Introducing the Prompt Payment and Adjudication Regime

The new prompt payment and adjudication provisions contained in the Ontario Construction Act, come into force on October 1, 2019.

The legislation follows recommendations from a 2018 report, Building Better Framework for Prompt Payment and Adjudication in Canada (the “Report”), prepared for Public Services and Procurement Canada by the authors of the Ontario Expert Review of the Construction Lien Act.

The prompt payment and adjudication model piloted by Ontario is now ushering a new era in the construction industry across Canada.

Here is a snapshot of how the rest of the country has responded:

Canada: Bill C-97, the Budget Implementation Act received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019. Division 26 of the Act enacts the Federal Prompt Payment for Construction Work Act, which also follows recommendations from the Report.

British Columbia: Bill M223, the Prompt Payment (Builders Lien) Act was introduced in May, 2019. This legislation does not contain an adjudication model.

Saskatchewan: Bill 152, The Builders’ Lien (Prompt Payment) Amendment Act, 2018, appears to be modelled on the Ontario Act, and went through its third reading in May, 2019.

Manitoba: The Manitoba Law Reform Commission published The Builders’ Liens Act: A Modernized Approach. The Commission supports the Ontario model and further recommends that these changes should be incorporated within the Builders’ Liens Act, so it is not a standalone statute.

Québec: The Act to Facilitate Oversight of Public Bodies’ Contracts implemented preliminary projects for prompt payment and adjudication for certain government contracts. This regime has yet to be extended to the private sector.

New Brunswick: The Legislative Services Branch of the New Brunswick Office of the Attorney General intends to adopt the Ontario model for prompt payment and adjudication.

Nova Scotia: Bill 119 introduced a prompt payment and adjudication regime, which has received Royal Assent, but has not yet been proclaimed.