Occupation licences

The Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change is responsible for issuing not-for-profit occupation licences.

Applicable structures

Occupation licences to install or maintain the following must be applied for:

  • Floating anchorage platforms that are moveable or built on piles and boathouses built on piles, whose size exceeds 20 m2 or that occupy more than 1/10 of the width of the watercourse bed where they are positioned
  • Structures that collect and/or discharge water
  • Structures that serve to protect the banks of river parcels from erosion, subsidence, landslides and/or floods
  • Bridges whose foundations on the water property bed do not exceed 1/10 of the width of the river where they are positioned
  • Cables, pipes and/or other structures, except for jetties used to provide inter-bank links or communications facilities
  • Mooring anchorages

In the case of individuals who are not the owner of riparian land adjacent to water property in the domain of the State, the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques will require receipt of the observations of the land owner (PDF 207 Kb) (French) relating to the potential impact of the structures on riparian rights.

The installation of new structures, requires an attestation of compliance with municipal bylaws (PDF 188 Kb) (French), signed by the clerk or secretary-treasurer of the municipality. The attestation must certify that the structures meet current municipal bylaws.

Submitting an application

Fill out the Application to grant or modify rights (PDF 380 Kb) (French) and the Sketch for an application for a lease or an occupation licence (PDF 430 Kb) (French) form online. In case of problems, send an email to domaine.hydrique@environnement.gouv.qc.ca or call 418-521-3818, ext. 7500. An acknowledgement of receipt will be provided once the application has been submitted.

Applications are reviewed on a preliminary basis, free of charge.

If the review concludes that the structures are not located on water property in the domain of the State, written notification will be sent and the file will be closed.

If the review concludes that the structures are located on water property in the domain of the State and the type of right applied for is confirmed, processing of the file will continue. Additional information may be requested.

If the file qualifies, the applicant will receive a request to pay for the cost of the occupation licence and any applicable GST and PST. The cost is based on the type of structure. Payment must be made by cheque or money order payable to the Minister of Finance.

The original of the occupation licence will then be mailed to the applicant.

Validity period

Occupation licences are valid for one year and are automatically renewed on a year-by-year basis. No fees apply.

However, a new licence must be applied for when ownership changes.

Licences are cancelled when the related occupation ends and can also be revoked by the Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change if their conditions are not met.

Last update: June 30, 2022

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