Attorney General for Ontario Announces Review of the Construction Act

Author: Paul Conrod |

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The Construction Act (formerly the Construction Lien Act) is part of the daily reality for many who work in Ontario’s construction industry. The Act is important legislation because it governs payments, holdbacks, liens, substantial performance, adjudications, trusts, and more.

The Act underwent a well-publicized overhaul and modernization following a 2016 expert review and report titled “Striking the Balance”. This previous overhaul included the introduction of prompt payment and adjudication, longer timelines to preserve and perfect construction liens, changes to the way liens operate for work on leased premises, and a new procedure for payment of holdback (just to name a few of the many changes).

Recently, Doug Downey, Attorney General for Ontario, announced that the Act will be undergoing another review involving a two-phase approach. The first phase will focus on possible improvements and enhancements to the Act. The second phase will involve consultation with stakeholders to review amendments identified during the first phase.

Although tweaks were made along the way, such as changes to bonding requirements for non-P3 public projects last year, this latest review will be the first major review of the Act since the amendments from the previous modernization process became effective in 2018 and 2019.

It is not publicly known at this time which parts of the Act will be prioritized in this review or a potential timeline for the implementation of amendments to the Act. However, it is likely that the outcome of this review will be welcomed by the construction industry and lawyers practicing construction law.

This article is information and not legal advice. If you have any questions about your rights and obligations under the Construction Act, please contact a member of Construct Legal.