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The Cemeteries Act
This is an unofficial archived version of The Cemeteries Act
as enacted by SM 1987-88, c. 9 on July 17, 1987.
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R.S.M. 1987, c. C30

The Cemeteries Act

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

Definitions.

1

In this Act,

"authorized trustee" means the trust company designated in the regulations as the authorized trustee under Part III; ("fiduciaire autorisé")

"board" means The Public Utilities Board; ("Régie")

"cemetery" means land that is set apart or used as a place for the burial of dead human bodies or other human remains or in which dead human bodies or other human remains have been buried; ("cimetière")

"columbarium" means a structure designed for storing the ashes of dead human bodies or other human remains that have been cremated; ("columbarium")

"crematory" means a building fitted with proper appliances for the purpose of the incineration or cremation of dead human bodies, and includes everything incidental or ancillary thereto; ("crématoire")

"mausoleum" means a structure, wholly or partly above the level of the ground and designed for the burial or storage of dead human bodies; ("mausolée")

"minister" means the member of the Executive Council charged by the Lieutenant Governor in Council with the administration of this Act; ("ministre")

"owner" means a person who owns, controls, or manages a cemetery, columbarium or mausoleum; ("propriétaire")

"perpetual care" means the preservation, improvement, embellishment, and maintenance, in perpetuity and in a proper manner of lots, plots, tombs, monuments, or enclosure, in a cemetery or of compartments in a columbarium or mausoleum; ("entretien perpétuel")

"perpetual care funds" means funds and property received by an owner for the purpose of providing perpetual care generally of a cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum, or of any particular part thereof, whether received

(a) under this Act or otherwise;

(b) under the terms of a contract, trust, or gift or otherwise;

and includes moneys deducted and set aside under section 28; ("fonds d'entretien perpétuel")

"religious auxiliary" means a corporation, society, committee, or other organization, that is sponsored, organized, established or set up by a religious denomination and controlled or supervised by, and operated as an instrument or auxiliary of, and in close connection with, that religious denomination; ("auxiliaires religieux")

"religious denomination" means an organized society, association, or body, of religious believers or worshippers professing to believe in the same religious doctrines, dogmas, or creed and closely associated or organized for religious worship or discipline, or both. ("congrégation religieuse")

Application of Act.

2

Except as specifically herein otherwise provided, this Act applies to every cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum, in the province whenever established, laid out, or constructed.

PART I

CEMETERIES

Enclosure of cemetery.

3

The owner of a cemetery shall enclose every part thereof by walls or fences of the height of four feet six inches at least, and shall prevent all animals from trespassing within the enclosure.

Repair of cemetery.

4

The owner of a cemetery shall, out of the moneys received in respect thereto, keep the cemetery and the buildings and walls or fences thereof in good order and repair.

Maintenance of sewers and drains in connection with cemetery.

5(1)

The owner of a cemetery shall construct and maintain all proper and necessary sewers and drains in and about the cemetery for the purpose of draining it and keeping it dry.

Power to open drains and sewers.

5(2)

The owner may, as occasion requires, cause any sewer or drain to open into an existing sewer of the highway, street, road or land through which or part of which the opening is intended to be made; and he shall do as little damage as possible to the highway, street, road or land and shall restore it to the same condition or as good a condition as it was before being disturbed.

Penalty for disobeying sections 3, 4 and 5.

6

If the owner of a cemetery makes default in carrying out any of the provisions of sections 3, 4, and 5, he is guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $50. for every such default.

Penalty for fouling water.

7

If the owner of a cemetery at any time causes or suffers to be brought to, or to flow into, any river, spring, well, stream, canal, reservoir, aqueduct, lake, pond, or watering place, any offensive matter from the cemetery whereby the same is fouled, he is guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, in addition to any other remedy existing by law, to a fine of not more than $50. for every such offence.

Civil action for special damages for fouling water.

8(1)

In addition to the penalty provided by section 7, any person having a right to use the water may sue the owner of the cemetery for any damage specially sustained by him by reason of the water being fouled.

Where no special damage proved.

8(2)

If in the action no special damage is alleged or proved, the court shall award a sum not exceeding $10. for every day during which the fouling has continued after the expiration of 24 hours from the time when notice of the fouling was served, by the person mentioned in subsection (1), upon the owner of the cemetery.

Erection of chapel or vault for winter use.

9(1)

The owner of a cemetery may erect, within the bounds of the cemetery, a chapel and vault or a vault alone for use as a repository for the dead during the winter months.

Construction of building.

9(2)

The chapel and vault or the vault alone shall be of stone or brick or part stone and brick, and all vault doors shall be of iron and wood encased in iron sheeting, and all vault windows or other openings in the vault shall be protected by iron sheeted shutters; and there shall be no open connections between the vault and the chapel except underneath the floor for the reception of the coffin.

Erection of mausoleum.

10

A mausoleum may be erected in any cemetery.

No grave under or near building.

11

Except as provided in sections 9 and 10, no person shall be buried in a vault or otherwise, in or under any chapel or other building in a cemetery, or within 15 feet of the outer wall of any chapel or building therein.

Regulations re conduct of burials.

12(1)

The owner of a cemetery shall make regulations to ensure that all burials within the cemetery are conducted in a decent manner.

Religious ceremony in case a public cemetery.

12(2)

In the case of a public cemetery, the owner shall permit the religious denomination to which the deceased belonged to perform the usual religious rites on the deceased's interment.

Graves for strangers and poor.

13(1)

The owner of a public cemetery shall furnish graves for strangers and for the poor of all denominations on the certificate of a clergyman that the deceased was a stranger or that the deceased and his relatives are poor.

Municipality liable.

13(2)

The certificate shall state the municipality in which the person died, and that municipality shall pay the owner of the cemetery, if other than the municipality, his customary charges on the presentation of the certificate to the clerk of the municipality.

Cemeteries and lots exempt from seizure.

14

The real property of the owner of a cemetery that is used as such, and the lots or plots when conveyed by the owner to individual proprietors for burial sites shall not be liable to be seized or sold in execution or under judgment or attached or applied to the payment of debt or passed to the assignee under any bankruptcy or insolvency law.

Registration of conveyance.

15

Where a lot or plot has been sold by the owner of a cemetery for burial site, the conveyance or transfer need not be registered for any purpose whatever, and shall not be affected by The Registry Act or The Real Property Act; nor shall any judgment, mortgage or encumbrance subsist on any lot so conveyed or transferred.

Form of conveyance or transfer.

16

The conveyance of a burial lot or plot may be in the following form:

Take notice that the (giving name of owner), in consideration of dollars, paid to it by , of , the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, doth grant unto the said his heirs and assigns lot of land in the cemetery of the said owner, called and situate in the of , which lot is delineated and laid down on the map of the said cemetery, and is therein designated by the name of , containing by admeasurement superficial feet; to have and to hold the herein above named premises, etc.

Lots or plots indivisible.

17

All lots or plots of ground in a cemetery, when numbered and conveyed or transferred by the owner of the cemetery as burial sites shall be indivisible, but may afterwards be held and owned in undivided shares.

Conveyances or transfers of crypts or compartment in mausoleums.

18(1)

The owner of a cemetery in which is situated a mausoleum may sell or otherwise dispose of crypts or compartments in the mausoleum for the entombment of bodies therein.

Registration not required.

18(2)

Where a crypt or compartment is sold or disposed of for the purpose of entombment, the conveyance or transfer need not be registered for any purpose whatever, and shall not be affected by The Registry Act or The Real Property Act; nor shall any judgment, mortgage or encumbrance subsist on any crypt or compartment so conveyed or transferred.

PART II

CREMATORIES

Requirements for construction of crematories.

19(1)

No person shall construct a crematory in the province unless

(a) an engineer designated for the purpose by the member of the Executive Council charged with the administration of the Public Works Act has certified to the board under this Act that the plans therefor provide for the installation of the proper equipment for the disposal of human bodies by cremation and are satisfactory in all respects; and

(b) the plans therefor, and the site thereof, have been approved in writing by the minister.

Limitation on construction of crematories.

19(2)

No crematory shall be constructed nearer to any dwelling house than 200 yards, except with the consent in writing of the owner of the dwelling house, if he is the occupier thereof, and also with the consent of the tenant or occupier, if the owner is not the tenant or occupier thereof.

Crematories authorized.

19(3)

Subject as herein provided, and subject

(a) to any planning scheme under The Planning Act;

(b) to all validly enacted municipal by-laws; and

(c) to all municipal and other building restrictions in force in the municipality;

applicable thereto, a crematory may be constructed, maintained, and operated, in any municipality and at any place therein, either in a cemetery or elsewhere.

Licence required for operation.

19(4)

No human bodies shall be cremated in any crematory and no crematory shall be maintained or operated unless the operator thereof holds a valid and subsisting licence for the purpose issued by the board.

Issue of licence.

19(5)

Subject as herein provided, on payment of the required fee, the board may issue to the operator of a crematory a licence authorizing the maintenance and operation of the crematory.

Requirements for approval of plans.

19(6)

The board shall not approve the plans for, or the site of, a proposed crematory unless

(a) it has received the certificate to which clause (1)(a) refers; and

(b) it is satisfied that the crematory will be constructed in accordance with

(i) any planning scheme under The Planning Act;

(ii) all validly enacted municipal by-laws; and

(iii) all municipal and other building restrictions;

applicable thereto, and in accordance with this section.

Requirements for issue of licence.

19(7)

The board shall not issue a licence for the maintenance and operation of a crematory unless

(a) it has approved the plans therefor and the site thereof as herein provided;

(b) it is satisfied that it is likely that the crematory will be maintained and operated as herein required; and

(c) an engineer designated by the minister charged with the administration of the Public Works Act has certified that the construction of the crematory has been completed and that it is built on the site approved and in accordance with the plans approved.

Operation in conformity with regulations.

19(8)

Every crematory shall be maintained and operated in accordance with any regulations applicable thereto made under this Act, The Public Health Act, or any other Act of Legislature, and in accordance with all validly enacted municipal by-laws applicable thereto.

Expiry of licence.

20(1)

Every licence issued under section 19, unless sooner suspended or cancelled, shall expire on March 31 following the date of the issue thereof.

Suspension, cancellation, or refusal to renew licence.

20(2)

Subject to subsection (3), the board,

(a) if it is satisfied that a crematory is not being maintained and operated as required herein or in the regulations or in any other regulations applicable thereto; or

(b) for any other just and reasonable cause;

may suspend for such period as it deems desirable, or may cancel, a licence issued under section 19; or, for like cause, it may refuse to issue a subsequent licence for a further period in place of a licence that has expired.

Procedure before suspension, cancellation, or refusal.

20(3)

Before suspending or cancelling a licence, and before refusing to issue a subsequent licence for a further period in place of a licence that has expired, the board shall, by written notice, notify the licensee named in the licence or expired licence of its intention so to suspend or to cancel the licence or to refuse to issue a licence, and of a time when, and a place where, it will hear representations by or on behalf of the licensee respecting the proposed suspension, cancellation, or refusal.

Hearing.

20(4)

At the time and place fixed in the notice given under subsection (3), or at any adjournment thereof respecting which the licensee has had notice, the board shall hear the licensee or counsel on its behalf respecting the matter.

Evidence.

20(5)

At a hearing held under subsection (4) the board may receive the testimony of witnesses either on oath or otherwise, and in person or by affidavit; and the licensee or counsel on his behalf may examine witnesses on behalf of the licensee and cross-examine any witness whose testimony supports the proposed suspension, cancellation, or refusal.

Offence and penalty.

21(1)

Any person who maintains or operates a crematory and who is not the licensee named in a valid and subsisting licence issued for the purpose under this Act, or who otherwise contravenes, or omits, neglects, or fails, to observe, any provision of section 19 or of the regulations, is guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction,

(a) if a corporation, to a fine not exceeding $2,000.; and

(b) if an individual, to a fine not exceeding $500.

Penalty for false representation.

21(2)

Every person who

(a) with a view to obtaining

(i) the approval of the minister to the plans for a crematory or the site thereof; or

(ii) the issue of a licence authorizing the maintenance and operation of a crematory; or

(b) with a view to procuring the cremation of any human remains;

wilfully makes any false representation or issues or signs any false certificate, is guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, in addition to any penalty or liability that he may otherwise incur, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 months.

Approved charges for cremation.

22(1)

A person licensed under section 19 is entitled to demand and receive payment of charges or fees for the cremation of human bodies in the crematory for the maintenance and operation of which it holds a licence; but, if a table of charges or fees is established by regulation under section 39, the charges or fees shall be in accordance with that table.

Charges part of funeral expenses.

22(2)

Any charges or fees, and any expenses, properly incurred in or in connection with the cremation of the body of a deceased person shall be deemed to be part of the funeral expenses of the deceased.

Statutory provisions apply.

23

All statutory provisions relating to the registration of deaths and certificates of registration and all other provisions required to be observed before a burial is permitted shall, with such modifications as the circumstances require, be observed in all cases where human bodies are cremated, and all provisions relating to registers of death, and the admissibility of extracts therefrom as evidence in courts or otherwise, shall likewise apply to registers of cremations directed by the regulations to be kept.

PART III

PERPETUAL CARE FUNDS

Where Part not applicable.

24

This Part does not apply to

(a) a cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum, owned and operated by a religious denomination or a religious auxiliary, or by a municipality; or (b) a cemetery that was or is not established for gain and at which not more than 15 sales of cemetery plots occur in any year; or

(c) to any sale, lease or rental, or agreement to sell, lease, or rent, a lot, plot, compartment, or other space in a cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum if the sale, lease, rental, or agreement was made before this Part comes into force; or

(d) to moneys paid or payable under any sale, lease, rental, or agreement to which clause (c) applies.

Licence required for operation of cemetery, etc.

25(1)

No person shall maintain or operate a cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum unless he holds a valid and subsisting licence for the purpose issued to him under this Part by the board.

Licence required by owner for sale of lots, etc.

25(2)

No person, and no corporation by its officer, employee, or agent, shall sell or offer for sale, or lease or rent or offer to lease or rent, a lot, plot, compartment, or other space, in a cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum owned by him or it, unless he or it holds a valid and subsisting licence for the purpose issued to him or it under this Part by the board.

Licence required by agent for sale, etc., of lots.

25(3)

No person shall, as agent for or on behalf of the owner of a cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum, sell or offer for sale, or lease or rent or offer to lease or rent, a lot, plot, compartment, or other space, in the cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum unless he holds a valid and subsisting licence for the purpose issued to him under this Part by the board.

Issue of licence for operation.

26(1)

The board may issue, in such form as is prescribed in the regulations, a licence for the maintenance and operation of a cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum.

Issue of licences for sale, etc.

26(2)

The board may issue, in such form as is prescribed in the regulations, a licence to the owner of a cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum and to any person as agent for such an owner, authorizing the licensee to sell, lease, or rent or, on behalf of the owner, to offer for sale, lease, or rent, lots, plots, compartments, or other space in the cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum.

Fee for licence.

26(3)

The board shall charge and collect for each licence issued by it such fee as is prescribed by the regulations.

Expiry of licence.

26(4)

Every licence issued under this section expires on March 31 following the date of the issue thereof.

Approval of contracts.

27

No owner of a cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum shall sell, lease, or rent any lot, plot, compartment, or other space therein unless the form of the contract of sale, lease, or rental has been approved by the board.

Setting aside of perpetual care funds.

28(1)

From all moneys received on the sale, lease, or rental of a lot, plot, compartment, or other space in a cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum, the owner thereof shall deduct and set aside for perpetual care such portion of those moneys as may be prescribed in the regulations.

Payment to authorized trustee.

28(2)

Every owner shall, not less frequently than once in each year, pay over to the authorized trustee all moneys that he has deducted and set aside under subsection (1) since the coming into force of this section, or since the last previous occasion on which he has paid over such moneys to the authorized trustee, as the case may be.

Perpetual care funds a trust.

29

Perpetual care funds paid over to the authorized trustee under section 28 shall not be returned to the owner; but they shall form a trust in the hands of the authorized trustee for the purposes herein mentioned.

Investment of funds and payment of income.

30(1)

Subject to subsection (4), the authorized trustee shall invest on behalf of the owner, in such securities as are permissible as investments by trustees under The Trustee Act, all perpetual care funds received by it from an owner; and it shall pay to the owner the income derived therefrom, less the amount of the remuneration for its services that it is herein authorized to deduct and retain for that purpose.

Use of income by owner.

30(2)

The owner shall use the moneys paid to him under subsection (1) solely for the purposes of perpetual care.

Remuneration of trustee.

30(3)

The authorized trustee may, as remuneration for its services, in each year deduct and retain from the income received in that year from moneys invested on behalf of an owner as herein provided, such portion of that income as is prescribed in the regulations.

Interim deposits in bank.

30(4)

The authorized trustee, pending the investment of perpetual care funds, may deposit them during such period as is reasonable in the circumstances, in any bank.

Passing of accounts.

31(1)

Each owner of a cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum shall submit accounts of his dealings with all perpetual care funds that have come into his hands to be examined, audited and passed by a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench at intervals each of which shall not exceed five years from the date of an order made on the last previous passing of accounts of the owner.

Additional accounts.

31(2)

On passing of accounts, the judge may require the owner

(a) to submit additional accounts or information with respect to the perpetual care funds; and

(b) to make a full disclosure and accounting of all perpetual care funds that have come into the possession of the owner at any time.

First passing of accounts.

31(3)

Where a cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum, is established, the owner shall, within five years after the establishment thereof, submit accounts of his dealings with all perpetual care funds that have come into his hands since the establishment of the cemetery, columbarium or mausoleum to a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench to be examined, audited and passed.

On direction of judge.

31(4)

The judge may at any time direct a passing of accounts or perpetual care funds held by any owner.

Extension of time for passing accounts.

31(5)

Where, for any reason, the judge deems it expedient, he may from time to time, after notice has been given to the authorized trustee of an application to extend the time for passing accounts, extend the times prescribed in subsections (1), and (3) for a period not exceeding two years.

Applicable provisions.

31(6)

Except as herein specifically otherwise provided, the provisions of The Court of Queen's Bench Surrogate Practice Act and the rules made thereunder and of The Trustee Act with respect to the passing of accounts of an executor, administrator, or trustee apply, mutatis mutandis, to the passing of accounts under this Part.

Notice.

31(7)

Notice of the passing of accounts shall be served only upon the authorized trustee unless the judge otherwise directs.

Breach of trust, etc.

32

If, upon the passing of accounts, the judge finds that an owner has been guilty of a breach of trust, or of a breach of any contract, or of a breach of this Act, he may direct the whole of the perpetual care funds then in the hands of the owner, or any portion thereof that the judge may specify, be paid over forthwith to the authorized trustee; and he may, if he deems it advisable, report to the Attorney-General as to his findings.

Information required by authorized trustee.

33

An owner shall from time to time furnish to the authorized trustee such information with respect to perpetual care funds as the authorized trustee may require.

Law applicable.

34

In addition to the powers, rights, and obligations, created by this Act, the provisions of the general law, either statutory or otherwise, apply to an owner or trust company with respect to any perpetual care funds in his or its hands to the same extent as they are applicable to any trustee having funds or property in his hands for charitable purposes.

PART IV

GENERAL

Various offences.

35

Any person who

(a) wilfully destroys, mutilates, defaces, injures or removes any tomb, monument, gravestone, or other structure placed in a cemetery, or any fence, railing, or other work for protection or ornament of a cemetery, or of any tomb, monument, gravestone, or other structure aforesaid, or of any cemetery lot within a cemetery; or

(b) wilfully destroys, cuts, breaks, or injures any tree, shrub, or plant in a cemetery; or

(c) plays at any game or sport in a cemetery; or

(d) discharges fire arms (save at a military funeral) in a cemetery; or

(e) wilfully and unlawfully disturbs persons assembled for the purpose of burying a body therein; or

(f) commits a nuisance in a cemetery;

is guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of not less than $4., and not more than $40. for each offence.

Action for damages.

36(1)

Any person who commits any of the acts specified in section 35 is liable to an action for damages or trespass in the name of the owner of the cemetery and is liable to pay all damages occasioned by his unlawful act.

Application of moneys received.

36(2)

Any damages, when collected, shall be applied by the owner of the cemetery for the reparation and the reconstruction of the property destroyed.

Organization and powers of board of trustees.

37

Where any of the inhabitants of a municipality or locality in Manitoba, to the number of 10 or more, desire to take a conveyance of land for a public cemetery they may appoint trustees, to whom and their successors, to be appointed in such manner as may be specified in the transfer or deed of conveyance, or in default of provision therein or on failure of the provision therein, as provided in The Trustee Act, the land may be transferred or conveyed; and the trustees and their successors in perpetual succession, by the name expressed in the transfer or deed, may take, hold, and possess the land in trust for the uses and purposes limited in the transfer or deed; and may maintain and defend suits or actions for the protection thereof and of their property therein; but there shall not be held in trust under any such transfer or conveyance for the purpose aforesaid more than 10 acres of land for the inhabitants of any one municipality or locality.

Conveyance of lands held for cemetery purposes.

38

Any board of trustees organized under section 37 may convey the lands held by it for cemetery purposes to any municipality for the purpose of continuing the same as a public cemetery.

Regulations.

39

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 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) respecting the maintenance and operation of cemeteries;

(b) respecting the construction, maintenance, and operation of crematories;

(c) respecting the fees payable for licences issued under this Act;

(d) establishing a table of charges or fees payable to owners of crematories for services performed;

(e) respecting the interment or other disposition of the ashes of the human bodies cremated in a crematory;

(f) prescribing the notices, certificates, declarations, statements, or other documents, that must be completed before any human bodies are cremated;

(g) prescribing the forms of licences and any other forms required for the due carrying out of the several provisions of this Act;

(h) respecting the registers and other records of the burial or interment of human bodies or other human remains that must be kept by the owner of a cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum;

(i) respecting the registers and other records of the cremation of human bodies that must be kept by the owner of a crematory;

(j) respecting the licensing of owners for the maintenance and operation of cemeteries, columbaria, and mausolea; and fixing the terms and conditions that must be observed by the licensees;

(k) respecting the licensing of owners and agents for the sale, lease, or rental of lots, plots, compartments, and other space, in cemeteries, columbaria, and mausolea; and fixing the terms and conditions that must be observed by the licensees;

(l) respecting the forms of licences issued under this Act;

(m) respecting the fees payable for licences issued under this Act;

(n) appointing a trust company as authorized trustee under Part III;

(o) prescribing the portion of the moneys received on the sale, lease, or rental of a lot, plot, compartment, or other space, in a cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum, that an owner must deduct and set aside under subsection 28(1); and

(p) prescribing the portion of the income on invested perpetual care funds that, under subsection 30(3), the authorized trustee may deduct and retain as remuneration.