Ontario Civil


Parties should be governed by language of contract

Motion by plaintiff for stay of proceedings pending arbitration. Plaintiff was general contractor who entered into building contract with defendant for renovation and expansion of its headquarters. Work commenced when agreement was signed in November 2007, but there were delays because of layout and asbestos problems that added 17 weeks to project. After problems were discovered, plaintiff retained counsel to advance its damages claim under dispute resolution provisions of contract. Steps were taken under process, but time passed. To prompt more efficient responses from defendant, plaintiff commenced action on July 29, 2011. Defendant claimed action was out of time and brought motion for partial summary judgment to dismiss delay claim. Plaintiff brought motion to compel defendant’s return to arbitral process to resolve delay claim. Motion granted. Pursuant to contract, disputes were to be resolved by binding arbitration. Court had discretion to stay proceedings under s. 106 of Courts of Justice Act (Ont.). Defendant’s complaints of delay and non-compliance with time-limits set out contract were at best mixed questions of fact and law which were matters for arbitrator. Parties should be governed by language of contract and their submission to dispute resolution process which included arbitration. Action was stayed.

Bondfield Construction Co. v. London Police Services (Jul. 12, 2013, Ont. S.C.J., P.B. Hockin J., File No. 4804-11A1) 229 A.C.W.S. (3d) 938.

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