THE ADVOCATE 717
VOL. 78 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2020
REPORT ON THE BUILDERS LIEN ACT
BCLI issued its Report on the Builders Lien Act in July 2020. Its release
marked the conclusion of the Builders Lien Act Reform Project, which is
believed to be the first comprehensive review of the present Act since it
came into force in 1997. BCLI undertook the project at the invitation of the
Ministry of Attorney General and was assisted by an expert volunteer committee
in carrying out the review of the Act.
The members of the Builders Lien Act Reform Project Committee were
Les Armitstead, Arthur Close, Q.C., Heather Ferris, Helmut Johannsen, P.
Eng., Dirk Laudan, Marc MacEwing, Karen Martin, David Mckenzie, Marina
Pratchett, Q.C., Don Thompson, P. Eng., and Jim White, P. Eng. Don
Thompson, P. Eng. chaired the committee from the start of the project until
2019, when David Mckenzie took over as chair.
The report contains 86 recommendations for reform of the Builders Lien
Act. They remain grouped around the principal themes of reform outlined
in an article about the consultation paper in the November 2019 issue of the
• 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 buildup of unnecessarily large holdbacks in construction
projects with a completion schedule exceeding one year;
• addressing the implications of the Shimco decisions;
• making procedures under the Act generally faster and less costly,
particularly those for securing and clearing liens from the owner’s
• curbing abuses of the Act; and
• resolving difficulties caused by the interaction of the Act with
third-party interests and other legislation.
The report was preceded by a consultation paper issued in autumn 2019.
The response to the consultation paper from many branches of the construction
industry and other stakeholders was both extensive and gener-