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Arbitration, Mediation and Adjudication of Construction Disputes and Claims
Kirsh Construction ADR Services
HARVEY J. KIRSH, B.A., LL.B., LL.M., C.S., C.Arb., has more than 40 years’ experience in the arbitration, mediation and litigation of construction claims and disputes arising out of infrastructure, public-private partnership (P3), transportation, energy, resource, industrial, commercial, institutional and residential projects. Harvey has been recognized by Canadian and international peer review publications for his expertise and experience in arbitrating and mediating all forms of construction claims and disputes.
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Industry News

The government has released a complete list of regulatory changes effective January 1, 2018. Click here to read more about it.

This includes changes to the small business tax rate reduced from 4.5 to 3.5%.

Extensive changes through Bill 148 include the minimum wage, Employment Standards and Labour Relations Act Amendments.

The WSIB now will cover occupational stress retroactive to April 2014.

As we turn the page on 2017, Infrastructure Ontario (IO) is excited to have a renewed Vendor of Record (VOR) list that currently includes 136 qualified general contractors. As promised, IO is committed to ensuring opportunities are ongoing. An annual refresh of their existing VOR list means contractors have the unique option of submitting proposals along the way, rather than having to wait for the next full VOR renewal a few years down the road.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is implementing the Certificate of Recognition (COR™) safety program as a prequalification standard for its construction projects. The COR™, issued by the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA), will supplement TTC's current safety requirements, such as WSI B clearance certification and corporate and site specific safety plans, prior to commencement of any construction work. Construction contractors' bidding on future TTC projects will be required to have COR™ in order to be considered for any award and further, must maintain certification in good standing for the duration of any awarded contract.

TTC will continue implementing the COR™ requirement in a phased approach to ensure that the number of certified contractors is sufficient to allow for competitive bidding. Consequently, as of November 17, 2017 there has been a need to revise the target implementation dates. The revised target implementation dates for mandatory COR™ for TTC construction contracts can be accessed by clicking here.


TORONTO – Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) have announced that EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare is the preferred proponent to design, build and finance a major redevelopment project which includes a new patient care tower at Michael Garron Hospital.

Click here to read more…

Accessibility Ontario (accessontario.com) is holding a seminar on February 1, 2018, that is available from your computer.

This webinar will give you a well-rounded understanding of how documents can be made accessible.

Participants will learn about the background and theory of accessibility, how accessibility effects document creation, and what changes in your organization's current workflow and process are required.

Click here for more information.

A New Year is often symbolic of a fresh start. With goal setting and resolutions at the forefront of our minds, we are often optimistic about what lies on the horizon.

The League of Champions is no different. We are busy developing new initiatives with the objective of expanding health & safety awareness. 

Since it began in mid-2016, the League of Champions has contributed more than $120,000 to MySafeWork. We are thrilled that this huge accomplishment was reached in spite of having a part-time staff person and limited resources. The League would like to recognize and thank its members and patrons for their ongoing support now and into the future. Let’s continue to raise the bar for health & safety excellence.

Some of our activities over the coming months will include:

1. Strategic planning & implementation
2. Website redesign & marketing initiatives
3. Student, worker and owner engagement 
4. Member and patron outreach in construction and other industries

What are some of your organization’s goals for the New Year? Let’s resolve to make health & safety a priority for 2018 because we can all agree that “safety is not proprietary.”

For more information about the League or to apply to become a Champion, contact Andrea George by phone at 905 671 3969 or email at andrea@ogca.ca. 

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Concrete Flooring Association
K. Winter Sanitation Inc.

Don’t miss out on the biggest Health and Safety Event of the year.

Health and safety industry leaders and workers will gather to hear the latest news and views in health and safety initiatives, best practices, communications, trends and much more.

Event details:

Friday, March 2, 2018 from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM 
Verdi Convention Centre | 3550 Derry Road East, Mississauga, ON L4T 3V7

There is a general admission fee applied this year, so register your seat today! Click here to register

Our Leadership Day event would not be possible without our generous sponsors. 

Event Sponsor | Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA)  
Title Sponsors | BlueDrop Learning Networks (SkillsPass), Procore Construction Management, 4S Consulting Services.
Partner Sponsor | e-compliance 

For Sponsorship opportunities, visit OGCA’s store under Events, or contact Lyndsy Miceli at lyndsy@ogca.ca for more details. 

OGCA will be launching an orientation program called Safety Pass this spring. 

The Safety Pass is an online course developed by the industry, for the industry and addresses key issues to support contractors and their workers in an effort to continually raise the bar for safety in our industry.

The Safety Pass will:

  • Ensure a consistent level of Health & Safety knowledge across the industry.
  • Allow workers to focus on site and hazard-specific training faster.
  • Reduce training duplication industry-wide – Safety Pass is free for the first year and fully transferable from site to site.
  • Enable worker mobility – workers do not have to re-take the Safety Pass when they start a new job. It will be valid for three years and accepted industry-wide.

The program provides fundamental information on rights and duties of the worker under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), roles of health and safety representatives and Joint Health and Safety Committee members, common workplace hazards and more. Please note that Safety Pass does not replace any hazard-specific or site-specific training that may be required for supervisors or workers.

The Safety Pass will be launched and certifications will be tracked using SkillsPass, a system that tracks all safety certifications in one place.

For more information, contact Lyndsy Miceli at lyndsy@ogca.ca

We hope you enjoy our January 2018 edition of Management Counsel (click here). This Newsletter is published four times a year to highlight important issues in Canadian employment and labour law.

In this edition, we address two topics:

Not All Addiction is Created Equally - Dismissal of addicted nurse upheld
In a recent arbitration decision (Cambridge Memorial Hospital v Ontario Nurses’ Association, 2017 CanLII 2305 (ONLA)), Arbitrator Dana Randall upheld the discharge of a 28 year, drug-dependent, nurse, with no disciplinary record, who was caught stealing narcotics from her employer. The decision is significant because it deviates from a string of arbitration decisions in Ontario which appear to support the proposition that a nurse who pleads and proves an addiction to a particular drug, and successfully commits to rehabilitation, has a human rights defense to termination for stealing that drug from her employer. One arbitrator referred to this defense as a “get out of jail free card.” 

Alberta Court of Appeal Opens Door to Random Drug and Alcohol Testing
In a significant decision, in June 2013, a 6-3 majority of the Supreme Court of Canada struck down as unreasonable a program of random breathalyzer alcohol testing for safety sensitive positions at Irving Pulp and Paper Ltd. (CEP, Local 30 v Irving Pulp and Paper, 2013 SCC 34). In summary, the Supreme Court held that a dangerous workplace was not, in and of itself, automatic justification for random testing. Instead, testing might only be justified if an employer could show there was a “general problem with substance abuse in the workplace.” The question left unanswered was: What constitutes a general problem sufficient to justify random testing?

Masters Insurance Limited
Association of Printing and Data Solutions Professionals
Associate Partner News and Events

The OGCA supports and promotes the use of electronic tendering and e-bonding. We continue to recommend to owners that bids&tenders provides, in our opinion, the best user-friendly system for contractors, trades and owners to start and tender projects. We are pleased to see them continue to expand across Ontario and Canada.

A list of owners currently registered with bids&tenders can be viewed by clicking here. If any OGCA members have any suggestions or concerns when using them, please do not hesitate to contact the tendering authority and the OGCA so we can assist in facilitating solutions.

The world is a complex place and you have a lot to worry about. It is critical that you have the confidence that the insurance broker you choose has the ability and resources to help you globally.

Please contact Dan Lawrie at 1-800-661-1518 if you have any questions or concerns regarding international insurance. 

Click here to access the latest newsletter.

The Tournament of Stars is a unique (and exceptionally fun) basketball experience in which participants have the opportunity to play basketball and rub elbows with NBA Alumni and other world-class athletes and basketball-loving celebrities.

Last year each team had its own celebrity from among: Charles Oakley, Morris Peterson (“Mo-Pete”), Muggsy Bogues, Alvin Williams, Jerome Williams (“Junk Yard Dog”), TJ Ford, Marcus Allen (CFL Great!), Donovan Bailey (5x World and Olympic Champion), Chad Owens (CFL’s “Flyin’ Hawaiian”), and Brad Smith (CFL and The Bachelor), with guest appearances from Jack Armstrong and others!

Team members also mingled with the celebrities and other players at a Draft Party held the night prior!
Everyone is welcome, whether you are playing, cheering or getting autographs and photos. There are also games, prizes, awards, raffles and auctions. And… a one-of-a-kind Skillz & Drillz youth clinic coached by Toronto Raptor Alumnus and fan-favourite, Jerome “Junk Yard Dog” Williams.

This year promises to be even bigger and better! If you are interested in sponsoring this event, please contact Michael Sherrard at Sherrard Kuzz at 416.603.6240 or msherrard@sherrardkuzz.com

Cleveland Clinic Canada will be hosting an event on Jan 22 - click here for details.

Dr. Michael Roizen, who is a regular on Dr. Oz and Oprah, will be speaking at the Hockey Hall of Fame at Brookfield Place.

Dr. Roizen is an amazing speaker and always draws a big crowd.

Stay Ahead of the Curve With Superior Piping.
Ontario Pipe Trades Council
The United Association (UA) has been training qualified piping professionals for over 150 years. With 17 state-of-the-art training centres, we train: Steam/Pipefitters, Gasfitters, Sprinkler fitters, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanics, Plumbers, Instrumentation Mechanics and Welders. Stay ahead of the curve, and stay on time and on budget with our superior piping skills.
Naylor Association Solutions
Legislative & Legal Updates

In a letter to the construction industry, Minister Naqvi has announced that regulations to implement many of the changes in Bill 142 will be posted for review in February.

He also indicated that the industry will be given abundant notice of implementation timelines.

Click here to read the letter.

For the latest Legislative Report (December 21, 2017), please click here. Next report will be in approximately two weeks. Past issues can also be found here.

Education & Events

OGCA is sponsoring a breakfast meeting with RESCON and OSWCA on the WSIB’s new Rate Framework on Thursday, January 11, 2018.

This is an excellent opportunity to begin to prepare for the new premium and experience rating system.

Please register as an OGCA member. Click here for details and registration information.

Ontario is modernizing its approach to construction contracts, disputes, and project management. Set your project up for success by getting essential risk management updates for the construction sector.

Join The Canadian Institute for our 3rd annual Managing Risk in Construction Contracts and Projects conference for two days of strategic discussions designed to help project owners, managers, and builders execute their construction projects more effectively. Click here to see the promo and information to register.

Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) is excited to offer our membership complimentary trade show admission to the Canadian Concrete Expo. Join us in Toronto on February 7-8, 2018 for the only National Trade Show in Canada dedicated to the Concrete Construction Industry.

REGISTER NOW by entering VIP Code "CCE142" for free admission. This offer is valid until February 6, 2018, so register now.

Association members who want to attend will also be interested in conference seminars, product presentation and large equipment demos offered at the tradeshow - click here

Grey to Green is taking place from May 15-16, 2018 at the Chestnut Conference Centre in downtown Toronto.

Attend sessions and networking events from industry leaders, participate in tours across the GTA or take part in Green Infrastructure Week from May 13-19th, 2018.

Click here for a Save the Date Card.

Calendar of Events


Join speakers Clive Thurston, President of OGCA and Howard Doucette, Chief Estimator, Graham Construction and Engineering as they present this interesting topic.

As the construction industry moves into an evolution of change unlike anything we have seen before, it is essential to remain ahead of the curve.

Our speakers will have General Contractors re-examine their procurement practices. This Lunch and Learn will review the facts and provide a refresher on the law of tenders/RFPs, discuss the implications, exposure to owners and involved parties, and the process about various practical issues arising in the procurement process.

Learn about these processes, letters, qualifying bids, post tender negotiation and the law as it applies to them, including the Competition Act.

Join our speakers to learn more about this timely topic.

When: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 (subject to change)
Where: OGCA Boardroom, 6299 Airport Road, Suite 703, Mississauga
Time: 11:45 am – 1:30 p.m.

To register for this webinar, download the registration form, complete it and email it to Lyndsy@ogca.ca

Remember to book the day off on Monday, July 9, 2018, for the OGCA Golf Tournament!

Past years have been sold out early, so be sure to watch the newsletter for when we open registration!

Sponsors are always welcome and will be approached in early May!




The OGCA's 80th AGM and Conference will be held in Vancouver, BC from September 25 - 30, 2018.

Incoming Chairman John Dawson and his wife Christine are planning a full schedule with lots of time for site-seeing and relaxing!

Grouse Mountain, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Stanley Park, Granville Island - all of it waiting for us to arrive.

Be sure to book your rooms at the Four Seasons Vancouver so you don't miss out on this exciting venue. See you in BC!