Status of construction and related legislation

  • May 29, 2020

Alberta

Status of Construction (emergency service, partial or full shutdown)

No shutdown

Status of Limitation Periods and Courts 

On May 27, 2020, Alberta announced that Ministerial Order 27/2020 suspending limitation periods to June 1 will not be extended. The limitation periods and time periods affected by the order will resume running on June 1, 2020.

Other Notes

Increased safety and health requirements

British Columbia

Status of Construction (emergency service, partial or full shutdown)

No shutdown

Status of Limitation Periods and Courts 

On April 8, 2020, BC rescinded its original order extending limitation periods, effective April 15, and issued a new suspension order confirming that the suspension does not apply to any time limitation periods or time periods under the Builders Lien Act.  

The new Limitation Periods (COVID_19) Order no. 2 does not come into effect until April 15, 2020. The original order was issued on March 26.

BC Supreme Court and Court of Appeal closed for regular business. BC Supreme Court accepting e-filing, but Court of Appeal has asked litigants not to file anything except where urgent. Lien security/release is not on the list of urgent and essential matters. 

Other Notes

Construction sites can remain open if they can follow Public Health Officer directives on social distancing, handwashing, etc.

Limitation period suspension should be less problematic under the BC Builders Lien Act than in Ontario because BC holdback is payable at the end of 55 days (rather than “expiry of lien period”) and payment out of holdback extinguishes lien rights (s. 8(4)). However, the wording of the Order leaves much to be desired and there has been at least some debate about this.

Manitoba

Status of Construction (emergency service, partial or full shutdown)

No shutdown

Status of Limitation Periods and Courts 

No change to limitation periods and Registrar remains open, but counsel is directed to only file essential court documents. 

Currently not expecting any changes to lien and holdback period.

Manitoba court closure extended to May 25th.  

COVID-19 SUSPENSION AND RESTRICTION OF HEARINGS 

See all MB courts

Other Notes

Increased health and safety

Imminent court directive extending court closures beyond April 17, 2020

New Brunswick

Status of Construction (emergency service, partial or full shutdown)

Partial reduction to critical functions

Status of Limitation Periods and Courts 

Limitation periods suspended retroactively to March 19, 2020 (see NB Emergency Order)

See all NB courts

Other Notes

Courts will accept documents for filing but is scheduling anything.

Imminent court directive extending court closures beyond April 17, 2020

Newfoundland & Labrador

Status of Construction (emergency service, partial or full shutdown)

No shutdown

Status of Limitation Periods and Courts 

Temporary legislation allowing for deadlines or time periods in legislation to be extended for a period not exceeding 6 months. See Temporary Variation of Statutory Deadlines Act 

By regulation filed April 24, 2020 pursuant to the Temporary Variation of Statutory Deadlines Act, the Limitations Act has been amended such that generally if a limitation periods expires on or after March 14, 2020 and before September 14, 2020, a person may, notwithstanding provision to the contrary in that Act, bring an action on or before September 14, 2020. See April 24 Order at page 141.

Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador
Court of Appeal for Newfoundland and Labrador

Other Notes

Increased health and safety requirements

See NL Notice on COVID-19 and the Construction Industry

See Risk-Informed-Decision-Making-Guidance-for-Construction Sites During COVID-19

Northwest Territories

Status of Construction (emergency service, partial or full shutdown)

See NWT and Nunavut Construction Association

Some limitations on travel and uncertainty on what is considered “essential capital projects”

Status of Limitation Periods and Courts 

See NWT courts

Nova Scotia

Status of Construction (emergency service, partial or full shutdown)

No shutdown

Status of Limitation Periods and Courts 

Limitation periods not suspended. See all NS Courts.

Other Notes

Nunavut

Status of Construction (emergency service, partial or full shutdown)

See NWT and Nunavut Construction Association

Some limitations on travel and uncertainty on what is considered “essential capital projects”

Status of Limitation Periods and Courts 

See NWT courts

Ontario

Status of Construction (emergency service, partial or full shutdown)

On May 18, 2020. Ontario amended O.Reg 82/20 so that effectively all construction projects are considered essential work places. See Schedule 2 (section 27) Ontario Regulation 82/20.

Status of Limitation Periods and Courts 

The Government of Ontario has amended emergency order O. Reg 73/20, to lift the suspension of limitation periods and procedural time periods under the Construction Act. The suspension will be lifted on April 16, 2020, to give the industry time to prepare for the changes. Once lifted, parties will have the same amount of time to meet a deadline that had been remaining before the suspension began on Mar.16, 2020. 

The amendments to O. Reg. 73/20 will be posted on e-Laws at: O. Reg. 73/20: ORDER UNDER SUBSECTION 7.1 (2) OF THE ACT.

Previous order: Limitation periods suspended as of March 16, 2020 (see Ontario Order).

Continuing getting feedback from industry on problems surrounding the Order, the gap between orders, and its impact on suspending timelines for liens, holdback etc. 

Other Notes

Public health protocol on sites and inspections occurring

Courts reduced to urgent matters only and consulting with industry stakeholders about what is an emergency

Prince Edward Island

Status of Construction (emergency service, partial or full shutdown)

Current construction projects have been declared an essential service

Status of Limitation Periods and Courts 

Limitation periods not suspended  

See all PEI courts

Other Notes

PEI Courts are open for filing purposes, but all non-essential matters are not scheduled for hearings. Real Property Registries are open for filing, but with strict limitations.

Quebec

Status of Construction (emergency service, partial or full shutdown)

Construction limited to essential activities on high risk infrastructure (e.g. dams, management of hazardous and radioactive waste, etc.) and emergency/safety repairs.

Status of Limitation Periods and Courts 

Limitation Period suspended (see Quebec Order

Saskatchewan

Status of Construction (emergency service, partial or full shutdown)

No shutdown

Status of Limitation Periods and Courts 

No limitation period suspension

See SK Court Notice Covid-19-update

Other Notes

Still able to do ex parte applications so filing applications to substitute security for the lien can be done. Only matters on hold are hearings unless urgent or an emergency. 

Trials and pre-trials have been adjourned. You can ask for a determination for a matter to be deemed urgent or an emergency, but it isn’t clear how wide or narrow that will be interpreted and may vary with the judge.

Yukon

Status of Construction (emergency service, partial or full shutdown)

See Yukon Contractors Association

No mention of any changes.

Status of Limitation Periods and Courts 

See all Yukon courts