On-Site Magazine


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Counter-party risk: Is there enough margin in the tank?

December 17, 2014 DAVID BOWCOTT

We are at a crossroads within the economy. On the one hand the U.S. is beginning to fire up. On the other hand China is starting to slowdown. Which path will the Canadian economy follow? Nobody can say for certain,

News ConstructionLaw

Is the sky the limit? A look at limitation of liability clauses


It is not uncommon for contracting parties to attempt to put express limits on the types of risk or damages that they may be liable for should they encounter problems on a project. In such situations, one or more of

News ConstructionLaw

Understanding arbitration agreements

September 24, 2014 MATTHEW SWANSON with files from KALIE MCCRYSTAL

Arbitration agreements have become increasingly common in commercial contracts as parties strive for certainty and control in all aspects of their business relationships. These agreements, which often consist of a single clause in a larger contract, represent a decision to resolve issues

News ConstructionLaw

Understanding Canada’s new anti-spam legislation

August 19, 2014 SEPIDEH ALAVI, with assistance from KALIE MCCRYSTAL

On July 1, Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) came into effect. CASL regulates more than just traditional “spam.” The new law prohibits the sending of electronic messages, such as emails or text messages that contain a commercial element (known as Commercial

Article Law

Terminating employees without cause


The field of employment law is fraught with misconceptions concerning employee terminations. One of the most common relates to terminating employees on a without cause basis. In such situations, it’s often thought that employees are only entitled to the notice

Article LawRisk Management

Law column: defining risk in construction contracts


Beware of what you warrant

Article Law

Law Column: Discretionary clauses

February 1, 2014 Matthew Swanson and Grant Mayovsky

Unfettered Discretion, Reasonableness and Good Faith

Article Law

To terminate, or not to terminate?


Contracts do not always end well. Relationships between the parties in a contract may deteriorate for a variety of reasons—failure to meet timelines or budgets, deficient work and personality conflicts are a few of the common causes. In these difficult

Article Law

Thinking about a random alcohol testing program? Think again

August 1, 2013 Matthew Swanson and Brandon Hillis

One of the most controversial issues in workplace law is an employer’s right to implement drug or alcohol testing programs. Recently, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v.

Article Law

Extensions of time matter: A Primer on Time Being at Large and Acceleration

June 1, 2013 Matthew Swanson and Grant Mayovsky

Construction contracts between owners and contractors invariably require the contractor to complete its work by a specified date. Further, it is often agreed that the failure of a contractor to meet its deadline will result in a claim by the

Article Law

Terminating Employees for Cause

April 1, 2013 Matthew Swanson and Brandon Hillis

Terminating employees can be difficult, stressful and, if not done properly, expensive. This is particularly true when an employee has been terminated for cause. In such situations, the employee and the employer will often have substantially different views as to

Article Law

Law Column: Tender with care

February 1, 2013 Matthew Swanson and Bill Woodhead

Tendering is often a complex and hurried process, and sometimes mistakes are made. These errors can be costly, as contractors are generally required to submit an irrevocable bid along with bid security, which may be lost if the contractor attempts

Article Law

Getting paid

December 1, 2012 By Matthew Swanson & Blair Rebane

Getting paid is a constant concern in the construction industry, one that is heightened in tough economic times. However, even in a tough economy, you can manage your credit risk by knowing details about the party who is responsible to

News ConstructionLaw

SNC-Lavalin responds to arrest of former CEO

November 30, 2012 On-Site staff

SNC-Lavalin recently responded to the arrest of its former CEO Pierre Duhaime. The Montreal-based engineering firm released this statement on Nov. 28 in response to Duhaime’s arrest: “We have just been informed of the arrest of Pierre Duhaime. We have

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EllisDon launches Uprising

October 29, 2012 On-Site staff

EllisDon has launched Uprising, a crowdsourcing platform that has the potential to revolutionize construction problem solving. Uprising was created by EllisDon to “push problem-solving beyond the boundaries of any one company and into the collective intelligence of the world’s brightest

News ConstructionConstruction MaterialsFinancingLaw

VIDEO: Former Montreal engineer testifies at Charbonneau commission

October 25, 2012 On-Site staff

A recent CBC News report covering the Charbonneau commission states that Gilles Surprenant, a former City of Montreal engineer that admittedly accepted $600,000 in bribes over a 20-year period, testified that reporting corruption to the police wasn’t his job and

News BridgesConstructionConstruction MaterialsInfrastructureLaw

Bridge and shoreline construction law changes proposed

October 18, 2012 On-Site staff

The Government of Canada introduced amendments to the Navigable Waters Protection Act designed to reduce “red tape” for bridge work, a move that is music to the ears of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA). The CCA stated that the amendments

News ConstructionFinancingInfrastructureLaw

VIDEO: Montreal suspends $75M in contracts following corruption allegations

October 4, 2012 On-Site staff

The City of Montreal has suspended approximately $75 million in new infrastructure contracts to allow the provincial government time to make changes to Bill 35, the law that states how public contracts are awarded, according to a recent CBC News

News BridgesCompact EquipmentConcreteConstructionHeavy EquipmentLawSkills Development

College of Trades releases apprenticeship ratio reviews

October 1, 2012 On-Site staff

The Ontario College of Trades has published its first grouping of apprenticeship ratio review reports. Group A reports looked at journeyperson to apprentice ratios for the following compulsory trades:  Group A – 1: Floor covering installer Group A – 2:

Article Law

Preparing for delays

October 1, 2012 Matthew Swanson and Krista Johanson

A major challenge for all parties involved in a construction project is managing the schedule. Delays, if they occur, can result in increased expenses, compromised profits or other losses. Where there is delay, compensation may be available. However, because delay claims