February 2010    Print this article

Delegation of Sand and Gravel Mining Management to RCMs

Encouraging territorial development and growth

Roch Gaudreau, Director
Direction des titres miniers et des systèmes

In fall 2008, the Québec cabinet authorized the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Regions and the Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife to sign and make public an agreement negotiated with Fédération québécoise des municipalités (FQM) and Union des municipalités du Québec (UMQ). One of the goals of the agreement was to transfer management of sand and gravel mining on public land to the regional county municipalities (RCMs). In June 2009, cabinet adopted an order-in-council on the decentralization of sand and gravel mining management.

Under the agreement in principle, the ministers must:

The sand- and gravel-related powers and responsibilities assigned to the RCMs are as follows:

Every year, MRNF handles over 2,700 leases and authorizations for sand and gravel mining. The royalties and lease income generated across Québec each year add up to more that $3.2 million. Most of this amount comes from RCMs located in Nord-du-Québec, Côte-Nord, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean.

In November and December of 2009, the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean RCM signed a memorandum of understanding for a transfer of responsibilities effective April 1, 2010. Staff at Direction des titres miniers et des systèmes have spent the past months actively preparing for the management transfer to the RCMs. They have put together materials such as a guide and other documentation in addition to planning training sessions. A series of workshops will be held for designated Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean RCM staff between the months of February and June, 2010.

Several other administrative regions are also interested in this management delegation initiative. New agreements with other RCMs will likely be signed over the course of 2010.

By delegating new responsibilities to the RCMs, the Québec government is helping to

  • Boost regional autonomy and prosperity, and provide high-quality living conditions for their residents.
  • Enhance the role of RCMs within their territories and provide them with new tools for providing more services to the pubic.
  • Enable citizens to directly seek out services offered by their RCMs.
  • Permit sand and gravel pit operators to benefit from the knowledge of RCM staff.


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© Gouvernement du Québec, 2010