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Goodmans Publications

Goodmans Construction Law Update Spring 2005


Lawyer Joseph Cosentino, Kenneth Crofoot
Area Construction and Infrastucture, Employment and Labour, Litigation


The construction industry is one of Canada's largest and one of the industries by which our economy is measured. From heavy equipment manufacturers to suppliers, from subcontractors and general contractors to owners and developers - changes in the industry can have a dramatic effect on day-to-day business.

The Goodmans Construction Law Update keeps you abreast of recent legal developments as well as industry trends.

In this issue:

  • Changes Relating to the Production of Documents in Construction Disputes:  In any construction claim, the gathering of documents to support the claim can be a monumental task, often taking weeks or months. However, recent changes to the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure ("Rules") may affect the timing of the gathering of this documentation where a case proceeds by way of court process rather than some other form of dispute resolution. While the amendments to the rules apply to all claims issued in the Province of Ontario, nowhere may the impact be greater than in a construction dispute;
  • Case Commentaries:  Kennedy Electric Ltd. v. Rumble Automation Inc.; Graham Industrial Services Ltd. v. Greater Vancouver Water District; Kinetic Construction Ltd. v. Regional District of Comox-Strathcona and Levy v. Elmer Lohnes Lumbering Ltd.; and Mann-Tattersal v. City Hamilton.
  • Indemnity Clauses in Construction Contracts - The Need for Clarity:  In the case of TransCanada Pipelines v. Potter Station Power Limited Partnership, a decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal released in mid-2003 and subsequently noted in several other cases, the Court was asked to determine whether the motions judge erred in failing to apply the principle of contra proferentum and in failing to find ambiguity in the indemnity clause regarding TransCanada Pipeline’s claim for damages.  The case is of interest to participants in the construction industry who may routinely agree to indemnify the party with whom they have contracted with on a construction project.
  • Update on Proposed Changes to the Labour Relations Act in Bill 144: On November 3, 2004, the Ontario Ministry of Labour announced proposed new legislation that contains several significant changes to the Labour Relations Act.  If passed, these amendments will reintroduce specific remedies of the Ontario Labour Relations Board and impact the certification process for unions in the construction industry sector.

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