Reducing Trade Barriers
Many large construction companies operate across Canada and it is not uncommon for small to medium businesses in the construction industry to work in neighboring provinces. To facilitate cross-province business there should be a concerted effort to reduce trade barriers. This work has already begun through the New West Partnership and the Canada Free Trade Agreement however, more can be done. Below are specific policy items that will assist in encouraging consistency across provinces, reducing business direct and administrative cost associated with working in other provinces:
Limitations of actions act
The ‘Ultimate Limitations’ period in Manitoba is a staggering 30 years compared to 10 or 15 years in other provinces.
In 2009, the Manitoba Law Reform Commission completed a report which recommended the Basic Limitation period be reduced to 2 years and Ultimate Limitation be reduced to 15 years to be consistent with other provinces.
A review of this act will provide the opportunity to modernize and provide balance between the rights of consumers to bring an action and the rights of contractors to be protected from unfair or stale claims. This would also be an opportunity to bring Manitoba’s law in line with the rest of Canada and to give the professional trades in Manitoba consistency and certainty into the future.
We are concerned that the comparably longer actions period in Manitoba – twice as long as other provinces -puts Manitoba business and its economy at a competitive disadvantage.
Adoption of the 2015 National Building Code
The 2015 National Building Code (NBC), the National Fire Code and the National Plumbing Code in Manitoba have not yet been adopted by Manitoba.
The National Codes are updated and historically adopted every 5 years however in Manitoba we are currently working under the 2010 version. (Regulation 31/2011 under The Building and Mobile Homes Act stipulates the code requirement and currently refers to the 2010 National Building Code.) The Province has chosen not to adopt the 2015 NBC at this time.
The inefficiencies associated with differing code adoption have been identified under the Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table for the 2018/19 timeframe under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
Additionally, we would like to see apprenticeship rules harmonized across Canada to make sure apprentices are consistent from province to province.
Check out the video below to hear WCA Vice-Chair John Enns on Reducing Trade Barriers.