Canadian Contractor

John Bleasby   

Construction Liens Act, OCT shut out of Ontario Throne Speech

Canadian Contractor

Liberal government makes no mention of recommendations from either Dean’s or Reynolds’ reports

There was widespread disappointment from key players in Ontario’s construction industry when the province opened its fall session with a Speech for the Throne on September 12th. In particular, there was no mention of either the Construction Lien Act Review or recommendations from the Dean Review regarding the Ontario College of Trades.

David Frame, director of government relations with the Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA), indicated his concerns over the lack of government commitment to move forward, yet he was not totally taken by surprise. Throne Speeches are generally good news announcements. Given that changes and improvements to both the OCT and the Lien Act are not the good news stories sought by the beleaguered Liberals, they did not qualify for inclusion at this time.

The Ontario College of Trades has been under fire every since it was formed

The Ontario College of Trades has been under fire every since it was formed

The Dean Review contained both positive and potentially controversial OCT recommendations
In his November 2015 review of the much-criticised Ontario College of Trades, Tony Dean made a number of recommendations, resulting from meetings with over 300 individuals and 109 submissions.

One of the more progressive recommendations in the Dean Review had to do with communications. Tradespeople, employers/sponsors and apprentices would like the College to be more pro-active with its communications, especially during consultations on regulatory matters,” the review said. “There is a preference to see more information pushed outward to members and stakeholders.”


Other recommendations could be considered more controversial. For example, in terms of reviewing applications “for the classification or reclassification of trades named under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, a review panel “should be composed of five or seven members, including a chairperson that the Chair selects from the roster of experts. Decisions of review panels would be by majority decision.” Yet at the same time, those actually experienced in the trades would not be part of the decision making. The panel could include “two individuals with trades experience who would be advisory only to the review panel and not participate in the decision-making process of the review panel.” Such an absence of practical experience would surely be greeted with derision by many trades themselves.

Ontario's Construction Lien Act is 33 years old, and has seen virtually no updating since its inception

Ontario’s Construction Lien Act is 33 years old, and has seen virtually no updating since its inception

The Lien Act is long overdue for updating
The current Construction Lien Act is 33 years old and has seen very few changes to the legislation over that time. Industry observers complain that while technology has moved forward considerably and projects have become more complex during that time, the Act has not kept pace.

Ontario General Contractors’ Association President Clive Thurston told local media that he feels that action regardingboth the CLA and the OCT recommendations will come forward soon, despite being ignored in the Throne Speech. He says that Premiere Kathleen Wynne recognizes construction as a prime economic driver for the province and that changes to both the Lien Act and the Ontario College of Trades are necessary.

In fact, an 18 month review of Ontario’s Construction Lien Act titled Striking the Balance: Expert Review of Ontario’s Construction Lien Act, was released on Monday (September 26th) . The report contains recommendations regarding the modernizing of the construction lien and holdback rules, introducing rules around prompt payment, and creating a new process to speed up dispute resolution. It is expected the Attorney General will meet with stakeholders throughout the remaining months of 2016 in order to gather feedback on the recommendations put forward in the report.

follow John on Twitter @john_bleasbynew-twitter-logo


Stories continue below

Print this page

Related Stories

1 Comment » for Construction Liens Act, OCT shut out of Ontario Throne Speech
  1. Questo says:

    The part Tony Dean does not understand or hasn’t, is the OCOT or so called college of trades, is an illegal apparatus, ( none for profit org) ( with legislative powers) ( where do we see a such thing in a democratic society?) was set to feed the cronies wallets on the cost of the trades people. Was illegal to begin with and still illegal to this day, a disgrace org, like our Ontario government is.

    Regarding the lean act, should be a government department, or a private org, like a special investment bank, or corporative source, commercial/ industrial and development, taking care all the payments for the service contractors, this way no one will get free rights.

    This will avoid all the court law suits, and trades people and all others getting paid in time for their work. But apparently some lawyers and courts love this crooked system serves them well. Producing nothing and getting paid a lot of un deserved money.

    Nothing is complicated, everything can be set the most easy way to serve all of us better, politicians apparently have a complicated minds, or are puppets, seems like can’t do anything right these days, they love to be in control, but don’t know how to control anything, its a shame.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.