“Too rigid, too wide-ranging, too burdensome and far too risky” were some common sentiments raised by a coalition of Ontario construction companies yesterday in the final day to give testimony before the Standing Committee responsible for reviewing Bill 69, the Prompt Payment Act. “With so many questions raised and with clear dangers set out by a number of stakeholders, there are better mechanisms to deal with prompt payment issues than a speedily managed process with barely any input”, said Chris Gower, executive vice president, PCL Construction.
The Fair Payment Reform Ontario (F-PRO) coalition of construction companies includes Eastern Construction, ACS Infrastructure Canada, Carillion, Dragados Canada, EllisDon, PCL Construction, Aecon and Bird Construction. “F-PRO fully supports the principles behind Bill 69 – contractors and subcontractors should be paid promptly for good work – but Bill 69’s proposed reforms are so wide-reaching, the only appropriate mechanism to deal with the issue is a government and legal review with industry,” said EllisDon’s senior vice president and general counsel, Jody Becker.
F-PRO believes the short timeframe allowed for testimony left “too many questions unaddressed,” and is asking committee members to move the bill into a more formal, consultative and deliberative process.