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Quebec Bill 44: Legislation that could affect opening hours

June 13, 2022

The government, through the Ministère de l’Économie, has tabled Bill 44, An Act to amend various provisions for the purpose of reducing regulatory and administrative burden.

Despite what the title of the bill suggests, a section of it could complicate the management of businesses, particularly those with several establishments in Quebec. It is proposed to allow each municipality to determine for itself the opening hours of businesses in its territory.

It reads as follows:

4.2. A local municipality may, by by-law and for any commercial establishment situated in its territory, prescribe hours and days of admission that are different from those determined [by the Government]. Such hours and days may vary according to the time of year, the establishments covered by the by-law or the part of the territory of the municipality concerned.

The local municipality must give notice of the adoption of a by-law or resolution to the Minister in accordance with this section at the time of the publication or communication of the by-law or resolution.

We have indicated to the office of the Minister of the Economy our opposition to this idea. We believe that it would run counter to the principle of regulatory relief, because companies have to adapt to a multitude of different opening hours, at the discretion of the municipalities, whose number exceeds a thousand in Quebec.

This bill, it should be noted, will not be passed because parliamentary business ends soon. It could, however, be the subject of consultation when Parliament resumes in the weeks following the October 3, 2022 election, depending on the context that prevails.

If this is the case, RCC will participate in these consultations. In the meantime, we will continue our exchanges with the political leaders who will have to comment on this project.

For questions or more information contact

Michel Rochette
President, CCCD – Québec
mrochette@cccd-rcc.org

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