The Quebec Association of Military Vehicles was founded in 2019 in the wake of the unilateral change in regulations decreed by the S.A.A.Q. concerning the registration of historic military vehicles.
This page was last updated on December 15, 2019
In 2019, The S.A.A.Q. has unilaterally chosen to consider as “off-road” vehicles several historic military vehicles that have already been circulating freely on Quebec roads for many years.
The S.A.A.Q. states that it was contacted directly by the various manufacturers to inform it that the vehicles they manufactured were only intended for “off-road” use.
The Minister of Transport of Quebec, Mr. François Bonnardel, then signed a Ministerial Order in July 2019 which has the effect of severely restricting the right to circulate of historic military vehicles in Quebec. These restrictions imply they can only be driven on roads with a speed limit of 70 km / h or less and these vehicles must use a “C” plate.
In addition, this ministerial decree provides that historic military vehicles will be completely prohibited from being on Quebec roads after August 22, 2024!
The S.A.A.Q. then began sending letters to all the owners of the vehicles concerned informing them of the new restrictions they were imposing. The sending of these letters spanned several weeks and the letters all had the same deadline of August 22, 2019. Some owners then had only a few days to comply with the new requirements of the S.A.A.Q. , and this during their summer vacation period!
Under the name “Club véhicules militaires du Québec” (and in connection with the Facebook group of the same name), a group of owners came together to make Minister Bonnardel aware of the situation and the monumental error that had been committed !
Following several media outings from our group, we were contacted by Minister Bonnardel’s office and invited to a meeting in an attempt to find a way out of the crisis.
This meeting (the only one) took place in Quebec City on September 5, 2019. The meeting was cordial and the representative of the Cabinet showed attentive listening and a great openness.
In order to launch negociations, we first proposed a periodic inspection (5 years) of all historic military vehicles by a road vehicle inspection agent of the S.A.A.Q. in order to confirm its good and safe condition. Unfortunately this proposal was not accepted.
In counter proposal, the S.A.A.Q. preferred to carry out a single inspection of our vehicles but according to a specific inspection protocol for historic military vehicles.
They insisted that our vehicles were “off-road” vehicles and that they should be subject to a specific inspection protocol which could consider certain points that their mechanical inspection agents could not correctly assess.
At that time, they clearly expressed the wish to involve us and obtain our full cooperation in the process of developing the specific inspection protocol. Their only purpose, it seems, was to make sure that our vehicles are safe, and not to stop us from driving them on the road.
We refused the first version of the proposed protocol because it was based on the certification protocol that the S.A.A.Q. used for craft vehicles.
We argued that our vehicles were designed by engineers. They were produced in thousands of copies and they were designed to meet the road safety standards in effect at the time of their manufacture.
In addition, they have nameplates and specifications that prove that they have been designed to operate on all types of road, including highways.
Finally, as accident statistics involving historic military vehicles are nonexistent, there can be no question of invoking a high number of accidents to prevent us from driving them freely.
The S.A.A.Q. then spent several weeks developing a second version of their specific inspection protocol for our vehicles.
It was during this period that the minister’s office, which was too busy managing the taxi bill, transferred the management of our case to a S.A.A.Q. representative.
This episode with the S.A.A.Q. was only an interlude because, after only a few exchanges, it quickly became obvious that we could not progress on the matter since the representative of the S.A.A.Q. showed no openness …
Fortunately, once the taxi bill was settled, we were able to resume discussions directly with the minister’s office.
The position of the cabinet was then that, in order to regain the right to a “passenger vehicle” registration, a historic military vehicle had to pass an inspection in accordance with the specific inspection protocol imposed by the SAAQ, In addition, an engineer also had to confirm that each vehicle complied with this particular protocol. It was therefore not a question of certifying each “model” of vehicle but that each vehicle was to be “certified” individually.
Following an agreement on the inspection protocol, the Minister would grant a grace period of 3 years to all vehicles that were already registered on August 22, 2019 before having to submit them to this special inspection protocol and grant us a “passenger registration ” during this 3 year period.
We were then contacted to find out if we were able to make two vehicles available (an Iltis and an HMMWV) so that the S.A.A.Q. could validate the application of the second version of their inspection protocol.
We have agreed to lend the vehicles and have made arrangements to have them transported so that the trials could take place during the first week of December 2019.
During the last week of November 2019, we were contacted again to be notified that S.A.A.Q. had changed their mind and they no longer needed our vehicles to test their inspection protocol.
They wanted to assess the possibility of simplifying the process and simply dropping the inspection protocol. They now only wanted a letter from an engineer confirming that our vehicles were safe. We were then asked to take steps in this direction.
It was during this call that we were informed that the minister’s office was once again transferring the management of the situation to another party who is a political attaché in the entourage of the minister for further discussions.
We were skeptical about this new orientation “without inspection” because an engineer cannot engage his professional responsibility without precise specifications to be checked. Our fears turned out to be justified because we obtained negative answers from all the associations and all the engineering firms that we contacted.
We therefore contacted the political attaché to advise him of the results of our efforts with the engineers. His attitude during the ensuing discussion contrasted with the tone of the previous parties involved during our discussions with them.
He replied that we had not been asked to approach engineers, and that their directives were to wait until they got back to us by the end of the year.
In a second reversal he also stated that he was absolutely not obliged to involve us in the process of resolving the crisis, that he was in control of the situation and that we could even “throw away our notes” (sic) !
We are therefore theoretically waiting for another proposal from them and they should contact us by the end of 2019.
Except that the parliamentary session is already over and everyone is preparing for the holiday season …
And as an agreement on the inspection protocol is the prerequisite for recovering the “Passenger vehicle” registration during the grace period of 3 years for all vehicles that were already registered, any delay in agreeing on the inspection protocol potentially compromises our ability to drive freely in 2020 !
The facts :
-> Despite our requests, both the Ministère des Transports du Québec and the S.A.A.Q. refused our “Access to information requests” to make public the documents they claim to have in support of their position.
-> The S.A.A.Q. did not follow up on any of the formal notices sent by the owners concerned and the complaints to the Protecteur du Citoyen du Québec remained unanswered.
-> To date, no Provincial Minister has agreed to support the owners of historic military vehicles on this issue.
-> The S.A.A.Q. is still continuing its disinformation campaign with authorities and the public.
-> The situation has evolved since September 2019 through numerous exchanges, sometimes contradictory, and with several different parties.
-> To date, no permanent (or satisfactory) solution is on the table so that historic military vehicles can once again circulate freely on Quebec roads.
-> The absence of an agreement on the inspection protocol compromises our right to move freely in 2020.
-> Without a valid “Passenger vehicle” type registration, our vehicles have no resale value…
As the new “Association of Military Vehicles of Quebec”, we intend to continue to intervene with the Ministry of Transport of Quebec and its representatives in an attempt to make them back off and correct this obvious injustice.
Besides, getting back our “Passenger vehicle” type registrations is only the beginning of the work that the association will have to do because the new regulations contain many inaccuracies that will have to be defined to make the new regulations coherent.
Considering the the above, we have no certainty as to where the situation will go. We may have to go to court to assert our rights!
This is why we count on your support to constitute a defense fund to assert and protect the rights of owners of historic military vehicles in Quebec.
Thank you for your help.
L’Association des Véhicules Militaires du Québec
This page was last updated on December 15, 2019