MISSISSAUGA, ONT. — The Surety Association of Canada (SAC) was in Ottawa recently to speak in support of prompt payment in the construction industry, which is referenced in Bill C‐97, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget and other measures.
Bill C‐97 was tabled in Parliament on March 19 and passed second reading on April 30. Two more standing committee sessions were held: the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce and the Standing Committee on Finance (FINA).
Representing SAC at the first session was Frank Faieta, national vice-president at The Guarantee Company of North America.
At the second session, SAC’s president, Steven D. Ness and Pierre Cadieux, SAC’s business development manager — Quebec, had the opportunity to deliver a short presentation on the importance of prompt payment in the construction industry and how surety bonds can address the risk of contractor insolvency.
SAC’s message focused on the need for any prompt payment legislation to address risk of project contractor insolvency on payment of subcontractors and suppliers down the construction payment chain, indicates a release.
“There can be no prompt payment without first ensuring certainty of payment and project contractor insolvency is the most serious impediment to that certainty,” Ness pointed out to the House Finance Committee.
Both presentations drew on references to changes that were recently implemented through the Construction Act of Ontario (Bill 142) which addresses insolvency risk through provisions requiring surety bonds on public work, added the release. SAC’s proposed changes to the draft federal legislation will “mean consistency in prompt payment regimes across the country, aligning the legislation with the new Construction Act of Ontario,” stated Ness during the presentation.
Stemming off the changes in Ontario, a review entitled Building a Federal Framework for Prompt Payment and Adjudication, was conducted by Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel of Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP, the release notes.
The 258‐page report contains 53 recommendations and was delivered to the government last June. Recently, these recommendations were incorporated into Bill C‐97 for approval and adoption.