This is an unofficial archived version.

This version was current from January 1, 2003 to March 31, 2013.

Note: It does not reflect any retroactive amendment enacted after March 31, 2013.
To find out if an amendment is retroactive, see the coming-into-force provisions
at the end of the amending Act.

Latest version

C.C.S.M. c. P94

The Polar Bear Protection Act

Table of contents

(Assented to August 1, 2002)

WHEREAS every effort should be made to keep polar bears in their natural habitat but situations will arise when it is appropriate to remove a polar bear from the wild;

AND WHEREAS polar bears have unique needs that require specialized facilities and care;

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




In this Act,

"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act; (« ministre »)

"polar bear" means all species and subspecies of Ursus maritimus. (« ours polaire »)




Except when authorized by a permit issued under this Act, no person shall

(a) possess a polar bear; or

(b) export or attempt to export a polar bear from the province.



An application for a permit must be made to the minister.

Considerations re granting of permit


The minister may issue a permit to an applicant only if he or she is satisfied that

(a) the applicant requires a polar bear for a legitimate scientific, educational or conservation purpose, or another purpose prescribed by regulation;

(b) the polar bear that is the subject of the permit meets the requirements of the regulations as to when a polar bear may be placed in captivity;

(c) the applicant will 

(i) keep the polar bear in a facility, and

(ii) provide it with care,

that meets the standards set out in the regulations;

(d) the applicant meets all eligibility requirements set out in the regulations; and

(e) the applicant will comply with any terms or conditions imposed on the permit.



The minister may issue a permit subject to any terms or conditions that he or she considers appropriate.

Compliance with terms and conditions


A permit holder shall comply with all terms or conditions imposed on a permit.



The applicant shall not be issued a permit unless the applicant enters into an agreement with the minister, on behalf of the government, in which the applicant agrees to the following:

(a) to

(i) keep the polar bear in a facility, and 

(ii) provide it with care,

that meets the standards set out in the regulations;

(b) to use the bear only for the purposes set out in the agreement;

(c) not to transfer possession of the bear to another person without the prior consent of the minister;

(d) to return the bear or transfer it to a facility specified by the minister, if the minister is satisfied that the permit holder has breached the terms of the agreement and provides written notice to the permit holder;

(e) to comply with the procedure set out in the agreement regarding the return or transfer of the bear, if the permit holder becomes unable or unwilling to keep the bear;

(f) to pay all costs relating to the transfer or return of the bear in the circumstances set out in clause (d) or (e);

(g) to such other terms and conditions that the minister may specify relating to the care and treatment of the bear.

Suspension and cancellation


The minister may suspend or cancel a permit if he or she is satisfied that

(a) the permit holder has contravened a provision of this Act or the regulations, a term or condition of the permit or a provision of the agreement entered into by the permit holder under section 4; or

(b) the suspension or cancellation is authorized for another reason specified by regulation.


Facilities and care


A person who is in possession of a polar bear under a permit issued under this Act must ensure that the bear

(a) is kept, at all times, in a facility that meets the standards set out in the regulations; and

(b) receives care that meets the standards set out in the regulations.




For the purposes of enforcing this Act, the following persons are officers and have the powers and duties of an officer under The Wildlife Act:

(a) a person appointed as an officer under The Wildlife Act;

(b) a peace officer appointed under an Act of the Legislature or the Parliament of Canada; or

(c) an officer appointed under the Customs Act (Canada).


Offence and penalty


A person who contravenes a provision of this Act or the regulations is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction,

(a) in the case of an individual, to a fine of not more than $10,000. or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or both; and

(b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $50,000.

Liability of directors and officers


If a corporation commits an offence under this Act, a director or officer of the corporation who authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the commission of the offence is also guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to the penalties set out in clause (1)(a), whether or not the corporation has been prosecuted or convicted.

Continuing offence


When a contravention of this Act continues for more than one day, the person is guilty of a separate offence for each day the contravention continues.




The minister may make regulations

(a) respecting standards for a facility in which a polar bear is kept;

(b) respecting the care to be provided to a polar bear in captivity;

(c) prescribing additional purposes for which a permit may be issued, for the purposes of clause 3(2)(a);

(d) establishing criteria as to when a polar bear may be placed in captivity, for the purposes of clause 3(2)(b);

(e) respecting the eligibility requirements for any person applying for a permit, for the purposes of clause 3(2)(d);

(f) respecting permits, including the fee and any information or documentation required with an application for a permit, the term of a permit, and the grounds for suspension and cancellation in addition to those set out in section 5;

(g) respecting records that must be kept by any person possessing a polar bear under a permit, and the submission of those records to the minister;

(h) respecting the examination of any polar bear in captivity and the inspection of any facility in which a bear is kept;

(i) respecting any matter necessary or advisable to carry out the purposes of this Act.


Relationship to The Wildlife Act


If there is a conflict between this Act and The Wildlife Act, this Act prevails.



This Act does not apply with respect to a polar bear that was provided to a person pursuant to a permit issued under The Wildlife Act before the coming into force of this Act.

C.C.S.M. reference


This Act may be referred to as chapter P94 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force


This Act comes into force on a day fixed by proclamation.

NOTE:  S.M. 2002, c. 25 was proclaimed in force January 1, 2003.