representatives of a person; (« personne »)

"physician" or "duly qualified medical practitioner" or a similar expression indicating legal recognition of an individual as a member of the medical profession means an individual registered under The Medical Act; (« médecin »)

"proclamation" means a proclamation issued under the great seal; (« proclamation »)

"province" means the Province of Manitoba; (« province »)

"provincial judge" means a judge of The Provincial Court of Manitoba; (« juge provincial »)

"public officer" includes any person in the public service of the government

(a) on whom a duty is imposed under an Act or regulation, or

(b) who is authorized under an Act or regulation to do or enforce the doing of an act or thing or to exercise a power; (« fonctionnaire public »)

"registered mail" includes certified mail; (« courrier recommandé »)

"Registrar-General" means the Registrar-General appointed under The Real Property Act; (« registraire général »)

"registration district" means a registration district established under The Registry Act; (« district d'enregistrement »)

"registry office" means a registry office established under The Registry Act; (« bureau du registre foncier »)

"Revised Statutes" means the latest revised and consolidated statutes of the province; (« Lois refondues »)

"rural municipality" has the same meaning as it has in The Municipal Act; (« municipalité rurale »)

"statutory declaration" means a declaration made pursuant to section 61 of The Manitoba Evidence Act, and includes a solemn declaration; (« déclaration solennelle »)

"swear" includes affirm and declare; (« prêter serment »)

"town" has the same meaning as it has in The Municipal Act; (« petite ville »)

"United Kingdom" means the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; (« Royaume-Uni »)

"United States" means the United States of America; (« États-Unis »)

"unorganized territory" means any part of the province that is not in a municipality or in a community incorporated under The Northern Affairs Act; (« territoire non organisé »)

"village" has the same meaning as it has in The Municipal Act; (« village »)

"will" means a will as defined in The Wills Act; (« testament »)

"writing" and similar expressions means the representation of words in visible form by any means; (« écrit »)

"year" means a calendar year. (« année »)

S.M. 2001, c. 39, s. 31; S.M. 2002, c. 47, s. 25; S.M. 2005, c. 8, s. 18; S.M. 2005, c. 52, s. 48; S.M. 2013, c. 11, s. 71; S.M. 2013, c. 39, Sch. A, s. 66; S.M. 2015, c. 43, s. 27.