You may recall that on February 24, 2014 I authored a report which asked Council to authorize staff to make submissions to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills in order to outline concerns with the proposed Bill 69 and that the staff report be forwarded by the Mayor to the local MPPs and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.
I am happy to report to you that on A
pril 2, 2014, the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills voted to set aside Bill 69,
The Prompt Payment Act
. AMO and municipal governments across Ontario raised significant concerns with this legislation and AMO is optimistic that members of the committee will not bring the Bill back for further consideration.
At the Standing Committee, as well as prior to, municipal governments brought attention to the difficulty Bill 69 provisions would create for construction owners. Bill 69’s payment timelines, progress payment provisions and lack of recognition for payments tied to construction milestones would have created challenges for municipalities in the management of public funds in construction contracts.
AMO, along with several other public and private sector owner organizations, said the Bill should not proceed and that a proper government policy review should be conducted to deal with prompt payment issues so that the perspectives of all interested parties could be sought. Linked to this discussion, the Attorney General of Ontario announced last Friday that it would begin a review of the
Construction Liens Act
, under an independent party and to begin in spring 2014. AMO is awaiting details on this review process.
In addition, the president of AMO received a letter from the Ontario General Contractors’ Association (OGCA) that explained its position on Bill 69, particularly apologizing to AMO for not reaching out to it and other construction owners when the issues in the Bill were under discussion within the construction industry. At Committee, it had also requested more time for examination of the issues and consultation with affected parties. Like AMO, OGCA has also called for more time for discussion and a more consultative process to discuss prompt payment issues in place of Bill 69.