November 2, 2021
PROVINCE PROCLAIMS NEW LEGISLATION TO REPEAL AND REPLACE THE LIMITATIONS ACT
Legislation Creates a Simpler, More Modern Limitations System in Alignment with other Jurisdictions: Friesen
The Manitoba government has proclaimed the Limitations Act, legislation that will enhance access to justice and make it easier to do business in Manitoba, Justice Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.
“We have listened to professional groups, businesses and the industry, and recognize that the previous legislation created complexity, confusion and challenges for people doing business in the province,” said Friesen. “The Limitations Act will simplify Manitoba’s framework for limitations and aligns Manitoba with other provinces.”
Statutory limitations ensure that a person can no longer seek the assistance of the court to enforce a legal right after a certain period. This legislation will clarify statutory limitations for the various causes of action in Manitoba.
The Limitations Act outlines a streamlined structure based on a two-year ‘basic’ limitation and a longer ‘ultimate’ limitation, aligning with the legislation of other jurisdictions. This approach simplifies the law, promotes efficiency of the civil justice system and creates more certainty about when the timeline begins.
“The act has been a long-standing source of frustration for individuals, businesses, lawyers and others. Our government is acting on recommendations made by the Manitoba Law Reform Commission, which were based on the results of a public consultation process,” said Friesen.
“This update to the Limitations of Actions Act is vital to members of the construction industry. The update will bring the limitations Periods in line with our neighbouring provinces to ensure all parties are entitled to a fair and timely decision-making process,” said Ron Hambley, president, Winnipeg Construction Association.
A number of professional stakeholders, including architects, engineers, surveyors and construction companies, also expressed the importance of harmonizing limitations statutes to help reduce trade barriers.
The minister noted that the Limitations Act now levels the playing field to ensure legislative parity with other jurisdictions. The law will make it easier for professionals and skilled tradespeople from other places to work in Manitoba, while also strengthening the competitiveness of the province and fostering economic growth. The new legislation will take effect on Sept. 30, 2022.