Workers at a discount to West on a construction site in the CP

Des travailleurs à rabais de l’Ouest sur un chantier du CP

A sub-contractor of the Canadian Pacific (CP) is accused of coming by the dozens of workers of Western canada paid two times less expensive to redo its rails in the Montérégie region.

“In Quebec, a layer of rails can earn $ 40 per hour, while elsewhere in the country, it is more around $ 20 or $ 25 per hour,” said Jean-Luc Deveaux, v.-p. of the CSN-Construction, which points the finger at Narrow Passage Rail inc., property of Remcan, which has its head office in British Columbia.

Last year, the Canadian Pacific (CP) has purchased the rails of the former Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (MMA), six years after the tragedy of Lac-Mégantic, which was 47 people.

To maintain its network of 280 kilometres from Saint-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu to Lac-Mégantic via Farnham, the CP was awarded a contract of more than $ 20 million over three years to a company of the canadian West.

“This company here does not have his license from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ). She can’t hire workers to do construction work, so I asked the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) to require the shutdown of the construction site, ” said Jean-Luc Deveaux.

He stressed that the employees of the Canadian Pacific railway (CP) does not have to submit to the Law of labour relations (R-20) because they are under federal jurisdiction, but that their sub-contractors, such as Narrow Passage Rail inc., have the obligation to do so.


According to him, the CP is “with the old form of colonialism”, in making use of unilingual anglophones to other provinces while the québécois workers must be content to watch the train pass.

“A project of this magnitude-there, it happens once per ten years. We’d like to be entrepreneurs among us who do the work, or that outside companies adhere to at least the quebec regulation, ” said a member of the Network of entrepreneurs specialized in railway work (RESTF), demanding anonymity for fear of not having contracts of the CP.

Contacted by The Newspaper, a spokesman of the Narrow Passage Rail inc. affirmed that the company has ensured to comply with the quebec regulation, as the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) and the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ).

“We have made the necessary steps with the RBQ to have the necessary licenses, said his spokesman, Daniel Lépine. We should ask the RBQ where they are in the delay of the processing of the records accumulated during their closure, during the COVID and stop the work. ”

Local hiring

To the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ), it nevertheless seemed unaware of the steps taken by the company to obtain its license.

“I confirm to you that the company Narrow Passage Rail inc. does not hold a license from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ), has confirmed to the Journal his spokesperson Sylvain Lamothe. It cannot, therefore, claim to be entitled to act as a construction contractor in Quebec. ”

As to the presence of workers of Western canada on the site, denounced by the union, Narrow Passage Rail Inc. remained fuzzy.

“The project is of long duration, and number of employees will vary in time. It’s the same source. It is certain that we have the intention of hiring the most possible local, in order to limit our operating costs, ” said about Mr. Lépine.

At CP, the alberta company was limited to a brief statement sent in English. “We have no comment,” said the person in charge of media relations Andy Cummings.

The Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ), we refused ” to comment on the situation on a site specific “.

♦ In the course of the next ten years, the rail industry in quebec will need about 100,000 railwaymen for its network of 6,300 kilometers.


Canadian Pacific (CP)

  • Founded : 1881
  • Founder : John A. Macdonald
  • Headquarters : Calgary, Alberta
  • Sales : 7,79 bn $ (2019)

Source : Canadian Pacific (CP)

The rail industry in Quebec

  • Companies : 144
  • Sales : $ 1.1 billion
  • SMES of less than 50 people : 89 %


  • Montreal (34 %)
  • Montérégie (29 %)
  • Bas-Saint-Laurent (13 %)

Source : ministry of Economy and Innovation of Quebec

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