Builders Lien Act
The enactment in 1997 of the Builders Lien Act was the culmination of 25 years of work toward the creation of new and modern legislation in this area. The background to the Act included a Report issued by the Law Reform Commission in 1972. Over the years since that time, the Institute’s Executive Director had participated in a variety of initiatives aimed at implementing the recommendations made in that report.
We felt the Institute had an institutional stake in this development and were therefore pleased to respond when the then Ministry of Employment and Investment suggested that the Institute might prepare some materials that would assist users in coming to grips with this new legislation. Pursuant to this arrangement, two printed publications and an Internet website were developed. At the heart of these materials is a document titled “Questions and Answers on the New Builders Lien Act” which was been published both in a printed format (now out-of-print) and in electronic format for internet access. The latter version was heavily coded for easy Internet access and allowed the user to move seamlessly between various parts of the publication and the legislation itself.
In 1999, the Institute also participated in the creation of a further document – a “Forms Guide to Filing and Cancelling a Claim of Builders Lien.” It was designed to provide assistance in the very simplest cases for filing and cancelling lien claims and covered five basic scenarios. The Forms Guide is also out of print.
Until early 2002 the internet version of “Questions and Answers” was hosted on a website maintained by what was then the Construction Secretariat of the responsible Ministry. The website, the Secretariat, and the Ministry were all subsequently swept up in provincial Government reorganization. The Builders Lien Act is now the responsibility of the Ministry of Small Business and Economic Development. The Construction Secretariat and the website have been identified as non-core services of that Ministry.
In the light of these developments, the British Columbia Law Institute was pleased to assume responsibility for hosting the website materials and making the Forms Guide available to the public.