November 23, 2017 - Certain type of construction work carried out by volunteers will henceforth be allowed in Quebec under a new regulation supported by small and midsize enterprises. (SME). However, construction industry trade unions see it as a moonlighting opportunity.
This regulation will allow volunteers to carry out work dealing with interior and exterior painting, finishing touch carpentry, interior doors and windows, cabinets and countertops, as well as marble, granite, ceramics and terrazzo. Also, the work may be carried out by syndicates of co-owners in the common portions of building with four units or less.
The Minister of Labor, Dominique Vien, states that the new regulation is intended to "give more flexibility in the execution of this type of work, and to promote citizens solidarity and mutual assistance”.
But the “Centrale des syndicats démocratiques” (CSD) (Democratic Central Trade Union) sees things differently. For this union, there is no doubt that this allowance will encourage moonlighting. "It is sure, sure, sure that we have just approved moonlighting. We will excuse them by telling them: you just have to say that you are volunteers and there will be no problem ", summarizes Luc Vachon, CSD’s president.
He also foresees equity problems, in the biding process of calls for tenders. Some contractors will want to carry out a portion of the work under the table, to increase their chances of getting the contracts, as their labor cost will be reduced. According to the CSD, honest contractors will be penalized unless they also play the volunteers game.
"Things must be kept in perspective"
For her part, Martine Hébert, Senior Vice-President at the “Fédération canadienne de l’entreprise indépendante” (Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses), declares being pleased that we are loosening the industry regulatory framework. As for moonlighting, she concludes by saying "Let’s not overreact. The government regulation has preserved the more substantial work, such as electrical and structural work,”.
Source: L’actualité and François G. Cellier for Condolegal.com
Montreal, November 23, 2017