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TORONTO - The Provincial Government announced yesterday plans to make bidding on publicly-funded construction contracts open to all qualified companies.
 
This is in response to a long discussion where the open shop sector has challenged restrictive access to public projects, and that certain broader public-sector entities have become bound to collective agreements for the construction industry, even though they are not actually in the construction business. This proposal would explicitly deem municipalities, school boards, hospitals, colleges, universities and other public bodies to be "non-construction employers" under the Labour Relations Act, 1995. If the proposed amendments are passed, they would not be subject to construction labour agreements. The government expects this legislation will increase competitiveness for broader public-sector construction projects. This will mean that publicly-funded project work will be open to all qualified contractors.
 
Bill 66 is a broadly focused legislation called “An Act to Restore Ontario’s Competitiveness by Amending or Repealing Certain Acts.” It opens up twenty-four Acts with the theme of cutting red tape. The legislature has risen for the Christmas break and the Bill will be debated when they resume sitting on February 18.

On December 10, the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) released its semi-annual economic and budget outlook report. Ontario’s economy has performed strongly since 2014, growing at the fastest pace since the mid-2000s.

However, most economic forecasters, including the FAO, expect that economic growth will begin to slow down over the next few years, as rising interest rates combined with high levels of household debt slow the growth of household spending and residential investment.

Protectionist US trade policies, and an unsettled global political environment will also contribute to slower growth over the next few years.

Beginning in June, the Ontario government has cancelled the cap and trade program, and cancelled many new spending initiatives from the 2018 Budget, reversing several tax increases included in the 2018 Budget and paralleling business tax changes introduced by the federal government. These policy changes, combined with a moderately weaker economic forecast, have contributed to a larger budget deficit since the FAO’s Spring outlook. In order for the Government to keep its commitment of a balanced budget in 4 years without raising taxes, they would need to mandate severe spending restraints. The Ontario government would need to limit the growth in total program spending to 1.2 per cent per year on average from 2019-20 to 2022-23. This would be the slowest average growth in program spending since the mid-1990s.

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On December 4, 2018, Ontario's Government for the People announced a more efficient process for selling surplus government properties. The improved plan will reduce red tape, create more affordable housing and long-term care spaces and put more money in people's pockets. 

"Ontario currently has hundreds of vacant surplus properties across the province, costing the government millions of tax dollars a year to maintain," said Bill Walker, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. "Our plan is about working harder, smarter and more efficiently so we can reduce costs, generate much needed revenue and make life better for the people of Ontario."

Click here for more information.

Once again, OGCA would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday! Please take a moment to enjoy this short video of the Executive Committee preparing for the holidays. Click here.

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Safety

It’s Your Job challenges Ontario’s secondary school students to produce an original video that can be used in social media to illustrate the importance of working safely on the job.

The contest provides a unique opportunity for Prevention Partners to reach secondary school students, and a creative platform for youth to voice what they believe are the important workplace health and safety issues facing them and their peers.

Please click here to read the full letter from Ron Kelusky, Chief Prevention Officer.

For more information, please check out the Ministry's website.

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Calendar of Events

Due to a minor "technical" issue regarding the letters required as part of your submission, we have extended the deadline for the Ontario Builders Awards to December 19.

You will now have to provide three letters - one from each of the Owner, Prime Consultant and a Major Subtrade. This requirement is now consistent with the directions on the scoring sheet.

 

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Industry News

The latest issue of the Ontario Electrical League's newsletter is now available. Click here to open it.

Associate Partner News and Events

The use of recreational cannabis is now legalized and this raises new challenges for those in the construction industry, where safety is paramount and multiple employers and contractors may be operating on the same project or work site.

Please join Singleton Reynolds’ workplace law Partner Melanie Samuels as she discusses the unique challenges faced by employers in the construction industry, and how they can be practically managed.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019
8:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP
150 King Street West, Suite 2500, Toronto

Breakfast will be served. Seating is limited.

Please click here for the registration form, and send it to Elizabeth@ogca.ca 

Winnipeg, November 27, 2018: People Corporation (TSX-V: PEO) (the “Company”) announced today the completion of the acquisition of Benefit Partners Inc. (“Benefit Partners” or “BPI”), a leading independent privately-owned employee group benefits and group retirement consulting firm in the Ontario market (the “Transaction”).

The addition of BPI to the People Corporation group of companies enhances the Company’s position in the Ontario market, including establishing a presence in regions in which the Company did not formerly have a physical location.

Please click here for more information.

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