O-1.3 - Act to ensure the occupancy and vitality of territories

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chapter O-1.3
Act to ensure the occupancy and vitality of territories
OCCUPANCY AND VITALITY OF TERRITORIESMay 3 2012May 3 2012
AS Québec is composed of territories that have their own particular challenges and potentials;
AS the occupancy and vitality of these territories, which is the result of the efforts of aboriginal peoples, the first European settlers and newcomers from neighbouring territories and elsewhere, as well as their descendents, must continue in a sustainable manner;
AS it is expedient to make the occupancy and vitality of territories a national priority and a full-fledged societal project;
AS this new objective for territories calls for a fresh approach in order to provide coherent support for the dynamism and aspirations of communities and is underpinned by the pride and the sense of identity and belonging that communities have toward their territories;
AS it is important for the Administration to better adapt its plans and actions to the realities of the territories and communities in them;
AS elected municipal officers are key players in matters relating to the occupancy and vitality of territories;
AS the occupancy and vitality of territories concerns the population and all socio-economic actors of a community;

THE PARLIAMENT OF QUÉBEC ENACTS AS FOLLOWS:
CHAPTER I
PURPOSE AND SCOPE
1. The purpose of this Act is to contribute to the occupancy and vitality of territories throughout Québec by adapting the management framework within the Administration and by inviting elected municipal officers to promote the occupancy and vitality of territories in the performance of their duties.
2012, c. 5, s. 1.
2. The measures introduced by this Act are intended, more specifically, to strengthen the efficiency and coherence of government actions benefiting communities in matters relating to the occupancy and vitality of territories and to ensure the accountability of the Administration in such matters by means of monitoring and reporting procedures.
2012, c. 5, s. 2.
3. Within the scope of the proposed measures, the occupancy and vitality of territories means the development of the potential of each territory, in keeping with the principles of sustainable development, resulting from the commitment and actions of citizens, elected officers and socio-economic actors.
2012, c. 5, s. 3.
4. In this Act, unless the context indicates otherwise, the Administration means
(1)  the secretariat of the Conseil du trésor and government departments, with the exception of the Ministère des Finances, the Ministère des Relations internationales and the Ministère du Travail;
(2)  the Centre de services partagés du Québec, Hydro-Québec, Investissement Québec, the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec, the Société d’habitation du Québec and the Société des Traversiers du Québec; and
(3)  any other government agency designated by the Government and to which the Auditor General Act (chapter V-5.01) applies.
2012, c. 5, s. 4; 2013, c. 16, s. 123; 2016, c. 82016, c. 8, s. 80.
CHAPTER II
STRATEGY TO ENSURE THE OCCUPANCY AND VITALITY OF TERRITORIES, IMPLEMENTATION AND REPORTING
DIVISION I
STRATEGY
5. The Administration’s contribution to the occupancy and vitality of territories is to be based on a strategy to ensure the occupancy and vitality of territories adopted by the Government and any revision of that strategy.
Any revision of the strategy must specify the objectives set for the Administration, including objectives regarding decentralization, delegation and regionalization of jurisdictions, powers, functions, responsibilities and resources agreed on. It must also state the principles which, in addition to sustainable development principles including subsidiarity, must guide the actions of the Administration.
The following must be included among these principles:
(1)  Respect for the specificities of aboriginal nations and their contribution to the Québec culture : aboriginal nations constitute distinct nations, having their own specific cultures, languages, customs and traditions, as well as recognized or claimed rights. Because of its inclusive nature, the occupancy and vitality of territories also concerns aboriginal peoples;
(2)  Commitment of elected officers : the occupancy and vitality of territories is to be supported by elected members of the National Assembly, the council of a municipality, a band council, the council of a northern village, the Cree Nation Government or the council of a school board;
(3)  Concerted approach : a concerted approach by the elected officers and socio-economic actors of a community, supported by the aspirations and mobilization of citizens, constitutes an important contribution to the occupancy and vitality of territories;
(4)  Territorial complementarity : the elected officers and socio-economic actors of neighbouring communities or communities sharing common interests are invited to form associations and join forces to collaborate, plan and act in a manner that is complementary and beneficial to those communities;
(5)  Adaptable government action : government action is to be adapted to take into account the diversity and specificity of different territories, and to strive for equity between territories and communities; and
(6)  Coherence and efficiency of planning and interventions in the territories : the best possible coherence is to be sought in the planning required of the municipalities, the responsible bodies referred to in section 21.5 of the Act respecting the Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire (chapter M-22.1) and the metropolitan communities to ensure the optimal efficiency of decisions and interventions.
2012, c. 5, s. 5; 2013, c. 19, s. 91; 2015, c. 8, s. 265.
6. The Government is required, after consultation, to revise the strategy to ensure the occupancy and vitality of territories every five years. However, it may defer a revision for a period not exceeding two years.
In the intervals between revisions, the Government may also, after consultation, make any amendment to the strategy that allows the occupancy and vitality of territories to be better promoted.
Any revision of the strategy takes effect on the date it is adopted by the Government.
2012, c. 5, s. 6.
7. Any revision of the strategy is to be published and made accessible in the manner and under the conditions the Government considers appropriate. It must be tabled before the National Assembly by the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy.
2012, c. 5, s. 7.
8. Not later than one year after the end of the year in which any revision of the strategy is adopted, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy must submit, after consultation, a list of the occupancy and vitality indicators that the Minister recommends for adoption by the Government. Once adopted, the indicators are made public by the Minister.
2012, c. 5, s. 8.
DIVISION II
IMPLEMENTATION OF STRATEGY AND REPORTING
9. Each department, agency or enterprise included within the Administration must, as part of its multi-year planning, present and make public its contribution to attaining the objectives of the strategy within its jurisdiction, in keeping with the principles stated in the strategy.
2012, c. 5, s. 9.
10. The Government may specify the conditions and procedures for the performance of the obligation set out in section 9. It may, in particular, issue directives concerning the form and content of the planning operation as well as the frequency of, or interval between, the required updates.
2012, c. 5, s. 10.
11. Each minister responsible for an administrative region of Québec
(1)  assists the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy in promoting the occupancy and vitality of territories in the administrative region for which the minister is responsible by fostering a concerted approach and cohesive action by all stakeholders in order to encourage interventions in this area;
(2)  participates in the proceedings of the Table Québec-Montréal métropolitain pour l’aménagement et le développement or the Table Québec-Québec métropolitain pour l’aménagement et le développement if the region the minister is responsible for is situated, in whole or in part, within the territory of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal or of the Communauté métropolitaine de Québec; and
(3)  cooperates with the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy by communicating to the Minister any useful information concerning the occupancy and vitality of territories in the region the minister is responsible for.
2012, c. 5, s. 11.
12. The chair of each regional administrative conference lends support to the minister responsible for the region for which the conference is established.
2012, c. 5, s. 12.
13. Within the jurisdiction of any municipal body on whose council they sit, elected municipal officers
(1)  exercise their functions, guided by the principles set out in this Act and in the strategy to ensure the occupancy and vitality of territories, more specifically those relating to a concerted approach and territorial complementarity; and
(2)  work to achieve the objectives of the strategy.
For the purposes of this section, municipal body means a municipal body within the meaning of section 5 of the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information (chapter A-2.1).
2012, c. 5, s. 13.
14. Each department, agency and enterprise that is subject to section 9 must state in its annual management report the results obtained in relation to the planning referred to in that section and to the indicators adopted by the Government.
2012, c. 5, s. 14.
15. Each year, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy presents to the Government an assessment of the strategy’s implementation within the Administration, and each time the strategy is revised, an implementation report based on the indicators and any other means set out in the strategy. The assessment and the report are made public by the Minister and tabled before the National Assembly within the next 30 days or, if the Assembly is not sitting, within 30 days of resumption.
2012, c. 5, s. 15.
CHAPTER III
ROLE AND FUNCTIONS OF THE MINISTER
16. To ensure the carrying out of this Act, the functions of the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy consist more specifically in
(1)  promoting the occupancy and vitality of territories within the Administration and among the general public, and fostering a concerted approach and cohesive action to encourage interventions in this area;
(2)  coordinating efforts by the Administration to develop indicators and revise the components of the strategy, and recommending the adoption of the resulting revision and indicators by the Government;
(3)  coordinating efforts to prepare the annual assessment of the strategy’s implementation within the Administration and the implementation report each time the strategy is revised;
(4)  enhancing knowledge in the area of the occupancy and vitality of territories and analyzing experiences elsewhere, in particular with respect to the policy directions set out in the strategies and action plans and their implementation, as well as the development of indicators or other methods to measure any progress made in relation to the occupancy and vitality of territories; and
(5)  advising and providing expertise and assistance to the Government and third persons as regards the occupancy and vitality of territories to help achieve the objectives of the strategy.
2012, c. 5, s. 16.
CHAPTER IV
AMENDING PROVISIONS
17. (Amendment integrated into c. E-18, s. 4).
2012, c. 5, s. 17.
18. (Amendment integrated into c. M-22.1, ss. 21.4.1-21.4.11).
2012, c. 5, s. 18.
19. (Omitted).
2012, c. 5, s. 19.
CHAPTER V
TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS
20. A regional administrative conference recognized under Order in Council 107-2000 (2000, G.O. 2, 1480, French only), respecting the recognition of regional administrative conferences, is deemed to be established under section 21.4.7 of the Act respecting the Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire (chapter M-22.1).
2012, c. 5, s. 20.
21. Despite section 19 and until the Government specifies the responsibilities of regional administrative conferences in accordance with section 21.4.11 of the Act respecting the Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire (chapter M-22.1), the responsibilities determined in Order in Council 107-2000 (2000, G.O. 2, 1480, French only) continue to apply to regional administrative conferences.
2012, c. 5, s. 21.
22. Each government department, agency and enterprise that is subject to section 9 has until 31 March 2013 to comply for the first time.
2012, c. 5, s. 22.
23. The Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy is responsible for the administration of this Act.
2012, c. 5, s. 23.
24. No later than 3 January 2013, the Minister must submit a list of the occupancy and vitality indicators that the Minister recommends for adoption by the Government. Once adopted, the indicators are made public by the Minister.
2012, c. 5, s. 24.
25. No later than 31 March 2018, and thereafter every 10 years, the Minister must report to the Government on the carrying out of this Act.
The report must be tabled before the National Assembly within 30 days or, if the Assembly is not sitting, within 30 days of resumption.
2012, c. 5, s. 25.
26. (Omitted).
2012, c. 5, s. 26.