The gouvernement du Québec oversees the sustainability of public land by being fair towards all users. Development and enhancement of or free access to public land must not be compromised by illegal occupation or use.
Every permanent use of public land requires authorization from the gouvernement du Québec or a delegate RCM.
You may also report an illegal occupation by completing the report form (in French only). All information will remain strictly confidential.
Illegal occupants have no privileges. Unauthorized permanent use of public land may lead to administrative or, in some cases, legal proceedings.
The following structures must not be erected without permission:
- trailers or non-functional vehicles used as lodging
- other permanent structures
During hunting and fishing seasons, structures erected by public land users must be temporary and collapsible, and must be removed after the activity.
You may stay temporarily on public land, provided you are not there for more than seven months and provided the equipment used is mobile, temporary and not attached to the ground.
Clearing the site
The gouvernement du Québec or delegate RCM follows up on cases of illegal occupation submitted to it as a result of reports or site verifications.
Steps in clearing the site
Below are the steps taken to clear the site:
- Posting: A notice of confiscation is posted on the illegal building.
- Voluntary clearing: The building’s owner has seven months to clear and restore the site. After that period, if the illegal occupant has not cleared the site, the building and movable property become the property of the gouvernement du Québec.
- Dismantling: The gouvernement du Québec is authorized to clear all illegal structures and buildings from the site.
Waste materials on public land
The law prohibits the disposal or storage of waste materials on public land. Waste must be disposed of in a place where waste storage, treatment or elimination is authorized by the government.
If you find waste materials on public land, please contact the public land service centre. All information will remain strictly confidential.
Waste management when using public land
All users of public land must comply with the law that prohibits the disposal or emission of waste materials in unauthorized places.
To enjoy public land legally, please plan your outings by reading the rules applicable to the site you intend to visit, and take your garbage to a designated garbage disposal location.
If waste materials are left illegally on public land, the person responsible for the site (owner, tenant or other) is required to take all necessary steps to ensure that the materials in question are stored, processed or eliminated at an authorized site.
Other complaints and reports
If you witness an offence relating to the use of public land, please contact the gouvernement du Québec public land service centre. All information will remain strictly confidential.
Last update: May 13, 2022