Canada: Legislative Developments In Québec: An Act Respecting Transparency Measures In The Mining, Oil And Gas Industries And Changes To The Mining Act

In 2015, the government of Québec introduced legislative changes that have a direct impact on the mining industry. In October, An Act respecting transparency measures in the mining, oil and gas industries came into force (Act). By the end of the year, significant changes had also been introduced to the province's Mining Act. Each of these legislative developments is described below.

Coming into force of An Act respecting transparency measures in the mining, oil and gas industries

The government of Québec fulfi lled a commitment announced in the March 2015 budget when the Quebec National Assembly passed An Act respecting transparency measures in the mining, oil and gas industries on October 21, 2015. The Act follows the coming into force of the federal Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) on June 1, 2015, although the disclosure regimes they each introduce vary in certain ways.1

As its title suggests, the Act aims to impose measures to discourage and detect corruption and to foster social acceptability of natural resource exploration and development projects.

The Act sets forth a disclosure regime applicable to any legal person, corporation or other organization (Entity) that engages in exploration or development of mineral substances or hydrocarbons, or engages in other activities relating to mineral substances or hydrocarbons, that holds a permit, a right, a licence, a lease or another authorization for such exploration or development activities, or that controls such an Entity, directly or indirectly and in any manner whatsoever, and that complies with one of the following:

  • it is listed on a stock exchange in Canada and has its head offi ce in Québec, or
  • it has an establishment in Québec, exercises activities or has assets in Québec and, based on its consolidated fi nancial statements, meets at least two of the following conditions for at least one of its two most recent fi scal years: (a) it has at least $20 million in assets, (b) it has generated at least $40 million in revenue, or (c) it employs an average of at least 250 persons.

The Act requires an Entity to submit an annual statement within 150 days of the end of each fi scal year to Québec's Autorité des marchés fi nanciers (Quebec's security commission) (AMF). The statement must include all payments that fall within certain categories related to exploration or development of mineral substances or hydrocarbons if the total value of payments made to a single payee during the fi scal year for a specifi c category is equal to or greater than $100,000. Both monetary and in-kind payments are covered for purposes of the annual statements requirements.

The form of annual statements, the manner of presenting or breaking down the payments, as well as the procedure for the transmittal of such statements will be prescribed by government of Quebec regulation.

The Act currently sets out the following categories of payments:

  • taxes and income taxes, other than consumption and personal income taxes;
  • royalties;
  • fees, including regulatory fees, fees for rental or entry, or any other consideration for licences, permits or concessions;
  • production entitlements;
  • dividends, other than those paid as an ordinary shareholder of an Entity;
  • bonuses, including signing, discovery of a deposit and production bonuses; and
  • contributions for the construction or improvement of an infrastructure.

An Entity must make an annual statement public in the manner determined by the government of Quebec for a period of fi ve years from the date of its transmittal. The Entity must also keep records of all payments made in a fiscal year for a seven-year period following the applicable transmittal date.

A payment made on behalf of an Entity is deemed to have been made by such Entity. A payment made by a legal person, corporation or other organization that is not an Entity, but that is controlled by an Entity, is deemed to be made by such controlling Entity. Moreover, a payment due to a payee and received on the payee's behalf by another body that is not a payee is deemed made to the payee to whom the payment is due, such as is a payment made to an employee or a public office holder of a payee.

The Act also states that the following people and bodies count as payees:

  • a government;
  • a body established by two or more governments;
  • a municipality or the Kativik Regional Government;
  • an Aboriginal nation represented by all the band councils, or councils in the case of northern villages, of the communities forming the Aboriginal nation, the Makivik Corporation, the Cree Nation Government, a Native community represented by its band council, a group of communities so represented or, in the absence of such councils, any other Native group (any of the preceding and the Kativik Regional Government (Aboriginal payee); and
  • any board, commission, trust or corporation or other body that exercises, or is established to exercise, public powers or duties of government for a payee described above.

There are mechanisms to avoid duplication of the disclosure requirements. The Act provides that a wholly-owned subsidiary Entity of another Entity will be deemed to have filed its annual statement if the parent Entity has transmitted its annual statement to the AMF and provided that certain other prescribed conditions have been met. Further, if another competent authority is determined by the government of Quebec to be an acceptable substitute because it achieves the same purposes as the Act, a statement produced in compliance with such other authority's requirements may be substituted for an annual statement, provided certain prescribed conditions are met. While the Act duplicates, to a large extent, the requirements of ESTMA, to our knowledge, no such determination has been made yet. In addition to ESTMA, the European Union adopted in 2013 its Transparency Directive Amending Directive, which has to be implemented by each of the EU members, and s. 1504 of the United States Dodd-Frank Act, which is not in force, provides for the implementation of a similar regime. It remains to be seen to what extent an Entity will be exempt from the requirements of the Act based on these similar regimes.

The Minister responsible for the application of the Act, which will be determined by the government of Quebec, is allowed to enter into an agreement with a government of another competent authority or with one of its bodies, for purposes of implementing the Act or concerning the requirements pertaining to the statements required by such other government or body. Such an agreement must contain, among other things, provisions for the sharing of information needed for purposes of said requirements between the Minister or the AMF and such other government or body.

In addition to the powers to investigate already granted to the AMF pursuant to its implementing statute, the AMF now has the power to compel an Entity to provide it with any document or information it considers useful for purposes of the application of the Act. This includes a list of the mining, oil or gas exploration or development projects in which the Entity has an interest and the nature of that interest, an explanation of how a payment was calculated for the purpose of preparing any annual statement, and a statement of any policies implemented by the Entity concerning its obligations under the Act. The AMF may also require that an annual statement or the records of payments made during the fiscal year to which such statement relates be audited by an outside independent auditor.

For enforcement, the Act establishes an administrative monetary penalty regime similar to those already in place under various statutes, such as the Environmental Violations Administrative Monetary Penalties Act (federal), the Environmental Quality Act (Québec) and the Income Tax Act (federal). The Minister has the authority to designate who the administrative monetary penalties will be imposed on when an Entity fails to comply with the Act.

The Act also gives authority to the government of Quebec to create regulations that can exclude a certain Entity, payee or payment from the application of the Act, as well as to determine applicable exchange rate (to Canadian currency) and regulate what contraventions constitute an offence.

While the Act received assent on October 21, 2015, an Entity is not required to file an annual statement for the fiscal year ending in 2015. Further, an Entity is not required to report with respect to payments made to an Aboriginal payee before June 1, 2017.

Key Changes to Mining Act

On May 6 and December 31, 2015, the government of Quebec brought into force significant changes to the Québec Mining Act.

As of May 6, 2015, s. 71.1 of the Mining Act requires holders of mining claims in Québec to submit to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, on each anniversary date of the registration of a claim, a report on the work performed in the previous year. This obligation is in addition to the existing obligation to renew the claim.

Also on this date amendments to s. 75 of the Mining Act came into force. These amendments modify the rules regarding the minimum cost of work to be performed on lands that are subject to a claim in Québec. In the past, any amount spent in excess of the prescribed requirements for the term of the claim could carry over and be applied to subsequent terms. Now, any excess can only be carried over for six subsequent terms. This modification limits the ability of claim holders to conduct significant work in a short period of time and then sit on their claim rights for decades without conducting additional exploration work.

Other changes came into force on December 31, 2015 following the publication on December 16, 2015 of the Regulation to amend the Regulation respecting mineral substances other than petroleum, natural gas and brine (Amending Regulation). The Amending Regulation triggered the coming into force of certain provisions of An Act to amend the Mining Act (Amending Act), which was enacted several years ago. These provisions, which came into force pursuant to s. 127 of the Amending Act, relate, in particular, to:

  • the notice that the claim holder must now send to the owner, the lessee, the holder of the exclusive lease to mine surface mineral substances and the local municipality of the claim, within 60 days after registering the claim;
  • the declaration that a claim holder is now required to make to the Minister of Energy and to the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, of any discovery of mineral substances containing 0.1% or more of triuranium octaoxide within 90 days after the discovery;
  • the public consultation that the proponent of a metal mine project that has a production capacity of less than 2,000 metric tons per day must conduct before submitting the application for a mining lease with respect to such a project; and
  • committees to foster the involvement of the local community in the mining project that any lessee of a mining lease must establish.

Finally, we note that the government of Quebec, pursuant to one of the provisions of the Mining Act, which came into force on December 10, 2013, must draw up, make public and keep up to date an Aboriginal community consultation policy specific to the mining sector. Although the policy in its final form has yet to be made public, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources has published a draft version and held a workshop in November 2015. The ministry is now seeking input on the draft, and it intends to consult all Aboriginal communities.


1. Editors Note: For more on the ESTMA, see the article entitled "Payment Disclosure Now in Force: What Extractives Need to Know" on page 20.

To view the original article please click here.

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.

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.

In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). 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 & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd 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 or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

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