Association de la construction du Québec

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Coalition Against Payment Delays in the Construction Industry

Coalition retards paiements

The ACQ is proud to be part of a coalition of various contractor groups advocating for adoption of a law on the prompt payment of contractors in the construction industry.

Payment delays in the industry are a severe problem that undermines the financial health of many businesses. Those that suffer the negative consequences of this system can be pushed to bankruptcy depending on the length of delays and the number of projects they are working on simultaneously.

How can contractors be sure they are paid within a reasonable amount of time?

Aside from those stipulated in contracts, there are no reliable mechanisms provided for in Québec legislation. Since construction companies often find themselves in an imbalance of power with the prime contractor (or with a contractor if they are a subcontractor), remedies for securing payment by the prescribed deadline are limited. The coalition has therefore committed to the mission of recommending an effective solution to this severe problem affecting both the public and the private sector.


Inspired by successes in other countries including the U.K. and the U.S., the coalition is recommending that a law be enacted to ensure better compliance with payment times. Study of the recommendations of the Reynolds Report, legislation adopted in Ontario, and that proposed more recently at the federal level, among other documents, has validated the various measures proposed by the coalition to restore the balance of power between construction industry players.

The coalition is therefore advocating for legislation providing for, among other things:

  • Mandatory payment schedules.
  • A dispute-resolution mechanism.
  • Disclosure of financial information (informing subcontractors when the general contractor has received payment from the prime contractor).

The seriousness of this process depends on an economic impact study in Québec of construction industry payment delays and on a legal opinion on what solutions are most acceptable to everyone involved. Various surveys of contractors have also been conducted to get their opinions and lend credibility to the project.

The Québec Treasury Board Secretariat has chosen PROMPT PAYMENT as a possible solution to improve public tendering practices and management.

Actions by the coalition

The coalition has met with many government stakeholders in the past two years. Besides the Treasury Board Secretariat, with which the coalition has had multiple exchanges, other public office holders involved in the issue have been lobbied. Depending on the stakeholder, meetings have been held with senior civil servants and/or ministerial staff members.

They include:

  • Treasury Board Secretariat
  • Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy
  • Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources
  • Ministry of Transport
  • Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Société québécoise des infrastructures
  • Official opposition party
  • Second opposition group
  • City of Montréal
  • Office of the Inspector General

Adoption of Bill 108

An important step has been taken in the fight against construction industry payment delays.

The coalition against payment delays in the construction industry welcomes the unanimous passing in the National Assembly of Bill 108, An Act to Facilitate Oversight of Public Bodies’ Contracts and to establish the Autorité des marchés publics, and the ensuing introduction of regulatory framework provisions that will facilitate payment of contractors and subcontractors and ensure effective action against delays.

These provisions include experimentation, as part of a pilot project, with various measures such as a dispute-resolution mechanism and application of a payment schedule.

Members of the coalition

  • Association de la construction du Québec (ACQ)
  • Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec (CMEQ)
  • Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec (CMMTQ)
  • Corporation des entrepreneurs généraux du Québec (CEGQ)
  • Association des constructeurs de routes et grands travaux du Québec (ACRGTQ)
  • Association des professionnels de la construction et de l’habitation du Québec (APCHQ)
  • Fédération québécoise des associations d’entrepreneurs spécialisés en construction (FQAESC), comprising the following organizations:
    • Association de vitrerie et fenestration du Québec (AVFQ)
    • Association d’isolation du Québec (AIQ)
    • Association provinciale des entrepreneurs en systèmes intérieurs du Québec (APESIQ)
    • Association des entrepreneurs en maçonnerie du Québec (AEMQ)
    • Corporation des entreprises de traitement de l’air et du froid (CETAF)
    • Association des maîtres peintres du Québec (AMPQ)
    • Association des entrepreneurs en revêtements métalliques du Québec (AERMQ)
    • Institut d’acier d’armature du Québec (IAAQ)
    • Corporation des maîtres entrepreneurs en installations contre l’incendie (CMEICI)
    • Regroupement des entrepreneurs en coffrage du Québec (RECQ)
    • Association Québécoise des Entrepreneurs en Infrastructure (AQEI)
    • Association des maîtres couvreurs du Québec (AMCQ)