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.
On July 1, 2018, several major changes were implemented, including:
- definition of capital repairs;
- new rules regarding multiple improvements;
- procedures for liening condominium projects;
- procedures for liening leasehold premises;
- landlords’ lien liability for improvements to leasehold premises;
- references of lien actions to the Small Claims Court; and
- new rules regarding holdbacks.
On October 1, 2019, the remaining major changes will be implemented, including:
- prompt payment; and
- adjudication mechanism.
On March 18th, 2019 at the COCA’s Construction Day at Queens Park Reception, keynote speaker Attorney General Caroline Mulroney committed the government to implement the payment regime and the adjudication system by the October 1st deadline.