Federal Prompt Payment
COCA continues to support the work of Prompt Payment Ontario and Prompt Payment Legislation at the Federal Level.
The government is pursuing industry consultation before moving forward with legislative reform. Bill S-224, proposing the Canada Prompt Payment Act, was passed by the Senate on May 4, 2017, but has yet to be passed by the House of Commons. On January 23, 2018 Public Services and Procurement Canada and Defence Construction Canada commissioned Singlrton Reynolds LLP with developing a recommendation package for the Government of Canada in relation to prompt payment and adjudication for federal construction projects.
COCA met with Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel at the offices of Singleton Reynolds LLP to provide advice about a payment scheme and dispute resolution process for federal government construction contracts under their engagement with the federal government. COCA’s advice was that the federal program should mirror as much as possible the one put in place in Ontario through Bill142.
In August 2018, Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel delivered their report regarding prompt payment to the Federal government. They have recommended that the Federal government pass legislation that is very similar to the Ontario prompt payment legislation. COCA submitted comments to the Federal Minister of Public Services and Procurement supporting the Reynolds Vogel report and Federal Prompt Payment Legislation.
Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act Reform
Through the Canadian Construction Association, COCA has pursued reform of the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, seeking fair treatment for trade contractors owed monies by a general contractor who has become insolvent.
We were successful in persuading the Canadian Construction Association to place this issue on the agenda for their annual conference in March 2018 where it was thoroughly discussed. And we were also successful in convincing our national federation to make this issue one of the three key matters addressed in the 100 meetings with MPs and senior government officials held during their construction industry lobby day on Parliament Hill.
At its meeting in December 2018, COCA’s board of directors allocated $20,000 to engage legal counsel to seek intervenor status in the expected appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada of an Ontario Court of Appeal decision in a case called Royal Bank of Canada v A1 Asphalt Maintenance Ltd. Royal Bank of Canada, subsequently declined to appeal the case.
Public infrastructure is not only a key enabler of economic growth, but if left unchecked or neglected can create tremendous opportunity costs in the future. COCA believes infrastructure funding should be predictable and sustainable in the long term. It is an economic driver that attracts investment and creates good paying construction jobs into the province.
Third Party Verification
Ontario contractors and industry suppliers have expressed concern about the increasing use by buyers of construction services of third-party verification services and their impact on administrative costs and client relationships.
It is generally agreed that:
- Buyers use third parties to offload their responsibilities for health and safety
- The cost of a single annual subscription to just one of these verification services is significant and many construction companies have to subscribe to multiple verification organizations in order to bid work from multiple owners
- In addition to the subscription costs, the administrative burden they place on contractors is substantial; many construction companies have to dedicate significant staff resources to supporting the demands of the verifiers
- Their systems are paper based and lack an audit to demonstrate performance
- Third party verifiers do not improve the health and safety performance of construction projects
- Third party drive the cost of construction up
At its September 22, 2015, COCA’s Board of Director’s passed a motion stating that COCA is not in favour of third party verification.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) became law on June 13, 2005. Under this landmark legislation, the government of Ontario has developed mandatory accessibility standards that identifies, removes, and prevents barriers for people with disabilities.
Accessibility rules for businesses and non-profits
The rules and deadlines businesses and non-profits must follow to meet accessibility standards in Ontario. The rules you need to follow depend on the type and size of your organization. You are exempt if you are self-employed and do not have employees.
As of January 1, 2016 every private sector organization will have new obligations under the Integrated Accessibility Standards (“IAS”) of the AODA.