Trigone licenses canceled again

The construction holidays are likely to be extended for the employees of Habitations Trigone. The annulment of the 19 licenses issued by the Régie du Bâtiment last year has just been confirmed by the Administrative Labor Court.

Posted at 6:30am

The news sent a shock wave, remember. All licenses owned by Habitations Trigone bosses had been terminated at once in September 2021. The locations had to stop their activities immediately. There were a dozen. It was unclear who would complete the thousands of homes expected by customers.

This is exactly what Trigone had advocated in order to regain his licenses. Their cancellation jeopardized the delivery of 2,353 housing units.

The approach worked. The well-known real estate developer had obtained a “stay of execution”, but his challenge had to be negotiated on the merits.

This time, his arguments, which stretched over 85 pages, did not convince the court. Judge Jean Paquette dismissed the appeal.

However, Trigone’s lawyers were not lacking in ingenuity in convincing the judge that the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) had erred in its analysis.

In particular, they argued that the RBQ “imposes unrealistic standards of perfection, such that any issue suggests Trigone’s lack of competence in the conduct of its entrepreneurial activities.”

However, the Auditor General of Quebec (VGQ) denounced exactly the opposite a year ago. In his opinion, RBQ’s strategy of “ensuring the competence of contractors is insufficient”.

Especially if the standards were that high, we wouldn’t have seen all those discouraging images of buildings poorly constructed by Trigone and eaten by the water on the show. The invoice. There would not have been 200 lawsuits in 20 years.

“It falls to Trigone to demonstrate that she is of good moral character and capable of conducting her business activities with competence and integrity, and she has failed to meet that burden,” Justice Paquette wrote.

In the middle of the construction holiday, the judgment had no shock effect on abandoned construction sites.

But will Trigone’s hundreds of employees and subcontractors show up on open or closed job sites next Monday morning? “It’s too early to tell,” replied one of Trigone’s owners, Patrice St-Pierre.

The businessman didn’t want to say much about the further course of events because he was abroad and the verdict had only been known for a few working hours.

I imagine her [nos avocats] we’re going to look at the remedies we have.

Patrice St-Pierre, one of the owners of Trigone

His company, which has built 25,000 homes since it was founded, has 30 days to take the case to the Supreme Court. If so, will their licenses be maintained during the proceedings? That remains to be seen.

But at RBQ we will ensure that Trigone does not operate without a permit, which is a criminal offence, says its spokesman Sylvain Lamothe.

“We are conducting reviews to see what is being worked on and we will be conducting reviews at the sites,” he continued. And if it turns out that the decision is not respected by the contractor, there could be work stoppages. »

The RBQ does not know how many construction sites Trigone is carrying out at the same time and how many apartments are threatened with completion.

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 high apartments or fewer are obligatorily protected by the GCR (Housing Guarantee) Guarantee Scheme, taller towers are not always guaranteed. This decision is at the discretion of the contractor.

GCR claims that three buildings currently under construction by Trigone are covered by its warranty. These are located in the Domaine de l’équerre in Laval. The project is carried out in partnership with the Charplexe Group. “In the coming days we will communicate with those affected to explain the complaints procedure to them,” promises spokesman François-William Simard.

On the Trigone website, the “Discover our projects” section leads to the lokalia.ca website, specializing in “Rental spaces with a human dimension”. Trigone co-owner Patrice St-Pierre is both major shareholder and president. We can see projects in Longueuil, Granby and Mascouche that have been promised this autumn or next spring. All accommodation offered is for rent.

This new chapter in the Trigone saga is pretty comforting. In an industry that all too often makes headlines with shady practices, the Administrative Labor Court’s substantive ruling shows that the RBQ is capable of putting serious obstacles in the way of unscrupulous entrepreneurs.

But it took off “scandalous” reports The invoice To make it move, the general director of the Consumers’ Association for Quality in Construction (ACQC), Marc-André Harnois, regrets.

And the end of the story is not yet written.

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