A fine of $1,426 for a tree cut by Hydro-Québec without the City’s permission

A fine of $1,426 for a tree cut by Hydro-Québec without the City’s permission
A fine of $1,426 for a tree cut by Hydro-Québec without the City’s permission

A citizen of Fossambault-sur-le-Lac received a fine of $1,426 afterHydro-Québec cut down a tree on its land without the permission of the City, which ultimately decided to cancel the infraction report after the intervention of the Newspaper.

• Read also: Hydro-Québec will no longer need permission to cut down trees on your home

“It’s a matter of power,” laments Sylvain Arbour, a computer programmer from the Quebec region, in an interview. “It shouldn’t take the intervention of journalists to enforce regulations properly.”

On May 4, Hydro-Québec commissioned a tree trimmer to cut down a tree at his home. The tree in question was diseased, and large branches threatened to fall on the electrical wires and cause serious damage.

The tree cut at Sylvain Arbor had previously been marked by Hydro-Québec.

At that time, Mr. Arbor did not suspect that he would receive a statement of offense from the Municipality a few weeks later. “My first instinct was to call Hydro-Québec, but they advised me to talk to the City about it first,” he says.


His efforts initially seemed to bear fruit, and the City agreed with him that the fine would be canceled, before changing its mind a few days later.

“They left me a message to tell me that the infraction report would ultimately be upheld, and that it was up to me to apply for a permit when I learned that Hydro-Québec was going to do work on my land” , relates Mr. Arbor.


Sylvain Arbor received a fine of $1,426 because Hydro-Québec cut down a tree on the land of his main residence, in Fossambault-sur-le-Lac.

“Hydro-Québec has no authority in this scenario, even if Hydro could intervene without any problem with the tree felling authorization certificate,” we hear in the City’s message.

Intervention of Newspaper

Made aware of the situation, THE Newspaper asked Hydro-Québec and the Municipality of Fossambault-sur-le-Lac to explain the rules governing this type of situation.

“As a general rule, citizens must request a permit for any tree cutting on their land,” responded at first glance the Director General of the City, Jacques Arsenault, adding that “this permit is free.”

But Hydro-Québec was not of the same opinion. “When our staff identifies trees at risk and the owner of the tree authorizes us to cut it down, we can proceed and neither Hydro-Québec nor the owner of the tree are subject to the provisions of municipal by-laws,” said commented a spokesperson for the state-owned company, Cendrix Bouchard.

“Our community relations department contacted the City to suggest canceling the infraction ticket and provide more information on the legal framework surrounding our practices,” added Mr. Bouchard.

After all that…

A few moments later, the City informed THE Newspaper that she had changed her mind and that Mr. Arbor’s ticket would ultimately be canceled.

“I can’t wait to see that,” cursed the computer programmer, to whom we told the news. At the time of writing these lines, the City of Fossambault-sur-le-Lac had still not contacted him to update him on developments in the matter.

Remember that Bill 69 on energy, tabled at the very end of the parliamentary session, will give more powers to Hydro-Québec to cut down trees on private land without having to ask for authorization.

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