May  2017 Edition

Construction in Ontario Newsletter


The Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA) is a federation of construction associations; the largest and most representational group of industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) and heavy civil construction employers in Ontario. Our member organizations represent more than 10,000 construction businesses and more than 400,000 employees.
As industry advocate, COCA brings the concerns of our members to the attention of Queen's Park and works with the government to ensure that Ontario's legislative landscape is one in which our industry can grow and prosper. 
AG Confirms Introduction of CLA Reform Bill at COCA Reception

Most readers will know that COCA has been lobbying for Construction Lien Act reform for more than 20 years and for prompt payment legislation since 2011.  A giant step forward was made when the government engaged Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel to conduct a review of the Construction Lien Act and to consider the chronic issues of delayed payment that are endemic in the construction industry.  

Another giant step was made when the Reynolds-Vogel Report was made public on June 26, 2016.  Their report presented 100 recommendations to modernize the Construction Lien Act, introduce a quick "real time" dispute resolution system for project disputes and introduce a prompt payment regime.   Legislative Counsel in the Ministry of the Attorney General has been busy ever since, translating those recommendations into a Bill, receiving practical advice and guidance from Reynolds, Vogel and the panel of industry experts they used as part of their review. 

At COCA's Annual Welcome to Construction Season Reception at Queen's Park, in his keynote address Attorney General and Government House Leader Yasir Naqvi stated that unless something totally unexpected occurs, the Bill will be introduced for first reading before the Legislature rises for its summer recess on June 1 st

He went on to say that he would make every effort to move the Bill through the legislative process to become law before the end of the fall 2018 session. 

In their remarks following the Attorney General's address, both Progressive Conservative MPP Monte McNaughton and New Democratic Party MPP Paul Miller gave words of support.

Canada Prompt Payment Act Passes Third Reading Unanimously

Bill S-224 Canada Prompt Payment Act  An Act respecting payments made under construction contracts has made its way through the legislative processes in the Senate of Canada having passed third reading unanimously on May 4th.  Amendments were made to the Bill at the Committee stage to align timelines with those recommended in Ontario's Reynolds-Vogel Report. 

The Bill now must be introduced in the House of Commons and proceed through the normal legislative processes at that level of our federal government.  

MoL Launches Construction H&S Action Plan

Because the construction industry is one of the highest hazard industries in Ontario with 30% of traumatic fatalities but only 7% of total workforce, in 2015 the Ministry of Labour set out to develop a Construction Health and Safety Action Plan (CHSAP) to change this picture.  

The CHSAP was finally made public on May 11th by the Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn, his Parliamentary Assistant Mike Colle and the province's Chief Prevention Officer George Gritziotis at an event at the construction site of the new Toronto Court House. 

CHSAP contains 16 recommendations that are intended to create a more knowledgeable and skilled health and safety system and construction sector and to achieve increased construction sector compliance.  For the full report, please click on the following link
WSIB Announces Health and Safety Index Tool

Earlier this month the WSIB announced that it has developed a new tool called the Health and Safety Index to measure the overall health and safety of Ontario's workplaces.  It creates a single measure from a wide array of data that shows how Ontario's workplaces are performing from year to year.  

It will show how safe workplaces are and will reflect if their health and safety performance is improving or deteriorating.  This evidence based tool is designed to help the WSIB, employers and  partners in the safety system to identify areas for improvement and track improvements. 
WSIB Launches Consultation on Chronic Mental Stress

Pursuant to the 2017 Ontario budget and the provisions of Bill 127 which, if passed, would allow coverage for work-related mental stress, the WSIB has launched a stakeholder consultation.  The WSIB has published:
  1. A Backgrounder that:
  • Provides information on the Ontario Government's proposed legislative changes regarding chronic mental stress (CMS)
  •  Describes the WSIB's proposed approach to implementing the proposed legislative changes, if passed
  • Provides an overview of the WSIB's proposed draft mental stress policy
  • Describes how stakeholders can participate in the consultation
  1. A Draft Policy
  2.  Illustrative Examples
  3. FAQs

Information about the consultation can be accessed at

Skills Ontario's Annual Skilled Trades Competition

On May 1st and 2nd 2,300 elementary, high school and college students competed in 68 skilled trades and technologies contests as part of Skills Ontario's annual Skilled Trades Competition.  Many of those competitions were in the construction trades including electrical, carpentry and masonry.   Students competed for gold, silver, and bronze medals and $68,000 in monetary awards was presented to medalists in select contest areas and categories, as were job offers from partnered organizations, at the Closing Ceremony on May 3rd.  Medalists at the Ontario competition will move on to compete at the Canadian Skills Competition and winners at the national level advance to the World Skills Competition. 

The 2017 Skills Competition took place at the Toronto Congress Centre for the first time, having outgrown its longtime home at RIM Park in Waterloo.  The 500,000 square foot field of competition was impressive, filled with automobiles, heavy equipment, aircraft, the latest in machining technology and other gear.  

The annual Skills Competition is only one of many programs delivered by Skills Ontario that are designed to encourage young people to consider the skilled trades as viable first choice career options.  In addition to presenting Canada's largest skills competition, Skills Ontario also runs summer camps across the province for skills development and to connect students to employers, the First Nations, Metis and Inuit Initiative, the cardboard boat races and video challenge, the Young Women's Initiative. 

In addition, Skills Ontario reaches tens of thousands of students every year through its in-school presentations program.  There is no other organization out there promoting careers in the skilled trades like Skills Ontario!
Congratulations Skills Ontario!!!
IO Will Require COR on Direct Delivery Real Estate Projects

Infrastructure Ontario recently expanded its requirements for Certificate of Recognition (COR) to direct delivery real estate projects with a construction value greater than $10M.  

As of April 1, 2017, contractors must have initiated the registration process for COR to be eligible to bid on these Direct Delivery projects. COR requirements are being phased in to ensure adequate time for firms bidding on these projects to complete the application process.  

In Ontario, COR is administered by the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA).  For information about COR registration and certification click the following link
Ontario's Grad Rate Up

Ontario's high school graduation rate has reached an all-time high. In 2016, the five-year  graduation rate was 86.5 per cent, which is up from 68 per cent in 2004. The four-year graduation rate is now 79.6 per cent, up from 56.6 per cent in 2004.
Speaker Announces He Will Not Seek Re-election

The Honourable Dave Levac, Speaker of the Ontario Legislature and MPP for Brant, recently announced that he will not seek re-election in the general election scheduled for June 2018.  Speaker Levac is a long-time friend of COCA .  He is a truly good and decent person who has presided over the Legislature in a thoughtful and fair-minded way since November 21, 2011.  When he steps down, Levac will be among the province's longest serving Speakers.  Congratulations Speaker on an outstanding parliamentary career.  
Soo By Election Update

The by election in Sault Ste Marie is set for Thursday June 1 and campaigning is in full swing.  The by election was precipitated by the unexpected resignation of Dave Orazetti who, at the time of his resignation was Minister of Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services and who had served as MPP for the riding since October 2003.  

Premier Wynne has admitted that it will be hard for her Liberals to hang onto the seat because by-elections are often protests against the sitting government.  PC leader Patrick Brown sees his party as the underdog in the race because they have not held the SSM seat since 1985 (although they did hold the riding from 1951 to 1985).  NDP leader Andrea Horwath smells an opportunity to deliver a message to the Liberal government and has visited the riding many times in an effort to seize it. 

It appears to be a strong field with Liberal candidate Debbie Amaroso, a small business owner and former mayor pitted against PC standard bearer Ross Romano, a lawyer and Ward 6 councillor, NDP contender Joe Krmpotich, a Steelworker and also a Ward 6 councillor and the Green Party hopeful Kara Flannigan, a healthcare worker and arts supporter and social justice advocate as the Green Party of Ontario candidate.

The outcome of the by election will not change the status of the majority Liberal government which holds 57 seats in the 107 seat Ontario Legislature.  The PCs hold 29 and the NDP 20 with the SSM seat vacant.
RFQ for Rutherford Station

IO and Metrolinx recently issued an RFQ for interested parties to design, build and finance the Rutherford Station project. The infrastructure upgrades are required to accommodate the planned expansion of GO Transit rail service on the Barrie line and include:
  • New multi-level parking structure with integrated station building
  • Re-design of surface parking, kiss and ride, bus loop and pedestrian access
  • Rail/Road grade separation on Rutherford Road
  • New rail platforms and full platform canopy
  • A second heavy rail track and provision for future third express centre track
Teams that qualify will be invited to respond to a request for proposals in fall 2017. Interested companies must register with  to download the RFQ.
ED Selected to Build GMCH
Three teams submitted bids for the Groves Memorial Community Hospital - GMCH Partnership, EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare and PCL Constructors Canada - and EllisDon was selected as the preferred proponent to design, build and finance the new hospital development project in Centre Wellington, Ontario.  The EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare team includes:
  • Developer: EllisDon Capital Inc.
  • Architect: Tillmann Ruth Robinson
  • Engineering Teams: The Mitchell Partnership; WalterFedy Partnership; Hastings and Aziz
  • Construction: EllisDon Design Build Inc.
  • Financial advisor: EllisDon Capital Inc.
The new hospital will be built in Aboyne, Ont., between Elora and Fergus, and replace the existing GMCH in Fergus.
New on the COCA Website
  • 2017 Provincial Budget Highlights
  • Culture, regulation and education drive Canadian safety evolution
  • Construction among highest spending sectors to prevent work-related injuries
  • Canada Prompt Payment Act approved by Senate
  • Ontario's Construction Health and Safety Action Plan
  • Ottawa Welcomes Canada's Largest Hands-on Career Exhibition for Students Interested in Construction Skilled Trades
  • Safety Week raises the bar on awareness and leadership
  • WSIB Launches New Health and Safety Leadership Awards for Small Businesses
  • Constructors pleased with infrastructure spending increase in 2017 Ontario budget
  • Ontario Budget Notebook: Province moves forward on Ontario high-speed rail
  • Catholic School Board Launches New Construction Academy
  • Ontario Boosting On-the-Job Learning Opportunities for Students
  • Canadian Nonresidential Construction Spending Down 0.5% in 1Q
  • Getting More People Started in Trades
  • Premier talks budget, lien act at OGCA symposium
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 

In This Issue
AG Confirms Introduction of CLA Reform
Canada Prompt Payment Act Passes Third Reading
MoL Launches Construction H&S Action Plan
WSIB Announces Health and Safety Index Tool
WSIB Launches Consultation on Chronic Mental Stress
Skills Ontario's Annual Skilled Trades Competition
IO Will Require COR on Direct Delivery Real Estate Projects
Ontario's Grad Rate Up
Speaker Announces He Will Not Seek Re-election
Soo By Election Updat
RFQ for Rutherford Station
ED Selected to Build GMCH
New on the COCA Website
Sherrard Kuzz Logo
Sherrard Kuzz LLP 
Breakfast Seminar

MISSING IN ACTION:  Managing Planned and Unplanned Workplace Absenteeism
Each year, the average full-time employee in Canada is absent from work approximately nine days. Some absences are for a day or two, while others last considerably longer. Left unmanaged, absenteeism can significantly and negatively impact the culture, morale and productivity of a workplace.
What are an employer's legal obligations in connection with workplace absence and what can be done to minimize unplanned time away from work?
This free breakfast seminar will be held on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, at the Mississauga Convention Centre, 75 Derry Road West, Mississauga
 Pinchin Complimentary Sessions 
Pinchin Ltd. offers  FREE learning opportunities across the province each month.  To see a list click here.

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