REGINA -- Saskatchewan sub-contractors are pressuring the provincial government for prompt payment protection on homebuilding projects.

The movement comes after some claim to have been left unpaid by a Regina homebuilder.

The province is about to enact prompt payment legislation for construction projects but may exempt the homebuilding industry.

“Prompt payment by far is the number one issue that affects construction companies. It’s the number one issue for our members, it’s the number one issue for companies whether they work on residential construction or non-residential construction. It’s a real problem. It’s worse on the residential sector,” said Mark Cooper, from the Saskatchewan Construction Association.

The situation has been highlighted by an unfinished half million dollar home in Edgeley. The owner paid the homebuilder upfront, but now there are 10 liens on the property.

“We have ten projects that we were working on, so we’ve got ten liens out there. In total they owe me about $106,000,” said Vance Shordee, from Shordee Services.

The government may exempt homebuilders from prompt payment requirements about to be imposed on the construction industry.

“They paid the sub-trades when they were getting paid, so if there was a late mortgage draw or an issue or something like that, everybody else waited. So the industry is fragile so what we’ve indicated is it would be our preference to leave that in place for a period of time, do some consultation and look at it further on,” said Don Morgan, the Saskatchewan Minister of Justice.

The NDP opposition is siding with sub-contractors who feel everyone should be protected by the new government legislation.

“We share the concerns of the Saskatchewan Construction Association. There shouldn’t be exemptions for this legislation. It’s important for subcontractors to be paid in a timely way,” said Nicole Sarauer, an NDP MLA.

The government is now drafting prompt payment regulations which will take effect at the end of 2020.