On Friday, June 30, 2006, the Fairness is a Two-Way Street Act (Construction Labour Mobility), 1999, was repealed, effectively ending special restrictions placed upon Québec workers and contractors who work, or are seeking to work, in Ontario. As a result, a Québec contractor can now bid on both private and public projects in Ontario, without a certificate from the Jobs Protection Office. However, such contractors must still comply with the requirements imposed upon out-of-province contractors, such as:
Complying with all regulatory requirements affecting the construction industry in Ontario;
Registering with the Ontario Retail Sales Tax Branch of the Ministry of Finance and posting a guarantee of payment of retail sales tax equal to 4% of each construction contract awarded in Ontario (if they do not have a permanent place of business in Ontario);
Registering with the Electrical Safety Authority (if they intend to carry out electrical work in Ontario);
Registering with the Technical Standards and Safety Authority if they wish to conduct business in Ontario in any of the following types of work: (a) gasoline handling contractors; (b) elevator contractors (installation/alteration/maintenance of elevating devices); (c) energy contractors; and (d) equipment installation (requiring welding or piping systems or other pressure equipment);
Obtaining an extra provincial registration and a business name registration, as required by legislation.
Furthermore, the Governments of Québec and Ontario recently signed an agreement addressing construction labour mobility and recognizing the construction qualifications, skills and work experience of both Ontario and Québec. A copy of this agreement can be found on the Ontario Ministry of Labour Website at: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/about/ontque/index.html. The primary purpose of this agreement is to ensure a level playing field for Québec and Ontario contractors or workers seeking to work in either province.
Rocco Sebastiano is a partner in Osler's Construction & Infrastructure Specialty Group. Yan Karov is an associate in the Construction & Infrastructure Specialty Group and is a member of the firm's Litigation Department. Andrew Wong is an associate in the firm's Construction & Infrastructure Group.
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