FINALLY! Ontario set to tackle promptness of payment, holdbacks & dispute resolution

Anthony Capkun
June 05, 2017
By
Sharon Vogel and Bruce Reynolds, authors of “Striking the Balance: Expert Review of Ontario’s Construction Lien Act”. Photo A. Capkun.
Sharon Vogel and Bruce Reynolds, authors of “Striking the Balance: Expert Review of Ontario’s Construction Lien Act”. Photo A. Capkun.
June 5, 2017 - Ontario’s Attorney General Yasir Naqvi finally introduced legislation that would, if passed, modernize the lien and holdback process, introduce rules to ensure construction workers get paid in a timely manner, and make the dispute resolution process faster and simpler.

ALSO: Check out our interview with Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel, authors of “Striking the Balance: Expert Review of Ontario’s Construction Lien Act”.

According to Prompt Payment Ontario (PPO), “Ontario is the first province in Canada to introduce prompt payment legislation, leading the way for other provinces across the country—and the federal government—to do the same”.

Key measures include:

• Create new prompt payment rules to give contractors and subcontractors certainty about when to expect payment.

• Extend the timelines to file liens and start court actions from 90 days to 150 days, giving contractors and subs time to resolve their disputes outside of court and avoid additional legal fees.

• Require holdback funds to be paid as soon as the deadline to file liens has passed, so contractors and subs know when to expect full payment.

• Creating an adjudication process to speed up dispute resolution and prevent disputes from delaying work on construction projects.

If passed, the legislative and regulatory changes would come into effect in 2018.

“We are happy to see that the government is doing the right thing, to solve this problem,” said Ron Johnson, PPO director. “Prompt Payment Ontario, and our wide-reaching membership, are hopeful that the government will stay true to their commitment and pass this important legislation in the Fall of 2017.”

PHOTO: Sharon Vogel and Bruce Reynolds, authors of “Striking the Balance: Expert Review of Ontario’s Construction Lien Act”. Photo A. Capkun.

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