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Bill 142, Ontario’s Construction Lien Amendment Act, 2017, was passed into law and received Royal Assent on December 12, 2017.  This new legislation, including the first update to Ontario construction liens in 34 years, has been developed to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the province’s construction sector; early industry consensus is positive.

However, while the law has been passed, the next step is to enable its three key pillars.  This will require substantial work to develop the necessary regulations.  This means that for the immediate future it is business as usual for construction in Ontario.  Also, legislative provisions for prompt payment, changes to lien preservation and perfection periods, mandatory release of holdback funds, rules for trust accounts and dispute resolution through adjudication have still yet to be proclaimed, but this is expected in the near future.

Attorney General Naqvi has committed to providing advance notice to industry stakeholders before any changes take effect under the new law.  Details about when specific changes will come into effect will be announced early this year.  Given the nature of the changes they will be implemented in the following order.  First will be changes to lien and holdback processes, followed by the prompt payment rules and new adjudication process.  A timeline for these changes will be provided as soon as they become available.

Ministry of Attorney General officials are preparing to begin consultations in February with industry stakeholders to develop the new regulations.  Industry actors will have the opportunity to comment on draft proposed regulations.  Ministry officials and Attorney General Staff will also be conducting face-to-face meetings with key stakeholders for the development of regulations specifically related to the adjudication regime. 

Consulting Engineers of Ontario has played an active role in the development and passage of this legislation and remains committed to the development and implementation of the necessary regulations and authorized nominating authority for the new adjudication regime.

Should you have any questions about the new legislation, the government’s timeline for implementation or CEO’s activities going forward, contact David Zurawel at 416-620-1400 ext. 222 or dzurawel@ceo.on.ca.