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This version was current from January 1, 2020 to May 11, 2021.
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C.C.S.M. c. C173
The Conservation Agreements Act
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(Assented to June 28, 1997)
WHEREAS it is in the best interests of the people of Manitoba, and consistent with the principles of sustainable development, that land owners and conservation agencies be able to enter into conservation agreements for the protection and enhancement of
(a) natural ecosystems;
(b) wildlife or fisheries habitat; and
(c) plant or animal species;
AND WHEREAS these conservation agreements will allow for protection and enhancements of these interests while enabling the continued use and development of the land by a landowner;
THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
In this Act,
"board" means the Conservation Agreements Board established under subsection 8(2); (« Commission »)
"court" means the Court of Queen's Bench; (« tribunal »)
"holder" means an eligible conservation agency that holds a conservation agreement; (« cocontractant »)
"land" means land in Manitoba that is the subject of a conservation agreement; (« bien-fonds »)
"landowner" means the owner of an estate in fee simple of land; (« propriétaire foncier »)
"minister" means the member of the executive council charged by the Lieutenant Governor in Council with the administration of this Act. (« ministre »)
A conservation agreement is a written agreement between a landowner and a holder that creates a conservation interest in land.
A conservation interest is an interest that imposes one or more restrictions on the use of land for the protection and enhancement of
(a) natural ecosystems;
(b) wildlife or fisheries habitat; or
(c) plant or animal species.
A conservation agreement shall remain in force for the term specified in the agreement.
As part of a conservation interest, a conservation agreement may grant to the holder rights and privileges that relate to a conservation purpose, including the right to enter on the land to do anything related to a conservation purpose.
A conservation interest is an interest in land and, subject to section 7, runs with the land.
A landowner may enter into more than one conservation agreement respecting the same land if no conflict exists between the provisions or the effects of the conservation agreements.
The following conservation agencies may hold a conservation agreement:
(a) a corporation without share capital that is incorporated under Part XXII of The Corporations Act and designated by regulation as being authorized to enter into conservation agreements;
(b) a not-for-profit corporation that is incorporated under an Act of Parliament and designated by regulation under this Act as being authorized to enter into conservation agreements;
(c) the Crown in right of Canada;
(d) the Crown in right of Manitoba;
(e) a federal or provincial Crown corporation or agency;
(f) a municipality;
(g) a local government district;
(h) a watershed district established or continued under The Watershed Districts Act.
Subject to subsection (2), land that is the subject of a conservation agreement is sufficiently described if its boundaries are shown, or its area is indicated, on a map attached to the conservation agreement.
For the purpose of subsection 7(1), a conservation agreement shall contain the legal description set out in the certificate of title of the land or in which the land is included.
Subject to subsections (3) to (8), the holder may give notice of the conservation agreement by filing a caveat against the certificate of title of the land or in which the land is included.
A copy of the conservation agreement shall be filed as a schedule to a caveat filed under subsection (1).
At least 45 days before filing a caveat against the land, the holder shall serve a notice of intent to file a caveat, in a form and in the manner prescribed by regulation, on the following parties:
(a) all persons who appear from the certificate of title
(i) to have an interest in the land,
(ii) to have a registered charge, lien or judgment against the land, or
(iii) to have a security interest in the land;
(b) the municipality or local government district in which the land is located;
(c) the Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, if the land is in Northern Manitoba as defined by The Northern Affairs Act;
(d) the board of a watershed district if the land is in a watershed district.
A party served with a notice under subsection (3) who wishes to object to the registration of the caveat shall
(a) within 30 days after being served, apply to the board in accordance with the regulations for its assistance in resolving the objection; and
(b) serve the holder with notice of the application in accordance with the regulations.
Where the objection is not resolved before the board under subsection (4) and the party still wishes to object to the registration of the caveat, the party, within 30 days after the failure to resolve the objection, shall apply to court by way of notice of application for an order that the caveat not be registered.
A holder who is served
(a) with notice of an application to the board in accordance with subsection (4) shall not file a caveat until at least 45 days after the holder and applicant fail before the board to resolve the objection the applicant has regarding the caveat; or
(b) with a notice of application under subsection (5) shall not file a caveat until the application is dismissed or the holder is otherwise permitted by the court to file the caveat.
Where a caveat has been registered, a party required to be served with a notice under subsection (3) who was not served in accordance with that subsection, or any other person with an interest in the land, who objects to the registration of the caveat, may apply to court by way of notice of application for an order that the registration of the caveat be vacated.
On hearing an application made
(a) under subsection (5), the court may order that the caveat not be registered; or
(b) under subsection (7), the court may order that the registration be vacated;
if it finds that the conservation agreement would adversely affect the interests of the applicant, or may make such other order as it considers just.
In this section "interested party" means a landowner, holder, municipality, local government district or other party that is potentially affected by a conservation agreement.
The Conservation Agreements Board is established and shall consist of persons appointed by the minister, including at least one representative of each of the following:
(a) a conservation agency;
(b) the government of Manitoba;
(c) a municipality or local government district, which representative must be approved by the Association of Manitoba Municipalities;
(d) an agricultural producers' organization.
In addition to the persons appointed to the board under subsection (2), the minister shall appoint a chairperson.
The board shall
(a) provide a forum for discussion for interested parties regarding conservation agreements;
(b) assist interested parties who apply to the Board to consider the implications of a conservation agreement;
(c) assist in the resolution of disputes between interested parties regarding conservation agreements; and
(d) fulfill functions prescribed by regulation.
If the interested parties do not resolve their dispute with the assistance of the board, the board shall, at the request of any of the interested parties, prepare a report specifying its conclusions and recommendations about the matter.
A report prepared under subsection (5) may be filed by any party to a proceeding under subsection 7(5) or (7) or 9(2) or (3) and may be considered by the court.
A conservation agreement may be terminated
(a) by written agreement between the landowner and the holder; or
(b) by an order of the court made under subsection (5).
A landowner may, at any time, apply to court by way of notice of application for an order to terminate a conservation agreement to which he or she is a party on any of the following grounds:
(a) that the conservation interest no longer exists;
(b) that the holder no longer exists and no successor to the holder is specified in the conservation agreement;
(c) that the conservation interest is no longer required by the holder for the purposes identified in the conservation agreement.
In addition to an application under subsection (2) and subject to subsection (4), a landowner may apply to court to terminate a conservation agreement on the ground that the continued existence of the conservation agreement is an unreasonable hardship for the landowner but, after the disposition of an application made under this subsection, no further application to terminate the same conservation agreement on that ground may be made until 20 years have elapsed from the date of the first application.
A landowner shall not be entitled to apply to court for an order under subsection (3) until the landowner has applied to the board to attempt to resolve any dispute about termination of the agreement and the board has fulfilled its functions in respect of the application.
On hearing an application under this section, the court may
(a) terminate the conservation agreement on terms or conditions that it considers fair and reasonable; or
(b) make such other order as it considers just.
The minister may make regulations
(a) for the purposes of clause 5(a) or (b), designating eligible conservation agencies as being authorized to enter into conservation agreements;
(b) prescribing the form of
(i) a conservation agreement,
(ii) a notice of intent to file a caveat, and
(iii) any other form required by the Act;
(c) respecting the responsibilities and functions of the board;
(d) respecting board procedure;
(e) respecting the procedures for applications to the board;
(f) defining any word or expression used but not specifically defined in this Act;
(g) prescribing a matter that is required or authorized by this Act to be prescribed by regulation.
The Crown is bound by this Act.
This Act may be referred to as chapter C173 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.
This Act comes into force on a day fixed by proclamation.
NOTE: S.M. 1997, c. 59 was proclaimed in force July 1, 1998.
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