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Bill 142 - Amendments to the Construction Lien Act - is poised to become law as it has passed the Committee stage and now awaits third and final reading, likely in the next few weeks.

The Act received a substantial overhaul with 49 amendments passed to address concerns raised, and to address unintended consequences of the original reading. The OGCA Committee, lead by Chairman Paul Raboud, was very active in providing recommendations that have now found their way into the legislation. They will greatly improve the user-friendly nature of the proposal.

Raboud presented to the Committee on November 15th and endorsed the legislation, and focused on the need to make the adjudication user-friendly and encourage behaviour change with prompt payment and parties to find their own solutions, avoiding adjudication.

The legislation will likely pass into law before the Legislature rises for its winter break on December 14th.

We anticipate a discussion soon on regulations required to implement the plan. We understand that the Lien Act modernization section will become effective in about 6 months and the Prompt Payment / Adjudication section will be implemented in 12 to 18 months.

When the Act is passed, we will produce a detailed account of the legislation.

In the New Year, OGCA will focus on educating members and the broader industry on this massive change.

The new PC Platform is much more reflective of Bill Davis than Mike Harris, as Patrick Brown has moved the party to the centre of the political spectrum. It will keep most of the Liberals' social programs while promising to cut personnel and small business taxes, end the cap and trade program, and invest in mental health programs.

The focus of the program is the top five policy promises that are the components of a guarantee that he will not seek a second mandate without achieving the following:

  • 22.5 per cent lower income taxes for the middle class
  • A 75% maximum rebate for child care
  • 12% further reduction on hydro bills
  • Commitment to mental health that matched the federal funding
  • Passage of a “Trust, Integrity and Accountability Act” on government ethics

The detailed plan that includes further commitment to education and the skilled trades is contained in a detailed presentation style document.

It is a sharp contrast to the narrative of the Liberals, NDP and third party campaigns that portray the PCs as the slash and burn Party by bringing up memories of the Mike Harris government.

OGCA was recently featured in the Business Elite Magazine. Click here to read the article in full. (We're on Page 54)

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Industry News

Update: On November 14, the provincial government introduced additional amendments to the mental stress provisions of Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997. If passed, these amendments would mean that people who were diagnosed with a work-related chronic mental stress disorder on or after April 29, 2014 may be eligible for WSIB benefits. People who have not yet received a final decision on their mental stress claim by the WSIB and/or the WSIAT as of January 1, 2018 may also be eligible for benefits. If these amendments are passed, the WSIB will update its policies and procedures accordingly.

Click here to read more.

Read about what we know – and don’t know – about marijuana and workplace safety based on the research to date, in a Q&A with two Institute for Work & Health (IWH) researchers.

Learn about an IWH study that found prolonged standing at work is linked to twice the risk of heart disease as prolonged sitting–and the three common misconceptions people have about the implications of this finding.

Find out why young people with chronic conditions face particular barriers when it comes to requesting workplace accommodations.

And more .... View the Issue

The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) held its Annual COO Conference in Winnipeg, November 15-17, 2017. The CCA’s commitment to Health and Safety was a primary focus this year and the League of Champions was there to kickstart the morning.

Speakers Rob Ellis, MySafeWork, Clive Thurston, OGCA and John Mollenhauer, Toronto Construction Association (TCA) gave an inspirational session on ways leaders can improve their safety culture within their province.

Rob Ellis said, “In order to have a successful team, it requires leadership at all levels of the organization.” Rob continues to promote conversation that is saving lives, by sharing his story of losing his 18 year old son. It is without a doubt, heart-wrenching to hear, but without his outstanding commitment to safety, change won’t happen. “There is no better Champion than Rob.”

The League of Champions' mission is to build and promote a safety culture within your companies. By making safety a priority, you are already making a difference which can only bring the entire company together.

League Members have devoted themselves to creating a habit of safety excellence and they all agree that they need to be a part of something that will make a difference. Leaders need to lead and what better way to demonstrate that commitment than through the League of Champions.

For more information on how you can become a member today, visit The League of Champions

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The OGCA along with key safety leaders are proud to announce a program called “The Safety Pass.”

OGCA recognized that there is a need for a consistent Health and Safety awareness package that would provide basic knowledge for your workforce. This addressed a need for general contractors and subcontractors to not only confirm, but to track training. A taskforce of key safety leaders developed the product with the goal of developing a program that would improve workplace safety.

Please join Dan Fleming, EllisDon, Sean Scott, PCL Construction and our very own David Frame as they present this program on Wednesday, November 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre South Building.

The Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) would encourage your company to explore the health and safety prevention opportunities and financial incentives that are available to your firm through the Construction/Electrical and Utilities Safety Group.

The Safety Groups Program is a Rebate Incentive Program administered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). It recognizes firms that integrate health and safety into their management systems Success is measured by injury/illness prevention activities and firms that participate may receive WSIB Rate Group rebates. The better the Group's performance, the larger the rebate they receive from the WSIB.

So you really have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by joining a Safety Group. A firm's individual experience rating is not affected by participation In the Group. There is no penalty if the Group does not succeed. Participation Is voluntary and a firm can withdraw at any time.

Please contact Dawn Vanags - Safety Groups and COR™ Consultant - Direct line: 905-302-1394, or Email: dvanags@ihsa.ca to register.

HSA Safety Talk: Tarping loads on a flatbed trailer
WSIB launches online safety tool
IHSA Safety Groups are recruiting
IHSA creates online e-learning presentations on hearing safety
Call for participants to join two CLRC working groups

Click here to read the latest 2-Minute News.

Dear Prevention Partners,
I am pleased to announce the launch of the 2017-18 It’s Your Job: Prevention Starts Here video contest.
I encourage you to promote the contest across your stakeholder networks, and among parents and friends to inspire students to get involved with this important initiative. 

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Legislative & Legal Updates

The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, best known for hiking the Minimum wage to $15 / hr. is now law, with much of it going into effect on January 1st. At that time, the minimum wage will jump to $14.00 hr. and to $15 January 2019. There are many other Employment Standards changes that will impact the construction industry. Please click here to see the briefing note summary provided by Sherrard Kuzz LLP.

The organized construction industry will not need to implement requirements of establishing 2 days paid leave and scheduling requirements at this time. Provision must be addressed in the collective agreements by 2020. Details will follow.

Ontario has taken the first step in acting on your feedback by proposing a new grant for employers, to support the goal of improving apprenticeship completion rates and increasing the participation of traditionally underrepresented groups. As you may have seen in the Fall Economic Statement, the Ontario government is proposing to replace the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit with a new Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (GAGE). The government is also introducing changes to the Employer Completion Bonus.

Click here to read the letter from Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

Bill 148 has passed. The MOL has provided a comprehensive overview of the legislation with links to more detailed information for the public. 

Click here to read the full overview.

This is a useful tool for busy employers to get a handle on the changes brought by the Bill. For example, the following explains domestic violence leave:

  • Domestic or sexual violence leave - What’s changing

An employee who has been employed for at least 13 consecutive weeks will be entitled to up to 10 individual days of leave and up to 15 weeks of leave if the employee or their child experiences domestic or sexual violence, or the threat of domestic or sexual violence. The first five days of leave, each calendar year, will be paid, the rest will be unpaid.

This will come into effect on January 1, 2018.

Education & Events

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is simply a sustainability scorecard for green buildings. The LEED Green Associate is the only professional designation to show employers and clients you have certified knowledge in the field.

Calendar of Events

Please note that the OGCA offices will be closed at noon on December 22 and will re-open at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

We hope you all have a very safe and happy holiday!