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Some Volunteer Construction Work Now Permitted in Quebec

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--January 16, 2018.


A new Quebec regulation relating to volunteer construction work has been enacted, and stands not only to loosen the powerful hold that Quebec unions have long held over volunteer labour in the province, but to benefit individual homeowners as well as public institutions (such as schools, churches, and museums) considering repairs to their buildings but with limited finances but volunteers willing to lend a hand.

According to a Government of Quebec order in council dated October 25, 2017, licensed construction workers may now offer their services on a voluntary basis to individuals ("for personal and strictly non-profit-making purposes") as well as charitable organizations registered as such by the Canada Revenue Agency ("for purposes useful to that organization's mission"). Services provided voluntarily must correspond to the competency of the workers doing the jobs.

Also now permitted is the performance by volunteers without certificates of certain specific types of construction work. Jobs that may now be performed by anyone include work related to: interior and exterior painting; interior surfaces such as flooring, walls and ceilings and their finishing; wood or plastic structures, such as finishing carpentry; interior doors and windows; cabinets and counter tops; and marble, granite, ceramics and other similar materials.

The new regulation, which has been opposed by construction unions, is already being praised in the heritage and community sectors. The curator of one regional museum, for example, noted that the measure will "help us with the help of our volunteers to pursue the maintenance and repair work we want to accomplish."

Click here to read the new regulation.