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The Family Farm Protection Act
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This version is current as of July 23, 2021.
It has been in effect since May 20, 2021.

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C.C.S.M. c. F15

The Family Farm Protection Act

(Assented to September 10, 1986)

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

PART I

DEFINITIONS AND OBJECTS

Definitions

1(1)

In this Act,

"action or proceeding" means any act, proceeding or step, and includes any action or proceeding taken in the court or any other court; (« action ou instance »)

"commercial crop" means agricultural produce grown on a commercial basis, and includes wheat, oats, barley, rye, corn and other cereal crops and feed crops, flax, canola, sunflower, mustard, millet, grass and other oil seed and seed crops, alfalfa and other forage crops, root crops, vegetables, pulses and fruit; (« culture commerciale »)

"common-law partner" of a person means a person who, not being married to the other person, is cohabiting with him or her in a conjugal relationship of some permanence; (« conjoint de fait »)

"court" means Her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench for Manitoba; (« tribunal »)

"family" includes a common-law partner; (« famille »)

"farmer" means a person engaged in farming in Manitoba, and includes all individuals holding an interest in farmland in joint tenancy with an individual engaged in farming in Manitoba; (« exploitant agricole »)

"farming" means commercial crop production, milk production, livestock raising, poultry raising, bee keeping, or any combination of the foregoing; (« production agricole »)

"farmland" means land in Manitoba that is used, or that has been primarily used during the immediately preceding two years, by a farmer for farming, and that is owned by the farmer or that is being purchased by the farmer under an agreement for sale, and includes all erections, buildings and improvements thereon, any commercial crops which are growing thereon, and any mines and minerals; (« terres agricoles »)

"judge" means a judge of the court; (« juge »)

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

"person" includes a partnership, limited partnership, syndicate, trustee, joint venture and any association of persons whatsoever; (« personne »)

"security agreement" means an agreement that secures the payment or performance of an obligation. (« sûreté »)

Registered common-law relationship

1(2)

For the purposes of this Act, while they are cohabiting, persons who have registered their common-law relationship under section 13.1 of The Vital Statistics Act are deemed to be cohabiting in a conjugal relationship of some permanence.

S.M. 1989-90, c. 90, s. 17; S.M. 1993, c. 14, s. 79; S.M. 1996, c. 37, s. 36; S.M. 2000, c. 35, s. 40; S.M. 2002, c. 24, s. 26; S.M. 2002, c. 48, s. 28; S.M. 2005, c. 37, Sch. A, s. 152; S.M. 2013, c. 48, s. 5; S.M. 2018, c. 10, Sch. B, s. 127; S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

Objects of the Act

2

The objects of this Act are

(a) to afford protection to farmers against unwarranted loss of their farming operations during periods of difficult economic circumstances;

(b) to preserve the agricultural land base of Manitoba and to ensure that farmland is farmed and managed during periods of difficult economic circumstances;

(c) to preserve management skills of farmers during periods of difficult economic circumstances;

(d) to preserve the human resources of the agricultural community of Manitoba; and

(e) to preserve the existing lifestyle of farm communities in Manitoba and the tradition of locally owned and managed family farms.

PART II

3 to 6

[Repealed]

S.M. 1989-90, c. 90, s. 17; S.M. 2002, c. 24, s. 26; S.M. 2005, c. 42, s. 11; S.M. 2006, c. 13, s. 2; S.M. 2013, c. 48, s. 5; S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

PART III

FARMLAND ACTIONS OR PROCEEDINGS

DIVISION I

ADDITIONAL DEFINITIONS

Additional definitions

7

In this Part,

"affected farmer" means the farmer who is the registered owner of the farmland which is described in an application or, where the applicant is the registered owner, the farmer who is purchasing that farmland under an agreement for sale; (« exploitant touché »)

"applicant" means any person who makes an application; (« requérant »)

"application" means an application made to the court under this Part for leave to commence or continue any action or proceeding. (« demande »)

DIVISION II

ACTIONS OR PROCEEDINGS REQUIRING LEAVE OF THE COURT

Actions or proceedings requiring leave

8(1)

No person shall commence or continue any action or proceeding to realize upon or otherwise enforce

(a) a mortgage, an encumbrance, a security agreement or an agreement for sale of farmland, or any provision contained therein; or

(b) a judgment or an attachment obtained on the basis of a mortgage, an encumbrance, a security agreement or an agreement for sale of farmland, or any provision contained therein;

whereby a farmer could be deprived of the ownership or the possession of farmland of which the farmer is the registered owner or of which the farmer is the purchaser under an agreement for sale, without first obtaining leave of the court under this Part.

Specific actions requiring leave

8(2)

Without limiting the generality of subsection (1)

(a) no person shall commence or continue any action or proceeding on the basis of a mortgage, an encumbrance or a security agreement, or any provision contained therein

(i) for sale or other disposition of farmland; or

(ii) for foreclosure of an estate, interest or claim in or to farmland; or

(iii) for the appointment of a receiver or a receiver and manager of farmland; or

(iv) for possession of farmland; or

(v) for any other relief as may be available to such person and permitted by law in respect of farmland;

without first obtaining leave of the court under this Part;

(b) no person shall apply to a district registrar pursuant to

(i) section 135 of The Real Property Act for an order authorizing the sale of farmland; or

(ii) section 138 of The Real Property Act for an order authorizing the foreclosure of an estate, interest or claim in or to farmland whereby a farmer could be deprived of the ownership or the possession of farmland of which the farmer is the registered owner or of which the farmer is the purchaser under an agreement for sale;

without first obtaining leave of the court under this Part;

(c) no district registrar shall issue

(i) an order authorizing the sale of farmland pursuant to section 135 of The Real Property Act; or

(ii) an order authorizing the foreclosure of an estate, interest or claim in or to farmland pursuant to section 139 of The Real Property Act;

until leave of the court has been obtained under this Part;

(d) no person shall appoint any person as a receiver or a receiver and manager of farmland without first obtaining leave of the court under this Part;

(e) no person shall accept an appointment as a receiver or a receiver and manager of farmland until leave of the court has been obtained under this Part;

(f) no receiver or receiver and manager shall take possession of, enter upon or occupy farmland for the purposes of carrying on a farming operation on the farmland or otherwise interfere with a farming operation being carried on by a farmer until leave of the court has been obtained under this Part;

(g) no person shall commence or continue any action or proceeding for cancellation of an agreement for sale of farmland, or for possession of the farmland which is the subject of an agreement for sale of farmland, or for any other relief as may be available to such person and permitted by law in respect of farmland on the basis of an agreement for sale, without first obtaining leave of the court under this Part; and

(h) no person shall commence or continue any action or proceeding for sale or other disposition of farmland on the basis of a judgment or an attachment obtained on the basis of a mortgage, an encumbrance, a security agreement or an agreement for sale, or any provision contained therein, without first obtaining leave of the court under this Part.

Actions or proceedings in progress

8(3)

This Part applies to all actions or proceedings commenced prior to the coming into force of this Act.

Non-compliance with this Part

8(4)

Any action or proceeding which is commenced or continued after the coming into force of this Act without first obtaining leave of the court as required by this Part is a nullity.

S.M. 1995, c. 33, s. 8.

DIVISION III

LEAVE OF THE COURT

Application for leave

9(1)

Any application under this Part shall be made to a judge in the form prescribed by the regulations, shall set forth the name of the affected farmer, the relief sought and the legal description of the farmland in respect of which such relief is sought, and, unless otherwise ordered by the court, shall be filed in the judicial centre where the affected farmer resides or carries on a farming operation.

9(2) and (3)    [Repealed] S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

Disposition

9(3.1)

On hearing an application, the court may

(a) adjourn for such period or periods considered appropriate, if the court is not satisfied that it is just and equitable to grant the relief sought at that time;

(b) make an order granting leave for the purposes of section 8, if the court is satisfied that it is just and equitable to do so; or

(c) make an order for any other procedural relief that the court considers appropriate.

Factors to be considered by the court

9(4)

When making a decision under subsection (3.1), the court may consider any factor, condition or circumstance it considers relevant, including the following:

(a) whether any agreement might be reached between the applicant and the affected farmer with respect to the issues giving rise to the application without the necessity of further proceedings;

(b) whether the affected farmer is likely to receive financial assistance or concessions from any creditor or from any other source in an effort to satisfy the issues giving rise to the application;

(c) the effect of factors beyond the control of the affected farmer which may account for the issues giving rise to the application, including any general or local adverse agricultural, economic and climatic conditions such as an inability to market agricultural products, depressed prices for agricultural products, high costs of production, hail, flood, drought, frost or agricultural pests;

(d) the financial capacity of the affected farmer and the affected farmer's farming operation to meet existing and anticipated cash flow requirements;

(e) the value and condition of the farmland which is described in the application, including its state of cultivation;

(f) the impact of the loss of the farmland which is described in the application on the ongoing viability of the affected farmer's farming operation;

(g) the impact of the loss of the farmland which is described in the application on the affected farmer, the affected farmer's family and the community of which the affected farmer is a part;

(h) the farming and financial management skills of the affected farmer;

(i) whether the affected farmer is making a sincere and reasonable effort to meet the obligations incurred by the affected farmer in respect of the affected farmer's farming operation.

9(5) to (8)    [Repealed] S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

Costs of the application

9(9)

At the discretion of the judge hearing the application, the court may order any party to the application to pay the whole or any portion of the costs of such application.

Appeals only on questions of law

9(10)

An appeal lies to the Court of Appeal on a question of law from an order of the court made pursuant to this section.

S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

PART IV

10 to 13

[Not proclaimed, but repealed by S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 9]

S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 9.

PART V

(sections 14 to 25)

NOTE:

Not proclaimed and ceased to have any force on October 1, 1989. Repealed by S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 9.

PART VI

26 to 29

[Repealed]

S.M. 2006, c. 13, s. 3; S.M. 2013, c. 48, s. 5; S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

PART VII

30

[Repealed]

S.M. 2006, c. 13, s. 4; S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

PART VIII

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Agreements to waive Act void

31

Every agreement or bargain, verbal or written, expressed or implied, whether entered into before or after the coming into force of this Act, that this Act or any part or provision of this Act or any provision of any Act similar to this Act shall not apply, or that any benefit or remedy provided by this Act or any similar Act is not available, or which in any way limits, modifies or abrogates or in effect limits, modifies or abrogates the benefit or remedy, is void.

32

[Repealed]

S.M. 2006, c. 13, s. 5; S.M. 2013, c. 48, s. 5; S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

33

[Repealed]

S.M. 2006, c. 13, s. 5; S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

Manner of service of documents

34(1)

A document required or permitted to be served upon a person under any provision of this Act may be served

(a) by delivering it to the person required to be served; or

(b) by mailing it by prepaid registered mail enclosed in a package addressed to the person required to be served at the person's last known or usual place of abode and accompanied by an official "acknowledgment of receipt" form.

Substitutional service

34(2)

Where a person is unable to effect service of a document upon a person under subsection (1), substitutional service thereof may be made in such a manner as a judge may direct.

Date of service by registered mail

34(3)

Where service of a document is made by registered mail, the document shall, unless the contrary is proved, be presumed to have been served and received on the date of receipt thereof as shown on the "acknowledgement of receipt" form signed by the person acknowledging receipt thereof.

Service on a corporation

34(4)

Service of a document on a corporation may be validly made by serving an officer or director of the corporation in the manner described in this section, at the place where the corporation carries on its business.

Service on a partnership

34(5)

Service of a document on a partnership may be validly made upon the partnership if the document indicates that it relates to the partnership by using the name under which the partnership carries on business, and it is served on any member of the partnership in the manner described in this section; and thereupon it shall be deemed to have been served upon all the members of the partnership.

Proof of service

34(6)

Proof of service of any process under this Act may be given

(a) by oral evidence given under oath; or

(b) by means of an affidavit by a person having personal knowledge of the facts deposed to.

Limitation of actions — Part III

35(1)

Where an application for leave is made to the court under Part III, the period between the date of the making of such application and the date on which such application is ultimately disposed of by the court, the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court of Canada, as the case may be, shall not be included in calculating the time, pursuant to The Limitation of Actions Act or pursuant to any other applicable statute or law or rule of the court or any other court, for commencing any action or proceeding for which relief is sought in such application.

35(2)

[Repealed] S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

Regulations

36

For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act according to their intent, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make such regulations as are ancillary thereto and are not inconsistent therewith; and every such regulation made under, and in accordance with the authority granted by, this section has the force of law; and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) exempting

(i) any farmland or any action or proceeding or class of actions or proceedings in respect of farmland;

(ii) and (iii) [repealed] S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8;

(iv) any farmer or any class of farmers;

(v) any creditor of a farmer or farmers or any class of creditors of a farmer or farmers;

(vi) any mortgage, encumbrance, security agreement, agreement for sale, judgment or attachment, or any other agreement affecting farmland or any class of mortgages, encumbrances, security agreements, agreements for sale, judgments or attachments, or any other agreements affecting farmland;

(vii) and (viii) [repealed] S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8;

from the application of this Act or any provision of this Act on such terms and conditions that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate;

(b) prescribing the information that is to be contained in any document that is required to be given, filed or served under this Act, as well as the form of any such document;

(c) [repealed] S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

S.M. 1993, c. 14, s. 79; S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

Offences

37(1)

Every person who contravenes any provision of this Act or the regulations is guilty of an offence and is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding $50,000. and to such costs as may be awarded by the court, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years, or to both such a fine and costs, and imprisonment.

Corporate offences

37(2)

Where a corporation is guilty of an offence under this Act, any officer, director or agent of the corporation who directed, authorized or participated in the commission of the offence is also guilty of the offence and is liable, on summary conviction, to the penalties set out under subsection (1).

Prosecution of offences

37(3)

Notwithstanding the provisions of any other Act of the Legislature, a prosecution for an offence under this Act may be commenced at any time within 2 years after the date of the alleged offence and a prosecution for an offence under this Act which relates to or arises out of any misrepresentation or fraud on the part of the accused may be commenced at any time within 2 years after the date on which the misrepresentation or the fraud became known to the minister.

S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

Construction of Act

38(1)

The purpose and intent of the Legislature is to confine the provisions of this Act within the competence of the Legislature; and all provisions thereof shall be construed so as to give effect to that purpose and intent.

Ultra vires provisions

38(2)

Where any provision of this Act is held beyond the powers of the Legislature, that provision shall be construed distributively and, so far as it deals with matters within the competence of the Legislature, stands and is valid and operative, and has the same effect as if the provision had dealt with those matters exclusively; and the remaining provisions of this Act shall not be deemed or held to be inoperative or ultra vires, but stand and are valid and operative, and have the same effect as if they had been originally enacted as separate and independent enactments and as the only provisions of this Act.

Intra vires provisions

38(3)

All provisions of this Act that are within the powers of the Legislature remain in full force and effect notwithstanding that some provisions are held to be ultra vires, the intention of the Legislature being to give separate and independent effect to the extent of its powers to every provision of this Act.

Crown bound

39

The Crown is bound by this Act.

PART IX

39.1 to 39.7    [Repealed]

S.M. 2013, c. 48, s. 5; S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

PART X

C.C.S.M. REFERENCE AND COMING INTO FORCE

Reference in Continuing Consolidation

40

This Act may be referred to as chapter F15 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Commencement of Act

41(1)

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

41(2)

[Repealed] S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

NOTE: Parts I, II, VI, VII and VIII of S.M. 1986-87, c. 6, came into force by proclamation on December 15, 1986.

NOTE: Part III came into force by proclamation on February 9, 1987.

NOTE: Part IV was never proclaimed and was repealed by S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 9.

NOTE: Part VII was never proclaimed and was repealed by S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 8.

NOTE: Part V was never proclaimed and ceased to have any force on October 1, 1989. It was repealed by S.M. 2021, c. 48, s. 9.