A contractor or an owner-builder does not have be a licence holder to do construction work on farm property usually operated by the farmer himself or fewer than three regular employees.
A farming operation consists in using a natural site to derive agricultural production from:
- activities related to the reproduction of animals intended for human food;
- agriculture (fodder, grains, sod, tobacco, dairy products, etc.);
- apiculture (beekeeping);
- aquaculture (aquatic plants, fish spawning);
- aviculture (birds, poultry);
- forested area of the farm (ex.: harvesting of fir trees);
- horticulture (vegetables, fruit, flowers, trees, shrubs, greenhouse crops, etc.);
- maple sugaring (maple grove);
- rearing fur-bearing animals, breeding horses or breeding animals for human food.
An operation will be considered farm property to the extent that its main activity is the use of a natural site to derive agricultural production.
The exemption covers:
- farms run by their owner or owners along with a maximum of 2 permanent employees (not taking into account seasonal employees hired, for example, for the harvest);
- farms not run by the operator but rather by fewer than 3 permanent employees.
Farm property or not?
In principle, agricultural operations are located in farming areas (a nursery or horse stable in an urban area is not likely to qualify for the exemption).
One way to determine if the property is farm property is to ask whether the operation holds a registration card
issued by the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation
(MAPAQ). However, it is possible that farm property within the meaning of the Building Act not hold such a card. Conversely, an operation that holds a MAPAQ registration card might not be considered farm property within the meaning of the Building Act.
Note that this exemption does not apply to contractors and owner-builders who carry out construction work on an installation intended to use or distribute gas, an electrical installation, or a petroleum equipment installation. An owner-builder who does such work on farm property must hold the appropriate licence.
When an operation is designated farm property exempt from the application of Chapter IV of the Act, no licence is required for construction work on buildings, equipment, installations or facilities located there (ex.: operator’s house and its annexes, garage, barn, stable, manure pit, bridge, hothouse).