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

This version is current as of November 19, 2017.
It has been in effect since June 2, 2017.

It does not include amendments enacted or coming into force on or after November 20, 2017.
(See SM 2017,c. 47, Sch. A, s. 137)

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C.C.S.M. c. P300

The Public Works Act

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

Definitions

1           In this Act

"department" means the Department of the Executive Government of the province through which the minister administers this Act; (« ministère »)

"enforcement officer" means a person or class of persons designated under subsection 20(4.1); (« agent d'exécution »)

"minister" means the member of the Executive Council charged by the Lieutenant Governor in Council with the administration of this Act; (« ministre »)

"public work" includes

(a) all work and properties acquired, made, built, constructed, erected, extended, enlarged, repaired, improved, formed, or excavated, for a public purpose of the government or at the expense of the government, or in respect of which any money has been authorized by an Act of the Legislature to be paid and applied out of the Consolidated Fund, but not any work for which money is appropriated as a subsidy only, or by way of a grant;

(b) any property, real or personal, or work that has been proclaimed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to be a public work as provided in subsection 2(2);

and also includes, where the context so requires, the labour required for making, building, constructing, erecting, extending, enlarging, repairing, improving, forming, or excavating any public work; but, except for parking lots, roads, or driveways, on grounds appurtenant to a public work, does not include a highway or road as defined in The Highways and Transportation Act, or any work or objects built, constructed, erected, planted, or placed, on or adjacent to a highway by the minister under The Highways and Transportation Act; (« ouvrage public »)

"work" includes buildings, walls, trestlework, bridges, tunnels, drains, sewers, vaults, wells, sidewalks, pathways, railways, airports, the towers, poles, lines, and equipment, of power transmission or distribution systems, of telephone and telegraph systems, or of radio or wireless receiving and transmission stations, arboreal and other plantations and all structures, erections, excavations, and fabrics made, built, constructed, erected, extended, enlarged, repaired, improved, formed, or excavated, by means of, or with the aid of, human skill and human, animal, or mechanical labour; and, where the context so requires, also includes the labour required for making, building, constructing, working, extending, enlarging, repairing, improving, forming, or excavating, any of the foregoing; but does not include, except for parking lots, roads, or driveways on grounds appurtenant to a work, highways as defined in The Highways and Transportation Act. (« ouvrage »)

S.M. 1992, c. 58, s. 29; S.M. 1993, c. 48, s. 34; S.M. 2000, c. 35, s. 73; S.M. 2001, c. 43, s. 59; S.M. 2017, c. 26, s. 23.

Public works under control of minister

2(1)        Except as otherwise provided in any other Act of the Legislature, or by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, all public works and all property, real and personal, acquired before or after the coming into force of this Act for the purposes of public work or declared, under subsection (2), to be a public work and not under the control of the Government of Canada, are under the control of the minister.

Power to proclaim public works

2(2)        Any property, real or personal, or any work purchased or constructed at the public expense or for a public purpose of the government may be declared by proclamation to be a public work and subject to this Act; and it is thenceforth under the control of the minister.

Construction and repair of public works

2(3)        Except as otherwise provided in any other Act of the Legislature, or by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the minister shall direct and control the design, construction, improvement, maintenance, and repair, of all public works.

Acquisition of property for public works

3(1)        The minister, for and in the name of the Crown, may acquire by purchase, lease, expropriation, or otherwise, any real property, or by purchase, lease, or otherwise, any personal property, that he deems necessary for any public work or purpose connected therewith, or for any public purpose of the government or for any department of the government; and he may hold, manage, and develop any such property.

Disposal of surplus property

3(2)        Notwithstanding The Crown Lands Act, but subject to subsections (3), (4), and (5), the minister

(a) with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, may sell, exchange, convey, or otherwise dispose of or turn to account, any such real or personal property or any part thereof, or any estate or interest therein;

(b) with like approval, may lease any such real property where the annual rental value thereof is, in the opinion of the minister, $25,000. or more;

(c) without that approval, may lease any such real property where the annual rental value thereof is, in the opinion of the minister, less than $25,000.; or

(d) without that approval, may, subject to section 10, lease any such personal property.

Disposal of property under $25,000. in value

3(3)        Where the value of any parcel or item of real or personal property to be sold or disposed of under subsection (2) is in the opinion of the minister less than $25,000., the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council to the sale or disposal is not required, regardless of whether the parcel or item is to be sold

(a) separately; or

(b) as part of a group, lot or set of two or more parcels or items having in the opinion of the minister an aggregate value of $25,000. or more.

"Trade-in" not a sale

3(4)        Where, on a purchase of personal property for the Crown, other personal property of the Crown of a kind similar to, and of less value than, the property purchased is delivered and transferred to the vendor in part payment of the purchase price, and title thereto is conveyed to the vendor, the delivery, transfer, and conveyance, shall be deemed not to be a sale of the other personal property within the meaning of this section.

Proceeds of sale

3(5)        Notwithstanding The Financial Administration Act, but subject to subsections 11(2) and (3), the Minister of Finance shall, on order of the minister, credit the moneys that are the proceeds of the sale of personal property

(a) to the account for funds authorized by an Act of the Legislature for the purchase of the items sold, or similar items; or

(b) to an account for a reserve for the depreciation and replacement of the items sold; or

(c) to the account in the Consolidated Fund designated for the proceeds of the sale of government property.

Land dealt with under Crown Lands Act

3(6)        Where the minister decides that any land acquired for, or used in connection with, a public work is no longer required for that purpose, if the land

(a) does not include residential, commercial, or industrial buildings; or

(b) is not within a city, town, or village; or

(c) is agricultural land;

he may by written order direct that it be dealt with under The Crown Lands Act; and thereafter the land is subject to the control and management of the member of the Executive Council charged with the administration of that Act.

Land transferred to minister

3(7)        Where title to land

(a) that includes residential, commercial, or industrial buildings; or

(b) that is within a city, town, or village, and is not agricultural land;

is in the name of the Crown and the land is no longer required for, or used in connection with, a public purpose of the government, any member of the Executive Council who has the control and management of the land for and on behalf of the Crown may by written order direct that the land be dealt with under this Act; and thereafter the land is subject to the control and management of the minister.

S.M. 1996, c. 59, s. 104.

Management of buildings and staff thereof

4           Except as otherwise provided in any other Act of the Legislature, or by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the minister has the management, charge, direction, and control, of

(a) the design and construction of all buildings belonging to the government and such other buildings as the Lieutenant Governor in Council may direct;

(b) the heating, maintenance, and keeping in repair, of

(i) the government buildings at the seat of government and elsewhere,

(ii) all court houses, land titles offices, jails, and other public buildings belonging to or controlled by the government, and

(iii) psychiatric facilities as defined in The Mental Health Act, and developmental centres as defined in The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act, belonging to or controlled by the government,

and any alterations to them required from time to time;

(c) the control of furniture and fittings for all public buildings belonging to or controlled by the government; and

(d) all engineers, firemen, caretakers, and other employees necessary for the proper care and maintenance of government buildings and the grounds thereof.

S.M. 1993, c. 29, s. 200.

Closing for repairs

5(1)        Where the construction, improvement, or repair of any public work is in progress, the minister, or any person authorized by him, may close the public work or any portion thereof to the public for such time as he may deem necessary; and any person using or entering the public work so closed shall do so at his own risk, and has no right to recover damages in case of accident or injury due to the closing thereof.

Offence and liability

5(2)        A person who enters or uses a public work, or a part of a public work, closed under subsection (1), or who removes or defaces a notice or obstruction placed there by lawful authority, is guilty of an offence and, in addition to any other penalty, is liable to the government for damage to the public work occasioned by the use or entry.

S.M. 1988-89, c. 29, s. 2.

Agreement for removal of objects from adjacent land

6           If the minister is of opinion that any object situated on land adjacent to a public work may injuriously affect the public work or is unsightly, he may enter into an agreement with the owner of the land for removal of the object and may do all things necessary to carry out the agreement.

Restriction on heights of buildings

7(1)        Notwithstanding anything in The City of Winnipeg Charter or any other Act of the Legislature, within an area of the City of Winnipeg bounded on the north by the centre line of St. Mary Avenue, on the south by the centre line of Roslyn Road, on the east by the centre line of Carlton Street and the extension thereof and on the west by the centre line of Colony Street and extension thereof, except with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council,

(a) no person shall construct, place, erect, enlarge, alter, repair or reconstruct any building; and

(b) no owner of land shall permit the construction, placing, erecting, enlarging, alteration, repair or reconstruction of any building;

the roof of which extends above the height line.

Penalty

7(2)        Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable for each day during which the offence continues to a fine not exceeding $200.

Definitions

7(3)        In this section

"height line" means an imaginary straight line commencing at a point at 764.00 feet geodetic base directly beneath the centre point of the dome of the Legislative Building and rising at an acute angle from the horizontal equal to an acute angle prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council; (« ligne de crête »)

"roof" does not include the roof of any penthouse built above the normal roof of a building for the purpose of housing mechanical and electrical equipment for the building. (« toit »)

S.M. 1988-89, c. 29, s. 3; S.M. 2002, c. 39, s. 535.

Power of minister as to contracts

8(1)        The minister may make with any person or firm any contract that may be necessary or advisable in carrying out any provision of this Act or of any other Act of the Legislature; but no deeds, contracts, documents, or writings are binding upon the government or upon the minister, or shall be held to be acts of the minister, unless signed by him and sealed with the seal of the department.

Duty to invite tenders

8(2)        The minister shall invite tenders by public advertisement for the construction and repair of all public works, except in cases of pressing emergency, where delay would be injurious to the public interest, or where for the nature of the work it can, in the opinion of the minister, be more expeditiously and economically executed by order or by such other arrangement as the minister directs, or by officers or employees of the department, or of some other department or branch of the executive government.

Where lowest tender not accepted

8(3)        Where it seems to the minister to be inexpedient to let any contract to the lowest bidder, he shall report the fact to, and obtain the authority of, a committee of the Executive Council, before passing by the lowest tender.

Execution of contracts

8(4)        Except on the authority of the minister, no money shall be paid to a contractor, nor shall any work be commenced on a contract until the contract has been signed by all parties therein named and the prerequisite security has been given.

Security for performance of contracts

8(5)        Where work on a public work is being carried out under a contract and in all other cases, the minister shall take all reasonable care that security is given to, and in the name of, Her Majesty for the due performance of the work at a cost to Her Majesty not exceeding the amount fixed therefor, and within the time specified for its completion.

Contracts to enure to Her Majesty

8(6)        Every contract respecting a public work, or property, real or personal, under the control of the minister, entered into by the minister or by any other person duly authorized to enter into it enures to the benefit and use of Her Majesty and may be enforced as if it had been entered into with Her Majesty under the authority of this Act.

Power of minister to acquire supplies

9(1)        The minister may purchase, rent, hire, lease, and use, any materials, supplies, tools, or equipment, required to carry out this Act; and may carry out any operation that, in his opinion, may be necessary for constructing, performing, or carrying out, any public work under this Act.

Control of supplies by minister

9(2)        All materials, supplies, tools, and equipment, to which reference is made in subsection (1), are under the control or authority of the minister.

Power of minister to lease supplies

10(1)       The minister may rent, hire, or lease, any tools, machinery, or equipment, under his control or authority to any person or firm for such period and subject to such terms and conditions as he may prescribe.

Disposal of rentals

10(2)       Moneys received by the minister for the rent, hire, or lease, of tools, machinery, or equipment, shall be credited in the Consolidated Fund to the account for funds authorized by an Act of the Legislature to be paid and applied for the purposes of this Act.

Sale of sand and gravel

11(1)       The minister may sell sand and gravel from lands purchased, or from Crown lands reserved, for the purposes of a public work.

Moneys from sale of sand and gravel from purchased lands

11(2)       Moneys received by the minister for the sale of sand or gravel from lands purchased for the purpose of a public work shall be credited in the Consolidated Fund to the account for funds authorized by an Act of the Legislature to be paid and applied for the purposes of this Act.

Moneys from sale of gravel from Crown lands

11(3)       Moneys received by the minister for the sale of sand or gravel from Crown lands reserved for the purposes of a public work shall be credited in the Consolidated Fund to the account to which royalties received for the sale of sand and gravel from Crown lands are credited.

Actions brought by Attorney-General

12          All actions, suits, and other proceedings for the enforcement of any contract or for the recovery of damages for any tort or breach of contract, or for the trial of any right in respect of any property, real or personal, under the control of the minister, shall be instituted in the name of the Attorney-General for the province.

Arbitration

13(1)       Where a person has a claim that is not subject to The Expropriation Act arising out of, or connected with, the execution or non-execution of any public work, or arising out of or connected with, the fulfilment, or on account of deductions made for the non-execution or non-fulfilment, of any contract in respect of any public work made and entered into with the minister or with any other person duly authorized to enter into it, either in the name of Her Majesty or in any other manner whatsoever, the person may give notice in writing of his claim to the minister, stating the particulars thereof and how it has arisen; and the minister may at any time within 30 days after receiving the notice, tender an amount that he considers a just satisfaction of the claim, together with notice that, unless the sum so tendered is accepted within 10 days after the making of the tender, the claim may be submitted to arbitration.

Where tender not accepted

13(2)       Where a tender made under subsection (1) is not accepted within the time therein set out, the minister may submit the claim to arbitration by two arbitrators.

Security

13(3)       Before the arbitration commences, the arbitrators may demand that the claimant give security to the satisfaction of the arbitrators for the payment of the costs and expenses incurred by the arbitrators in the event of the claimant being required by the award to pay the costs.

Appeal

13(4)       The award of the arbitrators is subject to appeal.

No arbitration where minister has power to decide

13(5)       No arbitration shall be allowed in any case where, by the terms of the contract under which the claim arises, it is provided that the determination of any matters of difference arising out of, or connected with it shall be made by the minister.

Damage to public works

14(1)       A person who damages, breaks or destroys a public work, or renders a public work unfit for use, or so deals with a public work as to limit or render difficult its use, is guilty of an offence and, in addition to any other penalty, is liable to the government for damage or breakage to, or destruction of, the public work.

Order for repair of damage

14(2)       A justice by whom any person is convicted under subsection (1) may, on application by the Crown, made either at the time of the trial or within 30 days thereafter, order the person convicted to repair any damage or injury done by him to the public work, or to restore the public work to the condition in which it was before it was damaged, injured, broken, destroyed, rendered unfit for use, or dealt with as aforesaid, within a time specified by the justice; and the person convicted shall forthwith comply with the order.

Work done by minister

14(3)       Where a person against whom an order has been made under subsection (2) fails to comply with the order within the time specified, the minister may do the work necessary to comply with the order and the costs thereof may be collected from the person as a debt due to the Crown.

S.M. 1988-89, c. 29, s. 4.

Preparation of plans, etc., for public work

15(1)       The minister shall cause to be prepared plans, estimates, and reports, for all public works of a major character that are about to be constructed, altered, or repaired, by the department; and shall have reports prepared on any question relating to a public work which may be submitted to him, and generally has charge of and shall supervise all architectural and engineering matters pertaining to public works.

Certified copies of plans, etc.

15(2)       A copy of any plan or any other document in the department, or of any order made, or any correspondence, certificate, or other document signed by, the minister, certified by the minister to be a true copy, is admissible in evidence as prima facie proof thereof, and has the same legal effect as the original in any court or elsewhere.

Annual report

16          The minister shall make and submit to the Lieutenant Governor an annual report on matters under his control; which shall be laid before the Legislature within 15 days from the commencement of the next following session thereof.

Power of minister to require delivery of plans, etc.

17          The minister, with the consent of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, may require any person having the possession of maps, plans, specifications, estimates, reports, or other papers, books, drawings, instruments, models, contracts, documents, or records, relating to any public work to deliver them to the minister; and the minister, if he deems it necessary or advisable, may make copies thereof.

Costs paid from Consolidated Fund

18          All costs incurred in the administration of this Act and for the purposes of the construction and maintenance of public works, shall be paid from the Consolidated Fund with moneys authorized by an Act of the Legislature to be so paid and applied.

Definitions

19          In this section and in sections 20 to 26,

"control device" means, as the context may require, a parking control device or traffic control device; (« dispositif de signalisation »)

"Crown property" means, as the context may require but subject to The Highway Traffic Act, any land, lot, grounds, roadway, passageway, driveway, building or structure, or an area of any of the foregoing, or any thing, owned or controlled by the Crown in right of the province and under the control of the minister under this Act; (« bien domanial »)

"parking control device" means a sign, marking or device, including a parking meter, used for the purpose of regulating or prohibiting the stopping, standing or parking of vehicles; (« dispositif de signalisation relatif au stationnement »)

"traffic control device" means a sign, signal, light, marking or device, including a traffic light, used for the purpose of regulating, warning, guiding or prohibiting traffic; (« dispositif de signalisation relatif à la circulation »)

"vehicle" includes an automobile, motorcycle, bicycle, traction engine, truck, tractor, trailer, mobile home and any kind of vehicle whether or not equipped with a motor. (« véhicule »)

Parking areas

20(1)       The minister may designate any Crown property as a place where, subject to such terms and conditions as may be prescribed in the regulations, the stopping, standing or parking of vehicles, as the case may be, is

(a) prohibited; or

(b) permitted; or

(c) restricted to such category of persons as the minister may specify; or

(d) reserved for or assigned to such persons or category of persons as the minister may specify.

Parking decals

20(2)       For the purposes of subsection (1), the minister may issue or cause to be issued to such persons as he may determine, decals, stickers or other vehicle identification devices.

Parking and traffic control devices

20(3)       For the purpose of regulating, controlling or prohibiting the stopping, standing or parking of vehicles, or vehicular or pedestrian traffic, on or in any Crown property, the minister may erect, construct or install or cause to be erected, constructed or installed, at such locations on or in the Crown property as he may determine, such control devices as he deems necessary.

Form of devices and tags

20(4)       The minister may prescribe the form and content of

(a) any decals, stickers or other vehicle identification devices issued under subsection (2);

(b) any control devices erected, constructed or installed under subsection (3); and

(c) any offence notices for which provision may be made in the regulations.

Minister may designate enforcement officers

20(4.1)     The minister may designate a person or class of persons as enforcement officers for the purpose of enforcing any provision of this Act or the regulations.

Authority of enforcement officer

20(5)       Notwithstanding any regulation made under this Act, or any thing done under subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4), an enforcement officer may, where he or she deems it necessary in order to meet an emergency,

(a) place or cause to be placed a hood or other covering over any control device erected, constructed or installed under subsection (3), and a control device hooded or covered under this clause has no force or effect while so hooded or covered;

(b) erect, construct or install or cause to be erected, constructed or installed, at such locations on or in any Crown property as the enforcement officer may decide, such temporary control devices, in such form and having such content, as the enforcement officer may deem requisite;

(c) make any order or give any direction concerning any matter respecting which regulations are authorized under clauses 26(a) and (b);

and where, in relation to a particular location, there is a control device under subsection (3) and a control device under clause (b), the control device under clause (b) governs.

Statutes and Regulations Act does not apply

20(6)        The Statutes and Regulations Act does not apply to anything done or any order made or direction given under this section.

S.M. 1988-89, c. 29, s. 5; S.M. 2013, c. 39, Sch. A, s. 83; S.M. 2017, c. 26, s. 23.

Prohibitions

21          No person shall, unless authorized by the minister, drive, operate, stop, stand, park or leave a vehicle on or in any Crown property or bring any thing or leave any thing or enter or remain thereon or therein, or use any Crown property or do any thing thereon or therein, except in accordance with

(a) the provisions of this Act and the regulations; and

(b) any order or direction made or given and any control devices erected, constructed or installed under section 20.

Removal of unauthorized persons or things

22(1)       An enforcement officer may remove or cause to be removed from any Crown property, any person, vehicle or thing that is there in contravention of any provision of this Act or the regulations, or any order or direction made or given or control device erected, constructed or installed under section 20.

Disposal of things removed

22(2)       Any vehicle or thing removed under subsection (1) shall be stored at such location as the minister may determine and if, within a period of 30 days following the removal, the vehicle or thing is not claimed and taken and the costs of the removal and storage paid by or on behalf of the owner thereof, the vehicle or thing may be disposed of in such manner as the minister may direct and the Crown may retain those costs out of any proceeds realized from the disposal.

Crown not liable

22(3)       The Crown is not liable for any loss or damage suffered by any person by reason of a removal under subsection (1) or the storage or disposal of any vehicle or thing under subsection (2).

S.M. 1988-89, c. 29, s. 6; S.M. 2017, c. 26, s. 23.

Liability of vehicle owner

23          Where an offence by reason of the stopping, standing, parking or leaving of a vehicle is committed under this Act while a person other than the owner of the vehicle in charge thereof, the owner as well as that person is subject to any penalty provided for the offence, but this section does not apply where the vehicle is a stolen vehicle or where the Crown is the owner or lessee of the vehicle.

Offence and penalty

24          A person who contravenes a provision of this Act or a regulation, direction or order made under this Act, is guilty of an offence and, except where another penalty is provided for, is liable to a fine not exceeding $250.

S.M. 1988-89, c. 29, s. 7.

25          [Repealed]

S.M. 1988-89, c. 29, s. 8.

Regulations

26          The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) respecting, controlling or restricting or, unless authorized by the minister, prohibiting or prohibiting during specified hours, days or times,

(i) the use by any person of, or

(ii) the doing of specified things on or in, or

(iii) the stopping, standing, parking or leaving of vehicles on or in, or

(iv) vehicular or pedestrian traffic, and establishing speed limits for vehicles on or in,

any Crown property;

(b) respecting or prohibiting the use of any public work for purposes other than those for which it was constructed or acquired, or by persons other than those authorized by the minister;

(c) prescribing fees that may be charged and shall be paid for parking privileges on or in any Crown property, or for the use of any public work or any facility in connection therewith;

(d) establishing a schedule of fines and costs, including reduced penalties for payment within specified time periods, for use in offence notices;

(e) authorizing the use on offence notices of words, expressions and abbreviations to designate offences.

S.M. 1988-89, c. 29, s. 9.