Have you provided work to a Government of Alberta Project and not been paid?
When you have provided labour or materials to a government entity, such as Alberta Infrastructure or Alberta Transportation, and you have not received payment for work, you may be eligible to file a Public Works Claim (PWC). PWC’s and builders’ liens are similar, but instead of making a registration against a land title, a notice of non-payment is sent to the Alberta Government. You can use a PWC in combination with a Builders’ Lien, or in place of a lien on properties where the Builder’s Lien Act cannot be applied. If you are unsure if your project is an Alberta Public Works project, you can check on https://www.alberta.ca/infrastructure-transportation-projects.aspx. Here you will find the majority of Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation’s projects.
Benefits of Filing a PWC
- Unlike a builders’ lien, you can file a PWC on land owned by Alberta Crown or public highways.
- Typically, once a PWC is advanced, the property owner will stop payment to the general contractor or deduct the claim amount from the next progress draw.
- The Alberta Government can make direct payments to the subcontractors or suppliers.
- While the Alberta Government resolves payment issues, they will prioritize Public work Claims over builders’ liens.
When a PWC Cannot be Used
Public Work Claims have the same registration deadline as Builders’ Liens in Alberta (45 days from last supply). Therefore, if more than 45 days have passed since your last day of supply, you will not be able to file a PWC. The Public Works Act excludes some types of work, such as design work, architecture, drawings and demolition work. You can only file a PWC on the eligible Government of Alberta projects. It is best to confirm by checking the Government of Alberta’s website.
- A Public Works Claim can be a useful tool to recover funds owed for work, materials or services that you provide to an Alberta Public Works project.
- You can file PWC’s on properties where builders’ liens are not allowed
- You can file PWC’s in combination with a builders’ lien
- A PWC will take priority over builders’ liens filed on the project while you and your customer resolve payment issues
- Not all work/services supplied to a project are eligible for PWC. You will not qualify for a PWC if you have provided design work, architecture, drawings or demolition work.
**Disclaimer: LIEN-PRO by Priority Credit Management (“PCM”) is strictly a lien filing agency. We are not lawyers. The information provided by PCM does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. We strongly recommend that you seek legal advice from a lawyer that practices construction law.