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President's Report

The WSIB has announced that they have retired the unfunded liability, and are lowering the average premium rate by 30%, and the general contracting rate #723 will be reduced by 38% to $2.53, effective January 1, 2019.

Over the last 10 years, the industry has paid $15.2 billion to retire the unfunded liability, on the understanding that when full funding is achieved, premiums would be reset to reflect costs.

As a result, the average premium will be reduced by 30% and construction rates will receive larger reductions. The general contractor’s Rate 723 ICI Construction will be $2.53, a 38% reduction. With the reduction of 12% this year, we will enjoy a 44% or $2.01 reduction in total.

OGCA congratulates the WSIB on the retirement of the debt and its action to reduce the payroll burden for Ontario employers. OGCA, with the Construction Employers Coalition (CEC), has worked with the WSIB for ten years to eliminate the unfunded liability and achieve this reduction. This summer, we made a submission to the WSIB focusing on the need to move quickly to reduce assessments, and proposing the schedule of reductions.

Some unions and injured worker representatives have accused the WSIB of achieving this on the backs of injured workers. It’s simply not true. Ontario injured workers are protected by a generous system that has recently expanded entitlement to cover chronic mental stress, and benefits have recently become fully indexed to the cost of living.

Ontario has the second highest WSIB premiums and the lowest accident rate in the country. These changes make Ontario competitive with the rest of the country.

Payroll taxes, including WSIB premiums, are a direct cost on employment and restrict an employer’s ability to hire and pay competitive wages. This will result in a 2% reduction in payroll costs which will grow the economy and promote new employment.

As you know, over the last few months, the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) has made its voice heard about the necessity for the federal government to attract and maintain investment in Canada. CCA is somewhat satisfied that Canada has reached a tentative trade agreement with the United States and Mexico.

The new agreement, to be known as United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), will take effect in late 2019 or 2020. The agreement follows extensive negotiations to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Now that Canada has agreed to sign the USMCA, the agreement will need to be approved by the Parliament.

Please click here to read the rest of the article from CCA (Canadian Construction Association).

The Construction and Design Alliance of Ontario (CDAO) met recently for its Annual General Meeting at the RESCON offices, planning strategy for the next year.  

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League of Champions

The League of Champions engaged in a wonderful first-time event at Lambton College in Toronto on Wednesday, September 26. Rob Ellis, Founder and President of MySafeWork, presented to over 200 staff and students as part of the Lambton College in Toronto Speaker Series event.

A special thank you goes to all of our LOC Members and Patrons who participated. Some of the organizations included Black & McDonald Ltd., Bondfield Construction Company Ltd., Cambria Design Build and the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association.

We would also like to thank Jimmy Dawes and his team for their excellent planning, execution and hospitality.

Did you know that League of Champions (LOC) Members and Patrons are invited to attend this year’s OGCA Safety Awards Breakfast free of charge?

A portion of the agenda will be dedicated to the LOC. New inductees will be presented with their League of Champions jersey and membership charter. Newly COR™ Certified LOC Members and Patrons will also receive a captain’s ‘C’ crest for their jersey.

OGCA SAFETY AWARDS BREAKFAST
Friday, October 26, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. – noon (Breakfast @ 8:00 a.m.; Ceremony begins @ 8:30 sharp)
Verdi Convention Centre | 3550 Derry Rd E, Mississauga, ON L4T 3V7

LOC Members and Patrons, please click here to register your staff for this complimentary event.

Remember to bring your jersey for the group photo!

Get ready for three exciting League of Champions school opportunities in November. All Members and Patrons are invited to participate in the Q & A sessions. Join us as we engage with staff and students regarding important health and safety issues.

George Brown College
Date: Thursday, November 8
Location: George Brown, Casa Loma Campus (160 Kendal Ave, Toronto, ON M5R 1M3)
Room: Pre-event Reception – C400; Presentation – E321
Champion arrival time: 2:15 – 2:30 p.m.
Presentation time: 3 – 5 p.m.
Audience: Approximately 200 staff and students

Bendale Business and Technical Institute
Date: Tuesday, November 13
Location: 1555 Midland Ave, Scarborough, ON M1P 3C1
Champion arrival time: 9:30 am
Presentation time: 10:00 a.m. – noon

Yorkdale Secondary School
Date: Monday, November 19
Location: 38 Orfus Rd, North York, ON M6A 1L6
Champion arrival time: 9:30 a.m.
Presentation time: 10:00 a.m. –  noon

To RSVP for any of these events, please contact Andrea George by email at Andrea@theLOC.ca.

See you there!

Legislative & Legal Updates

On October 17, Canadians, including your workers, will be legally able to report to construction work impaired from cannabis. OGCA encourages members and all contractors to implement and enforce Fit for Duty policies to protect your employees. The OGCA website has videos of our webinars explaining how and why.

The OGCA and partners in the CDAO, have raised our concern that the relaxed consumption laws that the government has proposed in Bill 36 will immediately make impairment a greater problem on construction sites.
The bill proposes that cannabis can be consumed anywhere that tobacco can. Today, many workers smoke on their way to work or during breaks, and now they will legally be able to do the same with cannabis. The difference is cannabis is intoxicating and will impede judgment and hinder motor skills. The result is less production and more unsafe workers.

At this time, government has a prohibition on workers in oil and gas, mining and diving from reporting for duty intoxicated, but is silent on construction.

OGCA has issued the attached submission to government and we are preparing for direct meetings with MPPs. We are asking for the tools to manage impairment, starting with the same prohibition other industries have, and requesting the ability to conduct drug testing under reasonable conditions.

The September 28 issue of the Ontario Legislative Reports is availabe here. Previous issues can be found here.

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Education & Events
 

The Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) recently hosted its 80th AGM and conference in Vancouver.

During the event, several influencers were celebrated for the impact they have made on the construction industry.

Awards were presented to Frank DeCaria and Bruce Reynolds.

For more information, please click here.

Member News

S.G. Cunningham, an OGCA member and safety award winner for the past 10 years, was awarded the Gold award from the WSIB for small business health and safety leadership at their recent annual meeting.

The board recognized them for making mental health a priority and demonstrating effectiveness at communicating and promoting workplace health and safety.

Congratulations to everyone at S.G. Cunningham.

Calendar of Events

Don't forget that the submission deadline for the Ontario Builders Awards is December 14, 2018. Awards will be presented in April 2019 during the Construction Symposium at Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood.

Click here for the submission form.

Mark your calendars for April 11 to 13, 2019 for the 11th Construction Symposium at the Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood. Registration forms will be sent out in the next week or so.

Sponsorship is still open, but will be closing soon for the first round. Our initial brochure is handed out during Construct Canada, November 28 to 30, and we like to include as many of our sponsors as possible.

If you need more information, please contact the OGCA office.

Industry News

The latest issue of the Ontario Electrical League's newsletter can be found by clicking here.

The latest edition of the Consulting Engineers of Ontario newsletter can be found by clicking here.

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