Saskatchewan construction industry pushing for prompt payment legislation

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Saskatchewan construction industry pushing for prompt payment legislation
WATCH: A push by the construction industry for prompt payment legislation. c – Jun 12, 2017

Saskatchewan’s construction industry advocate is pushing for the province to introduce legislation that would set measures around when companies get paid for completed work.

Mark Cooper, the president of the Saskatchewan Construction Association, said it is common practice for construction companies not to get paid at the time they complete their work.

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Canadian businesses in the industry wait an average of 72 days to get paid for jobs they’ve finished, according to Cooper.

“That certainty contrasts with picking up your groceries at the grocery store, buying a new car,” Cooper said.

“What we’re saying is it’s time the construction industry be treated like all of these other industries and be paid promptly for work when they’ve completed it.”

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Cooper and others hope Saskatchewan’s government introduces and passes prompt payment laws that would set a timeline around when contractors must be paid, establish a dispute process and apply interest to late payments.

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Ontario legislators brought forward similar measures at the end of May.

“There’s no province yet that has legislation in place to deal with this, although it’s very common in the rest of the western world,” Cooper said.

“We’ve proposed a strategy to [the Saskatchewan’s government] that would see legislation introduced this year to tackle this problem by putting into law basic terms that would be required of every single construction contract to ensure that contractors are paid on time, but also protected against the possibility of non-payment.”

Dominic Iula is also part of the group pushing for prompt payment legislation. He’s the vice-president of Saskatoon-based City Masonry and said delayed payment can stem growth, especially for small construction businesses.

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“Without payments on a regular basis you have a hard time investing into technology with equipment or hiring new apprentices,” Iula said.

“It’s just doing the right thing for all, contractors, suppliers, general contractors, owners, it’ll put everyone on the same playing field.”

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