Today, The Builders’ Lien (Prompt Payment) Amendment Act, 2019 comes into force. 

“The Government of Saskatchewan is pleased to see changes to the Act take effect today,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said. “The prompt payment of contractors and subcontractors, combined with an effective dispute resolution process, is imperative to ensure construction projects across the province progress without delays.”

This new legislation will establish reasonable payment timelines for construction projects and introduce a dispute resolution process as an alternative to court. These measures will better protect and define the rights and obligations of owners, developers, contractors and subcontractors. 

The new provisions only apply to new contracts entered into after March 1, 2022, and do not apply to existing contracts. The payment timelines will mandate that owners and developers provide payment within 28 days of receiving a proper invoice for construction services. Contractors will have seven days to provide payment to subcontractors after receiving a payment from the owner or developer.

The new dispute resolution process will be overseen by the Saskatchewan Construction Dispute Resolution Office (SCDRO), a not-for-profit corporation designated by the Minister to act as the official adjudication authority.  The SCDRO will work with the ADR Institute of Saskatchewan Inc. to provide trained, independent adjudicators to resolve disputes.

Other Canadian jurisdictions, such as Ontario, Nova Scotia and Alberta, recently saw similar amendments introduced.