Amendments to the Builders’ Lien Act

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                          

For Immediate Release

Construction Association of Nova Scotia pleased with the Province of Nova Scotia’s decision to apply all three recommended amendments to the Builders’ Lien Act.

Halifax, NS – (04/27/2017) The Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) is pleased with the Province of Nova Scotia’s decision to include all three industry recommended amendments to the Builders’ Lien Act that have been proclaimed and will take full effect on June 30, 2017.

“The process of implementing new regulations for the Builders’ Lien Act has taken nearly six years, a complex process that industry has been very supportive and patient of,” says CANS President Duncan Williams. “Finalizing these regulations will be viewed very positively by the 30,000 men and women who build our province.

In 2012, CANS, with broad-based industry support, put forward amendments to the Builders’ Lien Act as part of the public consultation and review. While industry recommendations were accepted and the Act was amended in 2013, they had been awaiting acceptable regulations to support those amendments and their proclamation into law.

Those recommendations included:

  • The adaptation of the amendments to progressive release of holdbacks.
  • Amendments to the disbursement of finishing holdback.
  • A single-central point of publication for public notice of substantial completion.

While the first two of three amendments were welcomed early on, the third amendment was the final piece needing to be defined.

“The third amendment pertains to the notification of substantial performance/completion to prime and trade contractors,” says Williams. “Having a single central point of publication will minimize confusion in the marketplace for all parties concerned, minimize the opportunity to practice unethically and/or illegally, and have a significant and positive impact on productivity for all parties.”

CANS recommendation was to use a mandatory industry-based centralized site where contractors could register for an automated message advising them of the milestone being achieved, saving a substantial amount of time for all parties concerned. By adopting this method, industry would be better equipped to police itself while at the same time providing them with an industry-based site that would feel familiar to its participants.

“The majority of companies engaged in the industrial commercial sector are small to medium sized enterprises. A central site enables them to better direct their resources, invest in their employees and ultimately grow the economy,” says Williams.

CANS and the construction industry has long supported the Province and worked with various Departments, partnering together on numerous and important items in the construction industry. Continues Williams, “The Builders’ Lien Act has important implications for the non-residential construction industry in Nova Scotia and we are committed to ensuring that industry is aware of the very collaborative working relationship we share with government.”

CANS represents more than 780 large and small companies that build, renovate and restore non-residential buildings, roads, bridges and other engineering projects. We are an industry trade association representing the interests of contractors, suppliers and service providers throughout Atlantic Canada and across the country. Construction is a $3.8 billion a year industry in Nova Scotia and employs over 30,000 men and women from across the province. For more information about the Construction Association of Nova Scotia visit


Media Contact:

Colleen Fiske
Communications and Marketing Lead
Construction Association of Nova Scotia
Cell: 902-818-0835