Our window of opportunity is closing

Over the past several issues of the Informer and other places I have been giving you news of progress in advancing Prompt Payment legislation here in British Columbia. With passage of Ontario’s Construction and Lien Act, the federal government’s review to bring legislation forward in Canadian parliament, recent news of progress in Manitoba, and soon-to-be introduced legislation in Saskatchewan, is it possible that BC trade contractors, including members of MCABC, have become a little lackadaisical in simply assuming, mission accomplished! It is not.

The provincial government has told us, and the Premier has said to me personally, “Let us know what we can do to make this happen. But first get us the data that proves industry wants and needs it.”

Meager response

Unfortunately, to date, industry’s reply has been at best meager. When www.promptpaymentbc.ca went live on March 6th with the online letter-writing campaign and Delayed Payment survey, there were ten days of activity when some people jumped aboard. In the 49 days since, there’s been the odd tick of interest.  Recent reports show 160 surveys completed and 83 letters sent – that’s less than one letter per BC MLA.

WorksafeBC reports there are almost 16,000 trade contractors in BC construction’s ICI sector alone.  In my view, we need to motivate at least one-third of that number in order to provide government with the security and political motivation to move this legislation forward.  If you – the trades – cannot prove you are hurting and in need, then what government would waste resources and political capital to appease such a disinterested and apathetic public?

It’s easy to help

Here’s all you have to do:  The Prompt Payment website enables a letter from you to be automatically generated and sent to your MLA who is identified by your home or business postal code. This lets your MLA know that Prompt Payment, or rather the absence of it, is of concern to you.  In addition you are requested to complete a survey of your company’s delayed payments experience.  It is the collection of responses to the survey that will provide the attorney general, supported by his caucus colleagues, the evidence to prove the need for this legislation. Completing the survey and sending the letter will probably take you less than 20 minutes total.

Let’s get this done

Clearly, if the 200+ members of MCABC were to complete the survey and send the letters, and every member were to persuade just one other affected person, we would know that this trade and its association had made a substantial contribution to the introduction and passage of Prompt Payment legislation.

Do your part and then tell a friend to do theirs. Let’s get this legislation passed.

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