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Uncertainty in Construction Trusts

An earlier blog reviewed the usefulness of contractors’ and suppliers’ trusts, available under section 8.1 of the Construction Act. However, a new decision by Ontario’s Court of Appeal, refusing leave to appeal for an earlier, unreported, decision has added uncertainty to the protections offered by such trusts. In Carillion Canada Holdings Inc. (Re), a global […]

Construction – The Definition of an “Employer” Under the OSHA

The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (RSO 1990, c O.1, “OSHA”) imposes a regime of strictly-enforced obligations (and potential liability) on any party involved in a construction project that qualifies as a “constructor” or an “employer”. The question of who falls into these categories can thus carry a heavy, and potentially costly, burden. While […]

Construction Act – Prompt Payment Provisions

In 2019, a new “prompt payment” regime in Ontario’s construction industry came into force following significant amendments to the Construction Act. This regime creates a chain of strict timelines to ensure that each participant in a construction project is paid in a timely and predictable fashion, and to prevent disputes from delaying a project. Timelines […]

Construction Act – Completion or Substantial Performance Date

An earlier article on procedure and jurisdiction under the Construction Act discussed the various strict timelines to be followed when preserving and perfecting a construction lien. The date when the “clock starts ticking” on these timelines is a crucial question, but it is not always easy to determine. Certificate of Substantial Performance Construction contracts sometimes […]

Ontario Construction Act – the Interim Adjudication Regime

Significant changes to Ontario’s Construction Act were made in 2019, and many of them had the goal of preventing delays in construction projects. Because of the typical “tiered” structure in construction projects (with layers of participants, descending from the owner to the general contractor to contractors and subcontractors), relatively minor disputes at one level have […]

Construction Liens – Procedure and Jurisdiction

Ontario’s Construction Act sets out the steps that a contractor or supplier must take in order to first “preserve” and then “perfect” a construction lien – that is, to prevent it from expiring. Preservation occurs by registering a lien with the Land Registry Office within 60 days of the date that the construction contract was […]

Contractors, Subcontractors, and Suppliers’ Trusts

Funds received or owing for a given construction project are deemed to be trust monies by s. 8.1 of the Construction Act, RSO 1990, c C.30. This section states that: All amounts, (a)  owing to a contractor or subcontractor, whether or not due or payable; or (b)  received by a contractor or subcontractor, on account […]

Clarifying the Transition Provisions in the Construction Act, RSO 1990, c C.30

In 2017, the province of Ontario introduced legislation to modernize and restructure its construction lien regime, contained within the Construction Lien Act, which would be renamed the Construction Act. The major elements of the restructuring were: Changing the timelines for the registration and perfection of a construction lien. Requiring that holdbacks be paid to contractors […]

General and Punitive Damages in Ontario

The general rule in civil litigation in Ontario (and Canada) is that a party should be compensated for damages that another party has caused them to suffer. A crucial part of any lawsuit is determining the amount (or “quantum”) of damages suffered by the party seeking compensation. Sometimes determining the quantum is an easy exercise. […]

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