Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I sponsor my biological parents if I was adopted?

    No. When a person is adopted, the family relationship between the biological parent and child is considered broken. As a result, if you were adopted, you cannot sponsor your biological parents.

  • Can I sponsor my parents or grandparents under the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program if my family class application is refused or I lose the appeal?

    While parents and grandparents cannot be “sponsored” under the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, this program has certain streams that may allow relatives, including parents and grandparents, to qualify.

    While parents and grandparents can use the Provincial Nominee Program, they have to meet all of the other requirements of that program. If a parent or grandparent has been refused because of health or criminal record reasons, it is likely that they will be refused under the Provincial Nominee Program as well. However, if the application was refused because the sponsor did not make enough money, this cannot be used as a reason to refuse the parent or grandparent under the Provincial Nominee Program as long as the parent or grandparent has enough money as required by the Manitoba Provincial Nominee
    Program.

  • Can I sponsor my stepfather or stepmother as my parent?

    No. Since step-parents and step-grandparents are not related to you biologically or through adoption, they cannot be sponsored.

  • Can I still apply for Legal Aid?

    Yes you can, but you will have to apply online or by calling 1-866-800-8056.

    View online application.

  • Can I still get a passport?

    Until further notice, only limited, urgent passport applications are being accepted at Passport Canada. They will only accept applications if you or others you must tend to have a serious illness, if you have financial problems regarding the loss of a business or are travelling for humanitarian reasons. All other applications must wait.

    You will have to apply online if you meet the criteria for urgent services. For more information:

    View website.

     

  • Can I still get a Protection Order?

    Judicial Justices of the Peace are still hearing applications for Protection Orders. If you have experienced domestic violence or stalking you can apply, without notice to your partner, at your local court office or speak to a family lawyer for help: For more information:

    View website.

  • Can I still travel?

    If you are travelling within Canada, you should first check to see if the province you are planning on travelling to has any restrictions in place. If you are returning from Ontario (other than Northwest Ontario), Québec, or the eastern provinces, you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arriving in Manitoba. All travellers returning to Canada from another country must also self-isolate for 14 days.

    For the most up-to-date information about Canada’s COVID-19 travel restrictions and exemptions:

    View website.

  • Can I use affidavit evidence at trial without calling the parties?

    Yes, if you file and serve the affidavit on the opposing party at least 21 days before trial. This gives the other side time to decide whether they want to cross-examine the witness at trial. They must serve a notice of intent to examine at least 10 days before trial if they want the person who did the affidavit to attend trial and be cross-examined.

    If the person who did the affidavit refuses to attend trial, the judge does not have to accept the affidavit evidence at trial. However, if you request that the person who did the affidavit attend trial and your cross-examination of them does not add anything significant and of importance to the case, then you may have costs ordered against you.

  • Can I write up my own will or use a will form?

    A will is an important legal document, and writing a will is not an easy job. You can make a will on your own, but it may not have the effect you want or not be enforced if it is done incorrectly. For this reason, most people hire a lawyer to write their will. The cost of hiring a lawyer to write a simple will is usually between $100 and $150.

    You can use a will form in Manitoba, but it would be preferable to have a lawyer write your will. The will must be properly signed and witnessed. For a formal will, you need to sign the will at the end and initial or sign each page of the will. You need two people present to see you signing the will. They must each sign the end of the will as a witness, and initial or sign each page of the will. The witnesses should not be people who benefit from the will by receiving gifts or property. Remember that if it is not properly signed and witnessed, the will may be invalid.

  • Can my boss reduce my pay during this crisis?

    It depends. If your pay has been reduced but you are still working the same number of hours, this could be cause for constructive dismissal. This means your boss has changed your job in such a significant way that they have effectively forced you to quit. If you make a claim for constructive dismissal, you may be eligible for payment of your regular wages for the notice period. For more information, see our FAQ page about ending employment or contact Employment Standards.

    If your boss wants to reduce your pay during the COVID-19 crisis, try talking to them about also reducing your hours to match the reduced pay.

    If your pay has been reduced, you may be eligible for EI to top up your reduced pay. If you make less than $1000, you may be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

  • Can my ex-partner be ordered to pay me spousal support because of domestic abuse?

    Orders for spousal support are based only on your financial need and your ex-partner’s ability to pay. They are not used as a form of punishment. A judge deciding on a support order will only consider the behaviour of a partner during the relationship if it has impacted on an individual’s ability to work. Section 4(2) of The Family Maintenance Act says that the court does not consider conduct in determining whether to order spousal support.

  • Can my Executor also be a beneficiary of the estate?

    Yes.

  • Can my landlord ban visitors to the building to stop the spread of COVID-19?

    Your landlord cannot ban all visitors from the building, but everyone is expected to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. If you are frequently inviting people who are not providing an essential service into the building, your landlord may have cause to evict you for endangering the other tenants.

  • Can my landlord come into my rental suite at any time?

    Your landlord may occasionally need to enter your suite for the purposes of repairs, making condition reports, or insurance or safety inspections. Usually, your landlord must give you written notice of at least 24 hours before entering your suite. The notice must say why entry is needed and give either the time of entry or a reasonable timeframe for the entry.

    However, there are certain instances when a landlord can come into your rental suite without giving written notice:

      • If access is necessary during an emergency,
      • If you have consented to that particular entry,
      • To provide services included in your tenancy agreement (for example, housekeeping),
      • To show the unit to prospective tenants (after you have indicated that you are leaving), and
      • To make a move-out condition report on the day you move out.
  • Can my landlord evict me if I cannot afford to pay the rent?

    Evictions for not paying rent have been suspended until September 30, 2020. However, tenants should talk to their landlords about making arrangements, if they cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19.

  • Can my landlord raise the rent?

    Rent increases to take effect after April 1, 2020 have been frozen. The Residential Tenancies Branch of Manitoba has released the following COVID-19 Information Sheet for Landlords and Tenants. The information sheet deals with dealing with suspensions of rent increases and Order of Possession hearings.

    View website.

  • Can my landlord refuse to enter my home for repairs because of fears about the virus?

    Your landlord still has a responsibility to maintain and repair your dwelling unit and common areas of the building. If your landlord does not want to enter your unit personally, you can ask them to hire a professional to do the repairs. Most repair workers, such as plumbers and electricians, are essential workers and are still available for hire throughout this crisis.

    If you are self-isolating because you have recently been travelling or have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, make sure you tell your landlord or the repair workers before they enter your unit, so they can take appropriate safety precautions.

  • Can my neighbour shovel snow from his sidewalk into the back lane?

    In Winnipeg, snow cannot be placed on the roadway or other public places such as a back lane. Individuals who do so can face a fine under The City of Winnipeg Sidewalk Cleaning By-law. Refer to your local by-laws outside of Winnipeg.

  • Can my spouse and I file jointly for divorce?

    Yes. However, you may need to change the forms to reflect that fact that you are both filing as petitioners for divorce.

  • Can my spouse and I share a divorce lawyer to save money?

    No. You each need to have a different lawyer. Your lawyer works for you, providing you with legal advice that applies specifically to your situation. One lawyer cannot provide independent legal advice to both spouses in a separation, because each spouse has different interests. Before signing any agreement, you should also each get independent legal advice from your own lawyer.

  • Can my spouse sell our home without my knowledge or consent?

    A law called The Homesteads Act gives special protection to the family home. This law prevents one spouse from selling the home (or the family farm) without the other spouse’s consent.