November 2019

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

Construction Dispute Adjudication Update

Some time ago, the government of Ontario announced that ADR Chambers was selected to serve as the Authorized Nominating Authority (ANA) under the Construction Act. The Act states that the role of the ANA is to:

“(a) develop and oversee programs for the training of persons as adjudicators;
(b) qualify persons who meet the prescribed requirements as adjudicators;
(c) establish and maintain a publicly available registry of adjudicators;
(d) appoint adjudicators for the purposes of subsection 13.9 (5); and
(e) perform any other duties of the Authority set out in this Part or that may be prescribed for the purposes of this Part. 2017, c. 24, s. 11 (1).”

ADR Chambers, a highly respected organization whose website states that it is “the world’s dispute resolution leader” that has “administered over 55,000 mediations and arbitrations over the last seven years” that is “not only the biggest – also the best” and that has “Canada’s top mediators and arbitrators” has formed an organization called the Ontario Dispute Adjudication for Construction Contracts (ODACC) to serve as the ANA. 

Although we understand that more than 80 people have taken the prescribed adjudicator training, today ODACC’s website only lists 16 adjudicators.  They are described as lawyers, lawyer/arbitrator, engineer, quantity surveyor. Their hourly rates range from $250 to $750 of which ODACC will take 40% or 50% depending upon the size of the dispute.  Among the names listed is Matt Ainley, well known to many in construction association circles, retired executive from Van Bots and Bird, former OGCA chair and current chair of the national GC’s organization. We expect the list to grow quickly as disputes begin to come to the fore in 2020. 

For the list of adjudicators, click on the following link

Congratulations to Prompt Payment Ontario

Prompt Payment Ontario (PPO) is a non-profit corporation founded in 2015 with the singular purpose of securing prompt payment legislation for construction projects in the province of Ontario. 

Its membership is made up of 42 construction employer associations (including COCA and many COCA member associations) and construction trade unions. 

PPO was an important and very active participant in the processes that led to Bill 69 (the second prompt payment Private Members Bill sponsored by the Liberal backbench MPP Steven Del Duca) , the Reynolds-Vogel Review and Bill 142. Bill 142 passed third reading and received Royal Assent in December 2017 and its provisions that modernize the Construction Lien Act took effect on July 1, 2018 and the prompt payment and dispute resolution provisions came into force on October 1, 2019. 

PPO’s final initiative will be the publication and distribution of a very practical guidebook to the Construction Act which has been written by construction lawyer Geza Banfi of McMillan LLP and which is currently being finalized.  

PPO’s work is done and the organization is about to be wound up. Congratulations to PPO for its enormous success and especially to its leaders and driving forces Sandra Skivsky and Ron Johnson. 
The Provincial Committee at Work

The construction industry’s Provincial Labour Management Health and Safety Committee (PLMHSC) was formed under Section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act “to assist or advise the Minister on any matter arising under this Act or to enquire into and report to the Minister on any matter that the Minister considers advisable.” 

The PLMHSC is comprised of equal numbers of management and labour representatives from all aspects of our industry. Representatives from the Ministry of Labour’s Operations and Policy Branches and Prevention Office and a representative from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) attend all meetings to deliver reports and provide advice. 

The Committee is administered and supported by staff members from the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) although it the PLMHSC is distinctly separate and apart from the IHSA. The PLMHSC meets monthly and participation is exceptionally strong; the Committee always achieves quorum and its members rarely miss a meeting. There is an active network of regional and trade committees and another one called the Construction Legislative Review Committee that exist under the PLMHSC umbrella.

There are two initiatives currently underway under the auspices of the PLMHSC that may be of particular interest to you. First, the Committee has initiated a strategic planning process to identify two or three key priorities. The process is being very capably managed by Meredith Low, a professional strategic planning facilitator and consultant. The product of this process will help the PLMHSC focus its efforts on the issues that offer the greatest opportunity to improve the performance of the province’s workplace health and safety system. 

The second initiative is the development of a fit for duty guide. A special PLMHSC subcommittee was struck to work on the development of the guide. The Committee has reviewed many existing policies and is selecting the best from the bunch and editing and improving them for guide format. Once completed, construction organizations will be able to adapt the guide for their own use. 

Our industry’s Provincial Committee and its network are alive and well and working for the betterment of our industry.

COCA Supports Homeless Vets

COCA is a non-financial/in-kind sponsor of an application for funding from the Government of Ontario that has been made by Helmets to Hard Hats (H2H) to support their new Pathways to Post Military Employment Project. If this application is successful, Helmets to Hard Hats will expand the scope of its operations beyond the recruiting military veterans to the construction skilled trades to include helping homeless veterans secure employment in supporting and administrative roles in construction and related industries. 

Many vets struggle after they leave the military. They find the transition to civilian life challenging. Their troubles often lead to a family break-up, substance abuse and homelessness. They deserve better. That’s why we signed on.
Other sponsors include the Canadian Building and Construction Trades and the Good Shepherd Ministries. offers a new way to publish CSPs and other notices

Article by: James Raiswell, Vice President at ALTRnetiv Media Group Inc.

Seven Ontario local construction associations (LCAs) have recently launched the website, a news and information portal exclusively for Ontario’s construction industry.

Contractors and purchasers can use to access a number of distinct services, including:
  • news and information content that is published daily, and which speaks to developments and trends affecting builders, contractors, designers, owners and purchasers across Ontario,
  • thousands of tender opportunities from across the province’s public- and private sectors, and
  • the opportunity to purchase and publish Certificates of Substantial Performance, and other notices as required under Ontario law, with the option to provide simultaneous notification to those project partners whose lien rights may be affected by such notices.
“Link2Build is a partnership initiative of seven of Ontario’s largest LCAs,” said Martha George, President of the Grand Valley Construction Association, one of the founding Link2Build LCAs. “We are excited to launch this site, and encourage contractors, designers and purchasers to take advantage of the various services we offer, including our extensive database of project-bid opportunities from across Ontario, and our unique approach to selling and publishing Certificates of Substantial Performance and other legal notices required under the Construction Act.”

PayPrompt App Helps You Manage Your Accounts As Required By Construction Act

I attended a meeting of Prompt Payment Ontario (PPO) on Wednesday, November 13. At that meeting, three experienced construction lawyers, Faren Bogach, Jeff Scorgie and Krista Chaytor made a presentation about the app that they have developed called PayPrompt that’s designed to help owners, contractors and sub-contractors manage their accounts as required under the provisions of the Construction Act that came into affect on October 1, 2019. 

Pay Prompt is a web-based software program that helps make it easy for you to comply with the new mandatory prompt payment and adjudication rules. It will help you to manage deadlines such as:

  • when you will get paid
  • when you have to pay others 
  • what you should do when you receive notices of non-payment
  • when you need to give notices of non-payment

Pay Prompt stores all of your deadlines in one dashboard and allows you to diarize and send notifications of these deadlines to others on the project by calendar invitations, text and email. 

If you are interested in a 6 month free trial of the Pay Prompt software, you can email [email protected] to set up your own account. Please provide your name and email address so that the account can be set up for you.

If you’d like to learn more about Pay Prompt, it can be found online at .

Government Increases High School “Learning to Earning” Investment

On October 31 st the government of Ontario announced an increased investment of more than $10 million over the 2017-18 level in the Specialist High Skills Majors programs (SHMS). SHMS programs are available in more than 700 high schools across Ontario.

This additional investment will support 122 new programs with a focus on the skilled trades. 

Specialist High Skills Majors programs were initiated about 15 years ago as the Ministry of Education’s way of providing students in grades 11 and 12 with an opportunity to connect more closely with the world of work and earn credits towards their graduation. Initially offered in only a handful of sectors, today there are SHSM programs offered in 19 industries including one for construction. They are tailored for students who are bound for university, college, apprenticeship or direct entry into the workplace.

As a result of this increased investment, it is anticipated that 54,000 high school students will be enrolled in 2,100 SMHS programs offered at more that 700 secondary schools in Ontario.
For more information about the Ministry of Education’s Specialist High Skills majors click on

Government Increases Spending on Pre-Apprenticeship

On November 8 th the government of Ontario has announced that it will spend an additional $2.5 million on pre-apprenticeship training for a total investment in pre-apprenticeship training of $20.8 million. The new money is expected to attract 200 more learners. Pre-apprenticeship training is offered free of charge through Ontario colleges, private career colleges, union and non-union training centres and other community organizations. 

Our government’s total investment will expose 1,800 people to the rewarding careers available in the skilled trades in the industrial, construction, automotive and service sectors. to attract 1,800 more people to careers in skilled trades. More details are available at the following link

2019 Year in Review… And what to expect in 2020

Date: December 4, 2019 @ 7:30 am - 9:30 am

Speakers: Connie Cheung, Matthew P. Badrov

Venue: Mississauga Convention Centre - 75 Derry Road West, Mississauga

Cost: Complimentary

RSVP: Friday November 22, 2019

2019 ushered in many important changes to the employment and labour landscape in Ontario and across Canada. Join us as we discuss how these changes impact employers, and proactive steps to minimize the negative effects. Topics include:

Legislative Update
  • Bill 66 amendments to the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000.
  • Changes to the federal Canada Labour Code.

Harassment in the Workplace
  • Can an employee launch a stand-alone lawsuit for harassment? What does this mean
  • for employers?
  • “Forum shopping” and the potential for multiple claims at the same time.

Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace
  • Cannabis legalization- where do we stand?
  • Trends in “addiction” case law. 

Trends in Employment Agreements
  • New case law on the enforceability of termination provisions.
  • The perils of a fixed term agreement.

Upcoming Inspection Blitzes

The Ministry of Labour - Get the schedules for workplace compliance initiatives. click here.
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
COCA Staff
Ian Cunningham x224   
Operations & Communications Manager
Martin Benson x222
COCA Website          WSIB            Ministry of Labour          Office of the Employer Adviser
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Phone: (416) 968-7200
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