Adopted on December 1, 2015, and put forward by Tourism Minister
Dominique Vien, Bill 67 (hereinafter
"Bill") was drafted in response to the
demand for change by tourism accommodation stakeholders. It will
come into effect at a date to be determined by the government and
essentially aims to amend the certification process, to foster the
implementation of municipal regulations with respect to urban
planning and to provide a standard framework for online temporary
rental service platforms.
The first noteworthy change is the addition of the term
tourist to the Act respecting tourist accommodation
establishments (CQLR, c. E-14.2, hereinafter the Act), which
will certainly prove important since the definition diverges
slightly from the standard meaning. The Act defines a tourist as a
"... person who takes a leisure or business trip, or a trip to
carry out remunerated work, of not less than one night nor more
than one year outside the municipality where the person's place
of residence is located and who uses private or commercial
accommodation services." The new explanation clearly intends
to widen the scope of application of accommodation standards.
The term is all the more significant with respect to the
obligation to obtain certification to operate a tourist
accommodation establishment under the Act. These certificates must
be displayed at the entrance of establishments on coloured panels
to indicate information such as star classification, for
The definition of a tourist accommodation is provided in the
Regulation respecting tourist accommodation establishments
(CQLR, c E-14.2, r 1). It has been modified to include "...any
establishment operated by a person who offers for rent to tourists,
in return for payment, at least one accommodation unit for periods
not exceeding 31 days." Both definitions indicate the
far-reaching extent of the obligation to obtain certification.
Bill 67 also includes an amendment that will undoubtedly impact
municipalities: when the operator of a tourist accommodation
establishment wants to obtain or modify a certificate, the
government must advise the municipality to ensure that the intended
use is compliant with municipal urban planning by-laws. Prior to
this amendment, operators applied directly to the municipality for
their certificates. The Bill therefore creates a direct information
channel between urban planning departments and the Ministère
If the intended use is not in conformity with municipal planning
by-laws, the municipality must inform the Ministère within
45 days of the notice. It should be noted that the Bill seems to
create a presumption of conformity should a municipality fail to
respond in the alloted delay. Only the court's interpretation
of the Bill on this issue will clarify the situation. When a
municipality declines an application, the provincial government
will refuse to issue the certificate.
Finally, the Bill provides for greater power to investigate and
inspect illegal tourist accommodation operations and sets out
heftier fines. An establishment that does not comply with the
obligation to obtain certification could face fines of $2 500 to
$25 000 for an individual and up to $50 000 for a business. The
amounts double and triple in the event of repeated offences. The
Bill also creates a presumption of offence against administrators
and officers of businesses that violate its provisions. Lastly,
certain municipalities may want to amend their legal definitions to
dovetail with those specified in the Bill in order to broaden and
optimize the control of tourist accommodations.
Though the Bill has not yet come into effect, do not hesitate to
contact one of our legal experts for more information on the
Mackrell International - Canada - Prévost
Fortin D'Aoust is a Quebec based business law firm with offices
in Montreal, Saint-Jérôme, Boisbriand,
Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts and Laval, and a member of Mackrell
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