The Provincial Mediation Board (PMB) has the power to delay proceedings to evict some tenants. This section will provide you with information about the PMB's power.
The Landlord and Tenant Act governs leases generally, whether agricultural, commercial or otherwise. The Act does not apply to residential leases governed by The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.
The Agricultural Leaseholds Act provides some additional rights for tenants in agricultural leases to remove crops after the end of the term if harvest is delayed by weather or other reason. Under sections 5 and 6 of that Act, the PMB has the power to hear disputes and make orders permitting re-entry for completion of harvesting.
Decisions of the PMB are published by CanLII.
The Court of Queen's Bench has general jurisdiction under The Landlord and Tenant Act to make orders declaring leases to be terminated, whether by expiration or by reason of breach, and to grant to the landlord an order for possession.
Under section 14 of The Provincial Mediation Board Act, the PMB has the power to delay applications for possession and to delay enforcement of orders for possession. The powers of the PMB in subsection (1) are:
Power to prohibit proceedings by landlord
14(1) The Board may at any time and from time to time, of its own motion or upon application by any person, by order, subject to such terms and conditions as the board deems fit:
(a) prohibit any or all proceedings under The Landlord and Tenant Act during a period of time stated in the order;
(b) prohibit any action by a landlord for the recovery of possession of land from a tenant during a period of time stated in the order;
(c) prohibit the execution by a sheriff of any writ of possession during a period of time stated in the order;
where in its opinion serious hardship to the tenant or his family would otherwise ensue.
The PMB has interpreted its role as one of providing time for an orderly end to a tenancy. The Court of Queen's Bench has jurisdiction to deal with the merits of the matter and determine that a lease has expired or that a tenant has breached a lease. The Court will determine if the landlord is entitled to a writ of possession. Nevertheless, if the tenant will suffer serious hardship as a result of the immediate end of a lease, the Board has jurisdiction to provide "a period of time" to the tenant if that will avoid serious hardship to the tenant or at least mitigate the serious hardship. The Board does not have jurisdiction to deal with the merits of an application for possession.
There are no prescribed forms for applications under section 14. An application can be made by correspondence, preferably delivered to the Board by email to PMB@gov.sk.ca. Tenants who apply to the PMB for relief are expected to assist the PMB by addressing the following issues:
- Will "serious hardship to the tenant" ensue if the lease is terminated?
- Can the serious hardship be avoided by delaying the eviction?
- What period of time is necessary to avoid serious hardship to the tenant?
If the parties dispute the facts, evidence will be required. Parties are encouraged to:
- communicate openly;
- resolve their disputes directly; and
- contact the board to discuss procedure should an application be necessary.
While the Board is contacted a few times annually about section 14 issues, in most cases the parties find a solution without the need for the Board to conduct a hearing or make an order.
Applications are commonly heard after the court has made its decision on the landlord’s right to possession. If the landlord is not entitled to possession, there is nothing for the Board to delay. If the Court finds that the landlord is entitled to possession, the Board will ask that the court to withhold enforcement of a writ of possession pending a decision of the Board. When the tenant acknowledges the landlord’s right of possession, it is appropriate for the Board to hear the application before the Court hears the landlord’s application for a possession order.
For expediency, members of the Board will take calls and provide basic information about the process and powers of the Board. Obviously it is not desirable for an adjudicator to discuss a matter with one party in the absence of the other. If you communicate with the Board, please send a copy of the message to the other party, so that both parties are aware of all information provided to the Board and have an opportunity to respond. Should a conference call with the Board be desirable, please make the request by email and suggest a convenient time. Conference calls have often helped the parties through the process and enabled them to find their own solution.