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Senator Plett introduces Bill S-224, the Canada Prompt Payment Act
April 19, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Senator Plett introduces The Canada Prompt Payment Act

Ottawa, ON (April 19, 2016) – TUESDAY – Senator Don Plett introduced Bill S-224, the Canada Prompt Payment Act, at second reading in the Senate. The Act will ensure that contractors and sub-contractors on federal government construction work are paid in a timely manner.

“As a former trade contractor, I know that in the construction industry, it is a tolerated practice that there are no strict timelines for payment, even when all parties are satisfied with the work completed,” Senator Plett said on Tuesday. “Delay in payment is the number one reason small and medium sized businesses in the construction industry are going out of business in Canada”.

Among other things, Bill S-224 ensures that the government institution must make progress payments to a contractor on a monthly basis, or at shorter intervals provided for in the respective contract. This payment requirement is consistent down the contractual chain. The bill also accounts for milestone payments, when applicable, and permits contractors the right to suspend work, terminate a contract and collect interest on late payment.

The legislation only covers contracts (and the sub-contracts of those contracts) with the federal government, as all other construction projects would fall under the purview of the respective provinces and territories.

Senator Plett’s efforts have been praised by the industry. John Galt, Chairman of the National Trade Contractors Coalition of Canada, stated: “Senator Plett has been a champion on this issue for our industry on Parliament Hill over the last several years. He is from our industry and he gets it!”

Galt added: “This is a tremendous opportunity for Canada to join virtually every other country in the Western world that has some form of prompt payment legislation in place to address this worldwide problem.”

The Leader of the Official Opposition and the PC Party in Ontario, Patrick Brown also endorsed Bill S-224 last week, stating:

“If you do the work, you should get paid. It is for this simple reason, I unequivocally support Senator Plett’s prompt payment bill.

For years, I have advocated for prompt payment at both the federal and provincial level, and I am happy to see another piece of legislation introduced at the Parliament of Canada.

 There are 400,000 Ontarians earning their living in the construction industry, yet many of the small and medium-sized family-owned contractors who employ these people are not getting paid for several months after the fact for completed construction work.

 Senator Plett has my full support on this bill, and I look forward to working with industry, workers, small and medium sized businesses and stakeholders to continue tackling this issue at the provincial level.”

The Senator hosted several industry representatives from across the country at a reception on Parliament Hill Tuesday night, following a prompt payment summit held earlier this week, where representatives discussed ways to move forward on prompt payment legislation at the provincial and territorial level. Senators, Members of Parliament, including Cabinet Ministers were in attendance, offering their support. The reception also served as a great opportunity to celebrate the introduction of Senator Plett’s Bill.

“After years of working with industry stakeholders on a solution to this problem, I am thrilled that we have a great piece of legislation before us,” stated Senator Plett. “I look forward to the swift passage of this bill and I am hoping the Canada Prompt Payment Act will give the provinces the momentum they need to move forward on this at the provincial level”.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Jennifer Harnden, Director of Policy

Office of Senator Don Plett

(613) 992-0180

 
 
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