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

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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Is The Owner Liable For Delaying The Commencement Of The Building Project?

Time is money on a building project. And the obligation of the owner and the contractor to proceed expeditiously with the project may be one of the most important aspects of their relationship. But what if the owner delays in notifying the contractor of the award, or in signing the building contract?  Can the owner […]

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Tercon Contractors? The Latest Chapter

The 2010 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Tercon Contractors Ltd v. British Columbia (Transportation and Highways) is one of the most important recent Canadian decisions relating to contract law.  It has particular importance to building contracts.  Those interested in construction law are watching to see how Tercon will be applied in subsequent […]

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Can A Contractor Use Its Own Mistakes To Withdraw Its Bid?

A contractors’ worst nightmare is making a mistake in a tender and being stuck with a low bid.  The next worse nightmare is submitting a winning bid but one which contains errors which arguably make the bid non-compliant. What happens when both occur?  Can the contractor get out of its low bid by its own […]

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Does A Tender Give Rise To Liability For Negligent Misrepresentation Or Bad Faith?

Can an informal tender process which is not part of a bid depository system give rise to liability for negligent misrepresentation?  Can it give rise to liability for bad faith conduct?   In Oz Optics Limited v. Timbercom, Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal recently answered Yes to the first question, and after agonizing over […]

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An Owner Owes No Duty Of Care To A Subcontractor In A Bid Depository System

The Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal has recently held that an owner does not owe a duty of care to a subcontractor arising from the normal operation of a bid depository system: Defence Construction (1951) Limited v. Air-Tite Sheet Metal Limited. The Background: The owner, Defence Construction, a wholly owned subsidiary of the government […]

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Can A Condition In An Invitation To Tender Be Illegal?

Construction Law – Tenders – Illegality Can a condition in an invitation to tender a construction contract be illegal?  This is a question upon which construction law is largely silent.  But the Court of Appeal of Quebec has held that a condition of tender may be unlawful. This is not a recent decision, but it […]

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Is A Site Visit A Material Condition To A Tender?

Construction Law – Tenders – Site Visit – Materiality An invitation to tender may contain many conditions, some of which are more or less material to the ultimate submitted tender.  Is a requirement that the contractor attend a site visit a material condition of the tender?  In Admiral Roofing v. School District 57 (Board of […]

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Tenders in Construction Projects – Which Limitation Period Applies?

What is the limitation period for the commencement of an action arising from a tender in a construction project? If the owner is a municipality or other public body, does a limitation period in its incorporating legislation apply to the tender?  These were the questions recently faced by the Prince Edward Island Court of Appeal […]

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