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.

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One Arbitration Under Two Separate Arbitration Agreements Held To Be Invalid

In A v B, [2017] EWHC 3417 (Comm), the High Court of Justice of England and Wales has recently held that an arbitrator in an arbitration commenced by a single request to arbitrate did not have jurisdiction to decide disputes under multiple arbitration agreements. What makes this decision so important and interesting is that the […]

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The Ontario Construction Act: What Does It Mean, Especially Regarding Paid When Paid Clauses?

The Ontario Construction Lien Act, 2017 was given Royal Assent on December 12, 2017 as S.O. 2017 C.24. This statue changes the name of the Ontario Construction Lien Act to the Construction Act (which I will refer to as the new Act) and fundamentally changes the law relating to construction projects in Ontario. Before further […]

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Alberta Court Applies Principles Of Contract Interpretation And Limitations To A Client-Consultant Contract

In the recently released decision in Riddell Kurczaba Architecture Engineering Interior Design Ltd v. Governors of the University of Calgary, 2018 CarswellAlta 10, 2018 ABQB 11, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench applied three potential aids to the interpretation to a client-consultant contract: contra proferentem; post-contract conduct; and estoppel. The court also applied the limitation […]

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Notice Commencing Several Arbitrations Held Not To Be Totally Invalid By B.C. Court

In South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority v. BMT Fleet Technology Ltd. 2017 CarswellBC 2587, 2017 BCSC 1683, the British Columbia Supreme Court recently held that a single notice purporting to commence several arbitrations against several respondents was procedural invalid. However, the notice was not totally void and could be amended by the applicant to […]

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Contract To Build A Building Contrary To A Building Bylaw Held To Be Illegal

In Nzeadibe v. Khan, 2017 CarswellBC 2251, 2017 BCSC 1456, the British Columbia Supreme Court recently held that a building contract was illegal and unenforceable because it provided for the construction of a building which would have been contrary to the municipal building bylaw. The decision raises, once again, the contentious role of the doctrine […]

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Alberta Court Rejects Assertion That The Mortgagee Was An “Owner” Under The Builder’s Lien Act

In Westpoint Capital Corp. v. Solomon Spruce Ridge Inc., 2017 CarswellAlta 580, 2017 ABQB 254, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench made a number of decisions relating to the priorities between lienholders and mortgagees. The court found that a mortgagee was not an “owner” of the land within the Alberta Builder’s Lien Act. In any […]

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Payment Clause Held Not To Be A “Pay-When-Paid” Clause

In Cardinal Contracting Ltd. v. Seko Construction (Vancouver) Ltd., 2017 CarswellYukon 107, 2017 YKSC 51, the Yukon Supreme Court recently considered whether a payment clause in a construction contract was a pay-when-paid clause which entitled the contractor to only pay the subcontractor if and when it was paid by the owner. The clause in question […]

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Amendments To The Ontario Construction Lien Act Have Been Given First Reading (Part 2)

On May 31, 2017, the Ontario Legislature gave first reading to Bill 142 which will enact the Construction Lien Amendment Act, 2017. By this legislation, substantial amendments are proposed to the Ontario Construction Lien Act, including the change of the name of the Act to the Construction Act. This proposed legislation (the Proposed Act) follows […]

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Amendments To The Ontario Construction Lien Act Have Been Given First Reading (Part 1)

On May 31, 2017, the Ontario Legislature gave first reading to Bill 142, which will enact the Construction Lien Amendment Act, 2017. By this legislation, substantial amendments are proposed to the Ontario Construction Lien Act, including the change of the name of the Act to the Construction Act. The text of Bill 142 may be […]

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