Construction holidays are likely to be extended for Habitations Trigone employees. The cancellation of its 19 licences, decreed last year by the Régie du bâtiment, has just been confirmed by the Administrative Labor Court.
Posted at 6:30 am
The news had created a shock wave, he recalls. All licenses held by the heads of Habitations Trigone were canceled immediately, in September 2021. The sites had to cease their activities immediately. There were a dozen. It was unclear who would complete the thousands of homes customers are waiting for.
This is exactly what Trigone had begged to get his licenses back. Its cancellation compromised the delivery of 2,353 homes.
The approach had worked. The well-known real estate developer had obtained a “stay of execution”, but his challenge had to be known on the merits.
This time, his argument, which ran for more than 85 pages, did not convince the Court. Judge Jean Paquette dismissed the appeal.
However, Trigone’s lawyers did not lack imagination to convince the judge that the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) had been wrong in its analysis.
In particular, they argued that the RBQ “imposes unrealistic standards of perfection, so that any problem allows it to conclude that Trigone lacks competition in the exercise of its business activities”.
However, the Auditor General of Quebec (VGQ) had denounced exactly the opposite a year ago. In his opinion, the RBQ’s strategy “to ensure the competence of contractors is insufficient”.
Above all, if the requirements were so high, we wouldn’t have seen all these disheartening images of buildings poorly constructed by Trigone and eaten away by water on the show. The invoice. There would not have been 200 trials in 20 years.
“It is up to Trigone to establish that it has good moral character and that it can conduct its business activities competently and honestly and it has failed to satisfy this burden,” Judge Paquette wrote.
In the midst of a construction holiday, the ruling had no shock effect on the deserted sites.
But next Monday morning, will Trigone’s hundreds of employees and subcontractors show up at open or closed sites? “It’s too early to tell,” replied one of Trigone’s owners, Patrice St-Pierre.
The businessman had little to say about what happened next since he was abroad and the sentence had been known for just a few business hours.
I imagine that they [nos avocats] will look at the remedies we have.
Patrice St-Pierre, one of the owners of Trigone
His company, which has built 25,000 homes since its inception, has 30 days to take the case to the High Court. If so, will their licenses be maintained during the procedure? That remains to be seen.
But at RBQ, we’ll make sure Trigone doesn’t work without permission, which is a prosecutable offence, says spokesman Sylvain Lamothe.
“We are carrying out controls to determine what is being worked on and we are going to carry out controls on the sites,” he continued. And if it turns out that the decision is not respected by the contractor, there could be work suspension orders. »
The RBQ does not know how many works Trigone is carrying out at the same time, nor the number of houses whose completion is in danger.
Concerned consumers awaiting delivery of their home should read their contract to see if their future property is covered by a warranty plan, the RBQ suggests.
However, while buildings with four overlapping apartments or less are mandatory protected by the GCR guarantee plan (Residential Construction Guarantee), the tallest towers are not always guaranteed. This decision is at the discretion of the contractor.
GCR states that three buildings that Trigone is currently constructing are covered by its guarantee. These are located in the Domaine de l’équerre, in Laval. The project is carried out in collaboration with the Charplexe group. “In the next few days, we will contact the people involved to explain the complaints procedure,” promises spokesman François-William Simard.
On Trigone’s site, the “Discover our projects” section leads to the site lokalia.ca, which specializes in “renting spaces with a human dimension”. Trigone’s co-owner, Patrice St-Pierre, is both the main shareholder and the chairman. We may see projects in Longueuil, Granby and Mascouche promised this fall or next spring. All the accommodations presented are for rent.
This new chapter of the Trigone saga is quite reassuring. In an industry that too often makes headlines for its dubious practices, the Administrative Labor Court’s substantial ruling shows that the RBQ is capable of putting serious obstacles in the way of unscrupulous businessmen.
But he took “scandalous” reports of The invoice for it to move, laments the general director of the Consumer Association for Quality in Construction (ACQC), Marc-André Harnois.
And the end of the story is not yet written.
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