Despite his valiant attempt to educate the Senate that there were other points of view, the Bill passed.
As a number of OGCA members who perform Federal work would be negatively affected should the Bill make it through the House, the OGCA intervened at the Federal Level. A group of members, small and large, donated funds so that we could take our message to the Federal Government.
We engaged a lobbyist in Ottawa and began to reach out to the Minister in charge. The Minister had received in her mandate letter direction to deal with prompt payment.
The Government proposed a working group to begin this process which did not include General Contractors, Architects, Engineers or the Surety industry, only the Trades and CCA. Ray Bassett, who Chairs the CCA committee, reached out to us and we began discussions. We approached the government to include General Contractors and were rebuffed. The main reason given was that OGCA was not a National organization, despite having a number of the largest national firms as members.
The end result was announced this past week. With the full support of the OGCA Board, we have partnered with the CEGQ (La Corporation des entrepreneurs généraux du Quebec) and a number of contractors from across the country to form the General Contactors Alliance of Ontario (GCAC) (www.gcacan.ca).
Matt Ainley, a past Chair of OGCA and recognized industry leader, is the Chair of the GCAC, and Eric Côté of the CEGQ is Vice Chair. Mr. Ainley also participates on the Ontario Advisory Committee established by Bruce Reynolds.
Our efforts have been successful. The working group was abandoned and a third party review will be announced shortly, likely employing Sharon Vogel and Bruce Reynolds who led the Ontario review.
It is highly unlikely, given the Government’s direction, that anyone would be foolish enough to try and present the Senate Bill into the house.
The GCAC faces large challenges to deal with not just the Federal process, but every Province, many of which are undertaking efforts to follow Ontario. Several have already started reviews. The most concerning part is that other than Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan, contractors have no independent voice to represent them.
That results in only one part of the story - reaching the ears of lawmakers. The Alliance hopes to provide those contractors with the tools and voice they need to ensure that any legislation is fair to all parties in addressing the entire payment structure, and not just trying to lay blame on one part of the construction process.
Already the GCAC has over 500 members and since issuing a call for support last week, new firms from across Canada are signing up. We have received word that our request to meet with the Federal representatives will be positively responded to shortly.
Thanks to all of you who contributed time, resources, and effort into making this a reality.
To find out how you can help and join the Alliance, please visit the website at www.gcacan.ca and download the application.
Small or large, if you are concerned about potentially one-sided, unfair new payment requirements at the Federal or Provincial level, then we need your support.