A private member’s bill introduced Wednesday by a Progressive Conservative MLA aims to ensure timely payment to construction industry contractors.
Reg Helwer (Brandon West), who sponsored the bill, said government has received “several requests” from industry and union representatives alike for such legislation.
Contractors, subcontractors and project owners are all affected, he said. “It’s delaying construction projects. It’s making them more expensive.”
Private firms and the provincial government tender projects out to general contractors, who then hire and oversee the sub-contractors who do the actual work.
While there are rules around paying general contractors on time, some subcontractors wait months and years for their cut of the pie.
Under Helwer’s bill, owners must make periodic payments under a construction contract to their contractors at specified times as the work progresses or when milestones are reached.
They also must make final payments promptly upon the completion of work. Similar obligations apply to contractors’s payments to their subcontractors and subcontractors’s payments to other subcontractors.
If payment obligations are not met, a contractor or subcontractor may, with notice, suspend work or terminate the contract. An adjudicator may be appointed to resolve any payment disputes.