B.C. Liberals introduce legislation to set payment deadlines for contractors

"This is one area where the NDP can make a meaningful change to support builders," Polak says. Richard Zussman / Global News

The BC Liberals have introduced legislation that would require companies to pay contractors within 28 days of receiving an invoice, and contractors to pay subcontractors seven days thereafter.

Ontario passed similar legislation in 2017, while Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are currently examining this issue.

“First and foremost, my goal in putting forward this bill is to ensure those who build our province — contractors, subcontractors, and workers — are paid in a timely fashion,” says Polak.

“By setting payment deadlines, we can protect hard-working British Columbians from unexpected and unnecessary financial hardship and minimize payment disputes.”

The B.C. Government says it is currently looking at the issue. Attorney General David Eby says the province is very interested in how this issue is dealt with in Ontario.

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“There has been a big lobbying push on for this legislation. What we have told them is we are watching the legislation in Ontario,” Eby said.

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“We are watching how it rolls out to make sure it has the intended effect and doesn’t create unnecessary bureaucracy.”

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Contractors have been reaching out to the B.C. Liberals and the government is concerned that the current lien system isn’t working for them.  In some cases, people refuse payment knowing that small businesses don’t have the resources to pursue liens in court.

The legislation would ensure that contractors, subcontractors, and workers are paid on time.

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“Under John Horgan and the NDP, the building sector has been dealt blow after blow — from misnamed Community Benefits Agreements to 19 new and increased taxes,” Polak said.

“This is one area where the NDP can make a meaningful change to support builders.”

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