Ontario contractors renew push for prompt payment legislation

Coalition wants to revive bill that died in committee last March

A new coalition of Ontario contractors, construction associations, suppliers and trade unions will push for a revival of prompt payment legislation late this year.

The Council for Ontario Construction Associations (COCA) says it will lobby for new legislation that would require developers and prime contractors to pay their subtrades in a timely fashion. COCA says the issue has plagued the industry for decades.

The last attempt to draft legislation died in committee last March when the Ontario executive branch decided to launch an independent review of the Construction Lien Act. For decades, industry groups have been pursuing an overhaul of the Lien Act, but would rather have a separate act to deal with the slow payers rather than those who default.

Rick Thomas, manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Construction Association, told Northern Ontario Business that it’s a 30-year-old industry problem where the money from the top of the project pyramid doesn’t always get properly distributed to the trades at the bottom. And Ontario’s Lien Act is too cumbersome, difficult to understand, and expensive for his members to apply.


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