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The Veterinary Services Act
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This version is current as of October 18, 2017.
It has been in effect since November 5, 2015.

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C.C.S.M. c. V50

The Veterinary Services Act

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

Definitions

1           In this Act,

"animal" means any animal or bird of husbandry or domestic use; (« animal »)

"board" means a veterinary services board; (« conseil »)

"commission" means The Veterinary Services Commission continued under this Act; (« Commission »)

"district" means a veterinary services district established under this Act; (« district »)

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

"municipality" includes a local government district and an Indian Reserve but does not include the City of Winnipeg; and "council of a municipality" and "head of council" include the resident administrator of a local government district and the chief of a band of Indians or an Indian Reserve; (« municipalité »)

"veterinarian" means

(a) an individual who is registered under The Veterinary Medical Act and is licensed under that Act to practise veterinary medicine in Manitoba, and

(b) a veterinary corporation, as defined in that Act, that practises veterinary medicine in Manitoba in accordance with that Act; (« vétérinaire »)

"veterinary medicine" means that branch of knowledge relating to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the diseases of, and injuries to, animals; (« médecine vétérinaire »)

S.M. 2015, c. 34, s. 39.

Authority for establishment of a district

2(1)        Subject as herein provided, the council of any municipality may, by by-law

(a) establish a veterinary services district comprising the municipality or a part thereof; or

(b) authorize the head of the council and the municipal clerk to execute, on behalf of the municipality, an agreement between the municipality and one or more other municipalities for the establishment of a veterinary services district comprising the municipalities that are parties to the agreement or parts thereof.

Application of Act to parts of municipalities

2(2)         The provisions of this Act which apply to, or affect, a municipality which is included or comprises a district apply, with such modifications as the circumstances require, to a municipality a part of which comprises or is included in a district.

Contiguity of municipal boundaries

2(3)        The boundaries of each municipality that is a party to an agreement made as provided in clause (1)(b) shall, at some place, be contiguous to the boundaries of at least one of the other municipalities that are parties to the agreement.

Form of agreement

2(4)        An agreement made as provided in clause (1)(b) shall be in the form prescribed in the regulations.

Submission of by-law or agreement to commission

2(5)        On the passing of a by-law as provided in clause (1)(a), or on the execution by all the parties thereto of an agreement made as provided in clause (1)(b), the municipal clerk, in the case first mentioned, or the clerk of the municipality first named in the agreement, in the case second mentioned, shall send a certified copy of the by-law or a copy of the agreement, as the case may be, to the commission for its approval of the establishment of the district and the terms of the by-law or agreement.

Action of commission thereon

3(1)        The commission may approve or refuse to approve the establishment of a district or the terms of the by-law or agreement, or may withhold its approval and remit the by-law or agreement to the municipalities concerned with suggestions for the amendment thereof; and, on refusing to approve the establishment of a district or the terms of a by-law or agreement, the commission shall give notice thereof in writing to the minister and to each municipality concerned.

Notice of approval

3(2)        Where the commission approves the establishment of a district, it shall do so by a written notice thereof, which shall be signed by the chairman and dated, and shall state the name of the district and the names of the municipalities comprised therein; and the commission shall send a copy of the notice to the minister.

Establishment and name of district

3(3)        On approval by the commission of the establishment of a district, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by order in council, establish the district on, from, and after, a date fixed in the order, under the name: "           Veterinary Services District". (Whatever name is chosen for the district shall be inserted in the place hereinbefore indicated).

Notice of establishment

3(4)        Forthwith after the establishment of a district, the commission shall cause a notice thereof, stating the name of the district and the names of the municipalities comprised therein, to be published in one issue of The Manitoba Gazette.

Board of district

4(1)        There shall be a veterinary services board for each district.

Membership

4(2)        Each board shall consist of one member appointed by the minister and

(a) where the district comprises only one municipality, at least two members appointed by the municipal council; or

(b) where the district comprises two or more municipalities, at least one member appointed by the council of each municipality included in the district in accordance with the agreement between the municipalities under section 2;

(c) [repealed] S.M. 1998, c. 24, s. 2.

Temporary members

4(3)        Where a member of a board is, for any reason, temporarily unable to act, the minister or the municipal council that appointed the member may appoint another person to act temporarily in the stead of the member unable to act.

Term of office

4(4)        Subject to subsection (5), each member of a board

(a) unless he or she sooner resigns or is removed from office, is to hold office for a period of not more than three years from the date of the member's appointment;

(b) continues to hold office until a successor is appointed; and

(c) may be re-appointed for a further term.

Filling vacancies

4(5)        When a member of a board ceases to be a member before the expiration of his or her term of office, a person appointed to fill the vacancy so created, unless the person sooner dies, resigns or is removed from office, is to hold office for the remainder of the former member's term and continues to hold office until a successor is appointed.

Removal of member

4(6)        The minister may, at any time, remove a member of a board appointed by the minister; and a municipal council may, at any time, remove a member of a board appointed by it; and another member may be appointed in the stead of a member so removed.

Quorum

4(7)        At all meetings of a board, a majority of the members thereof constitute a quorum.

Notice of appointment to be given to minister

4(8)        On appointing a member of a board or a temporary member thereof, a municipality shall forthwith give written notice of the appointment to the minister.

S.M. 1998, c. 24, s. 2; S.M. 2015, c. 43, s. 63.

Immunity

4.1         No action or proceeding may be brought against a board or a member of a board for any act done in good faith in the exercise of a power or in the performance or intended performance of a duty of the board or a member under this Act or for any neglect or default in the performance or exercise in good faith of such power or duty.

S.M. 1998, c. 24, s. 3.

Incorporation of boards

5(1)        The persons who are from time to time members of the board of each district are a body corporate under the name: "The Board of            Veterinary Services District". (Whatever name is chosen for the district shall be inserted in the place hereinbefore indicated.)

Election of officers

5(2)        At the first meeting of the board, and thereafter at the first meeting in each year, the members of the board shall elect, from among the members, a chairman and a secretary-treasurer and, if deemed necessary, a vice-chairman.

Secretary-treasurer may be appointed

5(3)        Notwithstanding subsection (2), a board may appoint a person to be the secretary-treasurer thereof who need not be a member of the board.

Objects and duties of board

6(1)        The objects of a board are

(a) to render financial or other assistance to enable and encourage veterinarians to practise veterinary medicine and surgery in the district, at uniform fees throughout the district, as prescribed in the regulations;

(b) to maintain, equip and upgrade district animal hospitals to the standards prescribed in the regulations;

(c) to enable veterinarians to confer for the interchange of information on matters relating to veterinary medicine and surgery;

(d) through the imparting of information and instruction and such other means as may be found necessary or advisable, to prevent the spread of diseases among animals;

and it shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed in the regulations.

Power to hold real property

6(2)        The board for the purpose of constructing and operating animal hospitals, may acquire, hold or otherwise dispose of real property.

Agreements

7(1)        For the purpose of encouraging a veterinarian or a veterinary partnership to practise veterinary medicine and surgery in a district, the board of the district may enter into an agreement with the veterinarian or veterinary partnership in a form prescribed in the regulations or to the like effect, providing that if the veterinarian or the veterinary partnership, as the case may be, complies with the terms of the agreement, the board will compensate the veterinarian or the partnership in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

Period of agreement and termination thereof

7(2)        An agreement made under subsection (1) shall be for the remainder of the year in which it is made and a further period of three years, but

(a) may be terminated at any time by either party thereto by giving to the other party not less than three months' notice of the termination thereof; and

(b) may be renewed for successive periods of not less than one year each, subject to termination as aforesaid.

Terms of agreement

7(3)        The agreement shall contain such terms and conditions as may be specified herein and in the regulations, and such other terms and conditions, not inconsistent with this Act and the regulations, as may be agreed between the parties to the agreement and approved by the commission.

Veterinarian's right to practise

7(4)        Subject as provided herein and in the regulations, and subject to the terms of the agreement, a veterinarian who is a party to an agreement may practise veterinary medicine and surgery both within and outside the district to which the agreement relates.

S.M. 2015, c. 34, s. 39.

Sum payable by municipalities

8(1)        Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the municipalities included in a district shall

(a) in each year, pay to the board of the district their share of the sum estimated to be required for the assistance plan adopted, negotiated among the municipalities according to their land assessment, size and most recent animal census, or comparable mill rate; and

(b) provide the land and services required for the establishment of clinical facilities.

Appeal

8(2)         Where a municipality is dissatisfied with the amount it is required to pay under subsection (1) it may appeal the matter to the commission.

Amount payable in year of establishment

8(3)        In the year in which the district is established, the amount payable by the municipalities to the board of the district under subsection (1) is that proportion of the grant paid under subsection (1) that is equal to the proportion that the number of days in the year after the establishment of the district bears to 365; and that amount shall be apportioned among, and payable by, the municipalities as provided in this section.

Time for payment of municipal amount

8(4)        Each municipality shall in each year pay to the board the amount payable by it under subsection (1) and of any additional sum that is being paid under subsection (2) in two equal instalments, one of which shall be paid during the month of January and one during the month of July; except that, in the year in which the district is established,

(a) if the date of its establishment is before July 1, the municipality shall within one month after the establishment, pay to the board one-half of the amount so payable or that is being paid as aforesaid by the municipality in that year, and during the month of July shall pay the balance thereof; and

(b) if the date of its establishment is on or after July 1, the municipality shall within one month after the establishment pay to the board the amount so payable or that is being paid as aforesaid by the municipality in that year.

Board's estimate of requirements

9(1)        In each year the board of each district shall prepare an estimate of its financial requirements for the year, including the estimated expenses to be incurred in discharging its duties under this Act; and, after deducting therefrom the total of the amounts payable to the board under sections 8 and 11, the board shall send a statement of the balance required to the clerk of each municipality included in the district with a request for payment by the municipality of its proportionate share thereof; and the statement shall show in detail the estimated revenues and expenses of the board.

Date for sending statements

9(2)        In the year in which the district is established the statement shall be sent within one month after the date of the establishment, and in each succeeding year it shall be sent before January 31.

Payment of balance of municipal payment

9(3)        When the councils of the municipalities included in the district have, after negotiation through their representatives, agreed on the total amount that the municipalities will jointly pay in satisfaction of the request of the board of the district, the amount agreed upon shall be apportioned equally among the municipalities, and each municipality shall, not later than July 1 in that year or, if that date is already past, not later than December 15, pay to the board its share.

Additional payments to board

10          In addition to the moneys paid to the board under sections 8 and 9, a municipality included in a district may pay to the board such further sums as the council of the municipality may, by resolution, approve.

Government grant

11(1)       Subject to subsection (3), from the Consolidated Fund with moneys authorized by an Act of the Legislature to be so paid and applied, the Minister of Finance may in each year, on the requisition of the minister pay to each board as a grant, such amount as may be prescribed in the regulations.

Grants to establish animal hospital facilities

11(2)       In addition to any grant paid under subsection (1), from the Consolidated Fund, with moneys authorized by an Act of the Legislature to be so paid and applied, the Minister of Finance, on the requisition of the minister may make a grant to the board of a district for the purpose of establishing animal hospital facilities for a district; and upon the establishment of an animal hospital, any grant received by a board under subsections 8(1) and 11(1) shall, unless the minister otherwise directs, be used to assist the district in the maintenance of the animal hospital and operation of the veterinary service as prescribed in the regulations.

Sum payable in year of establishment

11(3)       In the year in which the district is established if any grant is paid under subsection (1) it shall be that proportion of the grant that is equal to the proportion that the number of days in the year after the establishment of the district bears to 365.

When grant payable

11(4)       Where in any year a grant is paid under subsection (1), it shall be paid at the times at which, and in proportions equal to those in which, the sums payable by municipalities are payable as provided in subsection 8(4).

Moneys payable where no contract in effect

12          Where a district is established, if during any period no agreement pursuant to section 7 is in effect, the total of the moneys payable to the board by municipalities under section 8 and the grant payable under section 11, may be reduced in amounts determined by the minister which shall be a proportion of the moneys and the grant so payable that is as nearly as possible equal to the proportion of the costs which are incurred in maintaining the animal hospital or alternative veterinary services or both during the period that no agreement is in effect.

Levy on parts of municipalities in districts

13          Except in the year in which the district is established or the year in which a part of a municipality is added to a district, where a part only of a municipality is included in a district, the amount required to be paid to the board of the district by the municipality shall be raised by a special levy against the properties in that part of the municipalities which is included in the district.

Continuation of commission

14(1)       The Veterinary Services Commission, consisting of not more than seven members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, is continued.

Term of office of members

14(2)       Subject to subsection (3), unless he sooner resigns or is removed from office and unless a shorter term is fixed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, each member of the commission shall hold office for a period of three years from the date of his appointment and thereafter until his successor is appointed, but may be re-appointed for a further term or terms.

Filling of vacancy

14(3)       If a member of the commission ceases to be a member prior to the expiration of his term of office, any person appointed to fill the vacancy, unless he sooner resigns or is removed from office, shall hold office for the remainder of the term of office of the person in whose place he is appointed, and thereafter until his successor is appointed.

Chairman

14(4)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall, in the order in council appointing him, name one member of the commission as chairman thereof.

Quorum

14(5)       A majority of the members of the commission constitute a quorum.

Out-of-pocket expenses

14(6)       A member of the commission may be paid such reasonable out-of-pocket expenses as are incurred by him in the performance of his duties as a member thereof and as are approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Powers and duties of commission

15          The commission has the powers, and shall discharge the duties, for which provision is made herein and in the regulations; and shall discharge such other duties as may be required of it by the minister.

Accounts of board

16(1)       Each board shall maintain accounting records which shall be in a form satisfactory to the Auditor General.

Audit

16(2)       The board shall, before June 30 in each year, have its accounts for the last preceding year examined, checked, and audited, at the expense of the board by the municipal auditor of one of the municipalities comprised in the district, at a fee to be agreed in advance between the board and the auditor.

Report of auditor

16(3)       The auditor shall, before June 30 in each year

(a) make a report to the board on the audit made by him for the last preceding year; and

(b) file with the Auditor General a copy of the report.

Fiscal period

16(4)       The fiscal period of the board is the calendar year.

S.M. 2001, c. 39, s. 31.

Resolution requesting withdrawal

17(1)       The council of a municipality included in a district may, by resolution, request the commission to recommend to the minister that the Lieutenant Governor in Council withdraw the municipality from the district; and the municipal council shall send a copy of the resolution to the minister and to the board of the district and to the commission.

Hearing and report

17(2)       The commission shall notify the minister, the clerk of each municipality included in the district, and the secretary-treasurer of the board of the district, of the time at which, and the place where, the request will be considered; and at that time and place, after hearing any person desiring to be heard with respect to the matter, the commission shall consider the request and make its report thereon to the minister including its recommendations with respect thereto, if any; and, if recommendations are made, the commission shall state its reasons therefor.

Procedure to prevent withdrawal

17(3)       On consideration of a request made under subsection (1), if, in the opinion of the commission, the municipality should not be withdrawn from the district, the commission may enter into negotiations and make investigations with a view to securing the withdrawal by the municipality of its request; but, if the request is not withdrawn, the commission shall in its report give details of the negotiations and investigations, and shall state that the municipality declines to withdraw its request.

Order for withdrawal

17(4)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council, on receipt of the report of the commission, may, by order in council, withdraw the municipality from the district if he deems it advisable to do so, and, subject to subsection (5), may make the withdrawal effective at the time stated in the order.

Effective date of withdrawal

17(5)       A municipality may be withdrawn from a district only on December 31 next following the expiration of 36 months from the establishment of the district, or at the end of any of the successive periods of 12 months thereafter.

Disestablishment where one municipality left

18(1)       Where the withdrawal of a municipality from a district leaves only one municipality in the district, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, if deemed advisable, disestablish the district and dissolve the board thereof as herein provided.

Continuing of district where municipalities not contiguous

18(2)       Where a municipality is withdrawn from a district, the establishment of the district may continue notwithstanding that the boundaries of any one or more of the municipalities remaining included therein are not contiguous at any place to the boundaries of another municipality included in the district.

Request for dissolution

19(1)       Where a district comprises less than three municipalities the council of any municipality included in the district, and in other cases the councils of at least two of the municipalities included in the district, may by resolution request the commission to recommend to the minister that the district be disestablished and the board thereof dissolved, and shall cause a copy of the resolution to be sent to the minister and to the board of the district and to the commission.

Hearing and recommendation

19(2)       The commission shall notify the minister, the clerk of each municipality included in the district, and the secretary-treasurer of the board of the district, of the time at which, and the place where, the request will be considered; and at that time and place, after hearing any person desiring to be heard with respect to the matter, the commission shall consider the request and make its report thereon to the minister including recommendations with respect thereto, if any; and, if recommendations are made, the commission shall state its reasons therefor.

Commission's recommendation for disestablishment or alteration

20(1)       The commission, of its own motion, may recommend to the minister the disestablishment of a district and the dissolution of the board thereof or the alteration of a district by the inclusion therein or the withdrawal therefrom of any municipality or a part thereof.

Disestablishment of district

20(2)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council

(a) on receipt of the recommendation of the commission, but notwithstanding anything contained therein; or

(b) without having received such a recommendation;

may, by order in council, disestablish a district and dissolve the board thereof or alter a district by including therein or withdrawing therefrom any municipality or a part thereof.

Liquidation of affairs of district

21(1)       Where a district is disestablished and the board thereof dissolved, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, if deemed necessary, appoint a liquidator to wind up the affairs of the board, to collect moneys payable to the board and to get in all other assets belonging to it, and, after paying the debts of the board, to distribute the surplus as provided herein and in the regulations.

Liquidator may request advice

21(1.1)     A liquidator appointed under subsection (1) may request advisory assistance from the board of a disestablished district or from a person who was a member of the board at the time of dissolution, if the liquidator considers such assistance appropriate.

Distribution of assets by liquidator

21(2)       In winding up the affairs of a board, a liquidator shall distribute the board's surplus assets to the government and to each municipality included in the district at the time of dissolution in prorated shares based on the sums paid to the board by the government under section 11 and by each municipality under sections 8 to 10.

Sums paid by government include value of capital contributions

21(3)       For the purposes of subsection (2) and section 21.1, the sums paid by the government to a board under section 11 are deemed to include

(a) any amount expended by the government for capital property of the board; and

(b) the value of any land or services provided to the board by the government, determined as of the date the land or services were provided.

Sums paid by municipality include value of capital contributions

21(4)       For the purposes of subsection (2) and section 21.1, the sums paid by a municipality to a board under sections 8 to 10 are deemed to include

(a) any amount expended by the municipality for capital property of the board; and

(b) the value of any land or services provided to the board by the municipality, determined as of the date the land or services were provided.

S.M. 1998, c. 24, s. 4.

Distribution of assets by a board

21.1        In winding up its own affairs, a board shall distribute its surplus assets to the government and to each municipality included in the district at the time of the winding up in prorated shares based on the sums paid to the board by the government under section 11 and by each municipality under sections 8 to 10.

S.M. 1998, c. 24, s. 5.

Appeal

21.2(1)     A board, a member of a board or a veterinarian may appeal a determination or decision of the commission by filing a notice of appeal with the minister within 30 days after the board or veterinarian is notified of the determination or decision.

Appeal board

21.2(2)     Within 30 days after a notice of appeal is filed, the minister shall appoint an appeal board consisting of not fewer than three and not more than five persons to hear the appeal.

Chairperson

21.2(3)     The minister shall designate one of the members of the appeal board to be its chairperson.

Fees and expenses

21.2(4)     The minister may pay reasonable fees and expenses to the members of the appeal board.

Hearing

21.2(5)     The minister may specify the time within which the appeal board is to hear the appeal and give a decision, and the minister may extend that time.

Decision

21.2(6)     On concluding the appeal, the appeal board may

(a) confirm the determination or decision of the commission; or

(b) make any other determination or decision the commission could have made, subject to any terms and conditions that the appeal board considers appropriate.

Notice

21.2(7)     The appeal board shall, in writing, promptly notify the minister and the appellant of its determination or decision.

S.M. 1998, c. 24, s. 5.

Regulations

22          The minister may make regulations

(a) prescribing the form of an agreement made between municipalities under section 2;

(b) prescribing the duties to be performed by boards in addition to those set out herein;

(c) prescribing the form of an agreement made between a board and a veterinarian under section 7, and terms and conditions that shall form part thereof, including, without restricting the generality of the foregoing,

(i) a schedule of the maximum fees that, subject to the provision mentioned in sub-clause (iii), may be charged to persons residing in the district to which the agreement relates by a veterinarian who is a party to the agreement;

(ii) a provision that, subject to the provision mentioned in sub-clause (iii), fees shall be charged by the veterinarian on a uniform scale to all persons residing in the district aforesaid or in any specified part thereof;

(iii) a provision that, where a veterinarian, in a case of special importance or difficulty or requiring an unusually long attendance, renders an account containing an item for any service exceeding the maximum fee for that service set out in the schedule mentioned in sub-clause (i), and the person to whom the fee is charged objects thereto on the ground that it is excessive, that person may, within one month after the account is rendered, appeal in writing to the board of the district; and that the board may approve the account or reduce the fee charged to an amount that it considers to be a reasonable fee for the service rendered, having regard to the importance or difficulty of the case and the time involved, but in any event not to an amount lower than the fee set out in the schedule;

(iv) a provision that the veterinarian shall, during the term of the agreement, reside and practise veterinary medicine and surgery in the district aforesaid, and that a person residing in the district is entitled to call for and receive, in respect of his animals, the professional services of the veterinarian in priority to any person not residing in the district;

(d) prescribing, if deemed necessary or advisable, the form of any notice required herein to be given or published;

(e) prescribing how the surplus assets, if any, of a board that is dissolved shall be distributed;

(f) prescribing, if deemed necessary or advisable, the procedure to be followed at meetings of a board and the manner and method in which the officers of a council shall be elected;

(g) providing for the control and management of the property and funds of a board;

(h) setting out the circumstances and prescribing the conditions under which mileage may be charged by a veterinarian who is a party to an agreement under section 7;

(i) prescribing rules respecting the use and administration of animal hospitals;

(j) setting out the terms and conditions under which animal hospital privileges may be granted;

(k) prescribing humane practices and sanitary and disease control standards to be observed in the establishment and operation of animal hospitals;

(l) prescribing the maximum amounts and the manner of determining the grants payable under clause 8(1)(a) and subsection 11(1);

(m) respecting the powers and duties of the commission;

(n) respecting any matter that the minister considers necessary or advisable to carry out the purpose of this Act effectively.

S.M. 1998, c. 24, s. 6.