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President's Report

There is no doubt that 2018 is going to be one of the busiest and trying in recent OGCA history. The mounting challenges and issues we, in the Design and Construction Industry, are facing are growing not just in size and importance, but in complexity. Never before have we had to engage as many subject matter experts as we do today.

The nature of the Ontario June 7, 2018 election is now clearer with Doug Ford emerging as leader of the Ontario PC party. With a double digit lead in the polls, Ford offers a sharp contrast to the Wynne government. The Liberals carry over 14 years of baggage into the election that has caused a large majority of voters to look for an alternative. The prime issue in the election won’t be change, but whether Ford can deliver the change that voters desire. Smaller government and tax cuts as a platform focus is divisive but it contrasts with a big spending approach and a large deficit that has been championed by the Liberals.

This Wednesday, Finance Minister Sousa will present an election budget that will focus on improving services and set up the Liberal campaign platform. Campaign budgets are very different in that the new policy and program proposals are only implemented if the governing Party is re-elected. The activities of this legislature are now almost exclusively focused on the election. The government may be tempted to close it down early, drop the writ and get on with the official campaign.

The big unknown is the PC platform. Doug Ford campaigned for his Party's leadership on fiscal conservatism and smaller government, in direct contrast to the platform presented by Patrick Brown and his campaign team last year. No carbon tax leaves the treasury drained of revenues and with a massive deficit, there is only so much fat to cut before you begin to reduce services.

Then there is Infrastructure Investment. The Liberals big spending includes a long term plan to "Build Ontario Up,” but the big cost to the Ontario Treasury will make it an obvious target for a government needing to reduce spending.

If the PCs come to power in June, the OGCA and our supporters in the CDAO and other organizations will need to respond quickly to win support and conviction that long term commitment to infrastructure spending is a requirement for our economic growth.

One of the most debilitating problems in the Design and Construction industry across Canada is the “quality of documents.” This one issue has dominated conversations across Canada and we need to address it. All stakeholders agree that a project starts with its design. If the investment is not made at that point, problems arise. At first, we will see numerous Requests for Information (RFIs), followed by extended changes to the closing date, numerous addendum, long award periods as owners try to decipher their own documents to ensure they actually got what they were looking for. In many cases, that was basically a low price. Then come the Change Orders and arguments over who should have noticed an item was missing or was never included in the first place. This leads to delay claims and disputes, often dragging on for years and resulting all too often in litigation.

Arbitration, Mediation and Adjudication of Construction Disputes and Claims
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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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League of Champions

The League of Champions has been busy promoting health and safety within the construction industry and among college and university students. 

On March 15, we had the honour of interacting with over 200 students from the Marshall School of Skilled Trades & Apprenticeship at Mohawk College. Eleven Champions participated in the panel, including two Mohawk graduates. Mohawk’s Associate Dean, Angelo Cosco, welcomed the Champions with open arms. He made it clear that his goal was life-long learning and to have students focus on safety from the day they start.

Representing both the League and her alma mater, Cathy Eybel from Harris Rebar got the conversation going with her words, "Safety is not a switch. You can’t just turn it on and off.”

Rob Ellis, MySafeWork, challenged the future leaders to change the way business is conducted in Canada. "We all know the right to know, participate, and refuse unsafe work; but are we going to take ownership of that?”

Overall, it was an excellent event and we even made one of the students an honorary Champion! A special thank you to Bondfield Construction Company Limited, CBRE Ltd., EllisDon Corporation, GEN-PRO, Harris Rebar, Pomerleau Inc., and Stuart Olson Construction Limited for volunteering your time to support the next generation of construction industry leaders.

Based on feedback about the Mohawk College event, we were also invited to speak to 40-50 students at McMaster University on March 22.

Professor Frances Tuer of the Degroote School of Business even committed to putting questions from Rob Ellis’ presentation on the students’ final exam. What an excellent way to encourage future leaders to make health and safety top of mind.

We are looking forward to planning events in conjunction with McMaster University and MySafeWork in the future.

To book Rob Ellis as a speaker for your upcoming event, or for more information on how your company can become a Champion, contact Andrea George at andrea@theLOC.ca 

 

Safety

WSIB has released the Spring 2018 issue of WSIB@Work. Please click here to read it.

The Safety Pass is one step closer to completion and OGCA could not be more excited, as we get ready to launch this new safety orientation program that will deliver a safer and more knowledgeable workforce than ever before.

In partnership with SkillsPass, a team of general contractors are currently beta-testing the program to ensure the program itself is operating seamlessly. This tool will not only reduce costs and increase productivity, it will lead to overall improvement of safe work practices on all construction projects.  

The rollout strategy for the Safety Pass: 

  • April 2nd, Program will be promoted  to ALL OGCA members
  • May 7th, Program will be promoted to the  public during OGCA’s safety month in May 

The Safety Pass will be available on the OGCA website at NO COST. That is right, it is FREE. What better way to kick off your safety week!

For more information on how you can get your Safety Pass, contact Lyndsy Miceli today at lyndsy@ogca.ca

Mark your calendars for May 7-11 #safetyweek

"The Power of Safe Choices” is the 2018 Safety Week theme.

Safety isn’t something we can do alone. And while we each must make safe choices every day – on our way to work, in the office, on the job site or heading back home – the impacts of those choices affect us all.

Host an event during safety week as a way to re-focus and re-energize your commitment to reducing injuries. Whether your event is private or open to the public, let everyone know what you are doing to celebrate safety week. For a Calendar of Events, please click here.

Please send your events to Lyndsy Miceli at lyndsy@ogca.ca

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Legislative & Legal Updates

For the latest Ontario Legislative Report, please click here. Previous issues may also be found at the same link.

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Education & Events

Employers have a legal obligation to ensure managers and supervisors are "competent". This one-day due diligence course provides managers and supervisors with practical knowledge to identify, assess and control hazards, and effectively implement their organization's OHS management system. Bill C-45 and the legal duty under the Criminal Code will also be addressed. A number of current cases are reviewed allowing attendees to learn from actual legal decisions.

$295 HST | Space is limited.

Register today by clicking here.

Osgoode Professional Development has an upcoming program that may be of interest and benefit to your network

Advanced Construction Issues: Construction Project Delay & Impact Claims
April 20, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EDT
In Person or Webcast
$595.00 per person

Learn critical skills, information and best practices to improve your risk management strategy on every project. In this unique and intensive program, join our expert faculty of construction lawyers and industry consultants to acquire practical and effective legal and strategic risk management tools that you can immediately use on your next project. You will develop a thorough understanding of delay and impact claims and emerge from the program better equipped to avoid claims and to confidently manage the next troublesome claim you encounter.

Click here to register.

OGCA strives to give its members the best value we can with helpful industry related topics ranging from Construction law, to the latest emerging trends in construction technology, policies changes and strategies and so much more. We love learning and sharing our knowledge with you, and we hope you enjoy the sessions we have put on so far.

But instead of just telling you what WE think is cool, we want to hear what’s on YOUR mind.

OGCA has currently delivered 3 webinars to date.

If you have participated in any of the following webinars (Today’s Minefields in Construction, Bill 142, The New Construction Lien Act and/or Bill 148, It’s Now the Law! What it means for Employers), we ask that you fill out this short survey.

Click the image to start the survey. 

If you did not participate in any of the above webinars, we still want to hear from you. Join the conversation by skipping to question 6 and tell us what topics you care to hear about.

For past presentations and recordings of sessions, are NOW available on the OGCA member’s only portion of the website. Login today.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Lyndsy Miceli at lyndsy@ogca.ca

Calendar of Events

September 26 - 30, 2018 at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, BC. Registrations will be opening next week. Watch the OGCA Website for registration forms and sponsorship information.

Don't forget - Monday, July 9, 2018 at the Glencairn Golf Course ... OGCA's 39th A.R. Timms Golf Tournament and Past Chairman's Luncheon. Registrations are now available at www.ogca.ca under News and Events.

Member News

The nominations are now open for the 2019 Ontario Builder Awards. Click here for the submission form. The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2018.

Submit your projects in the industrial (infrastructure / civil) or buildings (commercial / institutional) categories, with project values from under $5 million to over $300 million. Projects must have reached substantial completion between January 1, 2016 and December 15, 2018.

Awards will be presented during the 11th Construction Symposium, April 11 - 13, 2019.

Notification of the winners will be by email on or about January 21, 2019.

Industry News

VANCOUVER—Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP has been named Construction Law Firm of the Year for 2018 by Benchmark.

The fifth annual Benchmark Canada awards ceremony was held Feb.22 in Toronto. Representatives from over 25 private practice firms and several in-house counsel were in attendance. Benchmark exclusively covers the litigation and disputes market in North America.

The firm was named in the Practice Area Awards category which included national and multinational legal industry leaders. Bruce Reynolds was also nominated for Construction Lawyer of the Year, a title he received in 2017.

Singleton Reynolds is the combination of Vancouver firm Singleton Urquhart LLP and senior construction and commercial litigation lawyers in the newly opened Toronto office, which include Reynolds, Sharon Vogel and Peter Wardle, states a release issued by the firm.

The federal government announced late last month that it had retained Reynolds and Vogel to collaborate with industry partners in the review of federal prompt payment and adjudication in Canada, adds the release.

There is a move to improve e-permitting on Building Permits. OGCA members can access the latest update by clicking here and logging in.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is seeking comments on a draft Agricultural Impact Assessment Guidance Document.  The Guidance Document is focused on helping to satisfy Agricultural Impact Assessment policies found in the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe 2017, the Greenbelt Plan 2017, the Niagara Escarpment Plan 2017 and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan 2017.  It may also be a useful best practice guide elsewhere in the province. 

The latest Ontario Electrical League newsletter has been released. Click here to read more.

Among the headlines:

  • Marijuana bill passes Senate vote 44-29, advances to committee
  • Power utilities forced to adapt as climate change brings wilder weather
  • 40,000 smoke alarms that may not detect smoke recalled in Canada
  • OSWCA Water Study - March 2018
  • Thieves strip copper wiring from baseball diamond
  • March is Fraud Prevention Month

The latest edition of Ear to the Ground magazine from the Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance can be found by clicking here.

TORONTO – Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Metrolinx have awarded a fixed-price contract of $73M to EllisDon Infrastructure Transit (EDIT) to design, build and finance the Kipling Bus Terminal project. This station, located along the Milton Corridor in the City of Toronto, requires upgrades to accommodate the province’s planned expansion to the GO network, the largest commuter rail project in Canada.

Click here to read more…

The OSWCA has released their newest asset management study titled: "The State of Ontario’s Water and Wastewater Infrastructure.”

This was launched on Monday March 19, 2018 at Queen’s Park and a number of politicians and senior staffers are very interested in the content, comparisons and recommendations. Please click here to see the study.

Naylor Association Solutions
Associate Partner News and Events

COR™ certified companies tend to have a competitive edge in the process of bidding for projects.

Through COR™, companies can:

  • Confidently demonstrate that they have developed, implemented, and evaluated their health and safety management system annually.
  • Perform comprehensive internal and external audits, which helps them stay on top of health and safety.

After all the initial leg-work, why lose your COR™ momentum?  Here's how we'll help you maintain your COR™ momentum through our COR Breakfast Seminar on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at the OGCA:

  • COR™ seminar will be a good place for you to network with industry peers.
  • Get vital tips on simplifying what looks like a complex process to achieve COR™ in Ontario.
  • Discuss key developments such as the York Region making COR™ mandatory, going forward, key aspects of Occupational Health and Safety, and much more.
  • You can evaluate where you are in terms of achieving the IHSA COR™ certification.
  • You can get to know about online tools for managing your organization’s health and safety, which will help in gaining COR™ certification.
  • Know more about mandatory training compliance as per the Occupational Health and Safety Act and other helpful advisory services, which will make the COR™ certification process easier. 

Please CLICK HERE to book your seat now.