The National Trade Contractors Coalition of Canada (NTCCC) is planning to organize a national prompt payment summit in order to share experiences and launch similar initiatives in provinces across the country and at a national level.
"The thought is to bring everyone together at the same table, particularly the leaders in each province that are involved in prompt payment initiatives, and to discuss where they are and where they are going," said Richard McKeagan, president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCAC). "This will provide some insight to assist those provinces in continuing on their path, or maybe altering it based on the experience of other jurisdictions. It’s more of an information gathering and sharing initiative to see if there are ways and means to all work together in co-ordinating this effort across the country."
According to McKeagan, the decision by the NTCCC to hold a national summit was made during its Jan. 13 meeting in Toronto.
"We had our meeting in Toronto the other day and we were updating people with reports of what was happening in each jurisdiction," he said. "And, there were questions concerning at what stage certain provinces were at and what particular direction they were taking with regards to legislation or looking at construction or mechanical lien acts. It varied right across the country."
For example, construction leaders in Ontario agree there is a need for the provincial government to pass prompt payment legislation, but there is no consensus on how this goal should be achieved.
The Ontario General Contractors Association is advocating for new prompt payment legislation, which is linked to a review of the Construction Lien Act.
However, a new organization called Prompt Payment Ontario was launched in October 2014 in order to push the provincial government to delink this discussion from a review of the Construction Lien Act.
The struggle to pass prompt payment legislation in Ontario has led the NTCCC to push for similar legislation to be passed in other provinces.
"Prompt payment discussions are taking place virtually everywhere across Canada and progress is being made in varying degrees from jurisdiction to jurisdiction," said NTCCC Chairman Brad Diggens in a press release. "The purpose of such a summit is to invite provincial representatives of prompt payment groups to meet at the same time and same venue, the purpose of which will facilitate the sharing of information which will lead to future co-operative efforts and co-ordination amongst all interested parties."
The NTCCC approved amendments to its bylaw in April 2014 to expand the focus of its operations and establish provincial and territorial chapters across Canada.
The organization has also produced some economic impact studies to show the benefits prompt payment legislation would have in particular jurisdictions.
In addition to provincial initiatives, the summit will also discuss efforts to implement prompt payment provisions at the federal level.
"We are working with Senator Donald Plett on seeing what the best approach is federally to implement prompt payment provisions, either through the introduction of legislation or otherwise," said McKeagan.
One of the goals of the new provincial and territorial chapter is to work towards a federal prompt payment act, which would affect federal construction projects across Canada.
The NTCCC is making plans to hold the national summit in April 2015 in Ottawa.