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2nd Session, 42nd Legislature

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Bill 44

THE PUBLIC UTILITIES RATEPAYER PROTECTION AND REGULATORY REFORM ACT (VARIOUS ACTS AMENDED)


  Bilingual version (PDF) Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

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

PART 1

THE PUBLIC UTILITIES BOARD ACT

C.C.S.M. c. P280 amended

1

The Public Utilities Board Act is amended by this Part.

2

Section 1 is amended

(a) by repealing the definition "chairman";

(b) by adding the following definitions:

"chair" means the person designated under section 4 as the chair of the board; (« président »)

"fiscal year", in relation to the board, means the period beginning on April 1 of one year and ending on March 31 of the following year; (« exercice »)

"vice-chair" means the person designated under section 4 as the vice-chair of the board. (« vice-président »)

(c) in clause (b) of the definition "public utility", by striking out ", street railway, or tramway,".

3(1)

Subsection 2(1) is amended

(a) in the part before clause (a), by striking out "Subject to subsections (5) and (5.1)" and substituting "Except as otherwise provided in this section"; and

(b) in clause (c), by striking out ", including any railway, street railway, or tramway,".

3(2)

Subsection 2(5) is replaced with the following:

Limited application to Manitoba Hydro

2(5)

Except as otherwise provided in The Manitoba Hydro Act and in subsections (5.1) to (5.4), this Act does not apply to Manitoba Hydro or any subsidiary of Manitoba Hydro and the board has no jurisdiction or authority over Manitoba Hydro or any such subsidiary.

3(3)

Subsection 2(5.1) is renumbered as subsection 2(5.5) and the following is added as subsections 2(5.1) to (5.4):

Part I applies to certain reviews

2(5.1)

Part I applies for the purpose of conducting a review under subsection 38(2) or 50(4) of The Manitoba Hydro Act.

Regulations about construction standards

2(5.2)

Subsection 83(4) and the regulations made under that subsection apply to Manitoba Hydro.

Section 104.1 applies

2(5.3)

Section 104.1 applies to Manitoba Hydro, or any subsidiary of Manitoba Hydro, in relation to the distribution and supply of natural gas.

Part V applies

2(5.4)

Part V applies to Manitoba Hydro.

3(4)

The following is added after subsection 2(6):

Limited application to City of Winnipeg

2(7)

Except as otherwise provided in The City of Winnipeg Charter, this Act does not apply to or in respect of a public utility owned by the City of Winnipeg.

4

Section 3 is amended by adding "as an independent agency of the government" at the end.

5

Sections 4 and 5 are replaced with the following:

Membership of board

4

The board is to consist of the following persons appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council after a merit-based selection process:

(a) one individual appointed as a full-time member and designated as the chair;

(b) one individual who, on the recommendation of the minister after considering any candidates recommended by the chair, is appointed as a full-time or part-time member and designated as the vice-chair;

(c) up to 12 additional individuals who, on the recommendation of the minister after considering any candidates recommended by the chair, are appointed as full-time or part-time members.

Powers and duties of the chair

5(1)

The chair is responsible for the general supervision of the affairs of the board.

Powers and duties of vice-chair

5(2)

If the chair is absent or unable to act as chair, the vice-chair has all the powers and responsibilities of the chair. The vice-chair must also perform such duties as are assigned to the vice-chair by the chair.

Duties of part-time members

5(3)

Part-time members of the board must devote such time and attention to their duties under this Act as is directed by the chair.

6

Section 6 is repealed.

7

Section 7 is replaced with the following:

Remuneration of members

7

The members of the board are entitled to be remunerated, and to be reimbursed for their expenses, as determined by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

8

Section 8 is repealed.

9

The following is added after section 10:

Validity of regulations, etc.

10.1

The board does not have the authority to determine or inquire into the validity of

(a) a regulation; or

(b) a directive or order made or issued under The Crown Corporations Governance and Accountability Act or The Financial Administration Act.

General policies

10.2(1)

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, establish general policies to be observed by the board in the exercise of any jurisdiction conferred on it by or under this Act or any other Act.

Limitation

10.2(2)

A regulation under this section must not

(a) be directed specifically toward any matter, application or decision pending before the board; or

(b) limit the board's authority to make rules respecting its own procedures.

10

The centred heading before section 11 is repealed.

11

Sections 11 to 13 are replaced with the following:

Vacancy, absence or inability to act

11

If a person has ceased to be a member, or is absent or unable to act as a member, the remaining members may exercise all the jurisdiction and powers of the board.

Absence of chair and vice-chair

12

If both the chair and the vice-chair are absent or unable to act, or their positions are vacant, the remaining members may elect one of them to act as chair in the place of the chair.

Completion of business by substitute

13(1)

A member acting in the absence of the chair or when the chair is unable to act, or a person appointed to act in the place of a member, may complete any unfinished matter in which they have taken part even if the chair or the member in whose place they are acting returns or again becomes able to act.

Presumption in such cases

13(2)

If it appears that a member other than the chair has acted for, or in the place of, the chair, it is to be presumed that they so acted in the absence or inability of the chair.

12(1)

Subsection 15(1) is replaced with the following:

Board office and facilities

15(1)

The government must provide, or arrange for the board to be provided with, an office and facilities suitable for the board to carry out its functions.

12(2)

Subsection 15(2) is amended by striking out "chairman may designate" and substituting "chair determines".

12(3)

Subsection 15(3) is replaced with the following:

Public hearings

15(3)

Subject to the board's rules of procedure for the protection of commercially sensitive information, all hearings by the board are to be open to the public.

12(4)

Subsection 15(6) is amended by striking out "chairman, or, in his absence or incapacity to act, the vice-chairman" and substituting "chair".

12(5)

The following is added after subsection 15(6):

Chair of separate sittings

15(7)

The chair may designate any member as the chair of a separate sitting. If neither the chair nor the vice-chair is present at such a sitting, and no chair has been designated for that sitting, the members present at that sitting may elect one of the sitting members as chair for that sitting.

Presence at sitting

15(8)

For the purposes of this Act, if a member participates in a sitting or other meeting of the board in accordance with rules or procedures established by the board for participation by electronic means, the member's presence at the sitting or other meeting is to be determined in accordance with those rules or procedures.

13

Section 16 of the English version is amended by striking out "chairman" and substituting "chair".

14

The following is added after section 17:

STAFF AND CONSULTANTS

Executive director

17.1(1

) On the recommendation of the minister after considering any candidates recommended by the chair, the Lieutenant Governor in Council must appoint a person as the executive director of the board.

Responsibilities of the executive director

17.1(2)

The executive director is responsible, under the direction of the board, for

(a) the provision of administrative support to the board;

(b) ensuring the policies of the board are implemented; and

(c) exercising the powers and carrying out the duties assigned to the executive director by the board or by any Act or regulation.

Delegation

17.1(3)

The executive director may, in writing, delegate any of their powers or duties to an employee or agent of the board.

Subdelegation

17.1(4)

The executive director's delegation may include the power of subdelegation.

Memorandum of understanding

17.2(1)

The chair, on behalf of the board, and the minister must enter into a memorandum of understanding setting out

(a) the respective roles of the chair, the board, the executive director and the minister and their accountability relationships;

(b) details respecting the board's obligation to establish performance standards;

(c) details respecting the board's authority to manage its internal affairs, including the hiring of staff as required by subsection (2); and

(d) any other matters the parties consider necessary or appropriate.

Employees

17.2(2)

Such employees as are required to support the administration of this Act and the functions of the board are to be appointed under The Civil Service Act.

Board responsible for internal operations

17.2(3)

The board is responsible for the internal operations of the board and for the persons employed under it. For these purposes, the board

(a) must establish workforce management policies and procedures consistent with those of the government;

(b) despite subsection (2) but subject to the memorandum of understanding, is responsible for recruiting, selecting and appointing staff;

(c) may maintain an independent bank account; and

(d) may contract for professional services in accordance with section 19.

Binding effect

17.2(4)

The board must comply with the memorandum of understanding, but the failure to do so does not affect the validity of any action taken by the board or give rise to any rights or remedies by any person, other than rights or remedies provided by the memorandum of understanding.

Memorandum to be made public

17.2(5)

The board must publish the memorandum of understanding on the board's website as soon as practicable after the memorandum is entered into.

15

The centred heading before section 18 is repealed.

16(1)

Subsection 18(1) is replaced with the following:

Designation of secretary

18(1)

The board must designate the executive director, or a person employed under section 17.2, as secretary of the board.

16(2)

Subsection 18(2) is amended

(a) in clause (c), by striking out "chairman, sealed with the seal of the board," and substituting "chair"; and

(b) in clause (d) of the English version, by striking out "his duties or office" and substituting "the duties or office of the secretary".

16(3)

Subsection 18(3) is amended by striking out "he shall enter" and substituting "shall be entered".

17

The centred heading before section 19 is repealed.

18

Section 19 is replaced with the following:

Engagement of professionals, experts, etc.

19

The board may engage the services of such professionals, experts or other persons to advise the board on such terms and conditions as the board considers appropriate and in accordance with any applicable regulations, directives and policies made or issued under The Financial Administration Act respecting the procurement of services.

19

Sections 21 and 22 are repealed.

20

Section 23 is replaced with the following:

IMMUNITY

No personal liability of board and employees

23

No member or employee of the board is personally liable for anything done by the board or by the member or employee under the authority of this or any other Act of the Legislature.

21

Subsection 24(6) is amended

(a) by adding "obtained" after "evidence"; and

(b) by striking out "or of any officer or technical adviser appointed hereunder" and substituting "or of a person engaged under section 19".

22

The following is added after section 24:

Oral hearings not required

24.1(1)

Despite any other provision of this Act, in any circumstance in which the board may, or is required to, hold a hearing, the board may conduct a written hearing.

Rules for written hearings

24.1(2)

The board may make rules respecting the circumstances in which and the process by which written hearings may be conducted and specifying the form and content of materials to be provided for written hearings.

23

Section 25 is amended

(a) in the part before clause (a) of the English version, by striking out "chairman" and substituting "chair"; and

(b) in clause (a), by striking out ", in his absolute discretion, he deems" and substituting "the chair or other presiding officer considers".

24

Section 30 is amended by striking out "; and" and substituting ". Subject to the regulations,".

25

Subsection 31(2) is amended

(a) by striking out "chairman" and substituting "chair" in the section heading and in the section;

(b) by striking out "he has" and substituting "the chair has"; and

(c) by striking out "he may hear" and substituting "the chair may hear".

26

Section 34 is replaced with the following:

Counsel to represent persons interested

34

The chair may, with the approval of the Minister of Justice, appoint a lawyer to represent any class of persons interested in any matter concerning public utility service within the jurisdiction of the board, for the purpose of instituting or attending an application before the board or any other tribunal or authority. Subject to the regulations, the board may order by whom the fees and expenses of the person so appointed are to be paid.

27

Section 35 is amended

(a) by replacing clause (a) with the following:

(a) if given by the board, by a member or the secretary of the board;

(b) in clause (c) of the English version, by striking out "his" and substituting "their".

28

Subsection 42(1) is amended by striking out "the chairman or by".

29

Subsection 52(1) is amended by striking out "chairman of the board" and substituting "chair".

30

The centred heading before section 55 and section 55 are replaced with the following:

ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY

Contraventions

55(1)

After giving a person an opportunity to be heard, the board, for the purposes of section 55.1, may find that the person has contravened

(a) a prescribed provision of this Act; or

(b) a provision of a prescribed type of order, directive or rule of the board.

Contravention by director, officer or agent

55(2)

If a corporation contravenes a provision referred to in subsection (1), a director, officer or agent of the corporation who authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the contravention also contravenes the provision.

Contravention by employee, contractor or agent

55(3)

If an employee, contractor or agent of a corporation contravenes a provision referred to in subsection (1) in the course of carrying out the employment, contract or agency, the corporation also contravenes the provision.

Defence

55(4)

The board must not find that a person has contravened a provision referred to in subsection (1) if the person demonstrates to the satisfaction of the board that

(a) the person exercised due diligence to prevent the contravention; or

(b) the person's actions or omissions relevant to the provision were the result of an officially induced error.

Limitation of defence

55(5)

Nothing in subsection (4) prevents the board from doing anything else that it is authorized to do under this Act with respect to an act or omission by the person referred to in that subsection.

Administrative penalty

55.1(1)

Subject to the regulations, if the board finds that a person has contravened a provision referred to in subsection 55(1), the board may impose an administrative penalty on the person in an amount that does not exceed the prescribed limit.

Separate penalty for each day of contravention

55.1(2)

If a prescribed contravention occurs over more than one day or continues for more than one day, separate administrative penalties, each not exceeding the prescribed limit for the purpose of subsection (1), may be imposed for each day the contravention occurs or continues.

Factors to consider

55.1(3)

Before imposing an administrative penalty on a person, the board, in addition to considering anything else it considers relevant, must consider the following:

(a) previous contraventions by, administrative penalties imposed on and orders issued to the following:

(i) the person,

(ii) if the person is an individual, a corporation for which the individual is or was a director, officer or agent,

(iii) if the person is a corporation, an individual who is or was a director, officer or agent of the corporation;

(b) the gravity and magnitude of the contravention;

(c) the extent of the harm to others resulting from the contravention;

(d) whether the contravention was repeated or continuous;

(e) whether the contravention was deliberate;

(f) any economic benefit derived by the person from the contravention;

(g) the person's efforts to prevent and correct the contravention;

(h) the cost of compliance with the provision contravened;

(i) whether the person self-reported the contravention;

(j) the degree and quality of cooperation during the board's investigation;

(k) any undue hardship that might arise from the amount of the penalty;

(l) any other matter prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

No charge for offence

55.1(4)

A person who pays an administrative penalty in respect of a contravention may not be charged under this Act or any other enactment with an offence in respect of that contravention.

Notice of contravention or penalty

55.2(1)

If the board finds under section 55 that a person has contravened a provision referred to in that section or imposes under section 55.1 an administrative penalty on a person, the board must give to the person a notice of the decision, and the notice must include reasons for the decision and specify the following:

(a) the contravention;

(b) the amount of the penalty, if any;

(c) the date by which the penalty, if any, must be paid;

(d) the person's right, with respect to the decision, to apply for a review under subsection 44(3) or to appeal it under section 55.8;

(e) an address to which a request for a review under subsection 44(3) may be sent.

Public notice of penalty

55.2(2)

If the board imposes an administrative penalty on a person, the board may make public the reasons for and the amount of the penalty.

Due date of penalty

55.3

Subject to subsection 55.8(2), a person on whom an administrative penalty is imposed under section 55.1 must pay the penalty

(a) within 30 days after the date on which the notice referred to in subsection 55.2(1) is given to the person; or

(b) by a later date ordered by the board.

Recovery of penalty from ratepayers prohibited

55.4

In approving or setting rates for a public utility, the board must not allow the public utility to recover from persons who receive or may receive service from the public utility the costs of paying an administrative penalty imposed under section 55.1.

Enforcement of administrative penalty

55.5(1)

An administrative penalty constitutes a debt payable to the government by the person on whom the penalty is imposed.

Notice of penalty filed in court

55.5(2)

If a person fails to pay an administrative penalty as required under section 55.3, the government may file with the Court of Queen's Bench a certified copy of the notice imposing the penalty. On being filed, the notice has the same force and effect, and all proceedings may be taken on the notice, as if the notice were a judgment of that court.

Revenue from administrative penalties

55.6

Revenue from administrative penalties is payable to the Minister of Finance and must be deposited in the Consolidated Fund.

Limitation period

55.7(1)

The time limit for giving a notice under section 55.2 imposing an administrative penalty is two years after the date on which the act or omission alleged to constitute the contravention first came to the attention of the chair.

Certificate

55.7(2)

A certificate purporting to have been issued by the chair and certifying the date referred to in subsection (1) is proof of that date.

Appeal to Court of Queen's Bench

55.8(1)

A person receiving a notice referred to in subsection 55.2(1) may appeal the board's decision to the Court of Queen's Bench within 30 days after receiving the notice.

Stay on appeal

55.8(2)

An appeal under this section operates as a stay of the decision under appeal.

Board has party status

55.8(3)

The board has full party status on an appeal under this section.

Regulations re administrative penalties

55.9

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting administrative penalties, including regulations

(a) prescribing provisions of this Act or the types of board orders, directives or rules for the purpose of subsection 55(1);

(b) prescribing contraventions for the purpose of subsection 55.1(2);

(c) prescribing limits for administrative penalties, which may be different for different contraventions and for different classes of persons;

(d) prescribing matters to be considered under subsection 55.1(3) before imposing an administrative penalty;

(e) prescribing criteria for determining appropriate administrative penalties;

(f) respecting any other matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary for the proper administration of this section.

31

Section 56 is replaced with the following:

Costs of proceedings

56

Subject to the regulations and to any order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council under which a matter is referred to the board under section 107 or under any other Act,

(a) the costs of, and incidental to, any proceeding before the board are in the discretion of the board, and may be fixed in any case at a sum certain or may be taxed;

(b) the board may order by whom, and to whom, any costs are to be paid, and by whom the costs are to be taxed and allowed; and

(c) the board may prescribe a scale under which costs are to be taxed.

32

The centred heading before section 57 is replaced with "FINANCIAL MATTERS".

33

The following is added after section 56 and after the centred heading "FINANCIAL MATTERS":

Business plan

56.1(1)

On or before November 1 of each year, the chair must submit to the minister for review and approval the board's business plan for the ensuing fiscal year. The business plan must include

(a) for the ensuing fiscal year,

(i) an estimate of the board's revenue and expenditures, including its internal and external costs related to its hearings and any financial support expected to be provided for interveners, and

(ii) its projected opening and closing balance sheets;

(b) the board's recommendation regarding changes, if any, that should be made to the regulations under section 56.2 and a description of the consultations undertaken by the board with its stakeholders regarding those changes;

(c) a description of the board's goals and strategies for achieving them in the ensuing fiscal year and of its longer term goals and strategies for the next four years;

(d) a description of the performance measures to be used for determining progress or success in the achievement of its goals; and

(e) any other information or documents required by regulation.

Approval of business plan

56.1(2)

The minister may, after having the board's business plan reviewed by Treasury Board, approve the plan or refer it back to the board with recommendations for changes. If the plan is referred back to the board, the board must consider the recommendations and resubmit its revised plan for the minister's approval.

Cost recovery through fees

56.2(1)

The board's costs of administering this Act and carrying out the board's duties and exercising its powers under this or any other Act of the Legislature, including hearing costs, are to be recovered primarily through the collection of fees, levies or charges imposed by or in accordance with the regulations on entities whose operations or rates are regulated by the board.

Regulations

56.2(2)

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the minister after consulting with the board, make regulations

(a) prescribing information or documents to be included in the board's business plan;

(b) providing for fees, levies or charges to be imposed for the purpose of recovering all or a portion of any costs referred to in subsection (1), or authorizing the board, by order, to establish the fees, levies or charges to be imposed in accordance with the regulations;

(c) providing for the manner of calculating those fees, levies or charges and allocating them among the entities on whom they are to be imposed, the manner of imposing them and the manner in which they are to be paid;

(d) specifying a rate of interest, or the manner of determining a rate of interest, to be paid on any fee, levy or charge not paid on or before the day it is due;

(e) restricting or limiting costs that may be fixed, taxed or imposed by the board under section 56 or circumstances in which they may be fixed, taxed or imposed under that section;

(f) respecting any other matter that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable relating to the recovery of the board's operational costs or its financial administration.

Debt to government

56.2(3)

A fee, levy or charge imposed by or under a regulation made under this section, together with any interest payable on that amount under the regulation, constitutes a debt due to the government by the person required to pay it if it is not paid when it is due.

34(1)

Subsection 57(1) is repealed.

34(2)

Subsection 57(3) is amended by striking out everything after "Auditor General".

35

Subsection 58(1) is amended, in the part before clause (a), by striking out "An appeal" and substituting "Except for any order or decision that may be appealed under section 55.8, an appeal".

36

Subsection 63(1) and section 65 are repealed.

37

Section 77 is amended by adding "and" after clause (a) and repealing clause (c).

38

Section 80 is repealed.

39(1)

Subsection 83(1) is amended, in the part before clause (a), by striking out "telegraph, telephone, or".

39(2)

Subsection 83(4) is amended by striking out "telephone, telegraph, and".

40

Sections 86 to 88 and 94 are repealed.

41

Subsection 98(1) is replaced with the following:

Certificate of non-compliance

98(1)

If a person has not complied with an order issued to the person by the board, and the board is satisfied that there are no effectual means of compelling the person to comply, the board must transmit to the Minister of Justice a certificate, signed by the chair and the secretary of the board, setting out the nature of the order and of the non-compliance.

42

Section 100 is repealed.

43

Section 106 is amended by striking out "sections 210 and 215 of The City of Winnipeg Charter and".

44(1)

Subsection 109(1) is amended by adding the following after clause (c):

(c.1) a description of steps taken by the board to simplify or streamline practices and procedures in relation to its regulatory functions under this Act and any other Act;

(c.2) a description of its goals and strategies for the year, the outcomes achieved and the performance measures used to determine those outcomes; and

44(2)

The following is added after subsection 109(2):

Publication of annual report

109(2.1)

The minister must notify the board when a copy of the report has been tabled in the Assembly. Within 30 days after being notified, the board must publish the annual report on the board's website.

44(3)

Subsections 109(3) and (4) are repealed.

CONDITIONAL AMENDMENTS

Conditional amendments

45(1)

This section applies if Bill 19, introduced in the Second Session of the 42nd Legislature and titled The Public Service Act, comes into force.

45(2)

If section 8 comes into force before The Public Service Act comes into force, the table in section 3 of the Schedule to that Act is amended by deleting the row for The Public Utilities Board Act.

45(3)

Subsection 17.2(2) of The Public Utilities Board Act, as enacted by section 14 of this Act, is amended by striking out "The Civil Service Act" and substituting "Part 3 of The Public Service Act".

PART 2

THE MANITOBA HYDRO ACT

C.C.S.M. c. H190 amended

46

The Manitoba Hydro Act is amended by this Part.

47

Section 1 is amended by adding the following definitions:

"gas utility" means the natural gas distribution utility in Manitoba owned and operated by the corporation or a subsidiary; (« service de gaz »)

"gas utility subsidiary" means a subsidiary that owns and operates the gas utility; (« filiale de service de gaz »)

"major new facility" means a major new facility for generating or transmitting power as described in subsection 16(5); (« nouvelle installation importante »)

"regulator" means The Public Utilities Board continued under The Public Utilities Board Act; (« autorité de réglementation »)

48

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

Additional purposes and objects

2(2)

Without limiting subsection (1), the purposes and objects of this Act include establishing a regulatory framework for

(a) determining rates for the provision of power to retail customers in Manitoba; and

(b) determining rates relating to the distribution and supply of natural gas by the corporation or its gas utility subsidiary.

49

Clause 15.0.1(1)(f) is amended by striking out "the Public Utilities Board" wherever it occurs and substituting "the regulator".

50(1)

Section 15.2 is amended by striking out "No" and substituting "Subject to the regulations, no".

50(2)

Section 15.2 is further amended by renumbering it as subsection 15.2(1) and adding the following as subsection 15.2(2):

Exceptions — behind-the-meter, off-grid or experimental

15.2(2)

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) authorizing, or enabling the corporation to authorize, a person to be engaged in the retail supply of power in circumstances where the power

(i) is being used to recharge electric vehicles at public charging stations, or

(ii) is being distributed on the property of a landlord, condominium corporation or housing cooperative for use by tenants, occupants or other users of the property;

(b) authorizing the retail supply of power by persons other than the corporation in circumstances where

(i) the supply or distribution of power does not involve an interconnection with the corporation's transmission or distribution system, or

(ii) the power is generated from a clean, renewable source of energy or for research or experimental purposes;

(c) establishing terms or conditions under which a person other than the corporation may engage in the retail supply of power pursuant to a regulation made under this subsection.

51(1)

Subsection 16(1) is amended

(a) by replacing clauses (g) and (h) with the following:

(g) enter into an agreement to acquire power generated by any person other than the corporation;

(h) enter into an agreement to supply power to, or trade power with, a person outside Manitoba;

(b) by replacing clause (i.1) with the following:

(i.1) develop a major new facility for generating or transmitting power;

(i.2) develop a new power generating station that is not a major new facility;

51(2)

Subsection 16(2) is replaced with the following:

When approval not required

16(2)

Despite subsection (1), the corporation does not require Lieutenant Governor in Council's approval

(a) to acquire real property outside Manitoba if its purchase price is less than $5,000,000; or

(b) to enter into an agreement to acquire power

(i) from a person who generates power primarily for their own use and provides excess power to the corporation, or

(ii) if the total cost of the power to be acquired over the term of the agreement and the term of any renewal of the agreement is expected to be less than $5,000,000.

Public review before approval of major new facility

16(3)

Before approving the development of a major new facility for generating or transmitting power, or of any physical component of such a facility, the Lieutenant Governor in Council must refer the proposed development to the regulator for its review and recommendations regarding the need for, or alternatives to, the proposed development.

Public review before major power purchase or export contract

16(4)

Before approving a major power purchase or export contract, the Lieutenant Governor in Council must refer the contract or proposed contract to the regulator for its review and recommendations.

Major facilities and contracts described

16(5)

For the purposes of this section,

(a) a major new facility for generating or transmitting power is

(i) a new power generating station with a peak capacity of at least 200 megawatts of power, or

(ii) a new transmission line for transmitting electricity at a voltage higher than 230 kV,

that will require an investment by the corporation of $200,000,000 or more; and

(b) a major power purchase or export contract is

(i) a long-term contract to purchase power from a Manitoba producer at a cost of $200,000,000 or more over the term of the contract, including the term of any renewal of the contract, or

(ii) a long-term export contract that would require the development of, or advance the need for, a major new facility for the generation or transmission of power.

For this purpose, a contract is a long-term contract if its term, including the term of any optional renewal, is at least five years.

Public review considerations

16(6)

As part of its review of a matter referred to the regulator under this section, the regulator must consider and provide advice to the Lieutenant Governor in Council about

(a) the potential impact of the proposed facility or contract on rates for power; and

(b) the corporation's ability to achieve or maintain the financial targets established by or under section 39.1.

52

The following is added after section 16:

Definitions

16.0.1(1)

The following definitions apply in this section.

"planning costs" means the capital costs of the planning, design work, studies and consultations required to prepare a reliable budget for a major new facility and a plan for referral to the regulator under subsection 16(3). (« coûts de planification »)

"preliminary estimate" means a preliminary estimate of the cost of a major new facility that includes

(a) a description of the basis for the estimate and the corporation's level of confidence in the estimate;

(b) a statement and description of the related planning costs; and

(c) a statement and description of the costs already incurred in relation to the facility. (« estimation préliminaire »)

Restriction on planning costs

16.0.1(2)

The corporation must not incur, and the corporation's annual business plan under The Crown Corporations Governance and Accountability Act must not include, planning costs in relation to a major new facility, other than expenditures required to prepare for a review of the preliminary estimate under subsection (3), unless

(a) the regulator has reviewed and made recommendations regarding the preliminary estimate; and

(b) the business plan includes a copy of the regulator's comments and recommendations.

Review of preliminary estimate

16.0.1(3)

The regulator may review and make recommendations regarding a preliminary estimate as part of its review of rates for a rate period under section 39 or, on the application of the corporation, as a separate review process.

Scope of review

16.0.1(4)

Subsection 16(6) applies to a review under subsection (3) but, recognizing that the development of a major new facility must be referred to the regulator before it is approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the scope of the review is limited to the preliminary estimate.

53

The following is added after section 16.3:

GAS UTILITY

Application of Act re gas utility

16.4

The following provisions apply, with necessary changes, in respect of the gas utility:

(a) clause 16(1)(b) and section 18 (expropriation of land);

(b) section 23 (equipment along highways);

(c) section 24 (right of entry for protection of works).

For this purpose, any reference to "corporation" in these provisions is to be read as "corporation or its gas utility subsidiary".

Application of PUB Act provisions to gas utility

16.5

Subject to the regulations, for the purpose of enabling the regulator to review and make orders with respect to natural gas franchise agreements or the safety of natural gas facilities or to facilitate a competitive market for natural gas, the following provisions of The Public Utilities Board Act apply in respect of the gas utility:

(a) sections 67 and 68 (rights of access);

(b) clauses 77(b) and 78(1)(b), (c) and (g) and subsection 78(5) (orders as to utilities and owners);

(c) sections 115, 116 and 118 (gas franchises).

Application of Gas Pipe Line Act

16.6

Section 12 of The Gas Pipe Line Act does not apply to the corporation or its gas utility subsidiary.

Regulatory framework for natural gas distribution

16.7(1)

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) for the purpose of section 16.5, respecting the application of The Public Utilities Board Act to the gas utility;

(b) providing for the regulation of gas utility rates;

(c) prescribing terms and conditions that apply to the distribution and supply of natural gas by the corporation or the gas utility subsidiary.

Content of regulations

16.7(2)

Without limiting subsection (1), a regulation made under that subsection

(a) may establish a transitional period that ends no later than March 31, 2024, and establish rates, or a process for rates to be approved, during the transitional period, including providing for some or all of the rates to be approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council or the regulator during that period;

(b) must require gas utility rates to be approved by the regulator for any rate period beginning after the transitional period;

(c) may prescribe the rate application and approval process, including regulations that do one or more of the following:

(i) establish a rate period or rate periods for the different types of rates,

(ii) establish rules that apply to the approval or variation of rates by the regulator, including factors and policies to be considered when approving or varying rates,

(iii) establish or clarify the role and jurisdiction of the regulator,

(iv) require the corporation or its gas utility subsidiary to file annual or more frequent reports with the minister and the regulator and prescribe information to be included in those reports,

(v) provide for the reconsideration and adjustment of approved rates during a rate period;

(d) may define, for the purposes of this section, "rate" or "rates" and any other term used in this section; and

(e) may provide for any transitional matter arising in relation to the rates being regulated under this Act instead of The Public Utilities Board Act, including extending, limiting or modifying any provision of that Act as it applies in respect of the gas utility during the transitional period.

Application for rate approval

16.7(3)

Before each rate period that begins after the transitional period established by regulation, the corporation or its gas utility subsidiary must apply to the regulator, in accordance with the regulations, for approval of the rates that it proposes to charge its Manitoba customers for the distribution and supply of natural gas during the rate period.

Application of PUB Act

16.7(4)

Part I of The Public Utilities Board Act applies, with necessary changes, with respect to an application made under subsection (3) and any order made in relation to such an application. In the event of a conflict between that Part and a provision of this Act or a regulation made under this section, the provision of this Act or the regulation, as the case may be, prevails.

54

Section 22 is amended by striking out "Notwithstanding" and substituting "Except as otherwise provided in this Act, and notwithstanding".

55

Subsection 23(2) is amended by striking out "The Public Utilities Board" and substituting "the regulator".

56

Subsection 32(1) is amended by striking out "The Loans Act" and substituting "a Loan Act".

57

Subsection 38(2) is amended

(a) in the section heading, by striking out "P. U. Board" and substituting "regulator"; and

(b) by striking out "The Public Utilities Board" and substituting "the regulator".

58

The following is added after section 38:

INTEGRATED RESOURCE PLAN

Integrated resource plan

38.1(1)

The corporation must prepare and submit to the minister in accordance with this section and the regulations, for approval by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, an integrated resource plan that covers a planning period of at least 10 years and includes the following:

(a) the corporation's load forecast for the planning period;

(b) the anticipated impact on load of the savings targets to be achieved under an approved efficiency plan under The Efficiency Manitoba Act;

(c) supply-side options considered by the corporation and those it has chosen or recommends for implementation;

(d) if the plan includes the development of a major new facility during the planning period or within the next 10 years, a report on the status of any review required by section 16 or 16.0.1 in relation to that development or of any planning for such a review;

(e) any key assumptions relied on by the corporation in developing the plan;

(f) a description of the stakeholder consultations carried out by the corporation in developing the plan;

(g) any other information the corporation considers relevant or is required by regulation.

Development of plan

38.1(2)

The integrated resource plan must be developed in keeping with the purposes and objects of this Act

(a) taking into account

(i) any relevant mandate letter or directive issued to the corporation under The Crown Corporations Governance and Accountability Act,

(ii) any relevant regulations made or directives issued under The Financial Administration Act,

(iii) the government's published energy and environmental policies, and

(iv) the socio-economic impacts of implementing the plan; and

(b) in accordance with sound principles of risk management and economic and environmental sustainability.

Minister may request changes

38.1(3)

The minister may request the corporation to make changes to the integrated resource plan at any time before it is approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Plan may be referred to regulator

38.1(4)

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may refer the integrated resource plan to the regulator for its review and recommendations before approving the plan.

Plan to be updated in accordance with regulations

38.1(5)

The corporation must update its integrated resource plan in accordance with the regulations. Subsections (1) to (4) apply to each update.

Effect of plan approval

38.1(6)

The Lieutenant Governor in Council's approval of the plan or update must not be construed as an approval of the development of a major new facility, or of any expenditures to be incurred for such a development.

Integrated resource plan to be published

38.1(7)

After an integrated resource plan or a plan update is approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the corporation must publish the plan or updated plan, as the case may be, on its website.

Regulations re integrated resource plans

38.1(8)

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting integrated resource plans, including regulations respecting the form or content of a plan or an update to a plan, when the first plan is to be submitted to the minister and the timing and frequency of plan updates.

59

The centred heading before section 39 and section 39 are replaced with the following:

ELECTRICITY RATES

Definitions

39(1)

The following definitions apply in this section and sections 39.1 to 39.7.

"debt-to-capitalization ratio" means the ratio of the portion of the corporation's assets financed by debt to the corporation's total assets, expressed as a percentage and determined in accordance with the regulations. (« ratio d'endettement »)

"rate" means an amount that may be charged for the provision of power by the corporation, or a formula, method or procedure for determining such an amount, but does not include a capital recovery fee or contribution payable by a customer to offset or recover capital expenditures incurred by the corporation to extend or enhance the supply of power to a customer as contemplated by section 49.1. (« tarif »)

"rate period" means, subject to a regulation made under clause 39.7(1)(a), the period of five consecutive fiscal years of the corporation beginning

(a) on April 1, 2024; or

(b) on the day immediately following the end of the previous rate period. (« période tarifaire »)

"revenue requirement", in relation to a rate period, means the amount of rate revenue required in each fiscal year within the rate period

(a) to pay the reasonable costs forecast by the corporation for that fiscal year, including

(i) the corporation's operating, maintenance and administrative expenses,

(ii) amounts in respect of capital expenditures,

(iii) debt service costs, and

(iv) power purchases, taxes, fees and other amounts required to be paid out of the corporation's revenue; and

(b) to achieve, in accordance with the regulations, the financial targets set out or referred to in subsection 39.1(1) and address material risks that could affect the achievement of those targets. (« besoin en revenus »)

"transitional period" means the period beginning on the day section 39.6 comes into force and ending on the last day before the first rate period under the definition "rate period". (« période de transition »)

General rate application

39(2)

Before each rate period, the corporation must apply to the regulator for approval of a schedule of rates for the provision of power to retail customers in Manitoba during that rate period.

Application of PUB Act

39(3)

Part I of The Public Utilities Board Act applies, with necessary changes, with respect to an application made under this section and any order made in relation to such an application. In the event of a conflict between that Part and a provision of this Act or the regulations, the provision of this Act or regulation prevails.

Regulator to approve or vary rates

39(4)

Subject to subsection (5), the regulator must

(a) approve the rates as proposed; or

(b) vary the rates as the regulator considers just and reasonable and direct the corporation to file with the regulator, in accordance with the regulator's directions, an updated schedule of rates.

Rules for approving or varying rates

39(5)

The following rules apply to the approval or variation of rates by the regulator:

1.  The regulator must base its order or decision about rates on the revenue requirements for the rate period.

2.  When reviewing the revenue requirements, the regulator must take into account and be guided by

(a) the policies set out in section 39.1 and any related regulations made under section 39.7;

(b) any applicable policies established by regulation under section 10.2 of The Public Utilities Board Act;

(c) any directives issued to the corporation under The Crown Corporations Governance and Accountability Act or The Financial Administration Act; and

(d) the maximum general rate increase allowed for a fiscal year determined under section 39.2.

3.  The regulator may not reduce for rate-setting purposes the amount required to support the capital expenditure program approved by Treasury Board for the rate period.

4.  Subject to the policies set out in section 39.1, the corporation may propose changes to its cost allocation method or rate design, and the regulator may approve or disallow those changes or require the corporation to make other changes to them. But the regulator may not require a change to the classification of customers for rate-setting purposes that has not been proposed or agreed to by the corporation.

5.  Rates for different customers or classes of customers must not differ based on affordability or other socio-economic factors.

6.  Rates within a class may differ based on the type, level or combination of services provided to the customer.

7.  If the regulator directs the corporation to defer the recognition of costs or revenue, it must also specify, as part of that direction, when, or the conditions under which, the corporation may recognize those costs or that revenue.

Separate process to review cost allocation or rate design

39(6)

A review of the cost allocation method or rate design to be used in approving or varying rates for a rate period may be initiated by the regulator, or by the corporation on application to the regulator, as a separate process from the rate approval process. Rule 4 in subsection (5) applies to such a review.

Restriction

39(7)

Except as expressly permitted by this section, the regulator's mandate to approve or vary rates does not include the authority to issue an order or directive governing the corporation's operations or its capital management, investments or expenditures. However, at the regulator's request, the minister responsible for The Public Utilities Board Act may authorize the regulator to review and make recommendations about any of those matters.

Electricity and rates policies

39.1(1)

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the government that

(a) the rates charged by the corporation to each class of grid customers in Manitoba are to be based on the revenue requirements properly allocated to that class;

(b) the rates charged to a class of grid customers in Manitoba are to be the same throughout the province;

(c) subject to section 39.2 and the regulations, the rates charged by the corporation are to provide sufficient revenue

(i) to enable the corporation to achieve the following target debt-to-capitalization ratios:

(A) 87% by March 31, 2025,

(B) 84% by March 31, 2030,

(C) 78% by March 31, 2035,

(D) 70% by March 31, 2040, and

(ii) to achieve or maintain any additional financial targets established by regulation; and

(d) subject to the policy objectives set out in clauses (a) to (c) and to the extent practicable, rates or changes in rates should be stable and predictable from year to year.

Classification of grid customers

39.1(2)

For the purpose of subsection (1),

(a) grid customers are those who obtain power from the corporation's interconnected system for transmitting and distributing power in Manitoba;

(b) customers must not be classified based on where they are located or the population density of where they are located; and

(c) all residential grid customers are to constitute a single class of customers.

Maximum general rate increase

39.2(1)

Despite sections 39 and 39.1, the general rate increase for all grid customers for any fiscal year within a rate period, expressed as a percentage increase from year to year, must not exceed the greater of 4% and the maximum determined according to the following formula and expressed as a percentage:

Max = 2 × [(CPI1/CPI2)  1]

In this formula,

CPI1 is the Consumer Price Index, determined in accordance with subsection (2), for the 12-month period ending on September 30 of the calendar year immediately preceding that fiscal year;

CPI2 is the Consumer Price Index, determined in accordance with subsection (2), for the 12-month period immediately preceding the 12-month period referred to in the description of CPI1.

Consumer Price Index and general rate increase

39.2(2)

For the purpose of subsection (1),

(a) the Consumer Price Index for a 12-month period is the result arrived at by

(i) aggregating the Consumer Price Index (All-items) for Manitoba, as published by Statistics Canada under the authority of the Statistics Act (Canada), for each month in that period,

(ii) dividing the aggregate obtained under subclause (i) by 12, and

(iii) rounding the result obtained under subclause (ii) to the nearest one-thousandth (or to the higher one if it is at the midpoint between the two nearest one-thousandths); and

(b) the general rate increase from one fiscal year to the next is the percentage determined for GRI in the following formula:

GRI = (R2 R1)/R1

In this formula,

GRI is the general rate increase expressed as a percentage;

R1 is the projected rate revenue for the first fiscal year;

R2 is the amount that would be the projected rate revenue for the immediately following fiscal year if

(i) the rates for the second fiscal year were the rates approved for that year, and

(ii) all other factors used to calculate the projected rate revenue were the same as in the first fiscal year.

Review and approval of adjusted rates

39.2(3)

If rates are required to be adjusted for a fiscal year because of this section,

(a) the corporation must submit to the regulator, for its review and approval without an oral hearing, a revised schedule of rates such that the general rate increase does not exceed the maximum general rate increase determined by subsection (1) for that year;

(b) the regulator must approve the revised rate schedule or require the corporation to revise it, but only to the extent necessary to ensure that the general rate increase does not exceed the maximum general rate increase for the fiscal year; and

(c) the regulator must publish the final approved schedule of rates on its website.

Interpretation

39.2(4)

For greater certainty, this section does not establish a maximum rate increase for any specific class of customers. Even if a percentage rate increase for any class of customers exceeds the percentage determined under subsection (1), this section does not require a rate adjustment unless the general rate increase for a fiscal year exceeds the percentage determined under that subsection.

Annual reporting

39.3

Within five months after the end of each fiscal year that falls within a rate period, the corporation must file with the minister and the regulator a report consisting of

(a) a copy of the corporation's audited financial statements for that fiscal year and a copy of its budget for the current fiscal year;

(b) a comparison of its actual results for that prior fiscal year with the projections shown for that year in the financial forecast relied upon by the regulator when setting or approving rates for that year;

(c) the most recent financial forecast approved by the board; and

(d) any additional documents required by the minister responsible for The Public Utilities Board Act on the recommendation of the regulator.

Reconsideration of approved rates

39.4(1)

If during a rate period there is a material difference between the corporation's actual or projected financial results, determined on a cumulative basis since the beginning of that period, and the financial results projected for that period in the rate application for that period,

(a) the corporation, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, may apply to the regulator; or

(b) the regulator, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, may require the corporation to apply to the regulator;

for a reconsideration and adjustment of the approved rates for the remainder of the rate period. In the order approving the reconsideration, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may expand or restrict the scope of the review.

Adjustment of approved rates

39.4(2)

After reconsidering the approved rates and the updated financial forecasts, the regulator may approve or require an adjustment to those rates for the remainder of the period for which the rates were previously approved.

Sections 39 and 39.1 apply to reconsideration

39.4(3)

Sections 39 and 39.1 apply, with necessary changes, to a reconsideration and adjustment of the approved rates under this section.

Change to classification or rate design within rate period

39.5(1)

With the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the corporation may apply to the regulator for approval of a change in rates resulting from a change in customer classification, or a change in rate design, to take effect before the end of a rate period.

Sections 39 and 39.1 apply

39.5(2)

Sections 39 and 39.1 apply, with necessary changes, to the regulator's review and approval of an application under this section.

Rates during transitional period

39.6(1)

Rates for power supplied during the transitional period may be varied or established by or in accordance with the regulations. Until rates as varied or established by regulation come into effect, the rates in effect immediately before this section came into force continue to apply.

Rates to be published

39.6(2)

Throughout the transitional period, the corporation must publish the applicable rates on its website.

Notice to customers

39.6(3)

For each change in a rate imposed by the regulations, the corporation must include a notice of the change in its first bill to each customer that applies the changed rate.

Regulations

39.7(1)

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the framework established by sections 39 to 39.6 for approving, setting or varying rates, including regulations

(a) for the purpose of the definition "rate period" in subsection 39(1), prescribing, as the first rate period, a period that starts on a date earlier than April 1, 2024, and ends on March 31 of the fourth fiscal year that begins after the start date;

(b) respecting the manner in which the corporation's debt-to-capitalization ratio is to be determined;

(c) respecting the time frame or manner in which the corporation is to achieve its target debt-to-capitalization ratios;

(d) establishing other financial targets for the corporation and respecting how they are to be achieved or maintained;

(e) modifying a target debt-to-capitalization ratio, or the target date for achieving it, in response to unforeseen or extenuating circumstances;

(f) varying or establishing, subject to section 39.2, the rates for power supplied to customers during the transitional period, or the manner in which those rates are to be calculated;

(g) defining any term that is used but not defined for the purposes of those sections;

(h) respecting any transitional or other matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable for the purposes of those sections.

Consultation

39.7(2)

A regulation under clause (1)(a) is to be made only on the recommendation of the minister after consulting with the board and the regulator.

60

The centred heading before section 40 and section 40 are repealed.

61

The centred heading before section 41 and section 41 are repealed.

62

The centred heading before section 42 and section 42 are replaced with the following:

FINANCIAL MATTERS

Investment by Minister of Finance

42(1)

If the corporation holds money in excess of the amount that is required for its immediate purposes, it may pay the excess to the Minister of Finance for investment for and on behalf of the corporation.

Payment from investments

42(2)

If the corporation requires for its operations any money invested under subsection (1) on its behalf, the Minister of Finance must pay it to the corporation at the board's request.

63(1)

Clause 43(4)(b) is amended

(a) in subclause (i), by striking out "; or" and substituting ",";

(b) in subclause (ii), by striking out "; or" and substituting ", or"; and

(c) by repealing subclause (iv).

63(2)

Subsections 43(5) and (6) are repealed.

64

The centred heading after section 43 is repealed.

65

Subsection 50(4) is amended

(a) in the section heading, by striking out "P. U. Board" and substituting "regulator"; and

(b) by striking out "The Public Utilities Board" and substituting "the regulator".

66(1)

Subsection 51(1) is repealed.

66(2)

Subsection 51(2) is amended

(a) by replacing the section heading of the French version with "Application de la Loi sur l'énergie hydraulique et de la Loi sur les droits d'utilisation de l'eau"; and

(b) by striking out "Subject to subsection (1), this" and substituting "This".

PART 3

THE MANITOBA PUBLIC INSURANCE CORPORATION ACT

C.C.S.M. c. P215 amended

67

The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Act is amended by this Part.

68

Subsection 1(1) is amended by adding the following definitions:

"rating year", in relation to a rate application under section 6.4, means the first fiscal year to which the rates proposed in that application are to apply; (« exercice tarifaire »)

"regulator" means The Public Utilities Board continued under The Public Utilities Board Act; (« autorité de réglementation »)

69

Section 6.4 is replaced with the following:

"Rate" defined

6.4(1)

In this section, "rate" means

(a) a plan premium in respect of universal compulsory automobile insurance;

(b) a base driver premium, an additional driver premium or a discounted driver premium; or

(c) a formula, method or procedure for determining the amount of a premium referred to in clause (a) or (b).

Rates require approval by regulator

6.4(2)

The corporation may not implement a new rate or a change to an existing rate without the regulator's approval.

Regulator to approve or vary rates

6.4(3)

Subject to subsection (4), the regulator must

(a) approve the rates proposed by the corporation; or

(b) vary the rates as the regulator considers just and reasonable and direct the corporation to file with the regulator an updated schedule of rates determined in accordance with the regulator's directions.

Rules for approving or varying rates

6.4(4)

The following rules apply to the regulator's approval or variation of the rates:

1.  The rates are to be based on the following:

(a) the revenue required, based on a reasonable financial forecast, for the corporation to break even overall in its operation of the universal compulsory automobile and driver insurance plans under this Act;

(b) any revenue adjustment reasonably required for the corporation to meet its obligation to achieve or maintain the target rate stabilization reserve in accordance with section 18;

(c) a cost allocation method approved by the regulator;

(d) the driver safety rating system established by regulation;

(e) a vehicle rating system and insurance risk classification system established by the corporation and approved by the regulator;

(f) the insurance coverage to be provided by or under this Act for the universal compulsory automobile and driver insurance plans.

2.  For the purpose of rule 1(a),

(a) the corporation's revenue requirement in relation to capital expenditures to be made in accordance with a capital expenditure program approved by Treasury Board is deemed to be reasonable; and

(b) the corporation's break-even revenue requirement is to be determined in accordance with accepted actuarial practices taking into account the cash flow associated with policies issued for the rating year but not the investment income earned on the rate stabilization reserve referred to in section 18.

3.  If the regulator wishes to conduct an in-depth review of the corporation's operations, capital expenditure plans or investment strategies, it must do so in accordance with section 6.5.

Restriction

6.4(5)

Except as expressly permitted by this section, the regulator's mandate to approve or vary rates does not include the authority to issue an order or directive governing the corporation's operations or its capital management, investments or expenditures. However, at the regulator's request, the minister responsible for The Public Utilities Board Act may authorize the regulator to review and make recommendations about any of those matters.

Review of operations, capital expenditures, etc.

6.5(1)

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may require the regulator to conduct a review of any or all aspects of the corporation's operations, capital expenditure plans or investment strategies and make recommendations to the minister and the corporation. The Lieutenant Governor in Council may require all or any part of the regulator's cost of the review to be paid by the corporation.

Regulator may initiate review

6.5(2)

The regulator may from time to time initiate and conduct a review described in subsection (1), but

(a) subject to clause (b), the purpose of the review is to review how the corporation carries out its mandate to provide universal compulsory automobile and driver insurance and make recommendations with a view to achieving or maintaining low and stable rates while ensuring the financial stability of the corporation;

(b) the scope or purpose of the review may be expanded with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council; and

(c) the regulator may not initiate such a review more than once every five years without the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Application of PUB Act

6.6

Part I of The Public Utilities Board Act applies, with necessary changes, with respect to an application for the regulator's approval of rates under section 6.4 and any order made in relation to such an application, and to a review under section 6.5, but if there is a conflict between that Part and a provision of this Act, the provision of this Act prevails.

70

Section 18 is replaced with the following:

Definitions

18(1)

The following definitions apply in this section.

"capital reserve" means a reserve for the purpose of enabling the corporation to satisfy unknown or unforeseen liabilities that may arise with respect to any line of insurance. (« réserve de capital »)

"deficiency", in relation to a capital reserve, means the amount that would have to be credited to the reserve in order for its MCT ratio to match its target MCT ratio under subsection (3). (« déficit »)

"extension reserve" means the corporation's capital reserve for extension insurance. (« réserve pour les assurances complémentaires »)

"MCT ratio" means the MCT ratio described in the Minimum Capital Test (MCT) Guideline issued by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (Canada), as amended or replaced from time to time. (« ratio TCM »)

"rate stabilization reserve" means the corporation's capital reserve for universal compulsory automobile insurance. (« réserve de stabilisation des tarifs »)

"special risk extension reserve" means the corporation's capital reserve for special risk extension insurance. (« réserve pour les assurances complémentaires à l'égard des risques spéciaux »)

"surplus", in relation to a capital reserve, means the amount by which the reserve balance exceeds the amount required for its MCT ratio to match its target MCT ratio under subsection (3). (« excédent »)

Liability reserves

18(2)

The corporation must establish and maintain a liability reserve for each line of business to ensure that it can satisfy its liabilities under this Act and the regulations in relation to that line of business.

Capital reserves

18(3)

In addition to the liability reserves, the corporation must establish and maintain the following capital reserves:

(a) a rate stabilization reserve with a target MCT ratio of 100%;

(b) an extension reserve with a target MCT ratio of 200%;

(c) a special risk extension reserve with a target MCT ratio of 300%.

Extension reserve surplus

18(4)

If at the end of a fiscal year the extension reserve has a surplus, the corporation may transfer all or any part of the surplus to the rate stabilization reserve.

Rate stabilization reserve deficiency or surplus

18(5)

In determining the corporation's revenue requirement for the purpose of subsection 6.4(4) for a rating year, if the rate stabilization reserve is projected to have, after the transfer of any surplus projected to be transferred to it under subsection (4), a deficiency or surplus at the beginning of the rating year,

(a) in the case of a deficiency, the corporation must determine the additional revenue required in the rating year in order for the reserve's MCT ratio to achieve the target MCT ratio evenly over the five-year period beginning with that rating year; and

(b) in the case of a surplus, the surplus may be applied to reduce the corporation's revenue requirements in a manner that reduces the reserve's MCT ratio to the target MCT ratio evenly over the three-year period beginning with that rating year.

Rate stabilization reserve not for rebates

18(6)

The rate stabilization reserve must not be used to pay rebates.

71

Subsection 33(1.1) is replaced with the following:

Review by regulator

33(1.1)

No regulation that establishes or changes the amount of an additional driver premium, a base driver premium or a discounted driver premium (being the premiums for compulsory driver insurance) may be made under clause (1)(c) or (h.2) unless the Lieutenant Governor in Council is satisfied that the proposed change has been approved by the regulator in accordance with this Act.

M.R. 76/2019 repealed

72

The Reserves Regulation, Manitoba Regulation 76/2019, is repealed.

PART 4

THE CITY OF WINNIPEG CHARTER

S.M. 2002, c. 39 amended

73

The City of Winnipeg Charter is amended by this Part.

74

Subsection 210(5) is replaced with the following:

Rates for services and commodities

210(5)

Subject to section 210.1, the city may, as provided in this Act, establish prices, rates, fees, deposits or other charges for any commodity or service that the city supplies, the intention being that the city may establish such amounts and use the revenues therefrom for the general purposes of the city and not solely for the purposes of offsetting any costs related to supplying the commodity or service.

75

The following is added after section 210:

Water and Wastewater Rates

Definitions

210.1(1)

The following definitions apply in this section.

"public utility" means a public utility as defined in The Public Utilities Board Act. (« service public »)

"rate" means an amount payable for water or a service provided by the city's water and wastewater utility, or a formula, method or procedure for determining such an amount. (« tarif »)

"rate period" means, subject to the regulations, a period of five consecutive years that begins

(a) on the date specified by regulation; or

(b) the day immediately following the end of the previous rate period. (« période tarifaire »)

"regulator" means The Public Utilities Board continued under The Public Utilities Board Act. (« autorité de réglementation »)

"water and wastewater utility" means the city's public utility for the supply and distribution of water and for the collection, handling, treatment and disposal of sewage and other wastewater. (« service d'eau et d'eaux usées »)

Rates require regulator's approval

210.1(2)

The city must not implement a new rate or a change to an existing rate without the regulator's approval.

General rate application

210.1(3)

Before each rate period, the city must apply to the regulator for approval of a schedule of rates to be charged during that rate period.

Regulator to approve or vary rates

210.1(4)

Subject to subsection (5), the regulator must

(a) approve the rates as proposed; or

(b) vary the rates as the regulator considers just and reasonable and direct the city to file with the regulator, in accordance with the regulator's directions, an updated schedule of rates.

Rules for approving or varying rates

210.1(5)

The following rules apply to the approval or variation of rates by the regulator:

1.  The rates are to be based on

(a) the reasonable revenue requirements of the water and wastewater utility for each year within the rate period; and

(b) a cost allocation method and rate design approved by the regulator.

2.  When reviewing the revenue requirements for the water and wastewater utility, the regulator must take into account and be guided by

(a) any applicable policies established by regulation under section 10.2 of The Public Utilities Board Act; and

(b) any regulation respecting the use of rate revenue for anything other than the operational and capital requirements of the water and wastewater utility.

3.  Rates for different customers or classes of customers must not differ based on affordability or other socio-economic factors.

4.  If the regulator directs the city to defer the recognition of costs or revenue, it must also specify, as part of that direction, when or the conditions under which the city may recognize those costs or that revenue.

Restriction

210.1(6)

Except as expressly permitted by this section, the regulator's mandate to approve or vary rates does not include the authority to issue an order or directive governing the city's operations or its capital management, investments or expenditures in relation to the water and wastewater utility. However, at the regulator's request, the minister responsible for The Public Utilities Board Act may authorize the regulator to review and make recommendations about any of those matters.

Regulations

210.1(7)

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) specifying the date for the beginning of the first rate period;

(b) changing the length of a rate period;

(c) respecting the application and approval process for water and wastewater utility rates;

(d) permitting, prohibiting or restricting the use of rate revenue for anything other than the operational and capital requirements of the water and wastewater utility;

(e) providing for any transitional matter arising out of the coming into force of this section;

(f) respecting any other matter that the Lieutenant Governor in Council, after consulting with the city and the regulator, considers necessary or advisable for the purposes of this section.

Application of PUB Act

210.2

Part I of The Public Utilities Board Act applies, with necessary changes, with respect to an application made or to be made under section 210.1 and any order made in relation to the application. In the event of a conflict between that Part and that section or a regulation made under that section, that section or regulation prevails.

76

Subsection 215(4) is amended, in the part before clause (a), by adding "other than section 210.1" after "this Act".

PART 5

THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT

C.C.S.M. c. C200 amended

77

The Consumer Protection Act is amended by this Part.

78

The centred heading before section 164 and sections 164 to 164.2 are repealed.

79

Section 166 is amended, in the part after clause (b), by striking out "an order of The Public Utilities Board" and substituting "the regulations".

80

The following is added after clause 168(1)(a):

(a.1) establishing the maximum amount, or a rate, formula or tariff for determining the maximum amount, that may be charged, required or accepted as a cheque cashing fee;

81

Section 169 is repealed.

PART 6

THE EFFICIENCY MANITOBA ACT

C.C.S.M. c. E15 amended

82

The Efficiency Manitoba Act is amended by this Part.

83

Clause 1(c) is amended by striking out "regulatory".

84

Section 10 is replaced with the following:

Plan to be submitted to minister

10(1)

Efficiency Manitoba must submit each of its efficiency plans to the minister, at the time and in the manner specified by the minister, for approval by the minister in accordance with this section.

Plan to be reviewed by Treasury Board

10(2)

Before approving an efficiency plan, the minister must refer the plan to Treasury Board for its review.

Plan may be referred to the PUB

10(3)

After the plan is reviewed by Treasury Board, and before approving the plan, the minister may, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, refer the plan to the PUB for its review and recommendations.

85

Subsection 11(1) is amended, in the part before clause (a), by striking out "The PUB must review an efficiency plan" and substituting "If an efficiency plan is referred to the PUB, the PUB must review the plan".

86

Subsection 12(1) is amended, in the part before clause (a), by striking out "receiving an efficiency plan and" and substituting "having an efficiency plan reviewed by Treasury Board and, if it has been referred to the PUB under section 10, after receiving".

87(1)

Subsection 16(3) is replaced with the following:

Report to be made public

16(3)

Efficiency Manitoba must, within the prescribed time, publish the report on its website or through other public means.

87(2)

Subsection 16(5) is repealed.

87(3)

The part of subsection 16(6) before clause (a) is replaced with the following:

Minister may issue directives

16(6)

If an assessment report discloses a significant departure from the initiatives, budget or projected net savings and the minister is satisfied that it is within the control of Efficiency Manitoba,

88(1)

Subsection 17(1) is amended by striking out "as if the review of an efficiency plan or assessment report" and substituting "to the PUB's review of an efficiency plan under this Act as if the review".

88(2)

Subsection 17(2) is amended by striking out "minister" wherever it occurs and substituting "Lieutenant Governor in Council".

89

Subsection 18(3) is replaced with the following:

No cost responsibility for expanded mandate

18(3)

For certainty, Manitoba Hydro is not responsible for costs related to Efficiency Manitoba's activities unless they are undertaken in respect of an approved efficiency plan or the development or review of a proposed efficiency plan.

90

Subsection 27(2) is amended by striking out everything after "energy efficiency".

91

Clause 39(g) is replaced with the following:

(g) respecting the manner of obtaining public input for the development of, or in response to, a proposed efficiency plan;

PART 7

RELATED AMENDMENTS, TRANSITIONAL PROVISION AND COMING INTO FORCE

C.C.S.M. c. C336 amended

92

Part 4 of The Crown Corporations Governance and Accountability Act is repealed but, if Part 3 of this Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation, Part 4 of that Act continues to apply in relation to The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation until that day as if Part 4 had not been repealed.

C.C.S.M. c. S207 amended

93

Clause 8(2)(c) of The Statutes and Regulations Act is amended by striking out everything after "or The Public Utilities Board".

S.M. 2015, c. 17 (unproclaimed Act amended)

94

Subsection 68(2) of The Technical Safety Act, S.M. 2015, c. 17, is amended by adding "rates or" before "operations".

Transitional

95

On the coming into force of section 17.1 of The Public Utilities Board Act, as enacted by section 14 of this Act, the person holding the office of secretary to the board under that Act continues as the executive director under that Act.

Coming into force

96(1)

Except as otherwise provided in this section, this Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

Part 1 — The Public Utilities Board Act

96(2)

Except for the following provisions, Part 1 comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation:

(a) section 9;

(b) subsection 12(3);

(c) sections 22 and 45.

96(3)

Subsection 45(3) comes into force on the later of the following days:

(a) the day that section 14 comes into force;

(b) the day that Part 3 of Bill 19, introduced in the Second Session of the 42nd Legislature and titled The Public Service Act, comes into force.

Part 2 — The Manitoba Hydro Act

96(4)

The following provisions come into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation:

(a) section 47, insofar as it enacts the definitions "gas utility" and "gas utility subsidiary";

(b) section 53.

Part 3 — The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Act

96(5)

If this Act receives royal assent after June 30, 2020, Part 3 comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Part 4 — The City of Winnipeg Charter

96(6)

Part 4 comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Part 5 — The Consumer Protection Act

96(7)

Sections 79 to 81 come into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Part 7 — Related amendments

96(8)

Section 94 comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Explanatory Note

This Bill amends various Acts. The governance and funding provisions for the Public Utilities Board (the "PUB") are changed. A new legislative framework is established for the regulation of electricity rates, natural gas rates and basic auto insurance rates, as well as water and wastewater rates within the City of Winnipeg. Other adjustments are made to the PUB's mandate.

Part 1 — Public Utilities Board Act

The key changes are as follows.

Board members

  • The maximum number of board members is set at 14.
  • Selection of board appointments must be based on merit and the chair may recommend candidates for the appointment of the vice-chair and other members.

Funding model

  • The current funding model of government appropriation, fees on regulated entities and applicant-paid direct hearing costs is changed.
  • The new model requires a business plan, including a budget, to be presented for the minister's approval. The budget must include anticipated hearing costs, including the costs of experts and intervener support, and is reviewed by Treasury Board.
  • Budgeted costs are recovered through regulatory fees imposed on regulated entities. The assessment of direct hearing costs against applicants is now subject to regulation.

Accountability

  • The PUB's business plan must include goals and strategies, and the PUB's annual report must set out performance measures and achieved outcomes.

Staff and consultants

  • An executive director is to be appointed by Cabinet, while staff are to be hired by the PUB.
  • The PUB may engage consultants without Cabinet approval.

Other amendments

  • Language is updated and references to outdated modes of communication and transportation are repealed.
  • The PUB is authorized to impose administrative penalties.

Part 2 — Manitoba Hydro Act

Electricity and gas rates

Currently, the PUB regulates electricity rates under Part 4 of The Crown Corporations Governance and Accountability Act and Manitoba Hydro's gas utility under The Public Utilities Board Act.

Under the new framework, both electricity rates and gas rates are regulated under The Manitoba Hydro Act.

Electricity rates

  • Until March 31, 2024, or an earlier date if prescribed, electricity rates are set by regulation .
  • After that date, electricity rates are as approved by the PUB at five-year intervals based on the anticipated revenue requirements.
  • When approving rates, the PUB is to be guided by
  • Treasury Board-approved capital expenditure programs and government directives issued to Manitoba Hydro, and
  • financial targets established in the Act or by regulation, including target debt-to-capitalization ratios.
  • If authorized by the minister, the PUB may make recommendations to Manitoba Hydro or the government about Manitoba Hydro's operations and its capital management. But the PUB is not authorized to issue orders or directives about those matters.
  • The general rate increase cannot be more than 4% or twice the rate of inflation, whichever is greater.
  • Manitoba Hydro must file annual reports with the PUB and the Minister of Crown Services. If there is a material difference between actual and projected results, a review and adjustment of the rates for the remainder of the five-year period may be initiated by Manitoba Hydro or the PUB, with Cabinet approval.
  • With Cabinet approval, Manitoba Hydro may also apply to the PUB for approval of a change in customer classes or rate design to take effect before the end of a five-year rate period.

Gas rates

  • The new framework for regulating gas rates is established by regulation.

Integrated Resource Plan (IRP)

  • Manitoba Hydro must develop, for Cabinet approval, an IRP setting out
  • Hydro's load forecast for at least 10 years and its supply-side option recommendations, and
  • the proposed development of any major new facility within the next 20 years.
  • On referral, the PUB may review and make recommendations about the IRP.

Approval of major new facilities or contracts

The PUB must review and make recommendations about any proposal to develop a major new power generating or transmission facility or enter into a new major long-term power purchase or export contract before it is approved by Cabinet.

Other amendments

The retail supply of power by persons other than Manitoba Hydro is allowed in limited circumstances. Outdated provisions are repealed.

Part 3 — Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Act

Basic auto insurance rates

Currently, the PUB regulates rates for universal compulsory auto insurance and driver insurance under Part 4 of The Crown Corporations Governance and Accountability Act.

Under the new framework, these rates are regulated under The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Act:

  • The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation ("MPIC") must apply for rate approvals each year.
  • The PUB may conduct more extensive reviews of MPIC's operations and capital management or investment strategies once every five years or, with Cabinet approval, more frequently. Cabinet may also initiate such a review.

Rate stabilization reserve

A scheme for establishing, achieving and maintaining capital reserve targets is dealt with by statute. The Reserves Regulation is repealed.

Part 4 — City of Winnipeg Charter

Winnipeg water and wastewater rates

Currently, the PUB has authority to supervise Winnipeg's water and wastewater utility but does not have the authority to approve the rates.

A new regulatory framework is established to make Winnipeg's water and wastewater rates subject to the PUB's approval. The PUB's jurisdiction is limited to approving or varying rates.

Part 5 — Consumer Protection Act

Payday loans

Provisions for the PUB to review and make recommendations about the cost of credit for payday loans are repealed.

Government cheque cashing fees

Provisions for the PUB to set the maximum fees for cashing government cheques are repealed. The maximum fees may be set by regulation instead.

Part 6 — Efficiency Manitoba Act

Review of efficiency plans

Every three years, Efficiency Manitoba must prepare an efficiency plan for PUB review and recommendations before the plan is approved by Cabinet.

Cabinet is given the option of referring a proposed plan to the PUB or establishing, by regulation, other methods of obtaining public input for, or response to, a proposed plan.

An independent assessment report of the plan's outcomes is no longer required to be provided to the PUB.

Part 7 — Related amendments

Part 4 of The Crown Corporations Governance and Accountability Act is repealed. Consequential amendments are made to two other Acts.