Quebec to allow volunteers to do more construction work in schools and hospitals

The Quebec government is going to allow volunteers to do more construction work in schools, hospitals, daycare centres as well as for non-profit organizations.

Rules will be loosened to let people without certificates of competence lay gypsum, replace windows, install countertops and sand and varnish floors.

A certificate will be required, however, for plumbing and electrical work.

The move follows a recent complaint filed with the group that oversees Quebec's construction industry over a decision by a group of volunteers to paint the interior of a school in a small town near the U.S. border.

The March episode made headlines around the province and highlighted the tight hold of unions over Quebec's complex bureaucracy, which politicians and economists say inflates the cost of construction projects and hinders civic engagement.

Quebec Labour Minister Dominique Vien says details of the changes will be published in the province's official gazette and be available for consultation for 45 days before the measures become law.