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The Milk Prices Review Act
This is an unofficial archived version of The Milk Prices Review Act
as enacted by SM 1987-88, c. 9 on July 17, 1987.

R.S.M. 1987, c. M130

The Milk Prices Review Act

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

Definitions.

1

In this Act,

"butterfat differential" means the value in cents of each 1/10th of a kilogram of butterfat above or below 3.6 kilograms per hectolitre of milk; ("indice différentiel de matières grasses")

"commission" means The Manitoba Milk Prices Review Commission; ("Commission")

"consumer" means a person who receives or purchases or offers to receive or purchase milk and dairy products for his own use or for the use of his family or household or any use other than resale or manufacture directly or indirectly; ("consommateur")

"cost of production formula" means a formula established pursuant to this Act by which the price of milk sold by a producer or the producer board for use as fluid milk is determined; ("formule du coût de production")

"dairy plant" means a place where milk or cream is received for the purpose of being pasteurized, standardized, or otherwise processed and sold to a wholesaler or retailer; ("usine laitière")

"dairy products" means milk, cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk, sterile milk, milk powder, butter, cheese, ice cream, ice milk, dried whey, condensed whey, casein, sodium caseinate, yogurt, or any other substance made wholly or mainly from milk; ("produits laitiers")

"distributor" means a person who distributes or sells, or offers to distribute or sell, milk or dairy products for consumption, either on his premises or elsewhere, or for processing, manufacture or resale; ("distributeur")

"fluid milk" means milk, including milk lawfully reconstituted, wholly or in part from milk powder, with a butterfat content not exceeding 8% of the weight thereof, whether or not it is processed by the addition thereto or the subtraction therefrom of any substance, and sold by a distributor or a producer to a consumer for consumption as milk; ("lait liquide")

"Manitoba Council" means The Manitoba Natural Products Marketing Council constituted under The Natural Products Marketing Act; ("Conseil manitobain")

"manufacturer or processor" means any person engaged in the business of processing milk or dairy products or using milk or dairy products in manufacturing or processing within the province; ("fabricant ou préparateur")

"manufacturing or processing" means changing the nature, form or condition of milk or dairy products and includes packaging; (" fabrication ou transformation")

"milk" means the normal secretion obtained from the mammary gland of a cow; ("lait")

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

"producer" means a person who produces milk from his own herd or stock, or from a herd or stock managed by him, and supplies or sells that milk; ("producteur")

"producer board" means The Manitoba Milk Producers' Marketing Board established under The Natural Products Marketing Act. ("Office des producteurs")

Commission continued.

2(1)

"The Manitoba Milk Prices Review Commission" is continued as a body corporate.

Appointment of members of commission.

2(2)

The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall appoint not less than five or more than seven members to the commission and the members shall hold office for such term as may be fixed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and thereafter until their successors are appointed.

Chairman.

2(3)

The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall appoint one member as chairman of the commission and one member as vice-chairman thereof.

Remuneration.

2(4)

The members of the commission may be paid such remuneration and out-of-pocket expenses as may be authorized by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Quorum and majority decision.

2(5)

A majority of the members of the commission constitutes a quorum thereof for the transaction of any business of the commission and where there is a quorum present at a duly constituted meeting of the commission, a decision of the majority of the members present is a decision of the commission.

Grant to commission.

2(6)

The Minister of Finance on the requisition of the minister may make grants to the commission to allow the commission to carry out its duties and powers.

Duties and powers of the commission.

3(1)

The commission has such powers and duties as are specified in this Act and is responsible for the administration of this Act and the regulations and for those purposes

(a) shall for the purpose of enforcing its orders and the regulations, gather information relative to the costs of the production, processing and distribution of milk;

(b) may require persons who supply, distribute, process, keep for sale or sell milk or dairy products to provide the commission with complete information relating to the cost of producing, transporting, storing, processing, packaging and marketing of milk or dairy products including the allocation of direct and overhead costs to fluid milk and other products;

(c) during regular hours may inspect the books and premises relating to the supply, distribution, processing or sale of milk or dairy products of any person referred to in clause (b);

(d) shall monitor and hear complaints relating to the prices of fluid milk at any level;

(e) shall make such inquiries and conduct such investigations as may be required by the minister relative to this Act; and

(f) may investigate and study systems of distribution of milk and dairy products and the conditions of the dairy industry in Manitoba or elsewhere and report thereon to the minister.

Formula for cost of production.

3(2)

On the basis of information obtained from a survey of the costs of the production of milk on farms, the commission shall, from time to time, by order, establish a cost of production formula which reflects the cost of producing milk for use as fluid milk in Manitoba including a reasonable return on investment to the producers of milk.

Monitoring of cost of production formula.

3(3)

The commission shall monitor the cost of production formula and shall, by order, fix the price, as determined by the formula, at which milk may be sold by a producer or the producer board for use as fluid milk but the commission shall not make an order unless a variation of at least 2% from the then current price of such milk occurs.

Application of butterfat differential.

3(4)

The commission shall, from time to time,

(a) establish, by order, a formula to establish the butterfat differential to be applied to the price at which milk to be purchased for processing as fluid milk shall be sold by a producer or a producer board to a processor; and

(b) by order fix that differential in accordance with the formula, effective from the date of the order until the differential is varied by a further order of the commission.

Commission to monitor prices.

3(5)

The commission shall monitor the prices of fluid milk charged by distributors and retailers and where the commission deems those prices to be unreasonable, the commission may by order establish schedules of maximum prices or minimum prices or both at which fluid milk may be sold to consumers.

Considerations in fixing maximum prices and minimum prices.

3(6)

In establishing minimum or maximum prices or both under subsection (5), the commission shall take into account

(a) the cost of the milk to the distributor, manufacturer or processor as determined by the formula established under subsection (2), the cost of processing, handling, packaging and distributing the milk, the allocation of direct and overhead costs to fluid milk and other products, and the cost of retailing; and

(b) the need to provide consumers with a continuous supply of fluid milk at reasonable prices;

and may establish such prices in respect of any quantity of fluid milk and express those prices in relation to fluid measure or butterfat content or otherwise.

Application to commission to examine prices.

3(7)

Any person who is dissatisfied with the price of fluid milk in any given locality or in the province generally, may apply to the commission in writing

(a) to review the maximum price or minimum price so fixed by it under subsection (5); or

(b) to fix maximum prices or minimum prices, or both, under that subsection.

Application to examine formula.

3(8)

Any person who is dissatisfied with a cost of production formula established under subsection (2) or a formula to establish the butterfat differential established under subsection (4), may apply to the commission in writing to review the formula established by it and to establish a new formula.

Conduct of inquiry.

3(9)

On receipt of an application under subsection (7) or (8), the commission shall conduct such inquiries as it deems necessary and for those purposes may authorize one or more members of the commission to conduct any inquiry on its behalf; and a member, where so authorized, has all the powers of the commission for the purpose of taking evidence or acquiring the necessary information for the commission.

Order on applications under subsec. (7).

3(10)

Following an inquiry on an application under subsection (7), the commission shall either make an order under subsection (5) or by order refuse the application.

Order on application under subsec. (8).

3(11)

Following an inquiry on an application under subsection (8), the commission shall either make an order establishing a new formula or by order refuse the application.

Rules of procedure.

3(12)

For the purpose of carrying out its duties and exercising its powers under this Act, the commission may prescribe its own rules of procedure.

Appeal.

4(1)

A producer or the producer board or any person aggrieved by an order made under section 3, may appeal the order to the Manitoba Council by a notice in writing served on the Council within 30 days from the date of the order that is the subject of the appeal.

Fixing date to consider appeal.

4(2)

Upon receipt of an appeal under subsection (1), the Manitoba Council shall fix a date, time and place not later than 15 days from the date of the receipt of the appeal, for considering the appeal and shall notify the commission and the appellant of the date, time and place so fixed.

Appeal procedure.

4(3)

On the date, time and place so fixed, the Manitoba Council shall consider the appeal and the parties to the appeal have a right to be present at the hearing, to make presentations and to be represented by counsel; and the Manitoba Council is not bound by the rules of evidence in conducting a hearing of an appeal.

Information on costs and profits.

4(4)

Any person intending to make a presentation to the Manitoba Council with respect to minimum or maximum prices of fluid milk, or both, may prior to the hearing of the appeal request the commission for information of the costs and profits of producers, distributors, manufacturers or processors, and the commission shall, within three days of receiving the request, provide such information as it may have in its possession in consolidated statistical form without identifying the costs or profits of any of the parties by name.

Evidence taken in camera.

4(5)

Where the Manitoba Council is satisfied that a public hearing of an appeal made under subsection (1) is likely to adversely affect the interests of any of the parties to the appeal, it may decide to take evidence from that party in camera.

Action by Manitoba Council.

4(6)

Upon completion of the consideration of an appeal made under subsection (1), the Manitoba Council shall, by order, within five days of the completion thereof,

(a) dismiss the appeal and confirm the order appealed against; or

(b) grant the appeal in whole or in part and require the commission to make such further order as the Manitoba Council considers just and reasonable;

and the disposition of the appeal by the Manitoba Council is final and binding and is not subject to any further appeal in any court of law.

Powers under Evidence Act.

5

For the purpose of hearing an appeal or making any inquiry or investigation under this Act the Manitoba Council and the commission respectively have like powers and protection as are conferred upon commissioners appointed under Part V of The Manitoba Evidence Act.

Prohibitions.

6

No distributor, manufacturer, or processor shall sell to a consumer fluid milk of any quantity at a price in excess of the maximum price or at a price less than the minimum price which may be established for the sale of that quantity by the commission.

Report to the minister.

7(1)

The commision shall make an annual report in writing to the minister not later than July 31 in each year, showing a record of meetings held by it and an abstract of its proceedings during the immediately preceding year ending on March 31 of that year and containing an audited financial statement of receipts and expenditures of the commission.

Report to be laid before assembly.

7(2)

The report shall be laid before the Legislative Assembly within 15 days after the commencement of each session, and if it is not then in session, within 15 days after the commencement of the next ensuing session.

Injunction proceedings.

8(1)

Where it is made to appear from material filed or evidence adduced that an offence against this Act or any order or regulation made under this Act has been or is being committed by a distributor, manufacturer or processor, the Court of Queen's Bench or any judge thereof, may upon application of the commission, enjoin the distributor, manufacturer or processor from carrying on business as a distributor, manufacturer or processor, as the case may require, absolutely or for such period of time as to the court seems just.

Applications, how made.

8(2)

The application of the commission made under subsection (1) may be made, without any action being instituted, by an originating notice of motion which shall be served within five days and returnable within 10 days from the date of the filing of the notice.

Penalty.

9(1)

Every person who violates any provision of this Act or the regulations or any order made under this Act is guilty of an offence, and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than $100. and not more than $3, 000.

Liability of officers of corporation.

9(2)

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

Regulations.

10(1)

For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act according to their intent the commission, with the approval of 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 commission may make regulations

(a) prescribing the records, books, and accounts to be kept by the manufacturers or processors, and persons who supply, distribute, and keep for sale or sell milk or dairy products for consumption, and requiring those persons to furnish to the commission such information as the commission may require in respect of any part of their operations, in such form as the commission may require;

(b) prescribing the form of orders and other forms to be used for the purpose of this Act.

Scope of regulations and orders.

10(2)

Any regulation or order made under this Act may be general in its application or may be limited to any locality or localities or to any person or to any branch of the dairy industry mentioned therein.

Enforceability of orders or regulations.

11

Notwithstanding The Regulations Act, an order or regulation of the commission or Manitoba Council is valid, and enforceable from the date it is made by the commission or Manitoba Council, but a court shall not convict a person of an offence for failing to comply with an order or regulation unless

(a) the order or regulation was filed under The Regulations Act; or

(b) it is satisfied that the accused had actual notice of the order or regulation prior to the commission of the offence.

Filing of commission order.

12(1)

Every order made by the commission or the Manitoba Council under this Act shall be filed in accordance with the provisions of The Regulations Act.

Furnishing of orders and regulations, to public.

12(2)

The commission shall send to any interested person upon request in writing a copy of any regulation or order made by the commission.

Consolidation of orders.

12(3)

The commission shall publish an annual consolidated version of its orders and regulations made up to and including March 31 of each year.

Appointment of staff.

13

Such officers and employees as may be required for the proper administration of this Act and the regulations and the efficient discharge of the duties of the commission shall be appointed as provided in The Civil Service Act.

Accounting for moneys.

14(1)

All moneys received by the commission under this Act, shall be deposited by the commission in a chartered bank, trust company or credit union selected by it to the credit of a special account to be known as "The Manitoba Milk Prices Review Commission Account".

Expenditures.

14(2)

Payment of all expenditures for the carrying out of this Act shall be made out of The Manitoba Milk Prices Review Commission Account by cheque signed and countersigned by such persons as may be authorized by the commission for that purpose or from the Consolidated Fund with moneys authorized under an Act of the Legislature to be paid and applied for the purposes of this Act.

Audit.

14(3)

The accounts of the commission shall be audited not less than once a year by the Provincial Auditor.