On May 31, 2018, the National Assembly enacted the Act to amend the Building Act and other legislative provisions mainly to give effect to certain Charbonneau Commission recommendations (the "Amending Act").
As stated in its title, the Amending Act, formerly identified as "Bill 162", makes substantial changes to the Building Act (the "Act") to incorporate the recommendations of the Charbonneau Commission and enable the Régie du bâtiment (the "Board") "to cooperate in efforts to prevent and to fight corruption and fraudulent practices in the construction industry".
The most significant amendments to the Act include the inclusion of a provision that provides greater powers to the Board to investigate and take action with regards to public contracts. Among those powers, the Board will be entitled to refuse to issue a licence to a person (natural or legal) within five years of a conviction or the expiry of a term of imprisonment relating to an offence under the Competition Act or the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act or to certain Criminal Code offences. The Act will now also provide that holding liability insurance (the nature, coverage and terms of which will be determined by regulation) will be a new condition for the issuance of a licence.
In certain circumstances, the Board may also revoke a licence that has already been granted in the event that the licence holder or one of its officers (any shareholder holding 10% or more of the voting rights attached to the shares will now be considered to be an "officer") has been convicted of an offence or indictable offence referred to in the Act.
In addition to the foregoing, the Act will now grant immunity against civil proceedings and protection against reprisals (via certain penal provisions) to any person who, in good faith, communicates information to the Board concerning an act or omission that the person believes constitutes a violation of the Act.
Lastly, the Amending Act provides that any person who acts as a prête-nom (nominee) or calls for tenders on a prête-nom will now be liable to the payment of heavy fines (varying from $11,213 to $84,087 for an individual and from $33,635 to $168,172 for legal persons).
The Act will come into force by order in council.
Learn about the impacts that the Act to amend the Building Act and other legislative provisions mainly to give effect to certain Charbonneau Commission recommendations could have on your company from our seasoned construction law team.