The Quebec Government enacted the Act respecting contracting by public
bodies1 that sets out the requirements and
conditions that govern public procurement of goods and services
such as construction contracts2, government concession
contracts3, service4 and supply5
The Act itself had been in effect for some time and was, in the
wake of the corruption revelations from the Charbonneau
Commission6, amended by the enactment of the
Integrity in Public Contracts Act7 by adding a
qualification regime for any contractors, service providers or
suppliers interested in contracting with public entities. In
effect, the regime renders any such contractor convicted of a
specified offence or offences8 ineligible for public
Any such contractor is listed in a dedicated register maintained
by the Government10. Any contractor convicted of a
listed offence must stop the performance of any ongoing contract,
subject to the public bodies' right to seek an authorization to
continue the performance of the contract11 that is
ongoing. An ineligible contractor is also barred from bidding on
any future public contracts. The period of his ineligibility varies
in length, but cannot exceed five years, depending on the nature of
the offence for which he was convicted12.
The regime was implemented initially for those public contracts
of $40 million or more. The effect of this relatively high monetary
threshold was to render a relatively limited number13 of
contractors subject to its application in that it concerned mostly
large contractors and/or service providers who were interested or
had the capacity to carry out project of that size.
The Quebec Government has now lowered the monetary threshold to
$10 million14 thereby capturing a larger array of public
projects and thereby casting a much larger net by rendering a
larger number of contractors subject to the
This regime has created a great deal of uncertainty in the
provincial procurement sphere as its practical workings have and,
in large measure, are still being worked out. The manner in which
the Autorité des marchés financiers and the Courts
will deal with the application and workings of the regime will
hopefully, over time, provide some additional guidance and
1. RSQ, c C-65.1.
2. RRQ, c C-65.1, r. 5.
3. RRQ, c C-65.1, r. 3.
4. RRQ, c C-65.1, 4.
5. RRQ, c C-65.1, r. 2.
6. Formally known as the Commission d'enquête
sur l'octroi et la gestion des contrats publics dans
l'industrie de la construction.
7. 2012, c. 25.
8. The offences are identified by Regulation:
9. Supra, note 1 , s. 21.1.
10. Id., s. 21.6.
11. Id., s. 21.3
12. Id., s. 21.4.1.
13. Approximately 400 contractors and service providers
sought the qualification.
14. O.C. 1105-2013, October 30 2013.
15. The Quebec Government anticipates that an additional
400 contractors and services providers will seek the
Russell v. Township of Georgian Bay provides a useful reminder of the fact that while municipal officials sometimes appear to hold all of the cards in disputes with home owners, that is not always the case.
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