Articles & Publications

Publication, Staff | |

Prime Contractor Obligations

As published in Northern Construction Connection March 2020 Newsletter

The awareness around prime contractor responsibilities appears to be much greater now than it did even a decade ago, certainly based on our dealings with clients and construction industry members.  It is not uncommon, for example, to now see prominent signs near construction sites identifying the party assuming the prime contractor’s role.  For those NRCA members that are new to the industry or new to the idea of ‘prime contractor’, this article sets out the legal duties with respect multiple-employer worksites under the British Columbia Workers Compensation Act (the “Act”) and the regulations enacted thereunder which govern with respect to workplace health and safety in British Columbia…

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The Anatomy of a Delay Claim

As published in Northern Construction Connection February 2020 Newsletter

There are three fundamental elements of a construction contract: price, scope, and time. Contractors and owners rely on the terms of the contract to inform them of the work that is required to be performed; the price for that work; and the time frame during which the work, or other various aspects of it, are to be completed. As a result, a change to either price, scope, or time may have a significant impact on the parties’ performance under the contract….

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Smart Cities – They’re Watching You

As published in LGMA Exchange Magazine Winter 2020

Smart Cities use integrated data collection and management to track and analyze the patterns of a community to drive and power services. Some examples include pedestrian traffic sensors, mobile apps for buses and expedited handling of requests for city services. However, innovation inevitably comes with uncertainties and risks. While there is a public appetite for the convenience that technology provides, enthusiasm is tempered by the public’s concerns about privacy and cybersecurity risks, as is demonstrated by the recent news reports of the privacy controversy surrounding Toronto’s new Alphabet Company (aka Google) operated Waterfront development….

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The Legality of Holding a Grudge in Public Procurement

As published in Northern Construction Connection January 2020 Newsletter and in CBA Municipal Law Section

Due to the large volume of purchasing conducted by public entities, the likelihood of purchasing from the same pool of vendors raises the challenge of potentially selecting a bidder with whom they are (or have been) embroiled in a dispute. A strategy that some public entities have used to address this issue is to adopt the practice of including in their procurement documents a term that excludes from the bidding process those entities that are (or have been) engaged in legal proceedings against the public body, commonly referred to as a “reprisal cause”…

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Publication, Students | |

Swinging Construction Cranes—Trespass or Nuisance?

As published in Northern Construction Connection December 2019 Newsletter

During the development of a project it may be unfeasible to contain all aspects of construction within the boundaries of the land that is being developed. A frequent example involves the use of construction cranes, where the boom of a crane will swing into the area above neighboring properties. The law affecting the rights and remedies of landowners of these neighboring properties has been changing…

 

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Addressing Climate Change: Can Natural Asset Management Actually Reduce Liability Risk?

As published in Risk Management Tidbits: Fall 2019 – Special Edition – 2019 Legal Roundup

It has been widely acknowledged that climate change is having an impact on local governments. Lately, much has been written advocating for the use of natural asset management to reduce the impacts of climate change. But every novel approach carries with it uncertainty about the potential for increased risks. So, the next question that is trending is: what are the liability risks of addressing climate change through natural asset management?

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Will Collaboration Be Achieved Under the CCDC 30 Integrated Project Delivery Contract?

As published in SICA Construction Review Fall 2019

The Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) has been used successfully in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia for approximately 20 years, but is a new development in Construction in Canada.

Unlike the traditional approach involving separate contracts between the principal constructions parties, the basic principles underlying IPD are the sharing of risk and reward, early involvement and equality of stakeholders, project-first thinking…

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Know your Construction Insurance Policy!

As published in Northern Construction Connection November 2019 Newsletter

Construction has inherent risks that can be significant, which has resulted in the supply of a number of insurance products to cover such risks.  For most construction projects, several different policies are secured that are intended to be complimentary…

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Publication, Students | |

Bill M 223— Prompt Payment Legislation in British Columbia

As published in Northern Construction Connection October 2019 Newsletter

On May 29, 2019, a member of the opposition party in British Columbia (Liberal House Leader, Mary Polak), introduced Bill M-223 (the Prompt Payment (Builders Lien) Act).

Bill M-223 aims to modernize the existing Builders Lien Act and to bring British Columbia in line with other jurisdictions that are introducing prompt payment reforms, including Ontario, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Quebec. The underlying objective of prompt payment legislation is to ensure that those who provide services or materials to a construction project are paid in a timely manner. The stated intention is to minimize payment disputes and unnecessary financial hardships associated with late payment…

 

 

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Minimizing Construction Disputes

As published in Construction Business Magazine September/October 2019.

It seems inevitable that construction projects come with delays and disputes, which are disruptive to the efficient progression of the project, and costly to all parties.

In any well-functioning relationship, it is important for the participants to be aware of the interests and incentives of the other parties to the relationship.  In a construction project, the owner seeks value for money, and a project that is on-time and on-budget.  The contractor wants to run its operations efficiently, make a profit, and obtain a good reference for future work.  In order to obtain these objectives, it is in the interests of all parties to minimize disputes during a construction project.

In this article, I will identify some of the common causes of delays and disputes, and provide some tips about the tools and strategies available to secure the effective delivery of a construction project…

 

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