The Construction Act (Ontario) vs. the Builders Lien Act (British Columbia).

Date: May 2022

Although the Construction Act (Ontario) and the Builders Lien Act (British Columbia) are both built off similar (if not the same) principles, it’s interesting to see the how both pieces of legislation differ with respect to timelines and procedures.

For example, take a look at the differences between “perfecting” liens in Ontario and BC (for contractors), where there has been no certificate or declaration of substantial completion (Ontario) or certificate of completion (BC).

In Ontario:

  • Contractor has 60 days after the date the contract is completed, abandoned, or terminated, to register its claim for lien.
  • Contractor has another 90 days (following the 60 days) to commence an action to enforce the lien and (assuming the lien has not been vacated) register a certificate of action on title.

In British Columbia:

  • Contractor has 45 days after the date the head contract is completed, abandoned, or terminated, if the owner engaged a head contractor, to file a claim of lien.
  • Contractor has one year from the date of the filing of its claim of lien, to commence an action to enforce the claim of lien and (assuming the lien has not been removed or cancelled), file a certificate of pending litigation in respect of the action.

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