In recent weeks, the Quebec government has been particularly active on the legislative front, with several bills having an impact on retailers are in the process of adoption or in consultation.
The special consultations and public hearings on Bill 96 ended on October 7. The RCC submitted a brief (French only) in concert with our partners (Conseil québécois du commerce de commerce and Conseil du Patronat, among others). Several requests were made, including the suspension of new requirements in terms of signage, more practical approaches in regards to issues surrounding hiring and the drafting of contracts, the powers of the language office, and possible legal prosecution.
A report from the Committee is expected to be drafted in the coming weeks, followed by a study by MNAs in parliamentary committees. It is thus possible that several amendments will be presented before a possible adoption; no specific schedule is available at this time.
On October 7, the Government of Quebec tabled an omnibus bill to reduce the administrative burden on businesses. This bill provides for the repeal of the Act respecting stuffing and upholstered and stuffed articles and is a request for the regulatory relief and harmonization that RCC has been pursuing for years. There will be a special consultation on the bill before it goes to the parliamentary committees. RCC will closely monitor new developments and proposed timelines.
Almost a year after its introduction, Bill 59 came into effect on October 6, 2021. Several amendments have been made since it was first proposed in October 2020. RCC is working with the Centre patronal SST to see to an explanation of the ins and outs of modernization for retailers.
As a reminder, Bill 64 officially entered into force on September 22, 2021. RCC submitted a brief during consultations in September 2020, and will have the new Quebec law reviewed by its members-only Confidentiality Committee on October 28, 2021.
As part of the regulatory review process initiated as part of the 2018-2025 Biofood policy, Bill 99 officially came into force on October 6, 2021. The RCC tabled a brief during special consultations and highlighted the tabling of the bill. This is an important step in RCC’s efforts to simplify regulations. The bill will have little impact for retailers, as the majority of the major changes will be specified in the new version of the Regulation respecting food, scheduled for 2024. The revision process of the new regulations will be announced in the next few weeks.
Prorogation of the Session
Several sources indicate that the Legault government could prorogue the parliamentary session this week, to resume October 19, 2021. This will allow an inaugural speech to be held by the government and their priorities for “post-pandemic” to be set, exactly one year prior to the election. Work on the bills above should resume at that time.