Articles & Publications

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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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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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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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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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