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

Which Term Prevails In A Building Contract: The Specifications, Or A Warranty Of Fitness For Purpose?

A building contract usually includes a term requiring that the work or materials supplied adhere to the specifications. The contract may also contain implied or express warranties that the work will be fit for the intended purposes of the building project and free of defects. What happens when those terms result in inconsistent results? What […]

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Does The UNCITRAL Model Law Apply To A Claim Under The Consumer Protection Act?

The Queen’s Bench Court for Saskatchewan recently applied the Saskatchewan International Commercial Arbitration Act (SICAA) and the UNCITRAL Model law annexed to that Act and stayed an action based on the Saskatchewan Consumer Protection Act and a contract which was apparently between two Canadian entities. The decision in Zwack v. Pocha is important for two […]

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Two Construction Lien Issues: Architect’s Pro-Forma Certificate Is Invalid; GST Must Be Added To Holdback

The Ontario Superior Court recently decided two important issues relating to construction liens. In Wellington Plumbing & Heating Ltd. v. Villa Nicolini Incorporated, the court held that a late-issued pro forma architect’s certificate was invalid, and that GST must be added to a holdback. Factual Background Villa Nicolini constructed a retirement home in Vaughan. The […]

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Supreme Court Denies Leave In Tender Case – Refuses To Re-Write History

The Supreme Court of Canada has recently refused leave to appeal in Trevor Nicholas Construction Co. Ltd. v. Canada. In doing so, it has upheld the decisions of the Federal Court Trial Division and Federal Court of Appeal which declined to permit a bidder to rely on after-the-fact information to overturn an invitation to tender.  […]

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When Is An Officer, Director Or Controlling Person Liable For A Construction Lien Trust Fund Claim?

What are the limits of the trust fund liabilities under the Construction Lien Act? Those liabilities do not just apply to a contractor or subcontractor engaged in a building project.  Those liabilities may also apply to an officer or director or a person controlling the company. But can an officer, director or controlling person be […]

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Can An Arbitration Award Be Set Aside For Unreasonableness?

If an arbitration agreement states that there is to be no appeal from the award under the agreement, can a party seek judicial review on the ground that the award is unreasonable?  In Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick, [2008] 1 S.C.R. 190, the Supreme Court of Canada set out a comprehensive analysis for the judicial review […]

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Six Points To Consider Before Commencing An Arbitration

On October 10, 2012, I gave a speech at an Advocates’ Society program.  The program was  entitled Arbitration is the New Black.  My presentation focused on seven issues which should be addressed when a party is contemplating the commencement of an arbitration. Starting the arbitration seems like the easiest thing in the world.  After all, […]

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Is The Person Who Ultimately Pays A Guarantor Entitled To The Securities Held By The Guarantor?

Bonds and other forms of guarantees and indemnities are commonly used on construction projects. If a contractor applies for a performance bond, the bonding company will require the contractor to indemnify the bonding company. The bonding company may also require the principal shareholder of the contractor to guarantee the contractor’s obligation and to directly indemnify […]

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If You Want Specific Performance, Do You Still Have To Mitigate Your Damages?

Is a party to a contract obligated to mitigate its damages at the same time that it is asking the court to order specific performance? Since the party wants the contract performed, not damages for non-performance, the obligation to mitigate seems to be totally inapplicable. Yet, in Southcott Estates Inc. v. Toronto Catholic District School […]

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