Construction Law Reform: Prompt payment, adjudication, and modernization

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What you need to know

On October 21, 2020, Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish tabled Bill 37 - Prompt Payment and Construction Lien Act, which if passed will be the first changes to Alberta's Builders' Lien Act in almost twenty years.

These changes will have a profound impact on every part of the construction industry. From liens, to holdbacks, to payment timing, to dispute resolution, the new Act will alter all of them dramatically. So much so that the amendments virtually create a new Act in Alberta.

When are the Alberta amendments in force?

The Alberta Legislature will debate this new Act replacing the Builders' Lien Act in the Fall 2020 session, develop detailed Regulations to accompany the Act, and expects the new Act to come into force in July 2021.

What do I need to know?

Our Construction Group has been leading the industry in preparing for the changes coming with Bill 37 and other prompt payment reforms across Canada. We have published many articles and held many seminars about prompt payment across Canada, and have many more planned for Alberta specifically.

Impacts of these amendments

The amendments are sweeping and will impact all construction work and projects in Alberta, including P3/infrastructure, energy, mining and real estate developments.

For the first time in nearly 20 years, Alberta's Builders' Lien Act (Prompt Payment and Construction Lien Act) is set to undergo many fundamental changes. These include:

Gowling WLG has previously prepared summaries and analyses of some of the key changes that were implemented in Ontario, which are now being substantially considered in Alberta, including the following recent Building Brief articles:

Where can I get a copy of the new Act?

You can view a copy of Bill 37 here. If you would like a consolidated copy of the Builders' Lien and Prompt Payment Act, i.e. the existing statute combined with the amendments of Bill 37, please let us know and we can send you a copy.


Please do not hesitate to contact anyone in the Gowling WLG Construction & Engineering Group if you have any questions or would like to know more about the construction law reform in Canada or any other construction or project-related matter. We would be more than happy to assist.