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The first question was whether the project
was performed under or pursuant to the HTA.
In this case, partial project funding came from
the province and there was an element of delegation
of the project from the province to the
city. Both circumstances ostensibly arose from
powers in the HTA. PCL took the position the
HTA exception at section 5(3) should be read
broadly, so it would be engaged if any part of the
project was impacted by the HTA, rather than if
the contract was governed by the HTA, as section
The subcontractors took the opposite position
arguing sections 5(2)(a) and 5(3) should
mean the same thing – that the HTA exception
in either section is only engaged if the contract
itself is governed by the HTA. The QB
and CoA both agreed with this interpretation,
finding the exceptions to the BLA’s application
should be read restrictively and that 5(2)(a)
and 5(3) should be read harmoniously with
The second question was whether the
work and materials behind the liens needed
to be directly related to the bridge portion
of the project. The projects involved significant
work around the overpasses, including
road construction connecting the overpasses
as well as earth moving around the overpasses.
PCL sought a narrow interpretation of section
5(3) so that the BLA would only apply to
the work and materials specifically provided
for the bridge/overpass portions of the project.
The QB and CoA preferred the broader
interpretation advanced by the subcontractors.
The CoA found the words “in connection
thinkbigmagazine.ca | Quarter 2 2020 | Think BIG 43