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A so called “unintended consequence” of Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act was the suspension of limitation periods and procedural time periods established under the Construction Act, formerly the Construction Lien Act (the “Act”).   If the Suspension Order had applied to lien periods, the holdback period established under the Act would not expire, and holdback funds could not be released.  This would most likely put a financial strain on strain on contractors.

Clarification came in the form of a memo issue April 9, 2020 from Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey stating that the province would exempt the Construction Act in hopes of improving the cash flow in the construction industry by allowing the release of holdback payments to contractors and subcontractors.

The amendment to the Suspension Order will come into effect on April 16, 2020. This will give parties who may have declined to preserve or perfect a lien an opportunity to do so without consequence.

For more information contact: Scott Papp, Manager, Membership & Divisional Programs 1-800-267-2231 ext. 233 or spapp@hrai.ca