4th Session, 42nd Legislature
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THE MANITOBA HYDRO AMENDMENT AND PUBLIC UTILITIES BOARD AMENDMENT ACT
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(Assented to )
HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
THE MANITOBA HYDRO ACT
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 »)
Section 2 is amended by renumbering it as subsection 2(1) and adding the following as subsection 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
Section 15.2 is further amended by renumbering it as subsection 15.2(1) and adding the following as subsection 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;
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;
Subsection 16(2) is replaced with the following:
Despite subsection (1), the corporation does not require the 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The following is added after section 16:
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 »)
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.
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.
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.
The following is added after section 16.3:
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 (power 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".
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).
Section 12 of The Gas Pipe Line Act (approval of rates) does not apply to the corporation or its gas utility subsidiary.
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.
Without limiting subsection (1), a regulation made under that subsection
(a) may establish a transitional period and establish a process for rates to be approved by the regulator for the transitional 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.
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.
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.
Subsection 38(2) is amended
(a) in the section heading, by striking out "P. U. Board" and substituting "regulator"; and
The following is added after section 38:
INTEGRATED RESOURCE PLAN
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.
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.
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.
The Lieutenant Governor in Council may refer the integrated resource plan to the regulator for its review and recommendations before approving the plan.
The corporation must update its integrated resource plan in accordance with the regulations. Subsections (1) to (4) apply to each update.
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.
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.
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.
The centred heading before section 39 and section 39 are replaced with the following:
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 the period of three consecutive fiscal years of the corporation beginning
(a) on April 1, 2025; 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 »)
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.
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.
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.
The following rules apply to the approval or variation of rates by the regulator:
The regulator must base its order or decision about rates on the revenue requirements for the rate period.
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.
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.
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.
Rates for different customers or classes of customers must not differ based on affordability or other socio-economic factors.
Rates within a class may differ based on the type, level or combination of services provided to the customer.
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.
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.
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.
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) 80% by March 31, 2035,
(B) 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.
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.
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 the lesser of 5% and the maximum determined according to the following formula and expressed as a percentage:
Max = (CPI1/CPI2) − 1
In this formula,
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;
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.
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,
is the general rate increase expressed as a percentage;
is the projected rate revenue for the first fiscal year;
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, with necessary changes, to a reconsideration and adjustment of the approved rates under this section.
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, with necessary changes, to the regulator's review and approval of an application under this section.
The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the framework established by sections 39 to 39.5 for approving, setting or varying rates, including regulations
(a) respecting the manner in which the corporation's debt-to-capitalization ratio is to be determined;
(b) respecting the time frame or manner in which the corporation is to achieve its target debt-to-capitalization ratios;
(c) establishing other financial targets for the corporation and respecting how they are to be achieved or maintained;
(d) modifying a target debt-to-capitalization ratio, or the target date for achieving it, in response to unforeseen or extenuating circumstances;
(e) defining any term that is used but not defined for the purposes of those sections;
The centred heading before section 42 and section 42 are replaced with the following:
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.
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
Subsection 50(4) is amended
(a) in the section heading, by striking out "P. U. Board" and substituting "regulator"; and
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".
THE PUBLIC UTILITIES BOARD ACT
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 »)
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
Subsection 2(5) is replaced with the following:
Subsection 2(5), as enacted by subsection (2), is amended by striking out everything after "apply to Manitoba Hydro" and substituting "or any subsidiary of Manitoba Hydro and the board has no jurisdiction or authority over Manitoba Hydro or any such subsidiary.".
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 for the purpose of conducting a review under subsection 38(2) or 50(4) of The Manitoba Hydro Act.
Subsection 83(4) and the regulations made under that subsection apply to Manitoba Hydro.
Section 104.1 applies to Manitoba Hydro, or any subsidiary of Manitoba Hydro, in relation to the distribution and supply of natural gas.
Sections 4 and 5 are replaced with the following:
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.
The chair is responsible for the general supervision of the affairs of the board.
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.
Section 7 is replaced with the following:
The following is added after section 10:
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.
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.
A regulation under this section must not
(a) be directed specifically toward any matter, application or decision pending before the board; or
Sections 11 to 13 are replaced with the following:
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.
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.
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.
Subsection 15(1) is replaced with the following:
Subsection 15(3) is replaced with the following:
The following is added after subsection 15(6):
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.
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.
The following is added after section 17:
STAFF AND CONSULTANTS
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.
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.
The executive director may, in writing, delegate any of their powers or duties to an employee or agent of the board.
The executive director's delegation may include the power of subdelegation.
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.
Such employees as are required to support the administration of this Act and the functions of the board are to be appointed under Part 3 of The Public Service Act.
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.
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.
Subsection 18(1) is replaced with the following:
Subsection 18(2) is amended
(a) in clause (c), by striking out "chairman, sealed with the seal of the board," and substituting "chair"; and
Section 19 is replaced with the following:
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.
Section 23 is replaced with the following:
Subsection 24(6) is amended
(a) by adding "obtained" after "evidence"; and
The following is added after section 24:
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.
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.
Section 25 is amended
(a) in the part before clause (a) of the English version, by striking out "chairman" and substituting "chair"; and
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
Section 34 is replaced with the following:
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.
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;
The centred heading before section 55 and section 55 are replaced with the following:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If the board imposes an administrative penalty on a person, the board may make public the reasons for and the amount of the penalty.
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.
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.
An administrative penalty constitutes a debt payable to the government by the person on whom the penalty is imposed.
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 is payable to the Minister of Finance and must be deposited in the Consolidated Fund.
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.
A certificate purporting to have been issued by the chair and certifying the date referred to in subsection (1) is proof of that date.
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.
An appeal under this section operates as a stay of the decision under appeal.
The board has full party status on an appeal under this section.
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;
Section 56 is replaced with the following:
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
The following is added after section 56 and after the centred heading "FINANCIAL MATTERS":
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Subsection 98(1) is replaced with the following:
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.
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;
The following is added after subsection 109(2):
Subsections 109(3) and (4) are repealed.
RELATED AMENDMENTS, TRANSITIONAL PROVISION AND COMING INTO FORCE
Subsection 25(1) is amended
(a) in the section heading, by striking out "Hydro and"; and
(b) in the section, by striking out "Manitoba Hydro and the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation" and substituting "The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation (referred to in this section as "the corporation")".
Subsection 25(2) is replaced with the following:
Clause 25(4)(a) is amended by striking out "and" at the end of subclause (viii) and addiing the following after subclause (viii):
Subsection 26(3) is amended by striking out "a corporation" and substituting "the corporation".
Despite Part 1 and sections 23 and 64 of this Act, the following Acts or provisions, as they read immediately before the enactment of this Act, continue to apply to the determination of rates for the retail supply of power under The Manitoba Hydro Act for any period ending before April 1, 2025:
(a) Part 4 of The Crown Corporations Governance and Accountability Act;
(b) The Manitoba Hydro Act;
(c) section 2 of The Public Utilities Board Act.
Except as otherwise provided in this section, this Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.
The following provisions come into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation:
(a) section 2 insofar as it enacts the definitions "gas utility" and "gas utility subsidiary";
(b) section 3 insofar as it enacts clause 2(2)(b);
(c) section 8;
(d) Part 2, other than subsections 23(1) and (2) and subsection 23(4) insofar as it enacts subsections 2(5.1), (5.2) and (5.4).