866 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2019
In carrying out the project, BCLI has been assisted by a committee of volunteers
who are knowledgeable and experienced in the fields of construction
law, construction lending and insolvency. Don Thompson, P. Eng.
chaired the Builders Lien Act Reform Project Committee until early 2019.
Since his retirement as chair, he remains an active committee member. The
current chair of the committee is David Mckenzie. The other members of
the committee are Les Armitstead, Arthur Close, Q.C., Heather Ferris, Helmut
Johannsen, Dirk Laudan, Marc MacEwing, Karen Martin, Marina
Pratchett, Q.C., and Jim White, P. Eng.
The consultation paper presents 80 tentative recommendations.1 They
embrace several overriding themes in the approach taken by the project
committee to the overhaul of the Act:
• preventing interruption of the flow of construction funds down the
• making it easier to determine when time starts to run against a lien
claimant under the 45-day countdown to the end of the lien filing
• closing gaps in the ability to preserve lien rights with respect to
improvements on unpatented lands, including a wider range of
Crown resource tenures;
• preventing the build-up of unnecessarily large holdbacks in construction
projects with a completion schedule longer than a year;
• addressing the implications of the Shimco decisions;2
• resolving difficulties caused by the interaction between the
Builders Lien Act and third-party interests and other legislation;
• curbing abuses of the Act; and
• making procedures under the Act faster and less costly.
The tentative recommendations are grouped into chapters built around
these main themes.
Determining whether a claim of lien has been or can be filed in time is
the difficulty that practitioners and their clients likely encounter most frequently
in dealing with the Builders Lien Act. To make this task easier, the
consultation paper tentatively recommends reducing the number of separate
triggers for the start of the 45-day countdown to the end of the lien filing
period. It also contains several tentative recommendations to increase
the reliability of certificates of completion.
The tentative recommendations that aim to minimize the interruption of
the flow of payments down the contract chain as a result of a claim of lien