CANS Government Relations update – Builders’ Lien and OHS

On your behalf, we have been working hard to build relationships with all levels of government, ensuring we are at the table and part of the decision making process on public policy and issues that affect the construction industry.

CANS and the industry has long supported the Province of Nova Scotia and worked with various Departments, partnering together on numerous and important items in the construction industry. We are committed to ensuring that you are aware of the very collaborative working relationship we share with government.

Here is an updated on the Builders’ Lien Act and OH&S Act:

Builders’ Lien Act

CANS is pleased with the Province of Nova Scotia’s decision and recent announcement 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.

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. 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 complex process of implementing new regulations for the Builders’ Lien Act has taken nearly six years. Over this period of time, CANS has worked closely with industry stakeholders and the Province to finalize these regulations, as they have important implications for the non- residential construction industry in Nova Scotia.

Read CANS media release HERE.
Read the Province of Nova Scotia’s backgrounder HERE.
The text of the new regulations is available HERE.

Occupational Health and Safety Act

This week, the Provincial government introduced and passed Amendments to the Occupational

Health and Safety Act to help keep Nova Scotians safe at work.

Most employers in Nova Scotia operate safe workplaces. However, there are some who repeatedly break serious health and safety rules, putting Nova Scotians at risk of serious injury or death. The amendments hold those employers more accountable, and were passed by the legislature with a commitment by the Department to work with stakeholders on next steps. That work is complete, and we’re ready to put the changes into place.

The amendments will come into force on June 12, 2017.

The changes will better define when, how, and what injuries and incidents must be reported, and give government additional tools and authority to enforce safety requirements for those who repeatedly disregard safety regulations, putting people at risk of serious injury or death.

The Occupational Health and Safety Director now has the authority to deal with repeat offenders by:
– Issuing stop-work orders at all their sites where there is potential for serious injury or death;
– Applying to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia for an injunction to prohibit them from working in an industry where they have a repeated history of causing serious injuries or deaths;

– Requiring them to advise the department of future work locations and activities so that an inspection can be conducted as needed.

Over the past decade, the construction industry in Nova Scotia has invested heavily to improve safety in the commercial industrial industry. CANS has worked closely with the Office of the Employer Advisor, industry stakeholders and the Province, holding public consultation and information sessions for members to review regulations and to discuss the impact to employers and Nova Scotia business.

Read the Province of Nova Scotia’s press release HERE.

For more information, contact:

Colleen Fiske
Communications & Marketing Lead
C: 902-818-0835 E: