The Canadian Home Builders Association of Central Okanagan (CHBA-CO) is opposing the B.C. Liberals prompt payment legislation.
The Private Members’ Bill M 223, Prompt Payment (Builders Lien) Act aims to ensure contractors and subcontractors are paid in a timely manner. It requires companies to pay contractors within 28 days of receiving an invoice, and subcontractors to be paid seven days after by the contractors.
“To be clear, opposing this bill does not mean we do not believe in paying people on time,” said the president of CHBA-CO Cassidy deVeer.
deVeer said CHBA-CO members sign a code of ethics before joining and they commit to fair payment.
“Currently, the Provincial Builders Lien Act covers all forms of construction in B.C. – residential, commercial, and industrial, which allows contractors to place liens on homes if bills aren’t paid,” said deVeer.
According to deVeer, CHBA-CO is concerned about contractors being forced into an adjacent process which legal fees could cost more than say an example of an invoice of $800.
She said the residential construction industry wasn’t given an option to voice their concerns before the private member’s bill was introduced in the Legislature.
“We have been trying to communicate with government that Ontario is starting a similar program in the fall and we will have a real-time case study to see how it works before implementing it in this province,” said deVeer.
CHBA BC’s 2,100 members are small business home builders, renovators, and suppliers.
She said the suggestion of a 28-day pay period through prompt payment does not take into account that most payments are monthly. This will disrupt regular payment and invoicing cycles if the time limit is not even a full month in length.
Homebuyers would also be affected in the case of a dispute and the legal process could stretch out construction timelines and delay occupancy.
In 2017, Ontario passed legislation mirroring Bill M 223.