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Ontario Passes Legislation to Modernize Construction Laws

New Legislation to Ensure Ontario Businesses and Workers Get Paid on Time.

Ministry of the Attorney General

Today, Ontario passed legislation to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the construction sector.

The Construction Lien Amendment Act, 2017 includes new prompt payment rules to ensure Ontario construction businesses and workers get paid on time for the work they do. The changes will also modernize the lien and holdback process, help protect creditors and set out a new adjudication process to resolve payment disputes faster.

Key changes include:

  • Providing more time for contractors and subcontractors to resolve their disputes outside of court by extending timelines to file liens and start court actions from 90 days to 150 days
  • Ensuring contractors and subcontractors know when to expect full payment by requiring holdback funds to be paid as soon as the deadline to file a liens passes
  • Protecting subcontractors and workers if the general contractor files for bankruptcy by requiring surety bonding on public sector projects above a certain amount
  • Allowing condominium unit owners to remove liens from their unit in relation to common elements (e.g., corridors, lobbies, etc.)
  • Referring construction lien claims under $25,000 to small claims court.

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