In our last article, we announced that on March 20, 2020, the Ontario Government filed an Order under subsection 7.1(2) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, stating that any statute, regulation, rule, by-law or order of the Government of Ontario that establishes a limitation period OR establishes any period of time within which any step must be taken in any proceeding in Ontario, including any intended proceeding, was suspended.

While the Ontario Order did not specifically suspend the time periods for preserving and perfecting a construction lien under the Construction Act (Ontario), most practitioners in the area concluded that it did. Accordingly, professionals in the industry advised owners and lenders to be cautious about paying out the holdback since there could be no guarantee that liens might be registered in the future. The Government of Ontario has since recognized the financial impact that suspended lien periods would have on contractors and subcontractors due to the inability of owners to release holdbacks.

On April 9, 2020 the Attorney General announced that the emergency Order had been amended to remove the suspension of limitation periods and procedural time periods under the Construction Act. The suspension was lifted on April 16, 2020.

HazloLaw-Business Lawyers will continue to monitor the situations for updates.