|This is an unofficial archived version of The Public Utilities Board Act|
as enacted by SM 1987-88, c. 9 on July 17, 1987.
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R.S.M. 1987, c. P280
The Public Utilities Board Act
|Table of Contents|
HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
In this Act,
"board" means The Public Utilities Board continued under this Act; ("Régie")
"chairman" means the chairman of the board designated as such under section 5; ("président")
"company" includes every association, company, corporation or syndicate of persons, whether incorporated or unincorporated; ("compagnie" )
"member" means a member of the board; ("membre")
"minister" means the member of the Executive Council charged by the Lieutenant Governor in Council with the administration of this Act; ("ministre")
"municipality" means a city, town, village, rural municipality or local government district; and "municipal" has a corresponding meaning; ("municipalité")
"owner of a public utility" or "owner" includes
(a) every corporation, including municipal corporations, and every person, firm, or association of persons the business or operations whereof are subject to the authority of the Legislature; and
(b) their lessees, trustees, liquidators or receivers appointed by any court;
that own, operate, manage or control any public utility; ("propriétaire d'un service public" ou "propriétaire")
"public utility" means, subject to subsections (3) and (4), any system, works, plant, pipe line, equipment or service
(a) for the transmission of telegraph or telephone messages; or
(b) for the conveyance of persons or goods over a railway, street railway, or tramway, or by motor bus or truck; or
(c) for the production, transmission, delivery, or furnishing of gas, whether natural or manufactured, oil or other fluid petroleum products, water, heat, light, or power;
either directly or indirectly, to or for the public, and includes all such carried on by or for the owner or a municipality or the Government of Manitoba, and also includes any system, works, plant, pipe line, equipment, or service, declared to be a public utility, under subsection (5) and any system of sewage collection or disposal declared to be a public utility under subsection (7). ("service public")
Subject to subsection (6), this Act applies
(a) to all public utilities owned or operated by, or under the control, directly or indirectly, of the Government of Manitoba or any municipality in the province;
(b) to all public utilities owned or operated by, or under the control of, any company or corporation that is subject to the legislative authority of the province, or which has by virtue of any agreement with any municipality, submitted to the jurisdiction and control of the board;
(c) to every person, company, or corporation, and local authority owning, operating, or controlling any public utility, including any railway, street railway, or tramway, to which the jurisdiction of the Legislature extends.
Notwithstanding the definition "public utility", a pipe line to which The Pipe Line Act applies is not a public utility until it is declared, under that Act, to be a public utility.
Notwithstanding the definition "public utility", but subject to subsection (5). any system, works, plant, pipe line, equipment or service for the production, transmission, delivery or furnishing of gas, whether natural or manufactured, oil or other fluid petroleum products, or water,
(a) sold anu delivered in tanks, cans, bottles, or other containers; or
(b) delivered by means other than pipe lines, using streets, lanes or highways;
is not a public utility.
The Lieutenant Governor in Council may declare any system, works, plant, pipe line, equipment, or service, to which subsection (4) applies to be a public utility; and thereupon that system, works, plant, pipe line, equipment, or service, is a public utility under this Act.
Except for the purposes of conducting a public hearing in respect of an application made to the board under subsection 38(2), or section 39 or subsection 50(4) of The Manitoba Hydro Act. this Act, except subsection 83(4) and the regulations made thereunder, does not apply to Manitoba Hydro and the board has no jurisdiction or authority over Manitoba Hydro.
The board may deciare any system of sewage collection or disposal, including all works, plants, sewage lines and equipment pertaining thereto, to be a public utility; and thereupon that system is a public utility under this Act.
ORGANIZATION, PROCEDURE AND POWERS
The Public Utilities Board is hereby continued.
The board shall be composed of such number of members, not less than three, as the Lieutenant Governor in Council may determine.
The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall designate a member of the board to be chairman thereof and a member to be vice-chairman.
The vice-chairman shall, during the absence or incapacity of the chairman, have all the powers and authority of, and act as, the chairman.
Where separate sittings of the board are held under subsection 15(5), if neither the chairman nor the vice-chairman are present at one of the sittings, the members present at the sitting may elect a member to act as chairman of the board for that sitting.
The chairman has the supervision of the staff of the board.
The members shall devote such portion of their time to their duties under this Act as is directed by order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
The members shall be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, and shall be paid such remunerations as determined by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
The secretary of the board and such other permanent officers and employees as may be necessary for carrying on the business of the board, shall be appointed as provided in The Civil Service Act.
Each member shall hold office during pleasure of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
The board has all the powers of a court of record, and shall have a seal bearing the words "The Public Utilities Board of Manitoba", of which seal the courts shall take judicial notice.
The Lieutenant Governor in Council may temporarily fill any vacancy occurring in the membership of the board; but in the case of a vacancy, pending the filling thereof, or in the absence of a member or in the event of a member being unable to act, the remaining members shall exercise all the jurisdiction and powers of the board.
In the absence of the chairman or in the event of his inability to act, one of the other members to be designated by resolution of the board, has and shall exercise the jurisdiction and powers of the chairman; and in that case all orders, regulations, and documents signed by that member have the same effect as if signed by the chairman.
A member acting in the absence of the chairman or when the chairman is unable to act, or a person appointed to act in the place of a member may complete any unfinished matter in which he has taken part even if the chairman or the member in whose place he is acting returns or again becomes able to act.
Wherever it appears that a member other than the chairman has acted for, or in the place of. the chairman, it shall be presumed that he so acted in the absence or inability of the chairman.
No member, during his term of office, shall hold any office or carry on any business or employment inconsistent with the performance of his duties under this Act; nor shall he, directly or indirectly,
(a) hold, acquire, or become interested, for his own behalf, in or in any securities, of a public utility or an owner of a public utility or of a company that is the only or principal shareholder of the owner of a public utility;
(b) have an interest in any device, appliance, machine, patented process, or article, or in any part thereof, which may be used for the purposes of the business of a public utility.
If a member holds any security or interest to which subsection (1) relates, or any interest therein, when he is appointed a member, or if thereafter, and while he is a member, he acquires it by succession or by will, he shall, within six months after his appointment or subsequent acquisition, as the case may be, alienate it or his interest therein.
SITTINGS OF THE BOARD
The government shall provide the board with suitable quarters, furniture, and facilities for the holding of its sittings and the transaction of its business generally.
The board shall sit at such times and places within the province as the chairman may designate, and shall conduct its proceedings in such manner as may seem to it most convenient for the speedy and effectual dispatch of business.
All sittings of the board or of a member for hearing applications and taking evidence shall be open to the public.
Save as herein otherwise provided, two members of the board constitute a quorum of the board.
Separate sittings of the board may be held concurrently in different places if a quorum is present at each sitting; and the decision of the majority of the members present at a sitting is the decision of the board.
The chairman, or, in his absence or incapacity to act, the vice-chairman may designate which members shall sit at particular times or particular places or to transact particular items of business.
The board or the chairman may authorize a member to report to the board upon any question or matter arising in connection with the business of the board; and that member, where so authorized, has all the powers of the board for the purpose of taking evidence or acquiring the necessary information for the purpose of the report; and, upon the report being made to the board, the board may adopt it as the order of the board, or otherwise deal with it in the absolute discretion of the board.
Subject to the prior right of the courts and of judicial and administrative officers to use the court house for the purposes of the administration of justice, where sittings of the board, or of a member, are held in any city, town or place in which a court house is situated, the board or the member has, in all respects, the same authority that is vested in a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench with regard to the use of the court house and other buildings or apartments set apart for the administration of justice.
Subject to the prior right of courts or judicial or administrative officers to use the buildings for the purposes of the administration of justice, and to the prior right of the municipality to use the buildings for municipal purposes, where sittings of the board or of a member are held in any municipality in which there is a hall belonging to the municipality, the municipality shall, upon the request of the board or of the member, allow sittings to be held in the hall without charge.
There shall be a secretary of the board, who shall be appointed as provided in section 8.
The secretary of the board shall, (a) keep a record of all proceedings conducted before the board;
(b) have the custody and care of all records and documents of the board:
(c) have every order and rule of practice of the board drawn pursuant to the direction of the board, signed by the chairman, sealed with the seal of the board, and properly filed in its office;
(d) obey all rules of practice and directions that may be made or given by the board touching his duties or office.
The secretary of the board shall keep suitable books of record, in which he shall enter a true copy of every order and rule of practice, and every other document that the board orders to be entered therein; anu the entry constitutes and is the original record of any such order, rule of practice, or document.
Upon application of any person, and on payment of such fee as may be prescribed, the secretary of the board shall deliver to the applicant a certified copy of any order, rule of practice, or other document entered in the records under subsection (3).
In the absence or disability of the secretary of the board, the board may appoint a member or some person from its staff as secretary, pro tempore, to act in the place of the secretary.
EXPERTS AND ASSISTANTS
The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, with or without the recommendation of the board, appoint one or more experts, or persons having technical or special knowledge of the matter in question, to inquire into and report to the board and to assist it in an advisory capacity in respect of any matter before it.
For the purpose of any inquiry or examination conducted by it, or in the performance of any of the other duties assigned to it under this or any other Act of the Legislature, or by order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the board may, with the consent of the minister in charge of a department of the Government of Manitoba, avail itself of the services of any officer or other employee of that department.
Wherever the Lieutenant Governor in Council or the board, acting within its jurisdiction, appoints or directs any person, other than a member or one of the staff of the board, to perform any service under or required by this Act, that person and such experts and other persons as may be appointed under section 19 shall be paid, out of the Consolidated Fund, such sum for services and expenses as the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, upon the recommendation of the board, determine.
The salaries of the members, the secretary of the board and all other officers, and employees under the board, and all expenses of supplying or maintaining the quarters and furniture of the board, together with expenses incurred by the board in the performance of its duties, including reasonable travelling and subsistence expenses of the members and the secretary, and of such other officer and employees from the staff of the board as may be required to travel in the performance of their duties, shall be paid out of the Consolidated Fund.
Neither the members, nor the secretary of the board, nor any employee under the board, is personally liable for anything done by it or by him under the authority of this or any other Act of the Legislature.
All hearings and investigations conducted by the board shall be governed by rules adopted by the board.
The board is not bound by the technical rules of legal evidence.
The board may make rules of practice, not inconsistent with this Act, regulating its procedure and the times of its sittings, but the rules do not come into force until they are published in The Manitoba Gazette.
The board, except as herein otherwise provided, as respects the attendance and examination of witnesses, the amendment of proceedings, the production and inspection of documents, the enforcement of its orders, the payment of costs, and all other matters necessary or proper for the due exercise of its powers, or otherwise for carrying any of its powers into effect, has all such powers, rights, and privileges as are vested in the Court of Queen's Bench or a judge thereof.
The procedure relating to the attendance of witnesses before the board is that from time to time in force in the Court of Queen's Bench; but a summons to a witness may be signed by a member or secretary of the board.
The board may, in its discretion, accept and act upon evidence by affidavit or written affirmation or by the report of a member or of any officer or technical adviser appointed hereunder or obtained in such other manner as it may decide.
The board may issue commissions to take evidence outside of Manitoba, and make all proper orders for the purpose and for the return and use of the evidence so obtained.
The board has full power and authority to maintain order and decorum at all meetings or sittings of, or hearings, investigations, or inquiries conducted by, the board; and for that purpose the chairman or other presiding member of the board may
(a) remove, eject, or exclude, or cause to be removed, ejected, or excluded from any such meeting, sitting, hearing, investigation, or inquiry, any person whom, in his absolute discretion, he deems to be intoxicated or to be, or to be about to become, disorderly or offensive or guilty of any improper conduct thereat; and
(b) require the assistance of any peace officer in maintaining peace and good order at any such meeting, sitting, hearing, investigation, or inquiry or in removing, ejecting, or excluding therefrom any person to whom clause (a) applies.
No person shall be excused from testifying or from producing any book, document, or paper in any investigation or inquiry by, or upon a hearing before, the board when ordered so to do by the board, upon the ground that the testimony or evidence, book, document, or paper required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to penalty or forfeiture: but except for prosecution or punishment for perjury committed by him in his testimony before the board, no person shall be prosecuted, punished or subjected to any penalty penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any act, transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he has, under oath, testified or produced documentary evidence.
No member or employee of the board shall be required to give testimony in any civil suit to which the board is not a party, with regard to information obtained by him in the discharge of his official duties in connection with the board.
Nothing in this section gives to any corporation immunity of any kind.
The board may of its own motion, and shall upon the request of the Legislature or the Lieutenant Governor in Council, inquire into, hear, and determine any matter or thing within its jurisdiction.
The board, or any person authorized by the board to make inquiry or report, may, where it appears expedient,
(a) enter upon and inspect any place, building, works or other property;
(b) require the attendance of all such persons as it or he thinks fit to summon and examine and take the testimony of the persons;
(c) require the production of all books, plans, specifications, drawings and documents;
(d) administer oaths, affirmations, or declarations, and summon witnesses, enforce their attendance, and compel them to give evidence and produce the books, plans, specifications, drawings, and documents, which it or he may require them to produce.
The board may authorize the secretary of the board, or any person acting as secretary of the board, to administer oaths, affirmations, or declarations, at any hearing or investigation conducted by or for the board.
In matters within its jurisdiction, the board may order and require any owner of a public utility, person, municipality, or other corporation to do any act, matter, or thing that the owner of the public utility, person, municipality, or other corporation is or may be required to do under this Act or any other Act of the Legislature or under any order, regulation, direction, or agreement.
Any act, matter, or thing ordered and required to be done under subsection (1) shall be done
(a) forthwith, or within or at any time specified in the order; and
(b) in any manner prescribed by the board, so far as it is not inconsistent with this Act or any other Act of the Legislature conferring jurisdiction upon the board.
Where default is made by any owner of a public utility, person, municipality, or corporation in the doing of any act, matter, or thing, that the board has authority, under this or any other Act of the Legislature, to direct and has directed to be done, the board may authorize such person as it sees fit to do the act, matter or thing.
In every case to which subsection (1) applies the person so authorized may do the act, matter or thing, and the expense incurred in the doing thereof may be recovered from the owner of the public utility, person, municipality or corporation in default as money paid for and at the request of the owner of a public utility, person, municipality or corporation; and the certificate of the board of the amount so expended is conclusive evidence thereof.
The board may appoint or direct any person to make an inquiry and report upon any application, complaint, or dispute pending before the board, or any matter or thing over which it has jurisdiction under this Act or any other Act of the Legislature; and it may order and direct by whom and in what proportion the costs and expenses incurred in making the inquiry and report shall be paid, and may fix the amount of the costs and expenses.
A single member may hear an application, petition, matter, or complaint, over which the board has jurisdiction under this or any other Act of the Legislature; and after the hearing, the member shall report thereon fully to the board; and the board may thereupon deal with the application, petition, matter, or complaint, as if the hearing had been before the full board.
Where the single member hearing an application, petition, matter or complaint under subsection (1), is the chairman and the application, petition, matter, or complaint, is one respecting which notice is not required to be given, or, being required, has been duly given and the application, petition, matter or complaint is unopposed, he has, and may exercise, any power of the board relating thereto, or he may hear it and report thereon to the board to be dealt with by it as provided in subsection (1).
The board is not limited to the contents of a report made under subsection (1) or (2), but may require and hear further evidence.
Where a municipal council deems that the interests of the public in the municipality, or in a considerable part thereof, are sufficiently concerned, it may, when authorized by resolution, become a complainant or intervenant in any matter within the jurisdiction of the board; and for that purpose the municipal council may take any steps, and incur any expense, and take any proceedings, necessary to submit the question in dispute to the decision of the board, and if necessary may become a party to an appeal therefrom.
Where the Attorney-General, a municipality, or a person interested makes a complaint to the board that the owner of a public utility, a municipality, a corporation, or any person, has unlawfully done or unlawfully failed to do, or is about unlawfully to do, or unlawfully not to do, something relating to a matter over which the board has jurisdiction as aforesaid, and requests the board to make some order in the matter, the board shall, after hearing such evidence as it may think fit to require, make such order as it thinks proper under the circumstances.
The chairman may, with the sanction of the Attorney-General, appoint a barrister or attorney to represent any class of persons interested in any matter concerning public utility service within the jurisdiction of the board, for the purpose of instituting or attending upon an application before the board or any other tribunal or authority; and the board may order by whom the fees and expenses of the person so appointed shall be paid.
NOTICES AND DOCUMENTS
Notices respecting matters before or to come before the board that are required or authorized to be in writing may be signed,
(a) if given by the board, by the chairman, or a member, or the secretary of the board; or
(b) if given by a person appointed by the board, by that person; or
(c) if given by any other person, by that person or his agent or solicitor.
A notice required to be given to a company, a municipality, or other corporation, a partnership, firm, or individual shall be deemed to be sufficiently given by the delivery of the notice or a copy thereof, within the time if any. limited therefor.
(a) in the case of a municipality, to the reeve or mayor or to the clerk or secretary-treasurer thereof;
(b) in the case of a company or corporation, to the president, vice-president, manager or secretary, or to some adult employee at the head office or chief place of business of the company or corporation in Manitoba;
(c) in the case of a firm or partnership, to any member thereof, or, at the last known place of abode of any such members, to any adult member of his household, or at the office or place of business of the firm to a clerk employed therein; and
(d) in the case of an individual, to him, or, at his last known place of abode, to any adult member of his household, or, at his office or place of business, to a clerk in his employ.
Where, in any application or matter before the board, it is made to appear, to the satisfaction of the board, that service of any notice cannot conveniently be made in the manner hereinbefore prescribed, the board may order and allow service to be made by publication in one issue of The Manitoba Gazette, and also, if thought desirable, in one issue of a local newspaper; and such a publication shall be deemed to be equivalent to service in the manner provided in section 36.
The board may act upon an application if satisfied that notice of the application sent by registered mail reached the person on whom it was required to be served.
The board may require such notice of an application to, or hearing of, the board as the board deems sufficient, to be given by the person making the application or prosecuting the matter for which the hearing is being held to any party to. or person whom the board considers has an interest in, the application or matter.
Where the board may hear an application, complaint, or dispute, or make an order upon notice to the parties interested, it may, upon the ground of urgency or for other reasons appearing to the board to be sufficient, and notwithstanding any want of or insufficiency in any such notice, make the like order or decision in the matter as if due notice had been given to all parties; and that order or decision is as valid and effective in all respects as if made after such notice had been given.
Where an order or decision made under subsection (1) affects a person entitled to notice who was not sufficiently notified, he may, within 10 days after becoming aware of the order or decision, or within such further time as the board may allow, apply to the board to vary, amend, or rescind the order or decision; and the board shall thereupon, on such notice to others interested as it may think desirable, hear the application, and either amend, alter, or rescind the order or decision or dismiss the application.
DOCUMENTS AND RECORDS
An owner of a public utility or a municipality to whom the board makes application for statements, reports, copies of documents, or information of any kind, shall furnish the required statements, copies or information to the board free of cost.
The district registrars of land titles districts throughout the province, and the several departments of the Government of Manitoba, shall furnish the board with such certificates and certified copies of documents as the board may in writing require, without charge; and the board and any member or official of the board thereunto authorized may at any time search in the public records of the land titles offices without charge.
Every written or printed document purporting to have been issued or authorized by a corporation or any officer, agent, or employee of a corporation, or by any other person or corporation, for or on its behalf, shall, as against the corporation, be received in evidence, in matters before the board, as prima facie proof without any further evidence than the mere production of the document.
Every order, regulation, decision, direction, licence, certificate or other document purporting to be signed by the chairman or by a member of the board, and countersigned by the secretary of the board, shall, without further evidence of the signatures, be received in evidence as prima facie proof of its execution and issue by the board, and is sufficient notice of the contents thereof to a corporation, municipality, and all parties interested, if served in the manner hereinbefore provided for the giving of notice, and of its execution and issue by the board.
Where a document purports to be a copy of any regulation, order, direction, decision, or report, made or given by the board, or any of its officers, it shall be received in evidence as prima facie proof of the regulation, order, direction, decision, or report and. where served in the manner hereinbefore provided, is sufficient notice of the regulation, order, direction, decision, or report from the time of the service.
Any document purporting to be certified by the secretary as a copy of any document deposited with the board, or of any portion thereof, shall. without further evidence as to the signature of the secretary, be received in evidence as prima facie proof of the original document, and that it is so deposited, and is signed, certified, attested, or executed by the persons by whom and in the manner in which it purports to be signed, certified, attested, or executed, as shown or appearing from the certified copy, and also, if the certificate states the time when the original was so deposited, that it was deposited at the time so stated.
A copy of any order, regulation or other document in the custody of the secretary of the board, or of record with the board, purporting to be certified by the secretary under the seal of the board as a true copy of the order, regulation or other document, shall be received in evidence as prima facie proof of the order, regulation or document without further evidence as to the signature of the secretary.
ORDERS OF THE BOARD
Upon any application to it, the board may make an order granting the whole or part only of the application or may grant such further or other relief in addition to or in substitution for that applied for, as fully and in all respects as if the application had been for such partial, further or other relief.
The board may require a re-hearing of an application before making any decision thereon.
The board may review, rescind, change, alter, or vary any decision or order made by it.
The board may, if the special circumstances of any case so require, make an interim ex parte order authorizing, requiring, or forbidding, anything to be done that the board would be empowered on application, petition, notice, and hearing to authorize, require, or forbid; but no such order shall be made for any longer time than the board deems necessary to enable the matter to be heard and determined, on such application, petition, notice or hearing.
Where any work, act, matter, or thing, by any order, regulation, or decision of the board is required to be done, performed, or completed within a specified time, the board may, if the circumstances appear so to require, upon such notice as it deems reasonable, or, in its discretion, without notice, extend the time so specified.
The board may direct, in any order, that the order or any portion or provision thereof shall come into force
(a) at a future fixed time; or
(b) upon the happening of any contingency, event, or condition specified in the order; or
(c) upon the performance to the satisfaction of the board, or a person named in the order for the purpose, of any terms that the board may impose upon any party interested;
and the board may direct that the whole or any portion of the order shall have force for a limited time, or until the happening of a specified event.
The board may, instead of making an order final in the first instance, make an interim order and reserve further directions, either for an adjourned hearing of the matter, or for further application.
The board shall not make an order involving any outlay, loss, or deprivation to any owner of a public utility, or any person without due notice and full opportunity to all parties concerned, to produce evidence and be heard at a public hearing of the board, except in case of urgency; and in that case, as soon as practicable thereafter, the board shall, on the application of any party affected by the order, re-hear and reconsider the matter and make such order as to the board seems just.
The board need not show upon the face of an order that any proceeding or notice was had or taken, or that there existed any circumstances necessary to give it jurisdiction to make the order.
A substantial compliance with the requirements of this Act is sufficient to give effect to all the orders, rules, acts, regulations, or decisions of the board; and they are not inoperative, illegal, or void for any omission of a technical nature with respect thereto.
Every order of the board comes into effect at the time prescribed by the order, and its operation is not suspended by an appeal to The Court of Appeal for which provision is hereinafter made, unless otherwise ordered by the judge granting leave to appeal or by the court on hearing of the appeal; but the board itself may suspend the operation of the order from which appeal is made until the decision of The Court of Appeal is rendered.
Except where the board extends the time for taking the action, unless action under an order of the board authorizing any action to be taken, is taken within one year of the date of the order, the order is void at the expiration of one year from its date.
SERVICE OF ORDERS
Any order, regulation, decision, direction, report, or other document made or issued by or for use before the board requiring to be served upon any person, may, unless otherwise provided herein, be served in like manner as notice may be given hereunder or by mailing a certified copy thereof, in a sealed package with postage prepaid, to the person to be served, or, in the case of a corporation, to any officer or agent thereof upon whom a summons may be served in accordance with the law in the province.
Every order made by the board shall be served upon the person affected thereby within 10 days from the time the order is signed, or within such longer time as the board may direct.
A party to any matter before the board may enforce observance of an order of the board in the matter by obtaining a written direction to a sheriff, endorsed upon, or annexed to, a certified copy of any such order and signed by the chairman of the board; and, in the case of an order for payment of any money, costs, expenses, or penalty, the sheriff receiving the direction shall levy the amount with his costs and expenses in like manner, and with the same powers, as if the order were an execution against the goods of the party to pay issued out of the Court of Queen's Bench.
In the case of an order of the board for payment of any money, costs, expenses, or penalty, a certificate of the order, signed by the secretary, may be registered in the office of any land titles district in the province; and when so registered it constitutes a lien and charge upon any lands or interest therein, of the party or person or company ordered to pay the money, in the land titles district in which the office is situated, to the same extent, and in the same manner, as the lands would be bound by the registration of a certificate of a judgment of the Court of Queen's Bench.
The amount ordered to be paid by an order registered under subsection (2) may be realized in the same manner, and by similar proceedings, as the amount of any registered judgment of the Court of Queen's Bench may be realized.
Sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, bailiffs, constables, and other peace officers, whenever required to do so, shall aid and assist the board in the performance of its duties.
Courts shall take judicial notice of every order, rule, regulation, or decision of the board when published by the board in one issue of The Manitoba Gazette.
Subject only to the right of appeal for which provision is hereinafter made, and to subsection 44(3), every decision or order of the board is final.
Every person who violates any provision of this Act or any order, regulation, or direction of the board, for the violation of which no other penalty is provided by law, is guilty of an offence and is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $500. and costs, and, in default of payment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.
The costs of, and incidental to, any proceeding before the board, except as herein otherwise provided, are in the discretion of the board, and may be fixed in any case at a sum certain or may be taxed.
The board may order by whom, and to whom, any costs are to be paid, and by whom the costs are to be taxed and allowed.
The board may prescribe a scale under which the costs shall be taxed.
Subject to the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the board may prescribe a tariff of the fees that shall be paid to the board by owners of public utilities and persons who are parties to, or interested in, matters coming before the board in respect of which no fee is otherwise prescribed.
The board may also require that, before beginning any investigation on the complaint of any person, the person complaining shall deposit with the board such sum as may be deemed necessary to make the investigation, and the deposit shall be returned in whole or in part to the person complaining if, upon investigation, the complaint is found justified or partly justified, or to be less costly to investigate than was deemed necessary when the deposit was made, as the case may be: otherwise the deposit is forfeited to the board.
The accounts of the board are subject to audit by the Provincial Auditor, and all moneys to the credit of the board in the accounts shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund at the end of each fiscal year of the province or at such time or times as the Lieutenant Governor in Council may order.
An appeal lies from any final order or decision of the board to The Court of Appeal upon
(a) any question involving the jurisdiction of the board; or
(b) any point of law; or
(c) any facts expressly found by the board relating to a matter before the board.
The appeal shall be taken only
(a) by leave to appeal obtained from a judge of The Court of Appeal;
(b) within one month after the making of the order or decision sought to be appealed from, or within such further time as the judge under special circumstances shall allow; and
(c) after notice to the other parties stating the grounds of appeal.
Upon the leave being obtained, the registrar of The Court of Appeal shall set the appeal down for hearing at the next sitting of the court; and the party appealing shall, within 10 days, give to the parties affected by the appeal or the solicitors, if any, by whom the parties were represented before the board, and to the secretary of the board, notice in writing that the case has been so set down.
The secretary of the board, forthwith upon receipt of the notice, shall transmit to the registrar of The Court of Appeal all documents and material from the files of the office of the board that were before the board upon the making of the order or decision from which appeal is made and that have any bearing upon the question in the appeal.
On the hearing of the appeal, the court may draw inferences that are not inconsistent with the facts expressly found by the board and that are necessary for determining the question, and shall certify its opinion to the board; and the board shall thereupon make an order in accordance with that opinion.
The board is entitled to be heard, by counsel or otherwise, upon the argument of any appeal.
The Court of Appeal may fix the costs and fees to be taxed, allowed, and paid upon any appeal and make rules of practice respecting appeals under this section; but, until such rules are made, the rules and practice applicable to appeals from a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench to The Court of Appeal apply to appeals under this Act.
Neither the board, nor any member or employee of the board, is in any case, liable to costs by reason of, or in respect of, an appeal or application.
At the conclusion of the appeal, the registrar of The Court of Appeal shall return to the secretary of the board all documents and material received from him, together with a copy of the record of the court and of the reasons of the judges of the court for the judgment rendered.
CONTROL OF PUBLIC UTILITIES
A person applying to the board under this Act shall apply in writing, addressing the application to the secretary of the board, and shall submit with the application any schedule of tolls or rates or any other material relevant to the application.
Where, under any Act of the Legislature, a municipality, school district, school area, secondary school area, or school division, is required to have the authorization or approval of the board for, or in respect of, any act, matter, or thing that is required to be done by by-law, the application for the authorization or approval shall be made to the board after the first reading but before the second reading of the by-law; and, in cases where the assent of the ratepayers or electors is required, before the by-law is submitted to a vote of the ratepayers or electors.
Except as provided in this Act, or in some other Act of the Legislature affecting the public utility or corporation concerning which the application is made, the owner of the public utility or the corporation shall take no further steps upon the subject matter of the application until the board has made an order or otherwise disposed of the application.
Where rate base is a factor in determining just and reasonable rates or tolls, the board shall allow a rate of return based on a rate base that includes, as basic elements,
(a) the original or historic cost of the assets, used and useful and prudently acquired, less depreciation: and
(b) a reasonable amount for the working capital required for the operation of the business.
Upon the board making a decision or an order in respect of an application or matter before the board, the secretary of the board shall forthwith advise the applicant or parties affected of the decision or order; and, where requested by the applicant he shall mail or deliver to the applicant a certified copy of the decision or order.
JURISDICTION AND POWERS OF BOARD IN RESPECT OF PUBLIC UTILITIES
The board has jurisdiction in all questions relating to the transportation of goods or passengers by any corporation, municipal or otherwise, on any part of any tram-line, or street railway line, or steam railway line or motor bus line under the jurisdiction of the Legislature, and may authorize or require any such corporation to carry goods or passengers on its lines or any part thereof for any period of time and at such prices as it may fix.
Nothing in subsection (1) limits or affects the jurisdiction of The Highway Traffic Board established under The Highways Protection Act.
(a) it is made to appear to the board, upon the complaint of an owner of a public utility, or of any municipality or person having an interest, present or contingent, in the matter in respect of which the complaint is made, that there is reason to believe that the tolls or charges demanded by any owner of a public utility exceed what is just and reasonable, having regard to the nature and quality of the service rendered or of the commodity supplied; or
(b) requested to do so by the minister; or
(c) in the opinion of the board it is expedient to do so, on its own initiative;
the board may proceed to hold such investigation as it sees fit into all matters relating to the nature and quality of the service or the commodity in question, or to the performance of the service and the tolls or charges demanded therefor.
Upon completion of an investigation made under subsection (1), the board may make such order respecting the improvement of the service or commodity and as to the tolls or charges demanded, as seems to it to be just and reasonable, and may disallow or change, as it thinks reasonable, any such tolls or charges as, in its opinion, are excessive, unjust, or unreasonable or unjustly discriminate between different persons or different municipalities, but subject, however, to such of the provisions of any contract existing between the owner and a municipality at the time the complaint is made as the board considers fair and reasonable.
Where, by any contract between an owner of a public utility and any municipality, other corporation, or person for the supply of any commodity or service by means of the public utility, the rate, toll or charge is agreed upon either as a fixed or variable rate, toll, or charge, or a maximum or minimum rate, toll, or charge, and whether the rate, toll, or charge is agreed upon with respect to a present or future supply of an existing or non-existing commodity or service, then, notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, upon the application of the owner, municipality, corporation or person, and if, upon the hearing of the application, it is shown that the rate, toll, or charge is insufficient, excessive, unjust, or unreasonable, the board may change the rate, toll or charge to such other greater or lesser rate, toll or charge, as it deems fair and reasonable.
This section does not apply to contracts made before January 1, 1928, except by the consent of the parties thereto duly filed with the board or with The Municipal and Public Utility Board as that board was constituted under The Municipal and Public Utility Board Act, prior to the hearing of the application; and in the absence of a filed consent all statutory provisions applicable, prior to January 1, 1928, to the contracts and to the price to be charged for the supply of a commodity or service thereunder are applicable thereto.
Nothing in this section is or involves a declaration as to the state of the laws in force prior to January 1, 1928, or to the coming into force of this section.
Where, under any Act of the Legislature, a by-law or contract of a municipality is not valid until the approval or authorization of the board has been given thereto, and under that Act the by-law or contract is valid without the consent or sanction of the ratepayers or electors being given thereto by a vote, the board, notwithstanding that Act may, as a condition of giving its approval or authorization thereto, by order require the municipality to submit the bylaw or contract for the sanction of the electors or ratepayers by taking a vote thereof at the time, and in accordance with the conditions, set out in the order.
Where an owner of a public utility, having the right to enter a municipality for the purpose of placing therein, with or without the consent of the municipality, rails, posts, wires, pipes, conduits, or other appliances, upon, along, across, over, or under any public highway, street, square, watercourse, or part thereof, cannot come to an agreement with the municipality, or the authority having jurisdiction, as to the use of the highway, street, square, or watercourse in question, or as to the terms and conditions of the use, and applies to the board for permission to use the highway, street, square, or watercourse, or to fix the terms and conditions of the use, the board may permit the use of the highway, street, square, or watercourse, and prescribe the terms and conditions thereof.
Where an owner of a public utility, being unable to extend its system, line, or apparatus from a point where it lawfully does business to another point where it is authorized to do business, without placing its rails, posts, wires, pipes, conduits, or other apparatus upon, along, across, over, or under a public highway, street, square, watercourse, or part thereof, that it cannot lawfully so use without the consent of the municipal corporation or the authority having control thereof, and being unable to come to an agreement with the municipal corporation or the authority, applies to the board for permission to use the public highway, street, square, watercourse, or part thereof, for the purposes of the extension only, and without unduly preventing the use thereof by other persons or companies already lawfully using it, the board may permit the use, notwithstanding any law or contract granting any other person or corporation exclusive rights with respect thereto, but shall prescribe the terms and conditions upon which the owner may use the highway, street, square, or watercourse, or part thereof.
Upon the complaint of any municipality that an owner of a public utility doing business in the municipality fails to extend its services to any part of the municipality, after hearing the parties and their witnesses, and making such inquiry into the matter as it sees fit, the board may order the extension of the service, and specify the conditions under which the extension shall be made, including the costs of all necessary works, which it may apportion between the owner of the public utility and the municipality in any manner it deems equitable.
Where an owner of a public utility operated for the production, transmission, delivery, or furnishing of electric heat, light, or power is unable to extend its system, line, or apparatus in or through a rural municipality, without placing its posts, wires, or other apparatus upon, along, across, or over a public highway or street in the municipality, and applies to the board for permission to use the highway or street for the purpose of the extension only, and without unduly interfering with the use thereof by other persons or corporations already lawfully using the highway or street, the board, after submitting the matter to the council of the municipality and giving due weight to the representations made by the council, may, by its order, permit the extension and make it subject to such conditions as the interest of the public or of the municipality may require.
Subject to the terms of any contract between an owner of a public utility and any municipality, and of the franchise or rights of the owner, the board may define or prescribe the terms and conditions upon which the owner shall or may use, for any of the purposes of the public utility, any highway or any public bridge or subway constructed or to be constructed by the municipality, or two or more municipalities, and may enforce compliance with the terms and conditions.
Where the operation of a public utility is being discontinued or has been discontinued by the owner, the board may require the owner to remove its works from the highways or may order that the owner be permitted to leave the works or any of them in or under the highways on such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the board.
Where differences arise between an owner of a public utility and a municipality or other authority with reference to the performance of the terms and conditions mentioned in sections 67 to 71, the board on application may change those terms and conditions if, in its opinion, the changes are necessary or desirable.
The board has a general supervision over all public utilities and the owners thereof subject to the legislative authority of the Legislature, and may make such orders regarding equipment, appliances, safety devices, extension of works or systems, reporting, and other matters, as are necessary for the safety or convenience of the public or for the proper carrying out of any contract, charter, or franchise involving the use of public property or rights.
The board shall conduct all inquiries necessary for the obtaining of complete information as to the manner in which owners of public utilities comply with the law, or as to any other matter or thing within the jurisdiction of the board.
The fact that a receiver, manager, or other official of any public utility, or a sequestrator of the property thereof, has been appointed by any court in the province, or is managing or operating a public utility under the authority of any such court, or that the public utility is being wound up voluntarily, does not prevent the exercise by the board of any jurisdiction conferred by this Act; but every receiver, manager, or official is bound to manage and operate any such public utility in accordance with this Act and with the orders and directions of the board, whether general or referring particularly to the public utility; and every such receiver, manager, or official, and every person acting under him, shall obey all orders of the board within its jurisdiction in respect of the public utility, and is subject to having them enforced against him by the board, notwithstanding the fact that the receiver, manager, official, or person is appointed by, or acts under the authority of, any court.
The board may
(a) investigate, upon its own initiative, upon a request of the minister or the Lieutenant Governor in Council, or upon complaint in writing, any matter concerning any public utility;
(b) appraise and value the property of any public utility wherever in the judgment of the board it is necessary so to do, for the purpose of carrying out any provision of this Act, and in making the valuation, may have access to and use any books, documents, or records in the possession of any department of the executive government of the province or of any board, commission, or association that reports to the government or of any municipality in the province;
(c) require every owner of a public utility to file with it complete schedules of every classification employed and of every individual or joint rate, toll, fare, or charge made, charged, or enacted by it for any product supplied or service rendered within the province as specified in the requirement.
The board may, by order in writing after notice to, and hearing of, the parties interested,
(a) fix just and reasonable individual rates, joint rates, tolls, charges, or schedules thereof, as well as commutation, mileage, and other special rates that shall be imposed, observed, and followed thereafter, by any owner of a public utility wherever the board determines that any existing individual rate, joint rate, roll, charge or schedule thereof or commutation, mileage, or other special rate is unjust, unreasonable, insufficient, or unjustly discriminatory or preferential;
(b) fix just and reasonable standards, classifications, regulations, practices, measurements, or service to be furnished, imposed, observed, and followed thereafter by any such owner;
(c) direct any railway, street railway, or traction company, to establish and maintain at any junction or point of connection or intersection with any other line of the road, or with any line of any other railway, street railway, or traction company, such just and reasonable connections as may be necessary to promote the convenience of shippers of property, or of passengers, and in like manner may direct any railway, street railway, or traction company engaged in carrying merchandise to construct, maintain, and operate, upon reasonable terms a switch connection with any private side-track that may be constructed by any private shipper to connect with the railway or street railway where, in the judgment of the board, the connection is reasonable and practicable and can be put in with safety, and will furnish sufficient business to justify the construction and maintenance thereof.
The board may, by order in writing and notice to, and hearing of, the parties interested, require every owner of a public utility
(a) to comply with the laws of the province and any municipal by-law affecting the public utility or its owner, and to conform to the duties imposed thereby, or by the provisions of its own charter, or by any agreement with any municipality or other owner;
(b) to furnish safe, adequate, and proper service, and to keep and maintain its property and equipment in such condition as to enable it to do so;
(c) to establish, construct, maintain, and operate any reasonable extension of its existing facilities where, in the judgment of the board, the extension is reasonable and practicable and will furnish sufficient business to justify the construction and maintenance thereof, and when the financial condition of the owner reasonably warrants the original expenditure required in making and operating the extension;
(d) to keep its books, records, and accounts so as to afford an intelligent understanding of the conduct of its business, and to that end, in the case of owners of public utilities of the same class, to adopt a uniform system of accounting, which system may be prescribed by the board;
(e) to furnish periodically, and in any case where the board requires, a detailed report of finances and operations, in such form, and containing such matters, and verified in such manner, as the board may, from time to time in that behalf, by order prescribe;
(f) to carry, whenever in the judgment of the board it may reasonably be required, for the protection of the holders of securities or creditors of the owner, a proper and adequate depreciation account in accordance with such rules, regulations, and forms of account as the board may prescribe;
(g) to give such notice to the board as it may by order require, of all accidents that occur within the province upon the property of the public utility or that directly or indirectly arise out of, or are connected with, its maintenance or operation, and to investigate any accident;
(h) to apply to the Canadian Transport Commission, or such other tribunal or municipal or other body or official, as may have jurisdiction or authority in the premises, for permission, where necessary, to undertake any work ordered by the board contingently on the permission being granted.
The board shall, from time to time, ascertain and determine, and by order in writing after a hearing fix, proper and adequate rates of depreciation of the property of each public utility, in accordance with the regulations or classifications, and the rates shall be sufficient to provide the amounts required, over and above the expense of maintenance, to keep the property in a state of efficiency corresponding to the progress of the industry.
Every owner of a public utility shall make its depreciation accounts conform to the rates ascertained, determined, and fixed under subsection (2), and shall set aside the moneys so provided for out of earnings, and carry the moneys in a depreciation fund; and the income from investments of moneys in the fund shall likewise be carried in the fund.
The owner of a public utility shall not expend moneys in a fund to which subsection (3) refers otherwise than for depreciation, improvements, new constructions, extensions, or additions to the property of the public utility or retirement of bonds and debentures issued by it.
The board may make such order or recommendation with respect to any accident or matter to which clause (l)(g) refers as in its judgment may be just and reasonable.
Where it is in the public interest, or where, as a means of saving expense, it is in the interest of two or more owners of public utilities that there be joint use of the means of distribution, including poles, conduits, or other equipment, the board may, after notice to all parties concerned, in cases where it is practicable, order the joint use of such means of distribution and declare the terms thereof, and by the order or subsequent order may make such provision as may be necessary for the convenient and effectual carrying out of the work, and the operation of the services by means of the equipment to be jointly used.
For the purpose of clearing and improving the appearance of streets, and wherever it may be found practicable to do so, the board may, after notice to all parties concerned, direct that the wires known as span wires of street railway companies or tram-line companies shall, on any street or part of a street, be affixed to buildings on the properties abutting on the street.
No direction under subsection (1) shall be made so as to involve any expense to the owner of any building, but the expense shall be paid by the municipality or street railway company or tram-line company, or by the two jointly, as the board may direct.
The directions given under subsection (1) and the work done pursuant to those directions shall be given and carried out, in such a way that no permanent injury to any building or inconvenience to the owner or occupant thereof is caused.
The necessary access to any building for the purpose of performing the work necessary to carry out directions given under subsection (1) shall be afforded to the owner of the public utility by the owner of the building; and, in case of any question affecting the access, the board shall give proper directions.
The board may require any corporation that is the owner of a public utility to file with the board a statement in writing, verified by the oaths of the president and secretary thereof, respectively, setting forth the name, title of office or position, and post office address, and the authority, power, and duties, of every officer, member of the board of directors, trustee, executive committee, superintendent, chief or head of construction and operation or department, division, or line of construction and operation thereof, in such form as to disclose the source and origin of each administrative act, rule, decision, order, or other action of the corporation, and within 10 days after any change is made in the title of, or authority, powers, or duties appertaining to, any such office or position, or the person holding the office or position, to file with the board a like statement, verified in like manner, setting forth the change.
RESTRICTION ON POWERS OF OWNERS OF PUBLIC UTILITIES
No owner of a public utility shall
(a) make, impose, or exact any unjust or unreasonable, unjustly discriminatory, or unduly preferential, individual or joint rate, commutation rate, mileage, or other special rate, toll, fare, charge, or schedule, for any product or service supplied or rendered by it within the province;
(b) without the written authorization of the board and subject to subsection (2), make, impose, exact, or collect, any rate, toll, fare, or charge, or any schedule of rates, either individual or joint, for any product supplied or service rendered by it within the province;
(c) adopt or impose any unjust or unreasonable classification in the making, or as the basis, of any individual or joint rate, toll, fare, charge, or schedule for any product or service rendered by it within the province;
(d) adopt, maintain, or enforce any regulation, practice, or measurement that is unjust, unreasonable, unduly preferential, arbitrarily or unjustly discriminatory, or otherwise in violation of law, or provide or maintain any service that is unsafe, improper, or inadequate, or withhold or refuse any service that can reasonably be demanded and furnished when ordered by the board;
(e) make or give, directly or indirectly, any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any person or corporation, or to any locality, or to any particular description of traffic in any respect whatsoever, or subject any particular person or corporation or locality, or any particular description of traffic, to any prejudice or disadvantage in any respect whatsoever;
(f) subject to subsection (3), issue any stocks, stock certificates, bonds, or other evidences of indebtedness payable in more than one year from the date thereof, unless it has first obtained authority from the board for the proposed issue;
(g) subject to subsection (9),
(i) capitalize its right to exist as a corporation; or
(ii) capitalize any right, franchise, or privilege in excess of the amount (exclusive of any tax or annual charge) actually paid to the government or any municipality in the province as the consideration therefor; or
(iii) capitalize any contract for consolidation, merger, or lease; or
(iv) issue any securities against, or as a lien upon, any contract for consolidation, merger, or lease;
(h) without the approval of the board, sell, lease, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of or encumber its property, franchises, privileges, or rights, or any part thereof, or merge or consolidate its property, franchises, privileges, or rights, or any part thereof, with that of any other public utility or its owner;
(i) subject to subsections (12) and (13), enter into any contract or arrangement, other than a contract to provide the services that the public utility provides, at rates approved by the board, with a company or firm in which the owner of the public utility or a director thereof has an interest, unless the public utility has filed with the board the contract, or a memorandum describing and giving full details of the arrangement, and has received from the board a written acknowledgment that the filing has been made as required herein;
(j) discontinue service to the public without authorization of the board at least one year prior to discontinuance, unless otherwise provided in the statute or agreement under which the public utility is operated;
(k) declare or pay any dividend, or effect any other distribution of the assets of the utility, when it appears likely that an application will be made in the foreseeable future for authority to discontinue service to the public, unless authorization of the board is first obtained;
(l) declare or pay any dividend, or effect any other distribution of the assets of the utility, at a time when a subsisting order of the board prohibiting the owner from declaring or paying dividends or effecting any other distribution of or from the assets of the utility is in force, unless authorization of the board is first obtained:
(m) declare or pay any dividend, or effect any other distribution of the assets of the utility, that would contravene any restriction on the payment or declaration of dividends or other distribution of the assets of the utility imposed by a subsisting order of the board, unless authorization of the board is first obtained.
Clause (l)(b) does not apply
(a) subject to clause 76(c) and clause 77(a), to any individual joint, or special rate, toll, fare, or charge, or any schedule of rates, commutation, or mileage, that was in effect prior to the coming into force of this Act;
(b) subject to clause 76(c) and clause 77(a), to any individual joint, or special rate, toll, fare, or charge made by the owner of the public utility for any product supplied or service rendered or to any contract covering an individual, joint, or special rate, toll, fare, or charge made or entered into by such an owner for such a product or service; or
(c) to any appliance sold by a public utility or to services rendered in respect thereof.
Clause (l)(f) does not apply to a municipality or to the city of Winnipeg.
Clause (1)(i) does not apply in respect of a contract where the value of the consideration thereunder is less than $100.
Where the board considers it expedient in the public interest, it may by order prohibit or restrict the payment of dividends by the owner of a public utility or any other distribution of the assets of the public utility.
If a company declares or pays a dividend, or effects a distribution of assets in contravention of clause (1)(k), (l) or (m), the directors thereof are personally liable to repay to the company the amount or value of any money or assets so disbursed or distributed, but in the case of a contravention of clause (l)(m), if the company could have disbursed or distributed part of the money or assets without any contravention of that clause, the directors shall be liable to repay only the amount of the excess.
(a) who is present at the time when a dividend is declared or a distribution of assets authorized, but who dissents therefrom and within seven days thereafter delivers to an officer of the company his written protest against the declaration or authorization; or
(b) who is absent at the time when a dividend is declared or a distribution of assets is authorized and who, within seven days after he becomes aware of the declaration or authorization, delivers to an officer of the company his written protest against the declaration or authorization;
and who, in either case, within seven days after delivery of the protest, sends a copy thereof by registered mail to the secretary of the board, thereby, and not otherwise, is relieved from liability under subsection (6) in respect of that dividend or distribution of assets.
Notwithstanding clause (l)(k), (1) or (m), the board may, upon application and after a hearing, by order authorize an owner of a public utility to declare and pay dividends or to effect any other distribution of the assets of the utility if the board is satisfied that the terms of the order adequately protect the public interest.
Clause (1)(g) does not prevent the issue of securities, subject to the approval of the board, in respect of any lawfully merged or consolidated public utilities not in contravention of clause (l)(g).
Every sale, lease, mortgage, disposition, encumbrance, merger, or consolidation, made in violation of any provision of clause (l)(h) is void; but nothing herein prevents the sale, lease, or other disposition, of any of the property of an owner of a public utility in the ordinary course of its business.
The board shall grant the authority to which reference is made in clause (1)(f) upon being satisfied that the proposed issue is to be made in accordance with law and that the purpose of the issue is approved by the board.
Where a proposed contract is filed with the board as provided in clause (1)(i), the board may
(a) if the contract is not yet in effect,
(i) by its order, disapprove the contract and order the public utility not to execute it or put it into effect; or
(ii) order that the contract be amended in a manner specified in the order before it is executed or put into effect; or
(b) if the contract is in effect,
(i) order that the contract be terminated forthwith on such terms and conditions as may be stated in the order; or
(ii) order that the contract be amended in a manner specified in the order, before any further action is taken, things are done, or payments are made thereunder.
Where the board makes an order as provided in subsection (12), the contract to which the order relates
(a) shall not be executed or put into effect; or
(b) shall be terminated or amended;
as prescribed in the order; and the public utility and all other persons who are parties to the contract or proposed contract shall comply with the order.
For the purposes of clause (l)(i), a person shall be conclusively deemed not to have an interest in a corporation unless
(a) he or any company of which he is a director holds at least 5% of the capital stock thereof; or
(b) he is a director thereof.
Notwithstanding subsection (1), a municipality that is the owner of a public utility may, if authorized by by-law, enter into an agreement to charge an individual consumer a preferential rate; and, where the rate specified in the agreement is, in the opinion of the board, one to which clause (l)(a) would apply, the authorizing by-law shall provide that the municipality shall annually pay, from proceeds of a special levy imposed annually for that purpose to the account of the utility concerned the difference between the amount received pursuant to the agreement and the amount that would have been received had the rate been established in compliance with this Act but without reference to this subsection; and the rate used in establishing the difference shall be approved by the board.
No by-law shall be enacted pursuant to subsection (15) unless and until
(a) it has been authorized by the board; and
(b) it has, before the final passing thereof, received the assent of the resident electors of the municipality in the same manner as a money by-law of the municipality.
In authorizing a by-law under subsection (16), the board may prescribe such terms and conditions as it considers advisable in the circumstances, and all such terms and conditions shall be complied with by the municipality.
The enactment of a by-law under subsection (15) authorized as provided in subsection (16) is authority for imposing the special levy mentioned in subsection (15).
Any agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (15) shall set out, as one of the recitals thereto, the provisions of subsections (15), (16), (17) and (18).
In every public utility the operation or objects of which are the construction, working, or maintaining of telegraph, telephone, or transmission lines, or the delivery or sale of water, gas, heat, light, or power, the owner thereof shall fulfil the following conditions over and above those that may be prescribed by the board:
(a) the owner shall not unnecessarily interfere with the public right to travel, and shall not in the construction of any such lines obstruct the entrance to any door or gateway existing at the date of the construction, or free access to any then existing building;
(b) the owner shall not erect more than one line of poles along any highway and shall, so far as possible, make each pole straight and perpendicular;
(c) the owner shall not unnecessarily cut down or mutilate any shade, fruit, or ornamental tree;
(d) the opening up of any street, square, or other public place, for the erection of poles, or for the carrying of pipes or wires underground, shall be subject to the supervision of such person as the municipality concerned may appoint, and the street, square, or other public place shall, without unnecessary delay, be restored as far as possible to its former condition: and
(e) where, in the exercise of the public right of travel, it is necessary that poles or wires be temporarily removed by cutting or otherwise, the owner shall, upon reasonable notice in writing from any person desiring it, at the party's expense, remove the poles and wires, but the owner may, subject to an appeal to the board, refuse to remove the poles and wires, if in its opinion the moving will jeopardize the service of the utility to the public.
An owner is responsible for all unnecessary damage that he wilfully or negligently causes in carrying out, maintaining, or operating any of his works.
An owner, unless so ordered by the board, is not entitled to compensation on account of his poles or wires being cut by order of the officer in charge of a fire brigade at any fire, if, in the opinion of the officer, it is advisable that the poles or wires be cut.
The board may make and enforce regulations, not inconsistent with this Act, prescribing standards for the construction and erection of telephone, telegraph, and power transmission lines: and every such regulation made under and in accordance with the authority granted by this section, has the force of law; and any owner of a public utility who has constructed or erected such lines in accordance with such regulations, is relieved from all liability for damage arising out of the construction or erection of the lines.
Every person engaged in erecting or repairing any line or instrument of an owner, or engaged in an inspection or meter reading, shall have conspicuously attached to his dress a badge on which are legibly inscribed the name of the owner and a number by which the wearer can be readily identified.
Nothing in this section authorizes an owner to sell or distribute water, gas, light, heat, power, or electricity in any municipality without having previously obtained the consent of the municipality or other authority thereto, unless the owner is specially empowered so to do by any special or general Act of the Legislature or any letters patent or document issued under an Act of the Legislature.
No change in any existing individual rates, joint rates, tolls, charges, or schedules thereof or any commutation, mileage, or other special rates shall be made by any owner of a public utility, nor shall any new schedule of any such rates, tolls, or charges be established until the changed rates or new rates are approved by the board, when they shall come into force on a date to be fixed by the board: and the board may, either upon written complaint or upon its own initiative, hear and determine whether the proposed increases, changes, or alterations are just and reasonable.
The burden of proof to show that any such increases, changes, or alterations are just and reasonable is upon the owner seeking to make the increases, changes, or alterations.
Every municipality owning, operating or controlling any form of public utility service shall keep the accounts thereof in the manner prescribed by the board for the accounting of similar public utilities, and shall file with the board such statements thereof as may be directed by the board.
No railway company within the legislative authority of the Legislature shall, without first obtaining the approval of the board, abandon any railway station, or stop the sale of passenger tickets at any station in the province at which passenger tickets are regularly sold, or cease to maintain an agent to receive and discharge freight at any station in the province at which an agent is maintained.
No highway shall be constructed across the tracks of any railway company within the legislative authority of the Legislature at grade level, nor shall the tracks of any such railway company, or of any street railway or traction company, be laid across any highway, so as to make a new crossing at grade level, nor shall the tracks of any such railway or street railway or traction company be laid across the tracks of any other railway or street railway or traction company, without first obtaining therefor permission from the board: but this section does not apply to the replacement of lawfully existing tracks.
Where it appears to the board that a public highway and a railway within the legislative authority of the Legislature cross one another, or that a public highway and a street railway cross one another, or that any such railway and a street railway cross one another at the same level, and that conditions at the level crossing make it necessary that some provision for the protection of the travelling public using the crossing should be adopted, the board may order and direct the railway company or street railway company, or the authority responsible for the building or maintenance of the highway, or either or both of them, to install such protective devices or gates, or adopt such other reasonable provision for the protection of the travelling public at the crossing, as in the opinion of the board is necessary, with such division of the expense thereof as the board orders.
No privilege or franchise granted to any owner of a public utility by any municipality in the province, except such a privilege or franchise expressly granted under an Act of the Legislature, is valid until approved by the board.
The approval of a privilege or franchise under subsection (1) shall be given where, after hearing the parties interested, the board determines that the privilege or franchise is necessary and proper for the public convenience and properly conserves the interests of the public.
The board in approving a privilege or franchise under subsection (1) may impose such conditions as to construction, equipment, maintenance, service, or operation as the public convenience and interests may reasonably require.
No municipality shall enter into any agreement with, or grant any franchise to, any company the business and operations of which are not subject to the legislative authority of the Legislature, for the operation, management, or control of any system, works, plant, or equipment for the production, transmission, delivery, or furnishing of water, gas, heat, light, or power, either directly or indirectly, to the municipality, unless there is contained in the agreement or grant a provision whereby the company agrees to submit the business and operations thereof to the control and supervision of the board, in all respects as any such company would have been subject to the control and supervision were it the owner of a public utility as defined in this Act.
A municipality before it enters an agreement or grants a franchise, to which subsection (1) applies, shall obtain the approval of the board to agreement or grant.
Every agreement entered into between any municipality and a company and every franchise granted by any municipality to a company, in contravention of this section is void.
The municipality shall with the board file a copy of a contract respecting a proposed grant or agreement referred to in sections 89 and 90 prior to the second reading of its by-law authorizing the proposed grant or agreement.
Where, by any general or special Act, a public utility or its owner is authorized to unite with any other public utility or its owner, the union is subject to the consent of the board, and has no effect until the order of the board authorizing the union is published in one issue of The Manitoba Gazette.
Where, in the exercise of the powers conferred upon it by this Act or by any special Act, the board directs any structure, appliances, equipment, or works to be provided, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired, installed, used, or maintained, it may order by what company, municipality, or persons interested, and when or within what time, and upon what terms and conditions as to the payment of compensation or otherwise, and under what supervision, the work shall be carried out.
The owner of every public utility, being a company or corporation operating any system for the conveyance of travellers over a railway, street railway, or tramway, or on the buses of a motor bus line, may, in the interests of health, safety, and good order, make rules for the regulation of passenger traffic and for prohibiting misconduct by passengers and others in its cars, stations, and shelters, including drinking intoxicants, and smoking in cars, stations, or shelters, or parts thereof not assigned for that purpose, but all rules are subject to the approval of the board.
Nothing in subsection (1) limits or affects the jurisdiction of The Highway Traffic Board established under The Highways Protection Act.
Any person who violates any rule made under subsection (1) in any car, station, or shelter, in which a copy thereof is at the time of the offence conspicuously posted, is guilty of an offence and is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding $10. and costs, and in default of payment, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 days.
The certificate of approval of rules made under subsection (1) by the board is evidence of the due enactment thereof by the public utility.
For the purpose of supervision or inspection, continuous or otherwise, of the system, works, plant, equipment, or service of any public utility, and with a view to prescribing and carrying out measures for the safety of the public and of the users of the service, and for adequacy of service, the board may appoint supervisors or inspectors over one or more public utilities; and may order that the salaries and expenses of the supervisors or inspectors, which shall be fixed by the board, shall be borne by the municipality within which the operations of the utility are carried on or its service is furnished, or by the owner of the public utility, or by the respective owners of one or more public utilities so supervised or inspected, in the proportion, and under the condition, prescribed by the order.
ORDERS UNDER THIS PART
Every order of the board made under this Part to continue services or rates in effect at the time the order is made is immediately operative.
Every other order made under this Part is effective upon the date specified therein, which shall be at least 20 days after the date of the order, unless the board, for good reason, specially provides for an earlier date.
The board may take such steps, and employ such persons, as are necessary for the enforcement of any order made by it under this Part; and, for the purposes thereof, may forcibly or otherwise enter upon, seize, and take possession of, the whole or part of the movable and immovable property of any public utility, together with the books and offices thereof, and may, until the order has been enforced or until the board is satisfied that it will be obeyed, assume and take over the management of the business thereof for and in the interest of the shareholders and the public, and all or any of the powers, duties, rights, and functions, of the directors and officers of the public utility in all respects, including the employment and dismissal of officers and servants thereof, for such time as the board continues to direct the management.
Upon the board assuming or taking over the management of a public utility, under subsection (1), every officer and employee of the public utility shall obey the orders of the board or of such persons as it places in authority in the management of any or all departments of the undertaking.
The board may upon assuming or taking over the management of a public utility-under subsection (1), determine, receive, and payout, all moneys due to or owing by the owner of the public utility, and give cheques, acquittances, and receipts for moneys, to the same extent and as fully as the proper officers thereof could do if no such possession had been taken.
The expenses and costs of and incidental to proceedings to be taken by the board under this section are in the discretion of the board; and the board may direct by whom and to what extent they shall be paid.
Where it is proved that the owner of a public utility has not complied with an order given by the board, if of opinion that there are no effectual means of compelling him to obey the order, the board, as an alternative, shall transmit to the Attorney-General a certificate, signed by the chairman of the board and the secretary, setting forth the nature of the order and the default of the owner in complying therewith.
Default in complying with an order of the board established under subsection (1) is ground, after public notice in The Manitoba Gazette of the receipt of the certificate by the Attorney-General, for an action to dissolve the owner, if a corporation, or to suspend or revoke the charter incorporating it.
The proceedings upon the action to dissolve an owner or to suspend or revoke a charter under subsection (2) shall be governed as nearly as may be by rules of the Court of Queen's Bench.
Every owner of a public utility shall, as soon as possible after having received or having been served with any order or other document of the board, give notice of the order or other document to each of his officers and servants performing duties that are or may be affected thereby, by delivering a copy to him or by posting up a copy in some place where his work or duties or some of them are to be performed.
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES
In default of compliance with any order of the board under this Act, when the order becomes effective, the person so in default is subject to a penalty of $100. per day for every day during which the default continues: and the amount of the penalty shall be fixed and determined by order of the board.
Any person who knowingly and wilfully performs, commits, or does, or participates in performing, committing, or doing, or who knowingly or wilfully causes, participates, or joins with others in causing, any owner of a public utility or any corporation or company to perform, commit, or do or who advises, solicits, persuades, or knowingly and wilfully instructs, directs, or orders any officer, agent, or employee of any owner, corporation, or company, to perform, commit, or do any act or thing forbidden or prohibited by this Act, is guilty of an offence.
Any person who knowingly and wilfully neglects, fails, or omits, to do or perform, or who knowingly and wilfully causes or joins or participates with others in causing, any owner, corporation, or company to neglect, fail, or omit, to do or perform, or who advises, solicits, or persuades, or knowingly or wilfully instructs, directs, or orders any officer, agent, or employee of any owner, corporation, or company, to neglect, fail, or omit to do, any act or thing required to be done by this Act, is guilty of an offence.
Any owner of a public utility and any corporation or company that performs, commits, or does, any act or thing herein prohibited or forbidden, or that neglects, fails, or omits, to do or perform any act or thing herein required to be done or performed by it, is guilty of an offence.
Every person guilty of an offence under this Act is, in addition to all other penalties, liable on summary conviction, to a fine of not less than $50. or more than $500., besides costs of prosecution, and in default of payment, if an individual, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.
This Act does not release or waive any right of action by the board or by any person for any right, penalty, or forfeiture, that may have arisen, or that may arise, under any of the laws of the province; and any penalty or forfeiture enforceable under this Act does not affect or bar any action at law or prosecution against any owner of a public utility or its officers, directors, agents, or employees.
Save as in this Act otherwise provided, the several provisions of this Act have effect notwithstanding any provision to the contrary contained in any charter or general or special Act of the Legislature.
The board may perform duties assigned to it
(a) by Act or resolution of the Legislature;
(b) by order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council; or
(c) as an appellate or arbitrating body under an agreement between a municipality and the owner of a public utility;
and Part I, in so far as it is applicable, applies to the carrying out of duties so assigned.
Where by inadvertence, a clerical error, omission, or other cause, an irregularity has occurred in the proceedings leading up to, or in the passing, giving, doing, or making, or in the form or execution of a by-law, resolution, notice, advertisement, or return, of a municipality, the subject matter whereof is within the jurisdiction of the municipality and of the board, thereby rendering it of doubtful validity upon application, the board may inquire into the matter and, if satisfied that it would be valid except for the irregularity and that no person is or will likely be injuriously affected thereby, make an order declaring it valid for all purposes and thereupon all matters and things to which reference is made therein are validated for all purposes.
The board shall, on or before March 1 in each year, transmit to the minister a report for the year ending on December 31 in the last preceding year, showing briefly
(a) summaries of the findings contained in all orders made pursuant to applications to the board;
(b) the number and nature of orders made pursuant to inquiries which it has held of its own motion;
(c) the number of licences, permits, and certificates, issued and the fees collected by the board;
(d) such other matters as the Lieutenant Governor in Council directs.
The report shall be submitted to the Legislature if it then is in session and, if not, at the next session thereof.
Should a court declare any section or provision of this Act unconstitutional or ultra vires, that decision affects only the section or provision so declared to be unconstitutional or ultra vires, and does not affect any other section or part of this Act.
This Act has effect only in so far as the authority of the Legislature extends.