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Reality Check

RC-18: Are Some Statutes Not Law?

Date Posted: July 16, 2011

Even if a Bill receives Royal Assent, it may not come into effect immediately. It may come into effect on: the date of Royal Assent; 60 days after Royal Assent; on a specific date named in the Bill (as set out in the coming into force provision of the Bill); or on a date to be set by proclamation (a declaratory order by cabinet of when a statute will come into force). Sometimes parts of a bill will come into force following Royal Assent, and remaining sections come into effect on a later date to be fixed by proclamation.

Presently in Manitoba there are 112 Acts, dating back to 1987, which have sections and/or amendments that have never been enacted by proclamation.

In addition to the partially enacted statutes there are 14 entire acts, dating back as far 1987-88, which have never been proclaimed into law.

To check if a statute, or sections of a statute, is proclaimed: first find the Act you are looking for on the Manitoba Government website (for further instructions see Manitoba Wildlands Backgrounder: "Checking Status of Manitoba Bills and Acts"). At the top right hand corner of every CCSM is a blue highlighted link entitled "Information Table." The table lists all statutory amendments by session, and indicates whether the entire act, or sections have been proclaimed into law.

If a statute is set to come into force by proclamation it requires Cabinet to sign a regulation stating the statute is to come into force. The regulation must be published in Part I of the Manitoba Gazette. All regulations, including statutory proclamations, must be printed in the Manitoba Gazette at least 2 weeks before the regulation comes into effect.

All regulations under an Act are also available on the Manitoba Government website. They can be accessed by from the Manitoba Laws section on the Government of Manitoba homepage or by using the right-hand "Regulations" tab on the top menu above each Act.

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