Update on the Review of the Construction Lien Act

  • March 24, 2017

The OBA Construction Law section has provided decision makers in the provincial government with comprehensive and detailed feedback on a bill that proposed changes to the construction payment regime in Ontario, and a broad review of the Construction Lien Act that proposed 100 recommendations with respect to the Construction Lien Act and related matters.

Earlier this week, the Attorney General provided an update on the progress and next steps for the ongoing review of the Construction Lien Act, an excerpt of which is provided below:

Since receiving the report of the expert review of the Construction Lien Act, our government has been working hard to develop a plan to strengthen Ontario’s construction sector by addressing issues with payment timelines and dispute resolution.

We remain committed to introducing fair and balanced legislation in Spring 2017 that will bring Ontario’s construction laws up to date and support more than 400,000 Ontarians who work in the industry.
I am pleased to inform you that construction law experts and authors of the expert review, Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel, are working with the Ministry of the Attorney General to provide advice on drafting legislation that will focus on three areas:

  • Modernizing the lien and holdback process;
  • Introducing rules around prompt payment; and
  • Creating an adjudicative process for resolving disputes.

The drafting process will involve consultation with the Advisory Group on the key issues in each area.
The expert report included 100 recommendations: 68 recommendations to modernize the legislation, 10 relating to prompt payment and 22 relating to adjudication. Based on the feedback we have heard from industry experts and stakeholders, we have decided to propose legislation that will be based on the recommendations in the report, except in the following areas:

  • Starting a pilot project for project trust accounts in the public sector;
  • Providing for a single property identifier number that would apply to the common elements of condominiums; and
  • Removing the provision that allows liens to expire on a lot-by-lot basis.

Modernizing Ontario's construction laws is part of the government's plan to create jobs, grow the economy, and help people in their everyday lives.

Thank you for your continued participation in this process.

We will continue to monitor developments with respect to the Construction Lien Act to ensure that the voice of the Ontario Bar Association continues to play a role in advising on these important reforms.