Work suspended on a site in southwest Montreal after a major operation conducted by the CCQ

September 3, 2015

Earlier today, Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) issued an order of suspension of construction work for the site of a commercial building owned by Mark and Philip Kaufman, situated at 2240-2250 Rue Pitt in Sud-ouest Borough. This order was issued following a verification operation conducted last week, during which numerous violations of the Act Respecting Labour Relations, Vocational Training and Workforce Management in the Construction Industry (known as Act R-20) were observed by the 15 CCQ experts dispatched to the site. The origin of the operation was a lengthy denunciation of possible violations in relation to renovation work being performed covered by the Act.

“According to what we observed on the site, some contractors in good order were hired to do part of the work, while others were illegal,” noted Benoît Thibault, the CCQ’s director of tactical operations. “This circumvention strategy is used by noncompliant companies. Obviously, by using this illegal practice, they hope to significantly reduce their costs while being able to supply invoices for different kinds of work, thus camouflaging the undeclared hours.”

Among the violations observed during the operation, 10 concerned workers who did not hold a competency certificate, a document that attests to a person’s capacity to perform work in compliance with the standards in force. In this situation, the CCQ also suspects that the workers were not receiving the wages or the social benefits to which they have a right under the collective agreements, the regulations in force, and Act R-20 for execution of work.

Keeping illegal work from continuing: Toward suspension of the site

Following the verification operation that took place on August 27, the CCQ immediately started procedures to suspend work for this site. The employer thus had almost one week to correct the situation; during this period he was also guided by the CCQ in the steps toward regularization.

The order of suspension of work is in effect as of now and will be officially submitted to the court in coming days. At the same time, the CCQ is continuing its verification process.

For all of the criminal violations, the employer and workers at fault may have to pay fines totalling more than $12,000. The CCQ will also, if necessary, pursue all civil remedies required following its verifications.

September 14, 2015 // Latest developments in this case

On September 4, the CCQ granted a resumption of work. In addition to regularizing the situation, the employer implemented appropriate measures to guarantee compliance of its site in the future. Performance audits made to date by the CCQ confirm that the commitments made have been kept.