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Cutting back on red tape in the construction industry

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The construction industry is one of the most tightly regulated sectors in Quebec. Many of you have asked for an overhaul of regulations that you consider too cumbersome. We are lobbying the government, the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) and the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) to get our message across: excessive regulation is bad for business.

CCQ: small businesses say “Too much red tape!”

We surveyed our construction members and forwarded the results to the CCQ:

  • 75% say CCQ paperwork and requirements are unreasonable.
  • 47% fear they may be treated unfairly by the CCQ during inspections.
  • 47% feel that CCQ inspectors aren’t always professional.
  • 71% believe that the level of fines is unreasonably high.

On the effectiveness of the “Carnet de référence construction”:

  • 49% insist that it is no more effective than union placement.
  • 28% feel it is more effective than union placement.
  • 57% say that the CCQ is overzealous in its enforcement of rules governing the Carnet.

We have informed the CCQ of your concerns and it has already made changes, especially to its fines. We also told them the Carnet is currently not working efficiently, and they admitted it! We are asking the Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale to find solutions as quickly as possible.

Also, we recommended to the CCQ to take a customer-orientated approach like the one initiated by Revenu Québec in January 2017 and they were open to the idea.

Streamlining the RBQ licensing system

We are also asking the government to streamline the RBQ licencing system, which includes more than 50 subcategories. This makes it difficult to locate the category that applies to your business. The system’s sheer complexity often means wasting precious time—or worse, getting slapped with unwarranted fines!

Warnings before fines

We believe that the law should give business owners a chance to correct any infractions before being fined—for example, if an entrepreneur acts in good faith, but doesn’t have the right licence for the work being done.

The government was also considering adding language to the same bill requiring entrepreneurs in the construction industry to obtain a fifth licence security. We fought back, and we were heard! To obtain a licence, you will have to have liability insurance instead.

Keep sharing your personal experiences with us—they help us make your voice heard with government!