Fix Contracts Says Local Association

The head of the Windsor Construction Association hopes meeting with Ontario’s Transportation Minister will mean greater protections for sub-contractors working on government projects.

Earlier this week, the Ontario Legislature voted to ban contractors who owe money from bidding on other government projects, but Jim Lyons says contracts under the P3, or public private partnership process also put subcontractors at risk. He’s asking Minister Glen Murray to pressure consortiums building major projects like the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Pkwy. to use paperwork already widely used in the industry.

Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Percy Hatfield says some contracts on the parkway project were 800 pages long, and Lyons says even an experienced lawyer could miss key information leaving a subcontractor at risk. “Volume will baffle people,” he says. “It took a long time for our local guys to sign off their documents. Others, I think were a little more careless and just didn’t do their due diligence, so I fear for them.”

Lyons says the cumbersome contracts may have also caused unnecessary and possibly costly delays. “Contractors who were invited to bid jobs let’s say in January, couldn’t execute a contract until September. It just took that long to get through the process.”