Thomas G. Heintzman, O.C., Q.C., FCIArb

Construction Law Canada

This website is intended to encourage discussion about recent developments in construction law in Canada.

The commentary in this website will relate to legislation and case law. Each item for discussion will be set out individually. The item will have a short description of the subject matter. Then, a lengthier discussion of the item will follow. The discussion is solely a matter of my personal view and opinion and does not constitute legal advice.

The discussion will generally follow the subjects addressed in my book: Heintzman & Goldsmith on Canadian Building Contracts (5th ed. Carswell).  Reference to that text will be made from time to time as “CBC”, that is Canadian Building Contracts. However, a broader range of subjects will be addressed in this site than those addressed in CBC.

I welcome any views about the commentary in this website and hope that a dialogue will develop about the distinctive aspects of construction law in Canada.

Continue Reading

Sattva Limits The Court’s Power To Review Arbitral Award Relating To The Exercise Of An Option; B.C. Court of Appeal

The courts of British Columbia have recently wrestled with the question whether they can review the award of an arbitrator dealing with the exercise of an option. In Urban Communications Inc. v. BCNET Networking Society, the arbitrator and a single judge of the B.C. Supreme Court arrived at diametrically opposite conclusions as to whether the […]

Continue Reading

Can The Parties Contract Out Of The UNCITRAL Model Law?

The Model Law of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) applies to international commercial arbitration agreements and awards. The Model Law has been adopted in all the provinces and territories of Canada, For instance, the Model Law has been adopted in the Ontario International Commercial Arbitration Act (ICCA). Under article 34 of […]

Continue Reading

When Does The Limitation Period Start When A Party Repudiates A Contract?

You might think that there is one answer to this question. But in Pickering Square Inc. v. Trillium College Inc., the Court of Appeal for Ontario recently reminded us that there are two answers, depending on whether the innocent party accepts the repudiation or not. If the repudiation is accepted, then the contract comes to […]

Continue Reading

Is The Commencement Of An Arbitration Claim Also The Commencement Of An Arbitration Counterclaim?

In a recent English decision, the court held that the commencement of an arbitration by the claimant could also amounted to the commencement of the arbitration of any counterclaim. In Glencore International AG v (1) PT Tera Logistic Indonesia (2) PT Arpeni Pra, the English court held that if the notice given by the claimant, […]

Continue Reading

Can An Arbitral Tribunal Summons The Decision-Makers Of A Public Authority?

When a contract dispute between a public authority and a private party proceeds to arbitration, can the private party inquire into the process or reasoning that led to public authority’s decision in question? For instance, if the public authority decides to terminate a construction contract, or to award a tender to one bidder, can an […]

Continue Reading

Contractor Liable To Flooring Subcontractor For Failure To Provide Proper Sub-Floor

An owner is obliged to provide the contractor with proper access to the site for the performance of the work. That principle of construction law is well known. What is less well appreciated is that the contractor has the same or similar obligation to the subcontractor. And this obligation has an important ingredient to it: […]

Continue Reading

An Opt-In “May Arbitrate” Clause Is Enforceable, But Only If Triggered: Privy Council

One of the ongoing issues in Canadian arbitration law is whether an “opt in” arbitration clause is enforceable as a mandatory submission to arbitration. Under such a clause, one party “may” serve a notice of arbitration, and if that party does so, then arbitration shall ensue. Some Canadian court decisions, particularly older ones, held that […]

Continue Reading

Arbitral Rules Held To Exclude Right To Appeal Arbitration Award

Parties who select arbitral rules, or the administration facilities of an arbitral institution, may do so because they believe that the rules or institution will provide a fair and efficient administration of the arbitral process. They may not suspect that the rules will affect their right to appeal the award. However, in Highbury Estates Inc. […]

Continue Reading

Alberta Court Issues Wide-Ranging Judgment on Settlement and Mediation of Arbitrations

In Pinder v. Woodrow, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recently issued a judgment addressing a number of arbitration and mediation issues. The judgment arose from a settlement that in turn arose from a mediation conducted during the course of the arbitral hearing. As a result, the court dealt with a number of issues that […]

Continue Reading
Page 1 of 2312345...1020...Last »