Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are there any benefits that I can apply for if I have been laid off or terminated as a result of COVID-19?

    There are various benefits available, including Employment Insurance and CERB.
    Under CERB, you will receive $500 per week, for up to 16 weeks. This is taxable income. CERB has been extended. People who do not qualify for Employment Insurance, students, seasonal workers, people whose Employment Insurance has run out as of January 1, 2020, can apply.
    You can apply online or by calling 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041.

    View online application.

    If you qualify for Employment Insurance, and you will be unemployed for longer than 4 months, you should apply for EI. For the first 4 months, whether you apply under CERB or EI, you will receive $2,000 per month.

    View website.

  • Are there any changes at the Appeal Commission?

    The Appeal Commission hears appeals from the Workers Compensation Board Review Office or the Reconsideration Committee. They also hear appeals from victims of crime filed under The Criminal Injuries Compensation Act and The Victims’ Bill of Rights. They are holding hearings by video conference or teleconference.

  • 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

    http://www.voyage.gc.ca/main/contact_menu-en.asp

  • 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 benefits available for students?

    The federal government’s CESB (Canada Emergency Student Benefit) provides support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the CERB or Employment Insurance or are not able to work due to COVID-19.  Eligible students can receive $1,250 per month ($2000 per month if they have dependants or are disabled). The benefit is available from May – August 2020.

    For more information on who qualifies and how to apply, visit the Government of Canada website:

    https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/emergency-student-benefit.html

    In addition, both federal and provincial student loan payments are suspended until September 30, 2020.  No interest will be added during this period.

  • 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:
    http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc/doc/2008/2008scc25/2008scc25.html

  • Are there COVID-19 scams I should be aware of?

    The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre lists the following recent COVID-19 scams on their website:

    •  Cleaning or heating companies offering duct cleaning services or filters to protect from COVID-19 offering “special” air filters.
    • Local and provincial hydro/electrical power companies threatening to disconnect power for non-payment.
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the World Health Organization (WHO) offering fake lists for sale of COVID-19 infected people in your neighbourhood
    • Public Health Agency of Canada giving false results saying you have been tested positive for COVID-19 tricking you into confirming your health card and credit card numbers for a prescription
    • Red Cross and other known charities offering free medical products (e.g. masks) for a donation.
    • Government departments sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails tricking you into opening malicious attachments tricking you to reveal sensitive personal and financial details.
    • Financial advisers pressuring people to invest in hot new stocks related to the disease offering financial aid and/or loans to help you get through the shut downs.
    • Door-to-door sales people selling household decontamination services.
    • Private companies offering fake COVID-19 tests for sale.

    If anyone contacts you with a COVID-19 scam, don’t provide any financial information, hang up and report the call to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at (toll-free) 1-888-495-8501 or online.

  • 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 https://www.legalaid.mb.ca/financial-rules/paying-for-legal-aid/.

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

    Yes. The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines can be accessed at
    https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/fl-lf/spousal-epoux/spag/index.html. 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 https://www.gov.mb.ca/labour/standards/index.html 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
    https://www.laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/y-1.5/index.html

  • 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 https://www.mpi.mb.ca/Pages/about-vehicle-safety.aspx

  • Can a collection agent call me at my place of employment?

    A collection agent can contact you at your place of employment. However, if the contact becomes frequent or harassing in nature, you may want to speak to the Consumer Protection Office about your concerns. The Consumer Protection Office is in charge of licensing collection agents in the province of Manitoba. They can be reached at:

  • Can a collection agent contact me on the weekend?

    A collection agent cannot contact you to demand payment on a Sunday or a holiday. They cannot contact you on any other day of the week before 7:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.

  • Can a corporation hold an AGM electronically?

    Yes, unless the corporation’s by-laws say that they cannot. This applies to for-profit as well as not-for-profit corporations. Cooperatives should check to see if their by-laws allow electronic meetings.

  • Can a criminal record I obtained as a youth be disclosed?

    The Youth Criminal Justice Act provides for non-disclosure of records after a certain period of time in order to prevent individuals from being haunted by their previous infractions as youths. For example, when the offence is indictable, the records are subject to non-disclosure five years after the completion of the sentence. For a summary conviction offence, the access period is three years. The record is accessible if another offence is committed during the access period.

  • Can a minor make a will?

    A Manitoba resident under the age of 18 years cannot make a valid will unless they are married or have been married or are a member of the military forces or a mariner or seaman at sea.