Frequently Asked Questions

  • A family member has passed away. Are there any benefits from the Government that I can apply for?

    There are survivor benefits under the Canada Pension Plan, called surviving spouse’s pension, orphan’s benefits, and death benefits. Contact CPP for more details:

  • A similar named organization to my own is planning on incorporating. Do I have to sue them to stop using the name or will the Companies Office look into this when they apply?

    The Companies Office will review the names of organizations submitted and make sure that they are not too similar to existing names on their record. If the names are confusing then registration of the business name will be rejected.

  • A young child has contacted me with concerns about their treatment in the care of Child and Family Services (CFS). Who can I contact for assistance?

    The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY) provides support and advocacy for individuals involved in the Child and Family Services system. They can be contacted at (204) 988-7440 or 1-800-263-7146. They are located at 100 – 346 Portage Avenue.

  • After I move out, how long does my landlord have to return my security/damage deposit?

    If your landlord has no claim against the damage deposit (for example the unit was not damaged) your landlord has 14 days after the date of the termination of your tenancy to return the damage deposit, as well as any interest.

    If there is a claim for damage, your landlord has 28 days after the date of the termination of the tenancy to inform you of the claim by written notice. If your landlord’s claim is less than the damage deposit, the excess must be returned to you.

  • After my spouse and I separated, I took all of the money out of the joint account to pay bills because I am not employed. What happens now?

    You may have to account back to your spouse for your spouse’s share of the money in the joint account. However, this depends upon what property your spouse has in their possession and what you have. Property is supposed to be equally divided when individuals separate.

  • Am I entitled to any share of property if my common law spouse of 10 years was never divorced from his/her spouse?

    Yes. You are entitled to a share of property from the date that you started living with your common-law spouse until the date that you separated.

  • Am I entitled to be paid for acting under a Power of Attorney?

    You are not automatically entitled to be compensated for your work as an attorney. If the Power of Attorney document does not set out any rate of compensation you could request fair and reasonable compensation from the court.

  • Are all criminal offences heard before a judge and jury?

    No. All summary conviction offences, including hybrid offences which are being dealt with summarily, are heard by a Provincial Court judge without a jury. Some less serious indictable offences also must be tried by a Provincial Court judge. There are some very serious indictable offences that may only be tried by a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench with a jury. Such offences include murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Other indictable offences allow an accused person to choose (or elect) whether to be tried in Provincial Court, in the Court of Queen’s Bench by a judge and jury, or in the Court of Queen’s Bench by a judge alone.

  • Are pre-trial conferences similar to case conferences?

    Some judicial centres in the province have case conferences and some have pre-trial conferences. In the case management system, the case management judge will perform all pre-trial functions. When case management is not available, you will have to schedule a pre-trial before you can set a trial date. A pre-trial conference can be scheduled by a party at any time in the proceedings.

    A pre-trial offers the same opportunity as a case conference to discuss settlement. If a settlement can’t be reached the court will make sure that proper steps are taken to get the matter ready for trial. For both case conferences and pre-trial conferences, the judge at the conference will not be the same judge to hear a motion or the trial unless the parties agree.

  • Are there any documents besides a passport I will need to travel alone with my child?

    A consent letter may be required in addition to a passport for children traveling with only one parent, legal guardian, or supervising adult. The Government of Canada has a sample consent letter for travel with a child, which can be found here.

    Documents providing evidence of the parenting arrangements for separated or divorced parents may also be helpful. A copy of the court order granting guardianship for legal guardians may be requested. You may want to contact the embassy or consulate for the country for additional entry requirements. Global Affairs Canada can be contacted at:

  • Are there any documents besides a passport that I will need to travel alone with my child?

    A consent letter may be required in addition to a passport for children traveling with only one parent, legal guardian, or supervising adult. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada has a sample consent letter for travel with a child. Documents providing evidence of the custody arrangements for separated or divorced parents may also be helpful. A copy of the court order granting guardianship for legal guardians may be requested. You may want to contact the embassy or consulate for the country for additional entry requirements. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada can be contacted at:

    Tel.: 1-800-267-6788 (in Canada and the U.S.) or 613-944-6788

    TTY: 1-800-394-3472 (in Canada and the U.S.) or 613-944-1310

  • Are there any expenses besides a mortgage and utilities I should consider when buying a home?

    Your monthly housing costs will also include taxes and insurance. These rates will vary from house to house. The actual purchase of a home has additional expenses, like lawyer fees, land transfer tax, application fees, property tax adjustment, home inspections, moving costs, mortgage loan insurance premium, appraisal fees, deposit (at least 5%), property insurance, survey or certificate of location, water tests, septic tank inspection and title insurance. Other costs to consider include: appliances, gardening equipment, snow-clearing equipment, window treatments, decorating materials, hand tools, renovations/repairs, service connection fees, hydro fees and condo fees.

  • Are there any other documents that can be filed to start a family proceeding?

    You would file a Notice of Application to start court proceedings like adoptions, guardianship, and applications for contact by someone other than a parent. You would file a Statement of Claim if you are dealing with a civil dispute.

  • Are there any programs that can help my spouse and I with putting our decisions as to parenting arrangements, support, and property division into a written agreement?

    Manitoba Family Services and Housing has a Family Conciliation department that offers a number of programs. If your spouse and you both agree you can attend their mediation program and a trained mediator will assist you with working out all of the issues that arise from separation. You may choose to take your agreement and have it finalized by a family law lawyer. Family Conciliation can be contacted at:

  • Are there any records that our not-for-profit organization should be maintaining?

    The following records should be kept, pursuant to Section 20 of The Corporations Act:

      • Articles of Incorporation
      • By-laws
      • Amendments to Articles and Bylaws
      • Minutes of all meetings of board and committees
      • Resolutions
      • List of all directors, with addresses, occupations, and dates of service
      • Accounting records
  • Are there certain offences where a youth is presumed to get an adult sentence?

    Not anymore. On May 16, 2008, in the case of R v D.B. the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act that listed presumptive offences for which an adult sentence would be imposed where the young person is 14 years of age or older. You can read the case here:

  • Are there different types of financial assistance through Legal Aid?

    Legal Aid may pay for your legal costs in full, or if you are financially able to pay for your legal fees at Legal Aid rates, they may provide services through the Agreement to Pay (ATP) program. The ATP program will require you to make an initial payment as well as interest-free monthly payments until your fees are paid. As long as you keep making your monthly payments, Legal Aid will continue to pay your lawyer fees.

    For more information, visit

  • Are there guidelines for spousal support similar to the ones for child support?

    Yes. The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines can be accessed at The Guidelines are just advisory, not mandatory—so the courts are not required to follow them when making an order for spousal support.

  • Are there minimum standards for salary, overtime, vacation, breaks, etc.?

    Yes. The Employment Standards Code sets out minimums that apply to most Manitoba workers:

      • Minimum wage: $11.65/hour (as of Oct. 1, 2019)
      • Overtime: If you work more than 8 hours/day or 40 hours/week, you are entitled to be paid at a rate of 1 ½ times your normal wage for the extra time. You may not be entitled to overtime if you worked the extra time without your employer asking you to.
      • Vacation: At least two weeks of vacation per year for the first four years of employment, and at least three weeks of vacation after the fifth consecutive year of employment. Your employer may pay you at the time of your vacation, or may include your vacation pay on your cheques throughout the year.
      • Breaks: One 30 minute unpaid break after every 5 hours of work. You are also entitled to at least one day (24 hours) off per week.

    Employers can provide more than the minimums, but they cannot provide less, even if you sign a contract agreeing to it. The minimums are the same for full time and part time employees.

    The Employment Standards Code does not apply if you work as an independent contractor or work in a federally regulated industry. Some industries also have exceptions to some of the minimums. For more information, visit the Employment Standards website at or call 204-945-3352 (toll-free 1-800-821-4307).


  • Are there special laws for young persons who commit an offence?

    The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) applies to violations of federal laws, including the Criminal Code, by young persons between the ages of 12 and 17. The YCJA recognizes that young persons should be responsible for their actions, yet they should not be held accountable in the same way or face the same consequences as adults in all circumstances. You can find the YCJA at

  • Can a car dealership sell me a vehicle that is not safetied?

    A dealership must provide you with a Certificate of Inspection (or “safety”) if they are selling you a used vehicle. A Certificate of Inspection ensures that a vehicle meets minimum equipment and performance standards before it can be driven. If the vehicle is new, you should receive a New Vehicle Information Statement.

    For more information, visit