August 2019
Greetings!

Welcome to COCA's monthly Newsletter. Unless noted otherwise, all articles written by COCA President, Ian Cunningham.

Tribunal Chair Appointed Deputy Minister of Labour

David N Corbett has been appointed as the new permanent Deputy Minister of Labour succeeding Sophie Dennis who retired recently after a long and distinguished career with the Ministry.   

Here’s what we have learned about Mr Corbett from the internet:

  • Immediately prior to this appointment, Mr Corbett was the chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) (The WSIAT is a provincial agency that hears appeals from final decisions made by the WSIB on entitlements to benefits, health care and vocational rehabilitation.)
  • Prior to becoming WSIAT chair, Mr Corbett practised law in Toronto with the firm Fasken Martineau for 39 years where he specialized in labour and employment law; he had served as the Global Firm Managing Partner of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP.
  • His community involvement includes establishing Fasken Martineau DuMoulin's partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and leading fundraising efforts for the Haiti earthquake, African drought and Japan tsunami relief.
  • Mr. Corbett holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Windsor.
  • He has a reputation as a consensus builder and for getting things done; as WSIAT chair he oversaw a very significant reduction in the case backlog without much in the way of increased resources

The questions that have been asked about Mr Corbett are:

  • Will someone who has never worked in government be able to adjust to the way things are managed in government? We have seen outsiders fail before. 
  • Why would someone at Mr Corbett’s age and stage want a job like this?

We wish Mr Corbett the very best of luck in his new position and we look forward to working constructively with him.
The Premier’s Office – Observations

  • Very generally, things seem to have settled down since the departure of the Premier’s former chief of staff, Dean French following a cronyism scandal
  • Premier Ford was full of bluster recently when he gave out his cell phone number and promised that anyone who needs legal aid in Ontario will get it. Calls to that number were referred to the Attorney General for follow-up
  • One bit of gossip finding its way through the Queen’s Park rumour mill has Premier Ford taking a total reset, proroguing the legislature in the fall and opening up a brand new session with a new throne speech
  • Mitchell Davidson recently left the Premier’s Office where he had served as executive director of policy; he is now the executive director at the Strategy Corp Institute of Public Policy
  • Greg Harrington, who was senior advisor to former chief of staff Dean French and who succeeded Davidson in the executive director of policy role on the Premier’s staff, is also said to be departing the Premier’s Office for parts unknown
  • Premier Ford could be backtracking on his long-held commitment to subways and only subways for Toronto that dates back to his time as a city councillor; a recently appointed expert panel reviewing the Scarborough line and the Yonge line extension to Richmond Hill has been given the scope, among other things,  to recommend surface light rail
  • Premier Ford has committed to staying out of campaigning in the upcoming federal election saying his plate is already full serving the people of Ontario  
Poll Shows Ontarians Don’t Want Premier Ford to Campaign in Federal Election

In a survey of 1,000 Canadians, 300 from Ontario, conducted by Nanos Research on behalf of The Globe and Mail, the following question was posed, “Are you comfortable, somewhat comfortable, somewhat uncomfortable or uncomfortable with provincial premiers actively campaigning for federal parties they personally support during a federal election?”

The 300 Ontarians responded as follows:

  • Comfortable: 15.6%
  • Somewhat comfortable: 21.1%
  • Somewhat uncomfortable: 26.7%
  • Uncomfortable: 33.4%
  • Unsure: 3.1%

The margin of error for this survey is + or - 3.1% 19 times out of 20.

Clearly a majority (60.1%) of Ontarians want Premier Ford to steer clear of campaigning for Andrew Sheer.
Macdonald Block Reconstruction Project Awarded

We don’t normally focus on individual construction projects in this space but the Macdonald Block revitalization is one that seems very close to COCA and our mandate. The Macdonald Block is the government complex located at 900 Bay Street in Toronto that has been the site of many meetings between senior government officials and COCA members over a long umber of years. 

The Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and Infrastructure have awarded the contract for the reconstruction of the Macdonald Block to Fengate PCL Progress Partners (FP3). Here are the details:

  • The Macdonald Block consists of a podium and four office towers, the Mowat Block, the Hurst Block, the Ferguson Block and the Hepburn Block which were constructed in the late 1960s
  • More than 3,000 government employees were moved out of the Macdonald Block several months ago
  • All core building systems have reached the end of their useful lives and will be replaced
  • Significant remediation services will be required to remove designated substances
  • FP3 includes the following partners:

  1. Developers: Fengate Asset Management and PCL Investments Canada Inc
  2. Design-Builder: PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
  3. Design Architect: WZMH Architects
  4. Facilities Management: Johnson Controls Canada
  5. Financial Advisor: National Bank Financial

  • The project will reduce the government’s requirement for 586,000 square feet of leased space from private landlords
  • The total value of the project is $1.536B
  • The project is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2024

Sherrard Kuzz Logo
Navigating the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000: Common Employer Pitfalls (and how to avoid them!)

Date: September 25, 2019 @ 7:30 am - 9:30 am
Speakers: Keith P. Burkhardt, Priya Sarin, Patrick Ganley
Venue: Hazelton Manor - 99 Peelar Rd, Concord ON
Cost: Complimentary
RSVP: Monday September 16, 2019

Navigating the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000:
Common Employer Pitfalls (and how to avoid them!)
In this seminar we explore practical and strategic approaches to address common Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) violations and risks associated with non-compliance.

Topics include:
1.Hours of Work
  • What records must be kept?
  • How to manage and track hours in the world of “remote work”.
2. Overtime Pay
  • Who is (and is not) entitled to overtime pay?
  • How to effectively use overtime agreements in your workplace.
3.Employee Misclassification
  • When is an “independent contractor” actually an employee?
4.Self- Audits and Ministry of Labour Complaints
  • Understand the Ministry of Labour’s new self-audit process.
  • Practical tips to handle a Ministry of Labour complaint.
5.Class Action Liability for an ESA Violation
  • How class action litigation can lead to significant liability under the ESA.
  • Practical tips to avoid a potential class action claim.

Upcoming Inspection Blitzes

The Ministry of Labour has published a list of blitzes for early 2018. For the full list click here.
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Get IHSA training when and where you need it.

To see a list of contacts and the regions they serve c lick here.
Eye on ICI Economic Update

To view a copy of the newsletter, click here.
COCA is the voice of our membership at Queen's Park.

We want to hear from you. All questions, ideas and comments are more than welcome.

Council of Ontario Construction Associations
180 Dundas Street West, Suite 2001
Toronto, ON   M5G 1Z8
416-968-7200
COCA Staff
President
Ian Cunningham x224   
Operations & Communications Manager
Martin Benson x222
COCA Website          WSIB            Ministry of Labour          Office of the Employer Adviser
Contact
180 Dundas Street West
Suite 2001
Toronto, ON M5G 1Z8
Phone: (416) 968-7200
Fax: (416) 968-0362