The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association is taking the Government of Saskatchewan to task for instituting prompt payment legislation without consideration for municipalities.
SUMA has called on the government to exempt municipalities from The Builders’ Lien (Prompt Payment) Amendment Act and accompanying regulations to ensure municipalities are not forced to rush payment on municipal projects that may not be complete or meet standards.
“We value and support our local businesses,” SUMA President Rodger Hayward said. “But, as it stands, this legislation places an undue burden on municipalities to rush to pay invoices and then go through dispute resolution if the work is substandard or incomplete.”
Similar amendments have been introduced in other provinces, including Ontario. However, Ontario legislation includes the freedom to set longer timelines in contracts, allowing municipalities to negotiate the time they need to perform essential quality assurance.
“Municipalities are responsible for ensuring that all infrastructure projects are safe while being financially responsible with taxpayers’ dollars,” Hayward said. “The prompt payment legislation unfairly prioritizes payment over these responsibilities.”