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This Week in Construction Law: March 28 – April 1, 2022

In national news, the 2020 National Model Codes have been released. The newest version of these construction codes contain more than 400 changes across multiple fields, including fire prevention, plumbing, and electrical.

In Ontario, 1,500 protesting dump truck drivers are conducting daily visits of job sites to “disrupt” them and raise awareness of their demands, including a 20-35% rate hike after six years with no increase, and their grievances, such as a lack of access to bathrooms and a lack of scheduled breaks. The protest follows a similar action in March by Ontario aggregate haulers that led to a 20-25% rate hike.

In Ontario, labour contracts in the industrial, commercial and institutional (“ICI”) sector of the construction industry are set to expire at the end of April. Some trades have already reached new agreements, but many negotiations are only now beginning, with a “wide gulf” in wage demands expected to be a central concern.

In Ontario, the provincial government has unveiled its housing affordability plan: a package of initiatives that includes streamlined municipal approvals for subdivision and site plans, as well as funding to clear backlogs at the Ontario Land Tribunal and Landlord and Tenant Board. Critics suggest the plan doesn’t go nearly far enough, noting that it falls short of the recommendations published by the Ontario government’s own task force (these recommendations were unpopular in suburban municipalities where the next provincial election is expected to be decided).

In commentary, Andrew Parley and Drew Black discuss the limited window to file suit after the discovery of a claim, and the consequent importance of tolling agreements, through which parties consent to delay commencement of litigation, typically until construction of a project is complete.


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