Construction Law Reform: Prompt payment, adjudication, and modernization


The introduction of prompt payment legislation has transformed the construction landscape in several Canadian jurisdictions in recent years, reducing payment delays throughout the construction lifecycle while providing new adjudicatory avenues through which to resolve payment-related disputes swiftly.

In Canada, the current status of construction law reform varies from province to province. Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan have all enacted prompt payment legislation. Most other provinces are either in the exploratory stage or have tabled legislation. In July 2019, the Federal government also passed legislation, the Federal Prompt Payment for Construction Work Act, which addresses payment delays in connection with federal construction projects.

This topic hub is tailored to help you stay informed of these changes, particularly as they apply to the key jurisdictions in which our clients operate.

Understand your rights and obligations

Spanning seven offices across Canada, Gowling WLG's Infrastructure and Construction team can help your company understand and comply with its obligations under various prompt payment legislation, including in the context of complex disputes.

Members of our team have been actively involved in the development of construction reform, both in Ontario and more recently in Alberta as counsel to a key industry stakeholder group. This first-hand involvement allows us to not only guide clients through the nuances of this, and similar, legislation, but also clarify the rationale behind certain changes. Contact any member of our team today to begin a conversation.

Construction law reform at a glance

  • Alberta: The Prompt Payment and Construction Lien Act came into effect on August 29, 2022.
  • British Columbia: In 2019, a proposed amendment to B.C.'s Builders Lien Act introduced prompt payment but did not pass the first reading. Another version is expected to be tabled this year.
  • Manitoba :On March 16, 2022, The Prompt Payment for Construction Act (Bill 28) received its First Reading in Manitoba's legislature.
  • New Brunswick: New Brunswick's Attorney General's Office has previously explored the implementation of a prompt payment regime, but the province has not yet proposed legislation.
  • Nova Scotia: On April 12, 2019, amendments to the Builders' Lien Act - including provisions for prompt payment deadlines, proper invoices and adjudication - received royal assent. The amended Act is not yet in force.
  • Ontario: Ontario's Construction Lien Act Amendment Act received Royal Asset in 2017, renaming the Construction Lien Act to the Construction Act. The prompt payment amendments came into force in October 2019.
  • Québec: In March 2022, Quebec concluded a successful pilot project exploring the viability of prompt payment legislation in the province.
  • Saskatchewan: The Builders' Lien (Prompt Payment) Amendment Act came into force On March 1, 2022.
  • Federal government: Canada passed The Federal Prompt Payment for Construction Work Act in June 2019

Helpful resources

We are ready to help you prepare for these important legislated changes. Contact a member of our Infrastructure and Construction team today.