Sharing news that SHCA members need to know
New Legislation Will Protect Contractors From Payment Delays
On March 1, 2022, The Builders’ Lien (Prompt Payment) Amendment Act, 2019 will be proclaimed into force in Saskatchewan.
“This government is committed to supporting the construction industry,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said. “These changes will ensure the prompt payment of contractors and subcontractors and will enable parties to resolve issues quickly and without added costs – which in turn will help projects move forward without delays.”
This new provincial legislation will protect and define the rights and obligations of owners, developers, contractors and subcontractors by establishing reasonable payment timelines for construction projects and introducing an interim adjudication process as an alternative to arbitration and litigation.
The payment timelines will mandate that owners and developers provide payment within 28 days of receiving a proper invoice for construction services. Contractors will have seven days to provide payment to subcontractors after receiving a payment from the owner or developer.
The new adjudication process under the Act will enable parties to seek interim resolution for disputed payments. It will be overseen by the Saskatchewan Construction Dispute Resolution Office (SCDRO), a not-for-profit corporation designated by the Minister to act as the official Adjudication Authority. The SCDRO will work with the ADR Institute of Saskatchewan Inc. to provide trained, independent adjudicators for disputes under the process.
These changes are similar to amendments recently introduced in several other Canadian jurisdictions, such as Ontario and Nova Scotia.
For a legal perspective on this legislation, see our story on page 47 of this magazine.
Brandt Completes Cervus Deal, Creates International Equipment Dealer Powerhouse
Brandt Tractor Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Brandt Group of Companies, acquired Cervus Equipment Corp. following a 97.66 per cent endorsement for the deal in an Oct. 12, 2021 vote by Cervus shareholders. The transaction sees publicly-traded Cervus transition to 100 per cent private ownership in an all-cash deal.
The landmark transaction creates Canada’s largest-ever equipment dealer network, adding 64 agriculture, transportation and material handling equipment locations to Brandt’s existing John Deere Construction and Forestry dealerships across Canada. When fully integrated, it will give Cervus’s customers access to Brandt’s extensive national parts and technical support infrastructure.
The purchase further establishes the firm’s position as a premier privately held Canadian company and the largest John Deere dealership in the world.
“The addition of Cervus’s branch network is a big win for customers in all of the affected markets,” said Brandt owner and CEO, Shaun Semple. “We’ve got a lot to offer and we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and earn the loyalty of our new customers through a combination of premium products and services and a consistent, high-quality customer support experience.”
The deal gives Brandt unparalleled market penetration, expanding its geographical footprint and enabling the company to add, in select markets, John Deere agricultural equipment; Peterbilt transportation equipment; and Clark, Sellick, JLG, Baumann and other material handling equipment in addition to their already-impressive list of products and services.
With the acquisition of the Cervus locations in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Brandt now owns and operates 120 full-service equipment dealerships with an additional 50-plus service points and employs over 5,100 people.
The transaction will make a significant impact across the industry as the company rolls out plans to introduce expanded parts inventories, service department capacities and extended hours of operation at the former Cervus dealerships. As operations are integrated, staffing in these locations is expected to increase by up to 40 per cent, with significant new facility construction across the entire network.
“Cervus staff, customers and their communities will all benefit from this acquisition through a stronger, more diversified network of support dealerships,” concluded Semple. “Brandt is fully committed to ongoing investment in business infrastructure and community enhancement; there is tremendous opportunity for everyone in this deal.”
The transaction officially closed on Oct. 22, 2021.
Saskatchewan Announces $2.5 Million for Re-Skill Saskatchewan Training Subsidy
On Dec. 9, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the launch of the Re-Skill Saskatchewan Training Subsidy (RSTS), a new temporary program that provides financial support for the development of a skilled workforce to support Saskatchewan’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
“With major job gains and a low unemployment rate, Saskatchewan’s economy continues on a strong path to economic recovery,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “The Re-Skill Saskatchewan Training Subsidy, along with other recently announced programs, will help further strengthen our labour force as the provincial economy continues to grow.”
The new RSTS is modelled after the former Re-Open Saskatchewan Training Subsidy, which was introduced in June 2020 as an emergency response to help employers impacted by the pandemic. The new RSTS will support economic recovery efforts and reimburse eligible private-sector employers 100 per cent of employee training costs up to a maximum of $5,000 per business. Applications to the program will be open starting Jan. 4, 2022.
For more information, employers can visit www.saskatchewan.ca/training-subsidy, call 306-964-1005 for Saskatoon and area or 306-787-4677 for Regina and area, or email email@example.com.
Saskatchewan Announces $4.38 Million for Skills Training Programs
On Nov. 29, the Government of Saskatchewan announced funding of approximately $4.38 million for the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) and several other training institutions to deliver training programs that will continue to grow a skilled workforce in Saskatchewan.
This funding will allow these institutions to expand their skills training programs in the construction, welding and health care sectors to help meet the labour needs of businesses. It also supports key actions of the Saskatchewan Growth Plan to ensure under-represented groups are enabled to participate in the economy.
“Saskatchewan is making significant investments in training our provincial workforce as we enter a period of strong growth coming out of the pandemic,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “This funding will prioritize training for individuals who are under-represented in the workforce, it will promote a more diverse and inclusive workforce, and it will grow the number of skilled workers in high-demand occupations in communities across Saskatchewan.”
Several of these new training opportunities will be targeted at Indigenous individuals and will be delivered through partnerships between training institutions and the communities. The expansion of the Tiny House Project is one such project, and will provide Indigenous apprentices with work experiences, while working towards their journeyperson certificates by building small, modular houses in their local communities.
The training will be funded through the Canada-Saskatchewan Labour Market Transfer Agreements and provided by the SATCC and several other training institutions. In addition to the Tiny House Project expansion, the skills programs include:
- Health care aide/Continuing care aide
- Medical lab assistant
- Electrical applied certificate
- Steel stud and drywall
- Introduction to scaffolding
For more information on the training programs, please contact Chris Gunningham with the Skills Training Branch at 306-787-8131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2021 Highway Construction Season Wrap-up
Highlights from the 2021 highway construction season include new passing lanes and road improvements near provincial parks.
“Improving highway safety is vital for our government and we continue to make record investments into our transportation system,” Highways Minister Fred Bradshaw said. “With this year’s projects, the province is on track to meet its growth plan target.”
The Government of Saskatchewan has improved more than 1,000 kilometres of provincial highways this year, the second of its 10-year Growth Plan goal to build and upgrade 10,000 km of highways.
A key commitment for the 2021-22 construction season was the installation of new passing lanes on Highways 2, 3, 7, 14, 16 and 39 in Saskatchewan. While some passing lanes on Highway 16 will be open this winter, additional work will be required in the spring. Passing lanes provide more opportunities for drivers to pass safely and reduce collisions.
Highway improvements made this construction season include:
- 175 km of repaving;
- 635 km of pavement sealing and medium preservation treatments; and
- 240 km of thin membrane surface and rural highway upgrades.
This year’s construction season also included completion of a bridge rehabilitation on Highway 1 east of Swift Current, as well as 12 bridge and culvert replacements across the province, including Highways 2, 5, 18, 26, 35 and 165.
Government continues to invest in intersections and road safety. As part of a five-year $100 million commitment to intersections and road safety, several projects were completed including:
- Intersection rumble strips at the junction of Highway 9 and Highway 22;
- Intersection improvements on Highway 364 at Balgonie;
- Intersection improvements at the junction of Highway 11 and North Grid Road north of Dundurn; and
- Intersection sight triangle and right-of-way sightline improvements across the province.
To date, 60 per cent of all highway intersections in Saskatchewan have been addressed.
Two additional projects are expected to be completed this winter, including lighting at the junction of Highway 9 and Highway 18, and a flashing warning light at the junction of Highway 55 and Highway 240.
While many projects have wrapped up, work continues year-round. Drivers are reminded to observe posted speed limits in work zones and slow to 60 km/h when passing highway workers and equipment.
The Government of Saskatchewan has invested more than $10.6 billion in highways infrastructure since 2008, improving more than 17,100 km of Saskatchewan highways.