If owners wish to limit the application of the
BLA, they would be well-advised to draft
separate head contracts for the bridges.
with” at section 5(3) indicated a legislative intention
that went beyond the BLA applying
solely for work and materials provided on the
The CoA further found PCL’s interpretation
would lead to confusion and uncertainty, leading
to continual litigation over whether certain
work or materials were solely for the bridge
portion of a project, noting that “requiring
subcontractors to keep bridge work and nonbridge
work separate would be inconvenient,
awkward and duplicative, especially if services
or materials were to overlap between different
elements of a project.” The court found it
would be more commercially practical to keep
the inquiry simple: does the head contract involve
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This ruling by the CoA provides clarity and predictability
for all project stakeholders.
Owners, consultants and general contractors
would be well-advised to take this decision into account
when deciding how broad to make bridge
construction projects. It is up to them if they want
to include the construction of a bridge in a public
road construction project or just the area around
the bridge. If they wish to limit the application of
the BLA, they would be well-advised to draft separate
head contracts for the bridges.
Subcontractors in the road building industry
should be aware the BLA does not apply to
most public road construction and improvement
If you have any questions please feel free to
contact Troy Baril or Jonathan Martin of
our Saskatchewan Construction Team at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 306-667-5630 or
email@example.com or 306-347-8369.
This publication is provided as an information
service and may include items reported from other
sources. We do not warrant its accuracy. This
information is not meant as legal opinion or advice.
1. 2020 SKCA 12.
2. 2018 SKQB 119.
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44 Think BIG | Quarter 2 2020 | saskheavy.ca