April 2023

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

Health and Safety Enforcement Campaigns 2023-24 
Here’s what you need to know about Ministry of Labour enforcement initiatives for the year ahead: 
Falls from heights in single-family residential 
April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024 
Campaign includes: 
  • education, outreach and awareness supported by the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association 
  • focused inspection blitz 
Struck-by equipment in specific settings 
April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024. The campaign will focus on the following: 
  • single-family residential 
  • multi-family residential 
  • industrial 
  • commercial 
  • road/sewer/water 

It will include the following: 
  • education, outreach and awareness supported by the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association 
  • focused inspection blitz 
For the full story, click on the following link:  

O. Reg. 213/91 - Construction Projects Amendments 
Hygiene & PPE

The Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) has announced amendments to O. Reg. 213/91 – Construction Projects, made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
These amendments will address the fit of personal protective clothing and equipment and requirements for toilet and clean-up facilities and will come into effect on July 1, 2023.
The eLaws version of the Construction Projects regulation incorporates the future changes to sections 21, 29, 29.1 and 29.2.

You can learn about the hygiene requirements by visiting Achieve Compliance on construction sites web page on Ontario's website.
COCA’s Prompt Payment and Adjudication Tool Kit Helps You Get Paid on Time 

Legislation that’s designed to speed up payment in the construction industry came into force on October 1, 2019.  There are now provisions in the Construction Act, referred to as “prompt payment and adjudication” that prescribe specific timelines for payment and a process to resolve disputes around payment quickly and inexpensively. 

Whether  you are a home owner, a project owner, a general contractor, a trade contractor, indeed everyone involved in construction should be aware of these prompt payment and adjudication provisions and be prepared before a dispute arises. 

In order for the process to work for you, you must be ready.  For details, access COCA’s Prompt Payment and Adjudication Tool Kit by clicking on the following link https://www.coca.on.ca/advocacy-prompt-payment/  
Government Announces Minimum Wage to Increase 6.8% in October 

Under strong criticism from opposition parties that help for Ontarians to address the steeply increasing cost of living was absent from their budget, the government announced that the province’s minimum wage will increase on October 1, 2023 from the current $15.50 to $16.55 and increase of 6.8%.   
In accordance with the Employment Standards Act, Ontario’s minimum wage is adjusted every year on October 1st based on a calculation tied to the consumer  price index (CPI).   
Falls Awareness Week 2023 

Over the last four years, 37% of critical injuries in the construction industry and 33% of the fatalities were the result of falls from heights and ladders.  Falls Awareness Week is scheduled for May 1 – 5 2023.  Contractors are encouraged to stop work to talk about fall prevention.  The IHSA has some excellent safety talks that can be accessed at  https://www.ihsa.ca/resources/safetytalks.aspx  

Participate in 2023 Steps for Life 
Everyone is encouraged to participate in the 2023 Steps for Life – Walking for Families of Workplace 
Tragedies either by making a donation or entering a team. Walks are scheduled to be held in the following locations: 
  • Barrie 
  • Durham Region 
  • Hamilton 
  • Kingston 
  • London 
  • Mississauga 
  • Ottawa 
  • Sarnia 
  • Sudbury 
  • Thunder Bay 
  • Timmins 
  • Toronto 
For more information, click on the following link https://secure3.convio.net/thread/site/SPageNavigator/steps_for_life_landing.html  
Infrastructure Ontario’s March 2023 Market Update 
Here are the highlights of Infrastructure Ontario’s March 2023 Market Update that was published last month: 

  • It includes a listing of 38 projects in pre-procurement and active procurement (totalling more than $35 billion in estimated design and construction costs) 
  • The listing also includes 16 government-announced projects in the initial stages of planning, for which scope, timing and delivery model are still being determined. 
  • The listing reflects the progress made on projects already noted on IO’s November 2022 Market Update. 1) Scarborough Subway Extension – Stations, Rail and Systems – Development Partner Agreement signed  2) Weeneebayko Area Health Authority – Health Campus – Development Partner Agreement signed 3) Niagara Health’s New South Niagara Hospital Project – Financial Close/Contract signed 
  • Two projects previously in pre-procurement have been brought to market: 
  • Garden City Skyway 1) Ottawa Hospital’s New Civic Redevelopment 2) The 401 expansion through Mississauga and Milton has opened 
  • Substantial completion on the New Toronto Courthouse has been achieved 
  • The total value of construction contracts currently in construction is $45 billion 
  • IO  remains committed to the market to maintain a dependable pipeline which is appropriately staged to maximize opportunity and competition. 
  • Facing escalating inflationary costs not seen in a generation, IO has worked closely with government to ensure that project cost estimates are appropriately updated and continues to work with industry partners to manage any escalations during active procurements. 
IO’s listing of all 38 projects in pre-procurement and active procurement can be accessed at the following link: 
Day of Mourning 

On April 28th every year, workers, families, employers and others assemble at ceremonies across Ontario and all across Canada to recognize and honour workers who have died or become injured or sick because of workplace conditions and to recommit to making workplaces safer. This annual tradition began in Ontario the 1980s and was formalized in the Workers Mourning Day Act  (https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/W-11.5/page-1.html ) which became the law in Canada on February 1, 1991. Today the Day of Mourning is celebrated in more than 100 countries. 
On April 28th please take time to honour those who have suffered. Attend a ceremony in your area or simply take a quiet moment of reflection.  
Two MPPs Exit Their Caucuses 

On March 31, 2023, the long-time MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin, Michael Mantha, was expelled from the NDP caucus.  It has been reported that the allegations against him that led to his removal are of a sexual nature.   

Mantha was first elected to the Ontario legislature in the general election in 2011, defeating the 24-year Liberal incumbent.  He was re-elected in 2014, 2018 and 2022.  He will shift over from the NDP benches to sit with the Independents. 
On March 10, 2023, Tory MPP for Don Valley North, Vincent Ke, resigned from the PC caucus amid allegations that he had assisted China in interference in the 2019 Canadian federal election.  Ke has vowed to clear his name.   

Ke was first elected to the Ontario legislature in the 2018 Tory landslide that swept Kathleen Wynne and the Grits out of office and was re-elected in 2022.  Like Mantha, Ke will move over to the Independent bench in the northwest corner of the chamber. 

The two new Independents, when added to the eight Liberals, one Green and one MPP elected as an Independent (Bobbi Ann Brady, Haldimand-Norfolk) now total twelve.  As a result, the Speaker has granted Independents more speaking time in the legislature.  
2022 Year in Review
We are proud to share with you COCA's 2022 Year in Review.

There are two versions of the magazine. 

  • The magazine and recommended view show the Year in Review in its intended form. 
  • The single-page view is best if you are reading on a mobile device.

COCA Corporate Partners
Sherrard Kuzz Logo
Sherrard Kuzz LLP is one of Canada’s leading employment and labour law firms exclusively representing the interests of management. 

Recognized as a leading provider of strategic advice and effective employment and labour relations representation within the construction industry, our team is consistently named among Canada’s Top 10 Employment and Labour Boutiques

Visit us at https://www.sherrardkuzz.com/ to learn more
TwoGreySuits (TGS) is a fully loaded on-line Human Resources Department specifically designed to meet the people management needs of small and medium sized enterprises. 

TGS has created a seven module core training product.

This core program will be enhanced over time with information webinars of specific interest and benefit to small and medium sized businesses. 

Visit us at https://twogreysuits.com/ to learn more

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
926 - 123 Edward Street
Toronto ON M5G 1E2
COCA Staff
Ian Cunningham
Operations Manager
Martin Benson
COCA Website        WSIB          Ministry of Labour        
926 - 123 Edward Street
Toronto ON M5G 1E2
Phone: (416) 968-7200