Manitoba's new Limitations Act easier to understand and more aligned with other provinces’ limitation laws


The Limitations Act came into effect on September 30, 2022. This new framework brings Manitoba in line with other provinces that long ago replaced their limitation laws with simplified versions that rely on the so-called “discoverability” principle.

The new act removes the various limitation periods for different causes of actions under the previous The Limitation of Actions Act and replaces them with a basic two-year limitation period applicable to all claims, which starts to run from the date a claim is discovered.

In addition, the new act changes the “ultimate” limitation period from 30 to 15 years after the date the act or omission on which the claim is based took place. There is an exception, however, for certain Indigenous claims which keep the 30-year “ultimate” limitation period.

The real property limitation period provisions in the current Act have been repealed under the new act and have not been replaced in the new act. In Ontario, similar provisions are found in Ontario’s Real Property Limitations Act. It remains to be seen whether Manitoba will fill this gap or whether the basic/ultimate limitation periods in the new act will be applied under those circumstances. 

No proceeding shall be commenced under the new act respecting a claim if the limitation period that applied under the old act expired before the coming into force of the new act. In the case of a claim discovered before the coming into force of the new act, a proceeding may be commenced under the act if it is commenced before the earlier of(a) two years after the coming into force of this act; and (b) the day the limitation period under the old act expires or would expire.

To summarize, The Limitations Act is straightforward, less daunting and should help eliminate much of the confusion with the current act. Overall, this new act is easier to understand, which will help enhance access to justice which has long been a goal of the government and courts alike. This act will also create efficiency, certainty, reduce trade barriers, and help Manitoba’s economy grow.

Article last updated October 2022.