The MHCA, with four industry associations, has asked the provincial government to formalize prompt payment obligations within the construction contracts issued by Manitoba Hydro and Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure.
“We unequivocally applaud and are grateful for the March 23rd introduction of The Builders’ Liens Amendment Act to legislate prompt payment within construction contracts,” MHCA President and CEO Chris Lorenc said.
“We are asking that the province also formalize its assurance that Manitoba Hydro and MTI will also follow those prompt payment provisions, by ensuring contracts by MTI and Hydro bind each to the prompt payment rules.”
Manitoba Hydro and MTI were not included within the proposed amendments to the Builders’ Liens Act, due to the complex interplay of various pieces of legislation that touch upon those public entities.
MHCA, along with the Construction Association of Rural Manitoba, General Contractor’s Association of Canada (Manitoba Division), Mechanical Contractors Association of Manitoba and Winnipeg Construction Association, met with provincial ministers just prior to the introduction March 23 of Bill 38, The Builders’ Liens Amendment Act.
At that time, the associations were told Hydro and MTI would both adhere to the prompt payment rules, even though they are excluded from Bill 38.
“We are simply asking that the contracts MTI and Hydro issue formally include this provision, to ensure the process of contractual negotiation and interpretation is clear and efficient,” Lorenc said.
The alternative would have required contractors to issue to either MTI or Hydro a Request for Information, seeking the provision.
“This would unnecessarily add time, cost and create relationship uncertainty,” Lorenc said. “Including the changes builds a culture of contractual understanding – the desired impact of the prompt payment amendments.”
In addition, the associations are asking that Bill 38 includes a provision for a review, every 5 years, of the Builders’ Liens Act, to keep it current.