The new private manager of the Base de plein air de Sainte-Foy, which obliges the users of the site to sign a form “acceptance of risk” for almost a year, will cease this controversial practice in a few weeks for the “bulk of activity”.
The questionnaire that bothers you.
“Is it normal that a public service company, which pays liability insurance for the use of its territory, asks users to waive individually to potential prosecution? I’m boggled! I think that it is an abuse of power and intimidation. A lot of users like me seem to be uncomfortable with the situation,” growls Denis Julien, an amateur of cross-country skiing, which has been overthrown by this new directive recently.
Previously, the City did not require the signing of such a form. She autoassurait. The Group’s open-Air Wildlife, a non-profit organization which is entrusted with the management of the site by the City of Québec in April 2019, does not scroll and acknowledges having received several complaints in this regard.
A requirement of the insurer
The Group director of outdoor Wildlife, Pascal Raymond, sharing the discontent of the citizens who did not have to sign such a document before. He said that he was forced by his insurance company, based in London, to proceed this way, even if the laws of Quebec are clear.
No form or “release” only allows a company or an institution in quebec to be completely free of his liability for bodily or moral injury, according to the civil Code.
“The insurer asks us to complete a formal discharge of responsibility, but of course, in Quebec, it is not worth anything… We looked at with our insurers and the City what could be done. At the beginning, with the insurer (Dashwood Brewer & Phipps), it was a resounding no, so we tried to find others, but there are very few insurers that cover outdoor activities and it gave the same results,” laments Mr. Raymond.
Panels instead of the form
“We found ways to lighten the whole and we just got the confirmation from the insurer that it was entitled to amend it,” said Mr. Raymond. Signage warning skiers, hikers or swimmers (in the summer) will be installed on the site “within two or three weeks,” which should settle the matter for most of the recreation referred to.
The form does not disappear, however, not completely. It will be annexed to the contract of lease of various equipment for water sports, for example, or other winter sports but it is, ” he said, a common practice in Quebec, which should not offend the customer.
“It took a lot of time to inform the users of our approaches. It is not there to picked on all the time the citizen. It was a new building that is really interesting. The City has invested a lot to renovate the site. It was really beautiful infrastructure. We want to give the best service to the customer,” noted Mr. Raymond.