Canada: Québec: Adoption Of Bill 55: An Act Respecting Transparency Measures In The Mining, Oil And Gas Industries

Last Updated: December 14 2015
Article by Ann Bigué and Anne-Frédérique Bourret

The Québec National Assembly adopted Bill 55: An Act respecting transparency measures in the mining, oil and gas industries1 recently. Bill 55 came into force on October 21, 2015. The content of Bill 55 was summarized in our August 4, 2015 newsletter.


The purpose of Bill 55, which was originally tabled before the National Assembly on June 21, 2015, is to impose transparency measures by making it mandatory for mining, oil and gas enterprises to declare the monetary payments, or payments in kind, they make in connection with their natural resource exploration and development projects.

Bill 55 was tabled in the context of the Government of Québec's willingness to assert its jurisdiction in natural resources, following the Government of Canada's adoption of the Extractive Sector Transparency Act (see our July 13, 2015 report on Bill C-43).

In August 2015, Bill 55 was submitted to special consultations and public hearings by the Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries, Energy and Natural Resources (the CAPERN). Further to the detailed study of Bill 55, which took place in September 2015, the CAPERN adopted a number of amendments to the bill that were integrated into the text of An Act respecting transparency measures in the mining, oil and gas industries (the Act), which the National Assembly adopted.


The following key amendments were made to the Act since the June 21, 2015 version of Bill 55 was tabled before the National Assembly:

1. Application of the CA$100,000 threshold to payments made within a same category of payment to the same payee, rather than to the total payments made to said payee.

This amendment to Article 6 of Bill 55 is undoubtedly the most important amendment that was made by the Parliamentary Committee.

The June 21 version of Bill 55 provided that entities subject to the Act must file an annual statement with the Autorité des marchés financiers (the AMF) in which they declare all payments made to the same payee in a given fiscal year if those payments total CA$100,000 or more.

The Act clarifies that the CA$100,000 threshold applies, in fact, by category of payment, namely taxes and income taxes; royalties; fees (including rental fees, entry fees, regulatory charges, etc.); production entitlement; dividends; bonuses; contributions for infrastructure construction or improvements; or any other category of payment determined by regulation. Applying the threshold as clarified in the amendment will lead to a reduction in the number of annual statements filed by the entities subject to the Act.

The fact that the CA$100,000 threshold also applies by category of payment under the Québec legislation will facilitate the substitution of the annual statement by a statement made in accordance with the requirements of another competent authority, particularly by one filed under federal laws that provides for the same reporting threshold. The Act provides that the government may determine, by regulation, the requirements of such an authority as an acceptable substitute, if the requirements have the same objectives as those of the Act.

When Bill 55 was adopted, Minister for Mines Mr. Luc Blanchette pointed out that several states already had similar laws, namely Great Britain, France and Norway. He also mentioned that other countries of the European Union would soon be adopting similar laws, pursuant to the EU Directive on the harmonization of transparency requirements. In short, it appears from Mr. Blanchette's comments that the government hopes to avoid duplicating statements to be filed by entities subject to the Act.

2. Clarification that trusts are subject to the Act

The term "trust" has been added to various articles outlining which types of entities are subject to the obligations stipulated in the Act. This amendment clarifies that trusts are subject to the Act in the same way as legal persons, corporations or any other organizations engaged in the exploration or development of mineral substances or hydrocarbons. Trusts are also subject to the Act as payees who have received payment under the Act. In short, choosing a trust as the designated legal vehicle will not prevent the application of the Act, whether it is as an entity subject to the Act or as a payee.

3. Addition of certain presumptions with respect to payments

Article 7, which provides for certain presumptions with respect to payments made by entities subject to the Act, was amended to clarify that payments made by any intermediary on behalf of an entity subject to the Act, are deemed to have been made by that entity, and to add the presumption that any payment made to a board, commission, trust, corporation or other body that exercises—or that was established to exercise—public powers or duties for a payee, is deemed to have been made to that payee.

4. The Minister responsible for the application of the Act is required to table a five-year report on the implementation of the Act in the National Assembly.

Article 51 provides for the obligation to report to the government on the implementation of the Act and the advisability to amending it. The obligation to table this report every five years in the National Assembly was added to take into consideration a comment made by the Auditor General of Québec during the special consultations on the Bill and aims to achieve continuous improvement. This type of provision can also be found in other Québec laws.

Finally, it should be noted that the Government designated the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources as responsible for the application of the Act.


While the Act is now in force, the mining, oil and gas industries are waiting for the publication of the regulations, which will provide the form of the annual statement—including the manner in which the payments must be presented or broken down, and the procedure for sending the statement—as well as the substitution requirements. We will follow the publication of any regulations made under the Act with interest.

For more information, please consult a copy of the Act.


1. S.Q. 2015, c. 23

About Dentons

Dentons is a global firm driven to provide you with the competitive edge in an increasingly complex and interconnected marketplace. We were formed by the March 2013 combination of international law firm Salans LLP, Canadian law firm Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (FMC) and international law firm SNR Denton.

Dentons is built on the solid foundations of three highly regarded law firms. Each built its outstanding reputation and valued clientele by responding to the local, regional and national needs of a broad spectrum of clients of all sizes – individuals; entrepreneurs; small businesses and start-ups; local, regional and national governments and government agencies; and mid-sized and larger private and public corporations, including international and global entities.

Now clients benefit from more than 2,500 lawyers and professionals in 79 locations in 52 countries across Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and the CIS, the UK and the US who are committed to challenging the status quo to offer creative, actionable business and legal solutions.

Learn more at

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances. Specific Questions relating to this article should be addressed directly to the author.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions