Roger-Luc Chayer

This article is a text of public interest which can and should serve to raise awareness that certain Quebec government organizations can ruin people by acting in a completely opaque manner, without ever having to answer for their actions in front of their boss, the state.

This is what happened to a longtime advertiser and partner of Gay Globe Magazine between November 2020 and April 2021. Not only did the adventure cost him dearly, he came close to losing almost his business.

November 2020, a CNESST inspector arrives at the store in question for a surprise visit on the measures in place for COVID. It does a solid detailed inspection and gives the trade a 100% rating. And since she was there, she decides to do a safety inspection on the food trader’s devices. At the end of the inspection, which took place in a friendly atmosphere with the full cooperation of the trader, she takes a few minutes to explain her findings to him. Indeed, some devices were no longer up to standard, a grid here, a space there, in short, four devices had to be changed or adapted. She then gave the owner two documents, intervention notices with what had to be done and gave him 30 days to comply. Until then, no problem, if devices that were up to standard when they were purchased 20 years ago were no longer, it would naturally be necessary to make changes. The merchant decides to get rid of some devices and buy new ones, for $ 10,000, which is no small feat. All of the CNESST’s recommendations had been followed in less than 14 days.

The trader therefore invites the inspector to come and check her compliance, which she does quickly. She finds that everything is in order and sends, in December, a full report to the merchant to certify that at all levels, he has complied and that he receives the score of 100%. Believing that everything was settled, on April 1, 2021, he received two tickets by registered mail for a total of nearly $ 5,600. Stunned, the merchant inquires and discovers that even if he has fully complied with the CNESST’s requests, within the prescribed period, and that even if he has subsequently received a perfect score, the department that issues the tickets is not the same as the inspection. In other words, it is quite arbitrary that the litigation department decides or not to fine a trader who has nevertheless fully complied with the requests made of him.

By dint of negotiating, the trader will end up paying only one fine of $ 2,600, but the experience has left him traumatized and bitter. Normal, the CNESST system is not logical since a normative inspection can turn into criminal charges, even if everything has been declared compliant, the tickets being a posteriori. Moral of this story, always check if your devices are up to standard and if you are fined, contest, because in the face of arbitrariness, the best answer is still a response!