Articles & Publications

Publication, Staff | |

Architects, Engineers, and Builders — Oh My! The Architectural Institute of British Columbia v. Langford (City), 2020 BCSC 801

As published in Northern Construction Connection October 2020 Newsletter.

In 2016, the City of Langford’s Chief Building Inspector issued a building permit for the construction of a residential / commercial strata complex. An architect was not involved in the project – the design and drawings were completed by a designer.

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Article, Staff | |

The BC Court of Appeal Rules on Local Government Liability in Abdi v. Bottomleys and City of Burnaby

In 2014, the plaintiff, Ms. Abdi, was seriously injured during a gathering at the residence of the defendant tenants, Mr. and Ms. Bottomley. Ms. Abdi and other guests were gathered around a fire in the Bottomley’s backyard that was contained in a wheel rim acting as a fire pit. Mr. Bottomley poured used motor oil onto the fire, causing an explosion that severely burned Ms. Abdi.

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Anatomy of a Builders Lien

As published in Northern Construction Connection September 2020 Newsletter.

What is a Builders Lien? A lien is a legal right against assets that are used as collateral to satisfy a debt. The Builders Lien Act (the “Act”) of British Columbia provides a lien for payment owed to a party that performs work and/or supplies materials in relation to an improvement.

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0956375 B.C. Ltd. v. Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, 2020 BCSC 743

On May 13, 2020, the Supreme Court of British Columbia considered two actions against the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (“RDOS”) regarding a downzoning of a property on Osoyoos Lake (“Property”) to correct an error.

Mr. Grelish, a sophisticated land and property developer, was the directing mind of both corporate Plaintiffs. Since 2002, Mr. Grelish had made several fruitless attempts to have the zoning of the Property changed from Large Holdings (“LH”) to RM1, to increase the Property value. In 2005, an RDOS staff member accidentally entered the zoning designation for the Property into the database as RM1…

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Publication, Staff | |

The “As-and-When” Contracts – How to Contract when the Scope and Timing of Work is Uncertain

As published in Northern Construction Connection July 2020 Newsletter

The variety of contract models that may be used for construction work is reflective of the broad range of projects undertaken by the industry and the flexibility needed to address pricing options.  Where owners may require ongoing, but sporadic, maintenance services, or multiple routine pieces of work, or relatively small-value projects, the frequency, timing, value and scope of the work of individual assignments may not be fully known in advance.  An option for parties wanting to engage in such projects may be to enter into “as-and-when” contracts…

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Article, Staff | |

The Architectural Institute of British Columbia v. Langford (City), 2020 BCSC 801

In 2016, the City of Langford’s Chief Building Inspector issued a building permit for the construction of a residential / commercial strata complex. An architect was not involved in the project – the design and drawings were completed by a designer. The Architects Act (the “Act”) required the involvement of an architect in the project as the building exceeded 470 m2 in gross area. The AIBC (the professional body that regulates the profession of architecture in British Columbia) brought a petition seeking a declaration that the decision to issue the building permit was unreasonable…

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Charlesfort Developments Ltd. v. Ottawa (City of), 2019 ONSC 4460

As published in Northern Construction Connection June 2020 Newsletter

In this July 24, 2019 Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision, Justice Sally Gomery addressed the question of whether the City of Ottawa was legally required, as part of a site-specific rezoning process, to advise the developer, Charlesfort Developments Ltd. (Charlesfort), of the risks of developing next to critical municipal infrastructure that was located in an adjacent municipal easement.  In this case, the property was being rezoned to permit the development of a 15-storey condominium tower with a 2-storey underground parking garage. The property adjacent to the development site contained an easement in favour of the City of Ottawa, within which a high-pressure water main was located……

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COVID – 19: Can B.C. Local Governments Hold Meetings Online?

March 26, 2020 UPDATE

For the duration of the provincial state of emergency (which means it is retroactive), local governments are not required to have the public attend and do not need to comply with the Community Charter or Local Government Act requirements for electronic meetings or participation by Council or Board members by electronic means…..

 

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Article, Staff | |

COVID-19: Suspension of Regular Court Operations

March 26, 2020 UPDATE

On March 26, 2020, the Province ordered that, for the duration of the provincial State of Emergency, every mandatory limitation period and any other mandatory time period that is established in an enactment or law of British Columbia within which a civil or family action, proceeding, claim or appeal must be commenced in the Provincial Court, Supreme Court or Court of Appeal is suspended…..

 

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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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