The province has announced an independent review of the Construction Lien Act.
Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur announced March 28 that the government is responding to feedback from public hearings on Bill 69, the Prompt Payment Act, which identified a need to close gaps in Ontario’s construction laws.
An independent review of the Construction Lien Act will consider such possible changes as:
- Reducing the financial risks companies face when they are not paid for services on time
- Making sure payment risk is distributed fairly among all industry participants
- Finding ways to ensure that companies pay for services and supplies on time.
The review will be led by an independent third party and is to begin this spring.
The review will engage stakeholders such as owners from the private and public sectors, architects, engineers, legal and other professionals, the financial sector, the National Trade Contractors Coalition of Canada (NTCCC), the Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA), large general contractors, the Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA), the Ontario Road Builders Association (ORBA), Infrastructure Ontario and the Provincial Building Trades.
Enacted in 1983, Ontario’s Construction Lien Act sets out a complex system of rights and trust provisions to provide financial protection to construction suppliers and landowners, while working to balance the interests of the many other parties to a construction project.
The act does not deal with payment of money owed from one party to another, or with late payments.
“Our government has heard from many in the construction industry that it is time to modernize this law,” Meilleur said. “My first step will be to reach out to industry members — large and small — to help us find the right process for a thorough review of the act, with a view to introducing legislation before the end of the year, if needed.”