The long-awaited introduction of the interim adjudication regime under Ontario’s Construction Act (“Adjudication Regime”) is just around the corner. The first of its kind in Canada, the Adjudication Regime takes effect on October 1, 2019, and promises to bring efficiency and timeliness to the resolution of disputes in the construction industry.
This article conducts a high level review of the new Adjudication Regime, focusing on how and when it applies, and discussing its intersection with other traditional avenues of dispute resolution (i.e. the court and/or arbitration process).
Over the last year and a half, construction lawyers in Ontario have seen a number of changes to the Construction Lien Act (“Old Act”), now called the Construction Act (“Act”). This officially began with the passing of Bill 142, the Construction Lien Amendment Act (“CLAA”), which received royal assent on December 12, 2017. The CLAA brought many changes to the Old Act. These changes generally fall into two groups: (1) lien modernization provisions (“Modernization Provisions”); and (2) new provisions dealing with prompt payment and adjudication (“New Provisions”).
The Modernization Provisions include amendments to definitions, construction liens, trust claims, and holdback rules, and to provisions regarding P3 projects. Most of the Modernization Provisions came into force on July 1, 2018. The New Provisions are intended to ensure that payments flow through the construction pyramid in a timely manner, and help to resolve payment (and other) disputes more efficiently.
In December 2018, the legislature introduced amendments and additional to the Act with the passing of Bill 57, the Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act. Revisions to the transitional rules (i.e. when the Old Act versus new Act apply) are included in Bill 57.