The Construction Lien Act was drafted in 1983. Minor changes were made in 2010. On March 28, 2014 the then minority Liberal government first announced its intention to convene a comprehensive review of the Construction Lien Act. It wasn’t until February 11, 2015 that the Attorney General in the new majority Liberal government announced that Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel, construction specialist lawyers with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, had been appointed as Counsel and Co-counsel to lead the review. They were mandated to study the effectiveness of the Construction Lien Act, to assess the effectiveness of dispute resolution under the Act and to consider the issues of delayed payment that arose during the Bill 69 hearings.
Led by COCA’s Construction Lien Act Taskforce, capably chaired by Ted Dreyer of Madorin Snyder LLP, COCA engaged in the review from the start and became one of the “go to” stakeholders.
On May 31, 2017, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi announced that the Government had introduced new reforms to Ontario’s construction laws. The Construction Act of Ontario (Bill 142), which received Royal Assent on December 12, 2017, came into effect on July 1, 2018.
Two years after the passage of Bill 142, COCA has continued the push and to advocate for a fully enacted Construction Act.
In March 2019, COCA held our Annual Construction Day at Queens Park. Messaging for MPP meetings focussed on the need for the payment scheme and the adjudication system that is prescribed in the Construction Act to be implemented as scheduled on October 1, 2019. At the evening reception, then-Attorney General Caroline Mulroney provided the keynote confirming the introduction of the payment scheme and the adjudication system on October 1, 2019.
The efforts of COCA and other stakeholders resulted in Doug Downey, Attorney General of Ontario, on October 1 announcing that: “Our government is pleased to announce the full implementation of Canada’s first-ever prompt payment regime and a new, streamlined dispute resolution process that will cut red tape to support jobs and growth in Ontario’s construction industry.”
With the passage of the Construction Act and the introduction of the Adjudications process, COCA’s Construction Act Taskforce, chaired by Ted Dreyer, has shifted its focus. The Taskforce will continue to identify and add to the list of glitches in the Construction Act. Throughout the year, COCA staff and volunteers held several meetings with senior staff at the Attorney General’s office, bringing to their attention flaws and glitches in the Act and presenting possible solutions. Ted also continues to share his knowledge of the Construction Act and help the industry prepare for the new world under the Act by making presentations at various forums.