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The RBQ’s fields of juridiction

In order to ensure the quality of the construction work and the safety of the persons within its areas of competence, the RBQ establishes the regulations and oversees their enforcement. To this end, it enacts the chapters of the Construction Code and of the Safety Code in the following areas:

  • buildings (of more than 2 storeys and 8 dwellings)
  • electricity
  • plumbing
  • gas
  • petroleum equipment installations
  • pressure vessels
  • elevators and other elevating devices
  • passenger ropeways
  • amusement park rides
  • public pools and beaches

Standardization

The RBQ has the responsibility of elaborating and updating the regulations in connection with the Construction Code and the Safety Code. The Canadian provinces and territories enact their respective regulations by referring to the codes and standards established at the national level, and by amending these as they deem appropriate. The RBQ takes part in the evolution of the codes and standards, and in the joint action with the other Canadian, North-American and international jurisdiction. These jurisdictions develop reference standards in certain technical areas. The RBQ also carries out studies and directs consultations with the main groups concerned with the regulations in the province of Quebec.

Professional qualification

For the sake of protecting the public, the RBQ lays the rules with regard to the professional qualification within the construction industry. It verifies the expertise of the building contractors and owner-builders. Once the RBQ has the assurance that the applicable regulatory requirements with regard to licence security and certification to a guarantee plan have been met, it delivers the licence required to perform or to have a third party perform the construction work of a building, of an equipment intended for public use, of certain facilities or installations detached from a building or of a civil engineering structure.

However, in the case of licences giving to their holder the right to engage in electrical and plumbing work, this responsibility is vested in the Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec (CMEQ) and the Corporation of Master Pipe Mechanics of Quebec (CMMTQ).

Monitoring

The RBQ oversees the quality of the work and the safety of the buildings and equipment coming under the laws and regulations it administers. The RBQ also monitors, through investigation activities, whether a person operating as a contractor or owner-builder actually holds the appropriate licence for the work carried out. The extent of the regulations in the RBQ’s various areas of competence is specified in the statutory regulation of the Building Act.

Integrity of the contractors and owner-builders

In recent years, the RBQ has seen its mission expand. Its new responsibilities regarding crime prevention as well as the prevention of fraudulent practices within the construction industry arise out of amendments made to the Building Act. Through its regulations, the RBQ is also required to support various governmental policies and directions.

In its monitoring approach, the RBQ uses a set of strategies. These include field activities and also activities related to information in view of promoting good practices and compliance with the regulatory obligations. These activities are sometimes deployed in partnership with other organizations sharing common objectives with the RBQ. Lastly, the RBQ phases in legal activities to compel the stakeholders to proper performance, through enforcement of the statutory and criminal provisions. The use of these various strategies is adapted to the distinctiveness of each one of the areas of action and sectors targeted.

Furthermore, the RBQ is recognized as an organization empowered to inspect and verify the quality control programs in the field of pressure vessels.

Financial securities

The RBQ sets out the rules of the Guarantee plan for new residential buildings and oversees its application. This plan offers to the purchasers of new residential buildings a warranty for the performance of the contractual obligations of the contractors, including namely the protection of the advance payments and a guarantee against building defects. The Garantie de construction résidentielle (GCR) is the administrator authorized by the RBQ to offer consumers this mandatory guarantee with the buildings set out. In case of a disagreement over a decision rendered by one of the administrators, the beneficiary or the contractor may seek a remedy through arbitration before one of the three bodies authorized by the RBQ to this end.

Regarding work not covered by the mandatory guarantee plan, the RBQ protects the consumers by requiring that the contractors have a licence security. This security allows the compensation of any client who has suffered a prejudice following the performance or non-performance of construction work and arising directly out of advance payments, non-completion, faulty work and defects discovered within the year following the end of the work.

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