Frequently Asked Questions

  • If I was adopted by someone in Canada but then had that adoption revoked, can I sponsor my biological parents?

    No. Citizenship and Immigration Canada specifically states that individuals who were adopted and then get their adoption revoked for the purpose of sponsoring a biological parent will not be allowed to do so.

  • If my partner assaults me and it goes to court, will I need my own lawyer?

    In general, you do not need your own lawyer for the criminal charges against your partner or ex-partner. Although you are the victim of the crime, it’s the Crown Attorney, on behalf of the Province of Manitoba, who prosecutes the charges. You may need a lawyer in certain situations. If you think you will have to answer any questions in court that may incriminate you, you should contact a lawyer. Incriminating questions involve facts about your own actions that may have been criminal.

  • If my partner wants to plead guilty will there be a trial?

    No. A trial is needed only if the accused person pleads not guilty. If your partner or ex-partner pleads guilty, the court will proceed directly to a sentencing without holding a trial.

  • If my spouse is a co-sponsor and we get divorced before my parents get their Visa, how does this affect my sponsorship application?

    If a co-sponsor’s sponsorship is withdrawn because of divorce, separation or any other reason, an assessment will be made to see if you make the minimum necessary income. If you do not make the minimum necessary income on your own, your sponsorship application will be refused.

  • In an appeal, does the respondent file a factum?

    Yes. The respondent has 30 days to file the factum, and a further five days to serve the factum on the other party if a transcript is required.

  • In what situations can I evict my tenant?

    There are a number of situations in which you can evict a tenant. You can evict a tenant if:

      • The tenant fails to pay the rent within 3 days after it was due. If this happens, you may give the tenant notice terminating the tenancy on the day the rent was due. The notice must follow a prescribed form, and must include the amount of rent that was unpaid, the date by which the tenant must be moved out, and notice that the tenant is allowed to dispute the termination. If you accept a late payment of rent, you lose the right to terminate the tenancy unless you state in writing that you still intend to treat the tenancy as terminated at the time you accept the late payment.
      • The tenant changes the locks on the doors or otherwise prevents you from having reasonable access to the rental unit.
      • The tenant keeps the rental unit so dirty that it is a health or safety hazard.
      • The tenant causes damage and doesn’t repair or pay you for it.
      • The tenant disturbs other tenants’ use and enjoyment of the building.
      • The tenant sublets the rental unit without your consent.
      • The tenant allows overcrowding of the unit, so that it violates health or safety standards.
      • The tenant says untrue things about the unit to a possible tenant or buyer.

    For more information about the rules for evictions, contact the Residential Tenancies Branch at (204) 945-2476 or 1-800-782-8403. Their website is at https://www.gov.mb.ca/cca/rtb/coverpagertb.html?.

  • Is a handwritten will legal?

    A will that is totally written in the maker’s handwriting, is signed and is dated is legal in Manitoba. This is called a holograph will. Holograph wills do not have to be witnessed by anybody. Because problems often arise with holograph wills, their use should be limited to emergency situations. You may want to consult a lawyer before making a holograph will to make sure that your wishes are clearly stated. If the holograph will must be probated, the Probate Court will usually require an affidavit from someone who can verify the maker’s handwriting.

  • Is a young person held in custody separately from adults prior to trial?

    In most cases accused young people are held separately from adults. The only exceptions to this are if the young person’s safety or the safety of others would be jeopardized by holding the youth in a youth detention facility, or if there is no suitable place within a reasonable distance.

  • Is an adult sentence still possible for such offences as manslaughter and attempted murder?

    Yes. However, the onus is on the Crown Attorney to show why an adult sentence should be imposed.

  • Is an Executor paid to look after the estate?

    Executors can be paid an amount from the estate. This amount must be fair and reasonable based on how complex the estate is. The amount may be a percentage of the estate’s value. Disputes about the amount that an Executor is to be paid can be decided by the court.

  • Is it difficult to convict someone accused of domestic assault?

    In court, a person is innocent until proven guilty. Your partner or ex-partner does not have to prove they are innocent and does not have to give evidence in their defence.

    If your partner or ex-partner pleads not guilty, they will not be convicted unless guilt is proven in court beyond a reasonable doubt – even if you know you have been abused. It is the Crown Attorney’s job to present evidence strongly enough to convince the judge that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Often, in cases of domestic violence, there are no witnesses to the crime. The only evidence is your story against your partner or ex-partner’s story.

    An acquittal (a finding of “not guilty”) does not mean that the judge doesn’t believe you. It just means that the judge didn’t have enough evidence to find the accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Is it difficult to succeed on a custody appeal?

    The Manitoba Court of Appeal will not change the trial judge’s order as long as the judge has considered and applied the right principles of law, has not completely misunderstood the evidence, or made a decision that is not obviously and clearly incorrect. The Manitoba Court of Appeal considers that the trial judge has had the opportunity to hear the evidence and see the witnesses directly when making the custody order and is therefore in a better position to make a decision.

  • Is it true that I can’t evict a tenant in the winter?

    No, but there are rules that you have to follow about how and when you can evict a tenant. Also, if your tenant has a child in school, you may not be able to evict during the school year in some cases.

  • Is my landlord entitled to raise my rent every year?

    A landlord may attempt to raise your rent every year as long as they provide notice at least three months before your lease is up. The notice must set out:

      • the amount of rent you currently pay,
      • the intended increase in rent and the date that it is effective,
      • the maximum rent increase set out in the regulations,
      • a statement of the three month notice requirement, and
      • information on the option to dispute the rent increase.
  • Is my will from another province valid in Manitoba?

    Yes, a will made in another province is valid in Manitoba. The laws of the province in which land is located govern the validity of the will regarding land. With a few exceptions, the laws of the province in which you live when you pass away govern the validity of the will regarding the rest of your property.

  • Is my will still valid if I get divorced?

    Your will is still valid if you become divorced. However, unless you specify otherwise, any bequest of property to or special appointment of power (such as Executor or trustee) to your former spouse is treated as if your former spouse died before you.

  • Is our organization required to have an meeting of the members every year?

    The directors of an organization must call a meeting within 18 months of when the organization was incorporated. After that first meeting, the directors must call a meeting at least every 15 months from when the last meeting was held. Usually, annual general meetings are held approximately every 12 months. Notice of this annual general meeting must be given at least 21 days and not more than 50 days before the meeting takes place.

  • Is the Court of Appeal still hearing matters?

    Assuming the public health situation remains stable, the Court of Appeal plans to resume in-person hearings on August 24. Notice here:

    Manitoba Courts

  • Is the Residential Tenancies Branch scheduling any hearings for Orders of Possession?

    Hearings for late rent payment are not being scheduled. However, hearings for Orders of Possession for impairment of safety or unlawful activity are being scheduled.

  • Is there a charge for the Legal Aid application?

    There is usually a $25 fee for applying to Legal Aid. In certain circumstance, such as if you are on social assistance (EIA), the fee can be waived.

  • Is there a further appeal available from the Manitoba Court of Appeal?

    The Court of Appeal is usually the final level of appeal available. The highest court is the Supreme Court of Canada, but you are not guaranteed an appeal to that court. You must apply for leave (permission) to appeal and demonstrate that your case is of public importance or of a nature or significance that the Supreme Court should hear it. You must file a written application for leave to appeal with the court.