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B.C. electrical contractors call for prompt payment legislation ASAP

B.C. electrical contractors call for prompt payment legislation ASAP

VICTORIA — The Electrical Contractors Association of British Columbia (ECABC) is calling for the province’s political parties to enact prompt payment legislation “as soon as possible.”

Legislation has already passed in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and at the federal level.

“The number one issue I hear from our members is not knowing when they’re going to get paid. B.C. is the wild west for allowing predatory clauses in contracts that shift an unreasonable and unfair burden of risk and carrying costs on small and medium-sized trade contractors,” said ECABC president Matt MacInnis in a statement.

“This creates unnecessary and avoidable instability for businesses and for the skilled tradespeople British Columbia relies on to build our homes, hospitals, clean power infrastructure and community amenities,”

The provincial government previously received a letter signed by 31 industry and labour organizations requesting prompt payment legislation, an ECABC release said.

The ECABC, along with the British Columbia Construction Association and the Mechanical Contractors Association of BC, have advocated for provincial legislation for the last five years.

“The construction industry is being asked to do more than ever, faster than ever. Enshrining payment timeline minimum standards in law will improve the construction industry and help avoid unnecessary increases in construction costs from contractors having to finance costs while waiting to be paid sometimes as much as six months,” added ECABC chair and Western Pacific Enterprises vice-president Derek Fettback.

The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services has recommended the government implement prompt payment legislation multiple times in its annual budget consultation report, the release said, but “B.C. currently has no requirements for payment timelines on construction projects, and contractors often are forced to wait months to be paid for work that has been completed and invoiced. In the meantime, they must meet payroll and supplier obligations.”

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