After a third suspension of work, Couvertures Bel-R inc./Bishop Mercier Contracting has its Régie du bâtiment licence suspended

December 16, 2015

On December 7, the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) issued a third order of suspension of work for a site of Couvertures Bel-R Inc. / Bishop Mercier Contracting. The site is a commercial building under renovation situated at 2877 Chemin de Chambly, Longueuil. During an inspection conducted on November 20, a CCQ inspector observed that a worker present on the site did not hold a competency certificate.

Since June 11, two other orders of suspension of work involving sites of the same company, situated in western Montréal, have been issued. Noncompliant employees were also found on these sites by CCQ inspectors. Thereafter, the company was unable to demonstrate that its sites were in compliance.

The importance of the competency certificate

The competency certificate is a document that attests to the capacity of a person to execute work in compliance with the standards in force, and it is obligatory for workers to hold one under the Act Respecting Labour Relations, Vocational Training and Workforce Management in the Construction Industry, commonly called Act R-20.

Suspension of the licence by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ)

Given this situation, section 70.2 of the Act takes effect immediately. Thus, as provided in section 70.2, the licence of a contractor is suspended for 12 months when, during the 2 years following a decision of suspension of work made by the CCQ against the contractor, the contractor is subject to another decision of suspension of work.

A thick file on this company

In recent years, the CCQ has undertaken numerous civil and criminal actions against this company, leaving still unpaid sums due to date totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

For example, the CCQ had to take multiple extraordinary recourses at its disposal, such as legal hypothecs, injunctions, and claims based on the extent of work.

In order to correct the delinquent behaviour of Couvertures Bel-R Inc. / Bishop Mercier Contracting and obtain the company’s cooperation for its verifications, the CCQ obtained an interlocutory injunction from the Superior Court of Québec on April 23, ordering the contractor, its directors, and its employees to comply with the verifications undertaken by the CCQ.

It should also be noted that Couvertures Bel-R Inc. / Bishop Mercier Contracting has been summoned to appear before the RBQ’s Bureau des régisseurs and that the hearing is underway. The Bureau des régisseurs exercises the jurisdictional function entrusted to the RBQ for interpreting the law and regulations that it is responsible for applying by performing functions similar to those of a court of justice. The RBQ submitted its investigation to the Bureau des régisseurs for the following reasons:

  • Use of a dummy
  • The fact that the company is directly or directly under the control of a person who does not meet the criteria of the Act
  • Lack of probity
  • The frequency or seriousness of guilty verdicts for infractions of Act R-20 and the Act Respecting Occupational Health and Safety 
  • Illegitimate previous business wind-ups

Result of a collaboration between the CCQ and the RBQ

The CCQ and the RBQ work in close collaboration by sharing information gathered during various interventions undertaken by both organizations as part of the ACCES construction program. The partners’ combined strategies have made it possible to uncover lawbreakers in the construction industry, the economic sector in which tax losses are the highest.