The Coalition Contre les retards de paiement dans la construction received music to their ears upon hearing that the Quebec government is planning on fighting organized crime by implementing recommendation #15 of the Charbonneau Commission. Item #15 addresses payment delays in construction and recommends Prompt Payment regulations. The Charbonneau Commission stated that delays in payment in construction leads to the potential of organized crime in the sector. Minister Carlos Leitao, Minister of Finance, Minister responsible for Government Administration and the Permanent Review of Programs and Chair of the Treasury Board announced recently that the province is committed to implement the Commission’s recommendation #15 by the spring of 2017.
The NTCCC (National Trade Contractors Coalition of Canada) along with other affiliated provincial coalitions are fighting for the right to get paid for work that has been done and certified. The practice of withholding money has increased over the past few years to a point where trade contractors in Canada are demanding governments to enact Prompt Payment legislation.
In Ottawa, Senator Donald Plett introduced Bill S-224 (an Act respecting payments made under construction contracts) in the Senate in April of this year, receiving unanimous support from all parties on both the first and second reading. The Bill has now been sent to the Senate Committee with public hearings expected to take place early this fall when the Senate returns from their summer break.
In Ontario, PPO (Prompt Payment Ontario), a coalition of all construction stakeholders at risk of the practice of non-payment, is leading the charge. They have participated in the Ontario Construction Lien Act Review which included Prompt Payment. The final report by Bruce Reynolds and Ms. Vogel was completed and sent to the Wynne government at the end of April 2016. Wynne has yet to release the contents of the report to the public. It is not clear as to the reason why this has not been released as of yet or when the when the government expects to do so.
Ed Whalen, President & CEO of the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction stated “Prompt Payment Legislation, including a process for speedy dispute resolution, is needed now without delay. Prompt Payment legislation is in place in all western countries, including the US, with the exception of Canada. The world has figured out that legislation is the only way to ensure money flows through the construction supply chain in a timely manner. I haven’t heard a good excuse yet as to why this legislation should not be in Canada, but I can show you thousands of Canadians ruined by companies not paying their bills on time. We have to stamp out extortion in the construction industry if we want the next generation to take over.”