New Legislation in Saskatchewan to Protect Contractors from Payment Delays

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October 25, 2021

On March 1, 2022, The Builders’ Lien (Prompt Payment) Amendment Act, 2019 will be proclaimed into force.

“This government is committed to supporting the construction industry,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said. “These changes will ensure the prompt payment of contractors and subcontractors and will enable parties to resolve issues quickly and without added costs – which in turn will help projects move forward without delays.”

This new provincial legislation will protect and define the rights and obligations of owners, developers, contractors and subcontractors by establishing reasonable payment timelines for construction projects and introducing an interim adjudication process as an alternative to arbitration and litigation.

The payment timelines will mandate that owners and developers provide payment within 28 days of receiving a proper invoice for construction services. Contractors will have seven days to provide payment to subcontractors after receiving a payment from the owner or developer.

The new adjudication process under the Act will enable parties to seek interim resolution for disputed payments. It will be overseen by the Saskatchewan Construction Dispute Resolution Office (SCDRO), a not-for-profit corporation designated by the Minister to act as the official Adjudication Authority.  The SCDRO will work with the ADR Institute of Saskatchewan Inc. to provide trained, independent adjudicators for disputes under the process.

These changes are similar to amendments recently introduced in several other Canadian jurisdictions, such as Ontario and Nova Scotia.

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