Several statutes contain provisions that require an action to be taken only in the presence of a person. Effective Wednesday, May 13, 2020 the provincial government issued an Order that suspends operation of such provisions. Instead, the required actions will be valid if taken through a glass or plexiglass partition or by video conferencing and if specific steps are followed as set out in the Schedule to the Order.

To assist the profession, the Law Society used the Order’s schedule to create separate checklists that relate to the following specific actions, setting out what steps must be taken in each case:

  1. Taking an Oath or Affirmation or Making a Statutory Declaration
    – subsections 64(1) and 64(4) of The Manitoba Evidence Act
  2. Signing a Will
    – section 4 of The Wills Act.
  3. Giving a Power of Attorney
    – clauses 10(1)(b) and (c) and 10(2)(a) and (b) of The Powers of Attorney Act 
  4. Signing a Health Care Directive
    – subsection 8(2)(b) of The Health Care Directives Act
  5. Giving Consent to a Disposition, Change or Release of a Homestead, or Terminating a Release of Homestead
    – section 9, 11, 13. 22 or 23 of The Homesteads Act

For more information on these checklists and other practical considerations, registration is now open for a free online CPD presentation on Friday, May 29, 2020, jointly presented by the Law Society and the Manitoba Bar Association.

Although the Order also referenced the execution of transfers and mortgages, the Law Society has not created checklists as the Directive on Witnessing documents under The Real Property Act during Covid-19 dated April 1, 2020 has been extended to July 14, 2020 and may be extended further. For information see this latest  LSM update Video Witnessing of Land Titles Documents.