The Construction Lien Amendment Act, 2017 was passed last December, bringing significant changes to the industry that will impact every new construction project. For now, the provisions of the new act are not yet in force, but many are scheduled to take effect in the coming months.

When will the Construction Act take effect?

On July 1, 2018, the Construction Lien Act will become the Construction Act, and the amendments that modernize this piece of legislation will take effect. These include extending the deadlines for preservation and perfection of liens, changes to holdback rules, and stricter trust and accounting obligations placed on contractors.

On October 1, 2019, amendments will take effect to implement the prompt payment regime, which sets standards for invoicing and payment deadlines, as well as the mandatory adjudication regime. These changes are expected to reduce delays over non-payment and other disputes.

In the meantime, the Ministry of the Attorney General has released proposed regulations relating to general matters, forms, procedures for actions under Part VIII of the Construction Act, and adjudications under Part II.1 of the Construction Act.

Transition provisions for projects

The new laws include transition provisions for existing projects and contracts that meet certain conditions. The old Construction Lien Act will continue to have effect if:

  • A contract for the improvement between the owner and the contractor was entered into before July 1, 2018 (regardless of the date of any subcontract thereunder);
  • A procurement process for the improvement (request for qualifications, request for proposals or call for tenders) is initiated before July 1, 2018; or
  • The premises in question is subject to a leasehold interest, with the lease being entered into before July 1, 2018.

Answers to your legal questions about the Construction Lien Amendment Act

As the provisions take effect, and the new regulations are published, our Construction Law team will be advising clients about how these changes will impact their business. We have decades of experience advising clients of all sizes,including trades, suppliers, general contractors, developers and municipalities.

To speak with one of our lawyers, please contact us online, or call 519-886-3340 to make an appointment.