Canada passes prompt payment legislation for contractors
By Peter Saunders
June 24, 2019 – Last Friday, Canada’s governor-general gave royal assent to Bill C-97, which includes the Prompt Payment for Construction Work Act. The passage of this legislation paves a foundation for prompt payments throughout the construction chain—including electrical work—for projects procured by the federal government.
“We have been working on this issue for well over a decade and are very happy today,” said Sandra Skivsky, chair of the National Trade Contractors Coalition of Canada (NTCCC). “Prompt payment is crucial to the efficiency of all work throughout the sector, on jobs big and small.”
In recent years, NTCCC members have helped get similar legislation passed at the provincial level. As it turns out, the federal legislation will echo changes to Ontario’s Construction Act, which are set to come into force this fall. In the absence of disputes, the government or service provider will be required to pay the contractor within four weeks (i.e. 28 days) of receiving an invoice. Rules for notice of non-payment and adjudication are also similar.
“We commend all partners in government for the work they have done to get us to this point,” said Skivsky, citing federal ministers, senators, civil servants and political staff who advanced the cause of small businesses getting paid on time for their completed and certified work.