A BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD:
The 2020 outlook for the Ontario construction sector is strong, driven by infrastructure investments, nuclear decommissioning projects and continued investment in public transportation. Construction has always been an important barometer for the provincial economy, and a busy forecast bodes well for everyone.
Getting work done in the future may prove to be challenging. Ontario is facing a serious labour shortage with an aging workforce set to retire. As part of its Open for Business, Open for Jobs strategy, the Government of Ontario is working to attract more young people to the skilled trades and employers to hire more apprentices. As part of this strategy, the government is investing in programs to bring awareness of the trades as a career to high school students, and we’re also seeing good moves in terms of training and skills development.
For our part, the OADC will be lending our support to advocate for, and champion demolition and abatement as viable and rewarding career opportunities for young people in Ontario. Our industry is a ‘boutique trade’ involving specialized work that demands professional, knowledgeable and safety-conscious teams with a keen understanding of structural interpretation and the impact of their work on the community and the environment. We look forward to working with others in the sector, including LiUNA and our government colleagues to bring profile and passion to the benefits of working in our trade, introducing a whole new generation to the industry we love!
There are currently three nuclear generation stations in Ontario that have not been decommissioned – Pickering, Darlington and Bruce Power. All nuclear generating stations have a lifecycle, and decommissioning occurs at the end of the useful life of a reactor. Decommissioning is highly specialized work and is carried out in accordance with Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission regulatory requirements to ensure protection of the workers, the public and the environment. When the Ontario nuclear generating stations prepare to be decommissioned and the land repurposed, we know that OADC member organizations will be a reputable source of highly trained contractors prepared to take on this specialized work (the Pickering nuclear generating station will end commercial operations in 2024 with decommissioning beginning in 2028).
The OADC celebrates some key successes of the past year.
We are nearing the end of our 3-year strategic plan (2017-2020) and the Board of Directors remains committed to the plan and our core objectives. We are pleased to have successfully achieved our goal of pursuing Bill 142 (Ontario Construction Lien Act Amendment), providing mandatory prompt payment requirements and a fast-track dispute resolution process. The Bill came into effect on October 1, 2019 and is great news for our industry. The Act will impact all construction work and projects in the province and brings Ontario in line with practices in Europe, Australia, and most U.S. states. The OADC will continue to work with all levels of government and other industry associations to ensure that our members’ voice and position is heard.
In April 2019, we successfully negotiated our demolition collective agreement with LiUNA. Key benefits of the updated agreement allow for the mobility of key individuals to move across local jurisdictions, along with simplifying and streamlining wage schedules and existing agreement language. These changes will make it easier for OADC contractors to assemble the teams they need for work across the province, and ensures agreements can be easily understood and interpreted.
As part of our industry leadership work, we continue to build the OADC brand. In December 2019, we exhibited at The Buildings Show-Construct Canada which was a terrific opportunity to network with industry colleagues and have important discussions with attendees about the value of working with OADC member companies. In March 2020, a contingent of thirty-three member companies and their teams will be heading to Las Vegas for the CONEXPO-CON/AGG show, North America’s largest construction trade show. OADC is pleased to support our member organizations with the opportunity to participate in and learn from these signature industry events. And speaking of building brand, I’m pleased to share that I attended 99 meetings or events on behalf of OADC members in 2019!
I hope you’ll enjoy this issue of OADC Magazine. We bring you several feature stories that we hope will inform and educate. Our cover story, Cybersecurity in the construction industry (page xx), is chock full of tips to help you safeguard your company from bad actors. On page xx, you’ll read about Bill 142 and the prompt payment rules and adjudication that promise to have a significant impact on construction projects in the province. With health and safety always top of mind, we share best practices for keeping safe on the worksite on page xx. As always, we’re interested in your comments and feedback about the Magazine!
I would like to thank our current and past Board of Directors and Committee Members for your commitment and dedication to our association and members. Sharing your expertise, volunteering your time, and championing the issues that matter to our association is deeply appreciated. Thanks are also extended to our members whose camaraderie and engagement make OADC the vibrant association it is.
You can now find the OADC on social media (Facebook: @OADContractors and LinkedIn: Ontario Association of Demolition Contractors). Follow us to stay up to date on industry events and join us in conversation.
Looking forward to another successful year.
Margaret Taylor, Executive Director