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In my previous report to you on August 11, 2020, I recounted that the OGCA made a presentation to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs (SCFEA). The OGCA is the only association to now make two presentations to this committee with our most recent one on August 19, 2020.

Last week, Statistics Canada released its Investment in Building Construction numbers for the first half of 2020. In the release, it showed the highest monthly investment in ICI construction on record. 

Over $2.2 billion were invested in Ontario’s ICI sector in June, 15% more than any previous month this year. Looking at the year so far (January-June), ICI investment in Ontario is nearly 5% greater than the same period in 2019. All three sectors are up compared to the first half of last year as well.

Again, looking at the first half of this year, ICI investment is above 2019 numbers in 13 of Ontario’s 16 metropolitan areas. In London, ICI investment is up by half (51%), while Peterborough’s investment value is 39% greater than the first half of 2019. There have also been double-digit increases in Guelph (29%), Windsor (24%), Thunder Bay (22%), Belleville (19%), Oshawa (17%), and Brantford (12%). ICI investment has grown by single-digits in the first half of 2020 in St. Catharines-Niagara (9%), Ottawa (7%), Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (6%), Hamilton (4%), and Toronto (3%). The three metro areas with year-over-year drop-offs in investment are Barrie (-39%), Kingston (-17%), and Greater Sudbury (-8%).

Despite these numbers, OGCA members remain uncertain about instability in the economic and construction market. We will continue to update members regarding trends in ICI construction permitting and investment.

The OGCA also remains committed to advocating for much needed contractual relief for general contractors and investment in infrastructure projects. 

For more information on permitting, and investment in ICI construction, visit the Ontario Construction Secretariat’s website at www.iciconstruction.com 

Last week, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott told representatives of the province’s 444 municipalities that infrastructure cheques would soon be on their way.
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Industry News

We have all heard about the recent events involving racism in the construction sector. It is our duty as an industry to address systematic racism in our places of work.

To learn more about what we, as a sector, can do to address these issues, RESCON is hosting a webinar focused on Addressing Racism in Construction. 

It will be held on Thursday, September 10 between 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. featuring:  

  1. A legal update from Diane Laranja (Filion Wakely) focused on employers' obligations and what do to if something happens on your site. 
  2. A panel discussion with industry experts (Jason Ottey, LiUNA Local 183 – Danielle Feidler, Tridel – Fatima Saya, Daniels Corp) focused on diversity, inclusion and industry leading best practices.  

To RSVP, please email Amina Dibe, Policy and Programs Analyst at RESCON, directly at dibe@rescon.com.

This event will also launch the Construction Against Racism Everywhere (CARE) group, an industry steering committee to address anti-racism across the construction sector. If you have any follow up questions, please feel free to reach out to Erich Schmidt at erich@ogca.ca.

The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) has launched the final podcast in a nine-part series aimed at raising awareness about issues that affect the building industry and society.

The podcast, entitled Sidewalk Labs – What’s Next?, features a discussion with Brian Kelcey, founder of State of the City, and John Michael McGrath, staff writer at TVO, about why the organization pulled the plug on the Toronto Port Lands smart city project earlier this year.

To listen to the podcast, click here.  

innovation Corner

On July 1, Procore unveiled the newest feature in Procore called Correspondence. The Correspondence tool enables you to send custom correspondences to collaborators, such as subcontractors, contractors and clients.

Healthy documentation of Correspondence is paramount to the success of construction projects of all sizes. Procore's new Correspondence tool consolidates and connects the entire scope of business processes on a project from design and construction through closeout. With everything easily accessible in one place, you will minimize risk and speed up project communication.

No more lost paper copies or emails because the previous PM left the company midway through the project with all the communication history. When Correspondence is managed in Procore, it becomes instantly reportable and allows you to surface new insights that were previously impossible or time-consuming to gather. And with markups, you can link any piece of Correspondence to a drawing so that the context is clear.

Finally, administrators can easily set permission templates to ensure you have complete and granular control over who sees what.

To learn more, visit Procore's support site.

TUESDAY, Sept. 15, 2020 | 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | via ZOOM

Registration Link: CLICK HERE 

See the Promo here.

On Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, at 2 p.m., the League of Champions presents the next in our webinar series, Tower Crane Safety.

Recent events have reminded us how important it is to ensure that tower cranes are properly maintained and erected. Take this opportunity to make sure your workers and equipment are safe and in compliance.

Presenters will include:

  • Altaf Gafoor, P.Eng., Structural Engineer, The Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development will review the requirements under Regulation 213 for construction projects and what documents should be available on site. This will be valuable information to assure you are in compliance.
  • Mike DeMelo, VP, Equipment Manager, Oxford Builders Supplies

Following the presentations, Dennis Cancian, Executive Director, Ontario Formwork Association will join the panel discussion and question and answer session.

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WSIB would like to share details about an exciting launch from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) that may be of interest to you. 

Applications for WSIB's Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards are now open. This year, the awards will recognize Ontario’s small businesses that showed exemplary health and safety during the pandemic and went the extra mile to keep their employees and customers safe.

The top three businesses will receive a monetary prize, $5,000 (gold), $3,000 (silver), $2,000 (bronze), and recognition at a ceremony in November. The first place winner will also be featured in a promotional video. 

We all know the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been especially hard on small businesses, which is why WSIB wants to show them their support. The awards shine a light on those outstanding and resilient small business leaders who remained committed to health and safety throughout these challenging times. 

Any Ontario business with fewer than 50 employees is eligible and applications can be completed online through the WSIB website. Businesses have until Oct. 5, 2020 to apply.

For more information and to see a list of last year’s winners, please visit: wsib.ca/en/small-business-health-and-safety-leadership-awards.

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Member News

This just in ...

As of Sept. 1, 2020, Peak Engineering and Construction Ltd. in Brighton has changed its name to Peak Construction Group Ltd.

If your company has something you want everyone to know, simply send an email to Mary Wademan, and we will include it in the next newsletter. If you are a member of the Associate Partner Program, you can put something in under your own section. Send your news in today!

Associate Partner News and Events

Employers in the construction industry have numerous and complex legal reporting obligations for a workplace exposure of a COVID-19 infection of a worker. The three primary areas of inquiry, about the duty in Ontario to report a confirmed or presumptive case of COVID-19 to various regulators, include occupational health and safety, worker’s compensation, and public health regulators.

Click here to read the full report by Norm Keith (Fasken) in the Construction Law Letter.

Half-Day Intensive Virtual Workshop

When most workplaces shuttered in March of 2020 due to COVID-19, work-from-home arrangements became a necessity for many employers. While most physical workplaces have now reopened, many employers continue to have all, or part, of their workforce work remotely. Click here to read more about the course.

Click here to register. 

This article, by Norm Keith of Fasken, will deal with three specific areas of potential legal liability of D&O: civil, regulatory and criminal liability.

The first is primarily based on the standard of care for D&Os set and enforced by Canadian courts in civil actions; the second is based on the standards set by public and occupational health and safety statutes for D&Os; third, and lastly, is the criminal law standards, set under the Westray Bill amendments to the Criminal Code (known as the “Westray Bill”).

Finally, the article will provide some guidance on legal risk mitigation for D&Os.

Please click here for the full article.

Working at Heights training provides workers with the knowledge and understanding to perform work safely at heights and to know their legislative rights. This program is designed to provide instruction to any worker who is regularly, or on occasion, assigned work that may require working at heights criteria whereby fall arrest protection equipment and safeguards are required to be implemented.

Click here for the Registration Form.

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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 latest 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
Workers with children are under unusual stress now? School starts back in Ontario September 8. To put it lightly, it’s confusing. 
Calendar of Events

The 2020 Golf Tournament, which has been cancelled, will now move to 2021. We have selected Monday, July 5, 2021 as the date for the tournament. 

We hope that by then, we will be able to hold a regular golf tournament as we have in the past. Information on the tournament will be sent out next year.

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