Following the recent amendments to the Québec Environment
Quality Act (the "EQA"), the Ministry of Sustainable
Development, Environment and Parks ("MSDEP") recently
published the form of a new declaration which is now required to be
filed as a condition for the issue, maintenance or renewal of an
authorization certificate or permit.
The declaration requires the disclosure, among other things, of
convictions of the applicant or holder, or one of its directors,
officers, certain money lenders or large shareholders1,
of certain penal or indictable offences, of a tax, environmental or
criminal nature within the prior 2 to 5 years (varies depending on
the offence). As currently drafted, the declaration also requires
the disclosure of offences committed by legal persons (a term which
is meant to include corporations, municipalities, associations,
partnerships, etc.) of which the holder/applicant's directors,
officers and shareholders are directors, officers or
There is a concern that certain corporations may now have
problems securing quality directors where such individuals fear a
directorship in a corporation that has convictions will
"taint" their directorship in other corporations.
There is also a concern that corporations that have pleaded
guilty to certain tax, criminal or environmental-related offences
may, from now on, have problems obtaining or maintaining their
permits issued under the EQA.
A failure to provide the declaration may cause problems where
the transfer of permits is required in a business purchase
transaction. Advice is required in each individual
The preparation of the 19 page long declaration (which is only
currently available in French) will require considerable data
collection and expense of time, so we suggest that corporations get
ready well in advance where they know Québec permit renewals
or new permits will be required.
1 The definition of a shareholder only includes, for the
purpose of the declaration, a natural person who holds, directly or
indirectly, shares that carry 20% or more of the voting rights in
the legal person that is not a reporting issuer under the
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