Proposed legislation to implement “prompt payment” rules will bring Manitoba in line with other Canadian and international jurisdictions, ensuring all parties to construction contracts are paid in a timely fashion, MHCA President & CEO Chris Lorenc told a legislative committee May 8.
Bill 38 The Builders’ Liens Amendment (Prompt Payment) Act was introduced by the province in April and the Opposition NDP has said it will support its passage.
“We ask you to recognize the importance of Bill 38, support its passage and allow its benefits to accrue not just to providers of services but the tens of thousands of Manitobans employed in the broad scope of the construction and its supply side industries,” Lorenc told the legislative committee members reviewing the bill and hearing public delegations.
While the new legislative provisions will not themselves apply to Manitoba Hydro and Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure, the government has committed to ensuring all contracts tendered by both entities fully incorporate and comply with the prompt payment rules.
The MHCA is part of a broad coalition of business and labour organizations who wrote to each member of the Legislative Assembly asking for all party support in an April 6, 2023, letter signed by eight organizations:
- Construction Association of Rural Manitoba
- General Contractors Association of Canada, Manitoba Division
- Electrical Contractors Association of Manitoba
- Manitoba Building Trades
- Manitoba Heavy Construction Association
- Mechanical Contractors Association of Manitoba
- Merit Contractors Association of Manitoba
- Winnipeg Construction Association
Lorenc thanked Minister Teitsma, the government and all government officials for their collective work in bringing the bill forward. He also acknowledged and thanked NDP leader Wab Kinew for supporting Bill 38 in reply to a letter dated April 6 sent by the organizations to all member of the Manitoba legislature which encouraged all-party support.
Lorenc pressed the committee to add a provision to Bill 38 that would call for a full review of the BLA within the next two years. This will ensure the legislation as written is realized in practice as intended.
The Committee adopted the bill as presented for consideration by the full legislature including the request review within two years of proclamation.