Saskatchewan backtracks on prompt payment exclusion
September 17, 2020
Saskatchewan will not exempt residential contractors from the province’s prompt payment legislation following a lobby effort by members of the construction industry, including the Saskatoon and Region Home Builders’ Association.
The provincial legislature passed prompt payment legislation last spring. The province has been working on regulations that will guide the implementation of legislation expected to come into force on April 1, 2021.
Minister of Justice Don Morgan, however, had recommended home builders be exempt from the legislation. Morgan said that the residential industry already had sufficient safeguards in place to provide timely payments to contractors.
“I think it was the construction industry and pushes from us, other groups and individual companies that convinced the Minister of Justice Don Morgan to do the right thing,” said Mark Cooper, president of the Saskatchewan Construction Association (SCA).
Cooper praised Morgan for introducing the legislation, getting it passed and always listening to the industry’s concerns when the exemption was being considered.
According to the SCA, residential construction is the very sector where contractors are most vulnerable to late payments.
The new law would bind participants to a fixed system of payments. Project owners would be obligated to pay bills from general contractors in 28 days. Seven days after receiving that, general contractors would be obligated to pay their subcontractors.