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  • Now Confirmed - Saskatchewan's residential sector will not be exempt from prompt payment!

    September 1, 2020

    Now Confirmed - Saskatchewan's residential sector will not be exempt from prompt payment!


    I’m so excited today to announce that due to A LOT of pressure from the Saskatchewan Construction Association, our partners in the Prompt Payment Saskatchewan coalition, and so many of our members stepping up to make calls and send letters, we can now officially say that the residential sector will NOT be exempt from Prompt Payment legislation when it comes into force on or before April 1, 2021.

    This is BIG NEWS.


    As you all know, Prompt Payment has been – by far and away – the #1 issue for Saskatchewan Construction Association members for at least three years. We hear about the challenges getting paid all the time from our network of members across the province. Too many contractors are spending too much time, and money, chasing payment that should come quickly and easily.

    When work is completed properly, contractors shouldn’t have to fight to be paid for it.

    The stories I’ve heard from owners, where they break down in tears with the stress and worry of how they’re going to pay their employees, keep their company afloat, and provide for their families – all because they’re owed money from work they’ve completed have literally broken my heart. It’s why your association has fought so hard for this legislation.

    The provincial legislature unanimously passed Prompt Payment legislation in Spring 2019. For more than a year the provincial government has been working on the regulations that will guide the implementation of that legislation when it comes into force. On Friday, they published those regulations, and so now the countdown is on – on April 1, 2021, your struggle to be paid promptly for work completed will now be supported by legislation. On your behalf, we are so happy to have it introduced and passed.

    For most of the time that the regulations were under consideration, the Minister responsible for the legislation – Don Morgan, Minister of Justice – was seriously considering giving an exemption to the residential sector. Of course, we, and he, heard from so many of you what a disaster that exemption would be. In the very sector where contractors are most vulnerable to late payment, an exemption would basically invalidate the whole point of the law.

    I want to say a special thank you to Minister Morgan for listening and for doing the right thing. To his credit he was a man of his word in introducing the bill and getting it passed. While we didn’t agree on the amendment plan for most of the last year, he kept listening. Not just to me, but to you. When the final regulations came out on Friday, it was so exciting to see that all of the effort we all made together paid off.

    I also want to say thank you to you, our members. Here at the Saskatchewan Construction Association it is our mission, our purpose, to fight for the things that matter most to our members. Sometimes during this Prompt Payment fight, our voice wasn’t enough. Sometimes we needed you to add your voice to the fight. When we needed it, you were there. Our victory in terms of both the legislation and fighting off the residential exemption is a shared one. Thank you.

    So, what’s next?

    With the countdown to April 1, 2021 now on, we will be working with Prompt Payment Saskatchewan and other partners to provide for the training of all industry stakeholders regarding the legislation and its implications. We need everyone within the construction supply chain, and the payment chain, to understand that the rules of the payment game are changing soon.

    We will also be working to set up the Adjudication Authority. This Authority will be the place that payment disputes will be settled – using fast-moving and inexpensive adjudication processes delivered by construction-experienced adjudicators. It’s going to take a lot of work to get this group set up, and the adjudicators trained, but we’ll get on it and get it done.

    Finally, we will keep working to make sure that the legislation applies to as much of the construction industry as possible. While we are extremely happy to see that there will be no exemptions for the residential sector, there are other exemptions that need to be understood and may need to repealed…

    • The mining sector is exempt – with no good reason for this exemption.

    • There is also an exemption for any of SaskPower’s electricity related work.

    • Most perplexing, there is an exemption for engineers, architects, and land surveyors.

    Our engineer and architect partners were big supporters of Prompt Payment and helped contribute to the bill becoming law. It is such a shame, and a confusing one, not to see them included in the benefits.

    We’ll be working to better understand these exemptions and to come up with a plan, with our partners, to eventually remove them all.

    After all, does anyone seriously believe the mining companies or SaskPower can’t pay their bills in a timely manner when every other owner can – and yes, that includes their bills to engineers, architects, and land surveyors.

    Anyway, today is about celebrating a big win and some big news for the construction industry. With the legislation coming in to force in seven months, we have lots of work to do. Today though, let’s celebrate a victory well earned. No exemption for the residential sector is not just good news for us, but it is good news for all of Saskatchewan – and that is indeed something to celebrate.

    Thanks, and take care!

    For questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to SKCA President, Mark Cooper, at president@scaonline.ca.

     

    Mark Cooper, MBA, PMP

    President and CEO
    Saskatchewan Construction Association
     

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