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The ICI construction industry had its shutdowns lifted as of May 19, and our focus is now on safely redeploying our industry to support the economic recovery of Ontario.

OGCA is working with our partners in the CDAO to address these and legal and contractual challenges related to shutdowns and delays due to the pandemic.

We have now reached out to the federal and provincial governments to coordinate an infrastructure program that can quickly fund municipal and regional initiatives. The program is needed to address the spike in unemployment and the collapse of municipal budgets.To date, governments haven’t been prepared to commit to a plan.

A new RCCAO report has looked at two possible scenarios for investment in infrastructure. It finds that that the preferred scenario will provide an outstanding economic stimulus. Please click here to read the press release.  

To view the video, please click here.  To read the full report, please click here.

As you may know, Clive is retiring at the end of June, and Sanjeev Dhillon of Procore, took the opportunity to interview Clive about his beginnings and his career.

Please click here to view the entire interview. 

A new Ontario regulation (Reg. 228/20) (Regulation) under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), is a new development for non-union employers that assists employers who have had to temporarily layoff staff due to COVID-19. With these changes, temporary layoffs of employees for reasons related to COVID-19 convert to a new "infectious disease leave," and there have been changes to grounds for "constructive dismissal" during the pandemic. The Regulation was filed on May 29, 2020, and is effective immediately.

After losing over 93,000 jobs in April, Ontario’s construction industry saw a slight increase in May according to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force survey data released on Friday. The industry picked up 3,100 jobs in May, an increase of less than 1% over April. You can find the full update by clicking here

This is may be surprising to some as Ontario began a partial reopening of non-essential construction on May 4, before reopening fully on May 16. While it’s too early to make definitive conclusions, this could indicate that construction activity is slow to reopen, and that physical distancing requirements have limited the number of workers who can return to work. Regardless of the reasons, it’s clear that the loss of jobs in Ontario’s construction industry has been arrested. Statistics Canada reported the latest GDP numbers at the end of May. Canada’s GDP fell by 7.2% in March over February.

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Industry News

The Construction & Design Alliance of Ontario (CDAO) has raised the issue of the Halton Court House cancellation with Premier Doug Ford. The Premier responded to their letter, assuring that the Attorney General will respond to their concerns.

Please click here to read the full article in the Daily Commercial News.

Statistics Canada released May’s job numbers on Friday, showing that the decline in construction jobs in Ontario has stopped. Although the industry began reopening non-essential construction in early-May, employment has not yet begun to recover.

Job losses have been arrested in the construction industry, and the province as a whole, however, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate increased in May to its highest on record.

Click here to see the full Economic Update bulletin with detailed analysis.

We are pleased to announce that Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton will speak during the LOC Webinar on June 17, 2020 at 3:00 pm.

The Minister will lead off the session and will speak to the government’s support of business and safe workplaces during COVID-19.

This will set up presentations from two of Ontario’s top health and safety, labour and human rights construction lawyers: Norm Keith from Fasken Martineau and Mike Sherrard of Sherrard Kuzz.

We now face the challenge of keeping our workforce safe, with employment and human rights requirements which did not exist only three months ago. We know from past presentations that processes and procedures are available to manage the challenge. This session will also focus on meeting your safety and legal obligations.

The discussion will include:

  • Occupational Health and Safety Challenges
  • Human Rights concerns
  • Employment/ Reemployment
  • Union-Management Challenges, and more.

Please register early for this session. We have limited availability and it is on a first come first served allotment. Register here.

Concrete Flooring Association
K. Winter Sanitation Inc.

The new WSIB Health and Safety Excellence program gives businesses of all shapes and sizes incentive to invest in workplace health and safety. NORCAT is an approved provider of the HSEp and provides weekly Public Information Sessions to those interested in learning about the Excellence program. Please join us via Zoom.

Register below: 

Wednesday, June 10:  click here to register 

Wednesday, June 17:  click here to register 

It is important to know that by joining the Excellence program, businesses can earn rebates on WSIB premiums and recognition for developing COVID-19 related policies and procedures, and other initiatives to ensure health and safety in their workplace. The table below outlines the HSEp topics that can be used to address COVID-19 at your workplace:

Risk Assessment Assess the health and safety risks of new work locations and/or work tasks resulting from COVID-19.
Control of Hazards Control the spread of COVID-19 through implementation of engineering controls, administrative controls, safe work practices such as hygiene and sanitation, and PPE.
Injury, Illness & Incident Reporting Establish, implement monitor and maintain a procedure for reporting injuries and illnesses such as presumptive or confirmed incidence of COVID-19.
Emergency prevention and preparedness Ensure your organization is ready to address challenges resulting from COVID-19 and is prepared for a potential second wave.
Emergency Response Define a work plan to address COVID-19 and prevent further spread and how to safely resume operations.
Workplace health promotion Support employee mental health through the pandemic and beyond to build and sustain a more resilient workforce.

Return to Work
(3 topics)

Establish, implement, monitor and maintain a return-to-work program to support ill employees and help them return safely to work.

Corporate social responsibility

Establish, implement, monitor, and maintain a social responsibility program to conduct business in a manner designed to protect the health of employees, customers, and the public.


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Member News

Newton Group Ltd. is excited to announce that the Humber College Parking Structure has been named this years “Most Distinguished Project” from the American Galvanizers Association (AGA).

The seven-storey structure which houses 1,000 parking spaces, was built with Newton Group Ltd.’s CANADACAR Parking Structure Building System. This system is an engineered and prefabricated approach which uses hot-dipped galvanized steel columns and beams to support a specialized precast concrete panel.
Congratulations to everyone involved on this project! You can read the entire write up from the AGA by clicking here

It’s not the first time Newton Group Ltd. has been recognized by the AGA: check out our University of Windsor Parking Structure project using the same building system which brought home the Excellence in Hot-Dip Galvanizing Award. Learn more here

OGCA is looking for members to submit their positive, personal experiences with COVID-19 during the shutdown and re-opening of the industry.

We want to highlight these successes in the next issue of The Generals, which comes out in September.

We want to establish the ICI construction sector as change leaders when it comes to tackling issues such as COVID-19, as well as communicate out to members possible avenues they can take to assist them with similar issues moving forward.

Thank you all for your input. You can email your stories to Mary Wademan by July 3.


Associate Partner News and Events

From Fasken:

As governments across all levels have announced, or have already started to initiate, steps towards reopening the economy, companies are thinking about what reopening their businesses will entail.

To help our clients and business partners plan for the foreseeable future, we have identified key areas of consideration in the document: Reopening for Business: What to think about as you plan for the transition.

The document provides a briefing on ‘Where to Begin’ from government frameworks to corporate oversight. It also covers ‘Getting Back to Business’ including essential business regulations and workplace considerations for employers, as well as ‘Navigating Government Relations’ and ‘Additional Legal Considerations’ such as potential legal liabilities, considerations in the real estate space, and more.

We will also continue to compile useful resources on reopening frameworks and guidance as they become available in our COVID-19 Knowledge Centre.

From Sherrard Kuzz:

You are cordially invited to our complimentary webinar:

Canada's Return to the New Workplace
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
2:00 p.m. Eastern Time  1:00 p.m. Central Time   11:00 a.m. Pacific Time

With restrictions lifting and many returning to work during the pandemic, employers are facing new challenges regarding workplace safety and employee accommodations.

In this webinar, experts from across Canada will discuss considerations for re-opening including:

  • Federal and Provincial Rules & Requirements
  • Employment Rights / Human Rights / Safety Considerations
  • Modified Work Arrangements
  • Return to Work Plan

Participants will be given an opportunity to submit questions to our experts in advance (during registration process) as well as during the live webinar.

To register, Click Here!

From Procore:

Join us to see why getting back to work means embracing innovation.

Get the insights to prepare you to move forward. Introducing Next Steps Summit, a two-session virtual event where Procore leaders, industry experts, and tech advocates will discuss the state of the industry—and where we go from here. Join us for a special keynote, customer roundtable, and exciting new product announcement.

This digital conference experience is based around a simple, but profound idea—that the construction industry is made up of the world's most capable problem solvers. Next Steps Summit brings them together.

The Agenda
The State of the Industry & How Tech Can Help
Keynote by Procore leaders and a product announcement with live tech demonstration.

Building Our Way Forward
Our customer roundtable discusses construction's response to the crisis and what they're doing to hit the ground running.

José Luis Blanco Álvarez
Partner, McKinsey & Company

Nick Bockstael
Vice President, Bockstael Construction

Nancy Novak
Chief Innovation Officer, Compass Datacenters

Wes Simpson
Chief Operating Officer, Green Mechanical

June 18, 2020 10:30 PST - Click here to Register

From Benefit Partners:

We are Donating $100 to your Charity of Choice! Just click the link below.

Benefit Partners Inc (BPI), a division of People Corporation in conjunction with Unity Values are launching a new Social Giving program and they would like you to choose the charity!

For every OGCA member company, with 10 or more employees, who opens their door to learn more about the OGCA Big Company Advantage program for employee benefits, People Corporation will be donating $100 to a charity of your choice!


From Alliance Creative Marketing: 

Alliance Creative Marketing has been supplying safety vests to construction companies for over 10 years.

811 is one of the unique tear away safety vest with expandable panel, i.e. so the vest is one size fits all.

Detailed workmanship from 3M reflective tape with velcro on the top pocket to prevent items from falling out to Nametag inside the vest with blood type and emergency phone number, etc.

Decoration options available. (We will waive your set up charge for Logo if ordered prior to June 15).

Call Alliance Creative Marketing for details. 416-822-0222.

From Cleveland Clinic:

Lentils? Frozen spinach? Canned tomatoes?

With a few easy recipes, these simple foods can become the rock stars of your weekly meals. Join Jennifer Sygo, Registered Dietitian at Cleveland Clinic Canada and Performance Nutritionist for the Toronto Raptors, to learn how to love your often neglected pantry and freezer foods.

Reserve your spot for this free demo, being held on June 10 from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Please click here to register. 

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Legislative & Legal Updates

The latest issue of the Ontario Legislative Reports is now available on the OGCA website. Please click here to access the May 25 issue.

The Ontario Legislative Report is updated every two weeks and explains the intention and status of legislation and regulations that could impact the construction industry. For issues prior to April 2019, please contact Mary Wademan at OGCA.

Education & Events

By Julian Toy, H.S.C. Substance Abuse Professional
Member of The Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals

Part 4 Asking Effective Questions

Asking questions is an important part of any supervisor’s job. Good questions can be used to support employee’s Mental Health. How you ask questions can put employees at ease. There are two basic types of questions, open and closed.

Open questions are excellent to support employees because they encourage a talking response. E.g. “How are you dealing with all these COVID 19 precautions?”

Closed questions require a single word to answer, often yes or no. E.g. “Are you OK with the COVID 19 precautions?”

An open question will give your employee a chance to say what’s on their mind and give them a chance to tell you what they think and/or feel. By asking an open question you are showing the employee that you care because you’re willing to listen to their response.

Next week I will be writing a special article on how Substance Abuse on the jobsite can be ignored even if people are aware it’s happening.

If you have questions, need training or literature please contact Julian directly:

Direct Line: 905-866-7301
E-Mail: juliantoy@myaddictionexperts.com
Web: www.myaddictionexperts.com
Services: Fit for Duty/Drug and Alcohol training, COVID 19 Mental Health Training, Fit for Duty/Drug and Alcohol policy development, Defensible Documentation Training and employee Substance Abuse Assessments.
Literature: “Optimizing Mental Health during COVID 19” E-Booklet.
Preferred provider of Fit for Duty/Drug and Alcohol training and COVID 19 Mental Health Training - Eastern Construction Ltd.

Calendar of Events

The tournament originally scheduled for July 6 has been postponed until sometime in the fall. With that in mind, we are looking to find out how many of our Associate Partners, Members and other industry stakeholders will be interested in golfing - and sponsoring - once we are able to establish a date. 

If you are interested in booking a foursome for a date in the future (we won't hold you to it in case things change) and sponsoring a hole or event on a hole, please send an email to Mary Wademan to advise.