Construction Law Reform: Prompt payment, adjudication, and modernization

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What you need to know

On Dec. 12, 2017, Bill 142, the Construction Lien Act Amendment Act, 2017, received Royal Assent and is now law, changing the Construction Lien Act to the Construction Act. Similar legislation has been introduced or is under consideration federally and in most other provinces. Reform of construction laws is here.

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 Ontario and will have similar impacts across the country.

When are the Ontario amendments in force?

Some of the substantive changes in Ontario's Bill 142 have already been proclaimed and some will be in force very soon: most of the changes will come into force on July 1, 2018, and the prompt payment and adjudication changes come into force on October 1, 2019.

What do I need to know?

Our Construction Group has been leading the industry in preparing for the changes coming with Bill 142 and other reforms across Canada. We have published many articles, held many seminars, and have many more planned.

Impacts of these amendments

The amendments are sweeping and will impact all construction work and projects in Ontario, including P3/infrastructure, energy, mining and real estate developments. Other provinces are looking very closely at these amendments, especially prompt payment and adjudication.

For the first time since 1983, Ontario's Construction Lien Act (which will be renamed the Construction Act) is set to undergo many fundamental changes. Reform by the federal government and many provinces will follow. These include:

  • Modernization of the construction lien and holdback rules and timelines
  • Modernization of claims procedures
  • Introduction of a prompt payment regime for all construction projects
  • Implementation of adjudication as a new process to speed up dispute resolution
  • In our Building Brief article, "New Construction Act takes effect," we summarize the key changes that you need to know.

Gowling WLG has prepared summaries and analyses of some of the key changes in these amendments, including the following recent Building Brief articles:

Where can I get a copy of the new Act?

You can view a copy of Bill 142 here.

If you would like a consolidated copy of the new Construction Lien Act (which will be renamed the Construction Act), or a copy of our table tracking the in force timelines of the amendments, 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 Act amendments. We would be more than happy to assist.