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Camping de la Fierté in Sainte-Julienne: 136 owners of houses built without a permit will be fined

Camping de la Pride in Sainte-Julienne: 136 owners of houses built without permits will be fined


The municipality of Sainte-Julienne issued some 520 statements of offense to 136 offenders who had built houses without a permit on the grounds of Domaine de la Pride, a campground belonging to the former mayor.  

The latter, Richard Desormiers, found himself splashed by a report from the municipal integrity investigation and prosecution department of the Commission municipale du Québec (CMQ) published in July. He quickly chose to resign.

Yet the facts had been known to elected officials and the former city administration since the early 2000s.

The situation was disturbing to say the least. Between 2021 and 2022, Mr. Desormiers was mayor of Sainte-Julienne after serving as a municipal councilor since 2013. At the same time, he is also the owner of the Domaine de la Pride campsite.

Or in March 2022 , in the middle of a municipal council meeting, the mayor, hounded by citizens, recognized that the campsite residences were built without a building permit in a forest conservation area and in contravention of his own town planning regulations.


According to the CMQ survey, his residences numbered 160 and their value ranged from $5,600 to $255,000,

A municipal councilor still in office, Enock Robin-Turcotte, notably owns a house on the campsite. 

$400 and $800 in fines

< p>Home and land owners faced fines of up to $5,000 per violation, per day. Finally the municipality imposed fines of $400 per person and $800 per company.

“This first intervention responds to a desire to send a clear message indicating that the regulations must be respected by all and that the Municipality takes seriously any allegation of irregularity,” said the administration of Sainte-Julienne by press release.

Beyond these fines, the issue now is how this situation can be corrected. As the CMQ pointed out, it is not enough to modify the municipal by-law to authorize houses already built, because this would not respect the development plan of the MRC, which prohibits new residential complexes such as that of the Domaine de la Pride in a forest area.

The municipality will soon be filing a motion with the Superior Court of Quebec to request more specific corrective measures from each owner. The Court could go so far as to order the demolition of the houses.

Satisfied to collect taxes

“The investigation could not show why all [elected officials and the administration] tolerated the situation without asking questions or trying to find out the extent of the residential development taking place, the July investigation report read.

“ We seemed satisfied to collect municipal taxes without having to worry about compliance with the regulations.”

In April 2022, two municipal councilors had nevertheless tried to pass a resolution asking the city to investigate the situation, but three municipal councilors in solidarity with the mayor then withdrew citing a conflict of interest, thus blocking its adoption.

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