On July 18, 2019, the Government of Ontario announced that they had designated the Authorized Nominating Authority under the Construction Act.[1] The decision is a significant one, as it represents the Province moving one step closer to readiness for the Prompt Payment and Adjudication scheme that will come into force on October 1, 2019.

The industry had been waiting patiently for this announcement since the modernization provisions came into effect in July of 2018. Following a procurement process characterised by its opacity, ADR Chambers was appointed by the Government to fill the role of the Authorized Nominating Authority. ADR Chambers describes itself as the “world’s largest dispute resolution service provider”.[2] It has been involved in conflict resolution for 20 years and has experience administering tens of thousands of mediations and arbitrations.

Now, ADR Chambers will be tasked with performing the specific requirements of the ANA under the Construction Act. This role is particularly important as unlike other jurisdictions with established adjudication processes such as the UK, Ontario is unique in having only one Authorized Nominating Authority. This was recommended to the province in ‘Striking the Balance: Expert Review of Ontario’s Construction Lien Act’, due to the size and nature of Ontario’s construction industry.[3]

Based on the provisions of the Construction Act, the Authorized Nominating Authority will be responsible for, among other things:

  • creating a website to enable parties to learn about adjudication and access services,
  • providing a public registry of adjudicators,
  • developing and overseeing training programs for adjudicators,
  • qualifying individuals who meet the prescribed requirements as adjudicators,
  • maintaining a fee schedule, a code of conduct, and a complaints procedure,
  • if requested by the parties, appointing an adjudicator to a dispute from a roster which it will maintain, and
  • publishing educational materials regarding the adjudication process and an annual report

Adjudication is a key component of the coming changes to Ontario’s construction industry, which are intended to significantly reduce the costly delays of payment and dispute resolution in a way that moves our Province forward as a leader in prompt payment. Singleton Reynolds looks forward to working with ADR Chambers as Ontario’s Authorized Nominating Authority, and congratulates them for being chosen as the successful candidate.

 

Special thanks to Summer Student Rosamund Taylor for her contributions to this article.

 

[1] Construction Act, RSO 1990, c. C. 30.

[2] https://adrchambers.com/about-adr-chambers/

[3] Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel, “Striking the Balance: Expert Review of Ontario’s Construction Lien Act” (30 April 2016) [Report] online: <https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about/pubs/cla_report/#top>, Chapter 9.