Introducing Bill 142 – Updating the Construction Lien Act

Bill 142, or the Construction Lien Amendment Act, 2017, was carried at first reading this past May, and will be proceeding to a second reading in September. It is expected to pass into law as early as spring 2018, and would make significant changes to the legislative regime governing the construction industry. In a series of posts, we will review a few of the major modifications that Bill 142 would make, and how these may impact stakeholders in the industry.

Modernizing the Construction Lien Act

The development of Bill 142 was based on the findings of a broad consultation process with contractors, property owners, engineers and designers, and relevant professional and public associations, which culminated in a final report delivered in April 2016. The driving purpose of the report was to identify the key concerns of stakeholders and identify how Ontario’s Construction Lien Act could be amended to better reflect the needs and realities of the modern construction industry.

The new regime is intended to modernize Ontario’s Construction Lien Act, which is almost 30 years old, renaming it as the Construction Act. It introduces a prompt payment regime to streamline invoicing and payment between owners, contractors and subcontractors, establishes mandatory adjudication as a rapid dispute resolution mechanism for certain matters, including disputes respecting payment under a contract and valuation of services or materials provided under a contract, modernizes the rules relating to liens, trust accounts and holdback payments, and codifies expectations regarding public-private partnerships and the construction industry.

Ontario construction lawyers advising on the impact of Bill 142

Contractors, subcontractors, owners and other construction project participants should consider discussing these upcoming changes with a qualified construction lawyer before Bill 142 comes into force. Construction agreements should be reviewed in light of the new legislative regime, especially with respect to dispute resolution mechanisms.

At Duncan, Linton LLP, our Construction Team is closely following Bill 142 as it progresses through the legislative process. We are available to advise new and existing clients about how the new Construction Act may impact their business, and review their current practices and documents to ensure they are updated appropriately. Contact us online or call 519-886-3340 to make an appointment.