Ontario construction bill seen as ‘critical’ for industry — The Globe and Mail

Richard Wong

June 18, 2017

The Ontario government’s introduction of Bill 142 (the Bill) is “critical” for the construction industry, Osler partner Richard Wong tells The Globe and Mail. In his article, author Mark Rendell examines the recently introduced Bill that would significantly amend the Construction Lien Act if passed. The article outlines the widespread impact that the changes proposed in the Bill, such as prompt payment and mandatory adjudication, would have on the construction industry. Richard, Chair of Osler’s Construction and Infrastructure Group, explains why this Bill is “great news” for many industry participants, including subcontractors in particular.

“For the construction industry, the bill is critical,” Richard tells The Globe and Mail. “For the tens of thousands of people who are involved in the subcontract level of the community, the bill is great news because it really cuts the logjam of payments that the industry is currently suffering from.”

Richard also cautions that other industry participants, including project developers, will need to re-evaluate their strategies in response to the Bill. He tells The Globe and Mail project developers “will have to give due consideration to the impact of the bill, and re-evaluate some of the commercial positions they have taken.”

Richard says the payment dispute resolution system proposed in the Bill — under which third-party adjudicators would assess disputes — is similar to the system that exists in Britain. “Their experience is very positive in that the vast majority of matters no longer make their way into the public court system,” he says. However, Richard says that contractors stand to benefit more than owners under adjudication because “the contractor will have more time to prepare than the owner has to respond.”

If you subscribe to The Globe and Mail online, read Mark Rendell’s full article “Ontario construction bill seen as ‘critical’ for industry.”