Third Session, Thirty-Ninth Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.   It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications or view the online bilingual version (PDF).

Bill 203


Table of Contents Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

WHEREAS the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states: "In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interest of the child shall be a primary consideration";

AND WHEREAS Jordan's Principle states that the rights of the child should be considered first in providing health care and social services, particularly in instances such as Jordan's which involve complex medical needs;

AND WHEREAS Jordan's Principle has been widely supported;

AND WHEREAS the absence of timely access to quality health care and social services can lead to sub-optimum child development;

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



The following definitions apply in this Act.

"children's advocate" means the Children's Advocate as defined in subsection 1(1) of The Child and Family Services Act. (« protecteur des enfants »)

"government agency" means any board, commission, association, agency, or similar body, whether incorporated or unincorporated, all the members of which, or all the members of the board of management, board of directors or governing board of which, are appointed by an Act of the Legislature or by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. (« organisme gouvernemental »)

"health care services" means the health care services to which an insured person is entitled as benefits under The Health Services Insurance Act and the regulations under that Act. (« services de santé »)

"jurisdictional dispute" means a dispute between the federal government and the provincial government or a government agency that is responsible for paying for the health care or social services required by a child. (« conflit de compétence »)

"social services" means services under The Social Services Administration Act that have as their object the lessening, removal or prevention of the causes and effects of poverty, child neglect or dependence on income assistance and, without limitation, include

(a) rehabilitation services;

(b) case work, counselling, assessment and referral services;

(c) adoption services;

(d) homemaker, day care, respite and similar services;

(e) community development services; and

(f) other social services which are critical to optimal child development. (« services sociaux »)

Child's right to timely access to the best services


Every child in Manitoba has the right to the best health care and the best social services on a timely basis.

Interpretation of "the best"


For the purpose of subsection (1), the best health care and the best social services shall be determined with reference to the best current practices.

Timely access


For the purpose of subsection (1), access to health care and social services is timely if, in accordance with current scientific and sociological evidence and with traditional knowledge, the child's optimum development is not diminished while the child waits for services to be provided.

Right of parents and guardians to be informed


All parents and guardians have the right to be fully informed about the development of their child and the measures and supports that are optimum for their child's development.  This right includes

(a) being advised of available options for treatment and for promoting better health and childhood development;

(b) being encouraged and given the ability to participate actively in decisions about health care or social services that are to be provided;

(c) receiving information on the qualifications and experience of the health care and social service professionals who provide health care or social services to the child; and

(d) generally, receiving considerate, compassionate and respectful health care and social services.

Right to have family members and others informed


The rights of a parent or guardians under subsection (1) may also be exercised by another family member, a friend or a patient advocate or family advocate that the parent or guardian has designated.

Jurisdictional disputes incompatible with best care


The provincial government or, where a government agency provides a health care or social service, the government agency, contravenes a child's rights under section 3 if, due to a jurisdictional dispute,

(a) the child fails to receive the best health care or the best social services on a timely basis; or

(b) the child fails to receive those services in his or her home, or home community, despite such delivery of services being reasonably practicable and in accordance with the recommendations of the child's provider of health care or social services.

Corrective measures


If the parent or guardian of a child, or the children's advocate, believes that the rights of the child under section 2, or his or her own rights under section 3, are being contravened, the body or person that has the authority to remedy the situation has responsibility to take corrective measures

(a) in relation to the child, to give effect to his or her rights under that section; and

(b) generally, to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

Provincial action


When there is a jurisdictional dispute, the provision of health care or social services by the provincial government or a government agency to a child is not an admission of responsibility for providing the service.



A parent or guardian of a child may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain any remedy that the court considers appropriate and just in the circumstances if the rights of the child under section 2, or the rights of the parent or guardian under section 3, have been violated or infringed.

C.C.S.M. reference


This Act may be referred to as chapter J7 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force


This Act comes into force six months after the day it receives royal assent.

Explanatory Note

This Bill establishes the right of children to have timely access to quality health care and social services, regardless of jurisdictional disputes. It also recognizes the right of parents and guardians to receive information about the services available for their children.