The Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA) has reported on its successes in a recent issue of its newsletter.
“Simply put, there are two aspects to the work we do here at COCA,” president Ian Cunningham wrote. “First, there’s “the business of the business” working with our members and government officials to ensure that public policy in Ontario supports success in the construction industry. The second part is letting our members and the industry know about the work we’ve been doing on their behalf and the successes we’ve earned.
“Looking back over the last few years I’d have to say we’ve done a very good job of the first but when it comes to communicating our achievements, there’s room for improvement,” Cunningham wrote. “We’ve been understated, perhaps too shy to brag about our wins. At the risk of being called a braggart, here’s a partial list of our recent successes.”
Occupational health and safety
- Many of the recommendations made in COCA’s submission were accepted by Tony Dean and included in his report including the transfer of prevention out of the WSIB and mandatory entry level training for the construction industry;
- COCA is well positioned as a key stakeholder with the ministry of labour and its prevention office and is included in all ministry outreach; we are optimistic that an individual with ties to COCA will be appointed to the Prevention Council;
- COCA convened a special consultation on the development of the province’s first occupational health and safety strategy for a small group of very senior construction industry executives at the request of the chief prevention officer.
- The government committed to ending the 72 month automatic lock-in of benefits for partially disabled workers as advocated by COCA;
- The government mandated that the WSIB be fully funded by 2027 as advocated by COCA;
- The WSIB has transitioned from a representative board of directors to one that is competencies-based, as recommended by COCA;
- Increases in employer premium rates have been minimized as a result of pressure from COCA and the WSIB announced that there will be no premium rate increase for 2014;
- As recommended by COCA, the WSIB has committed to calculating employer premium rates properly and accurately based on the cost of new injuries.
- In partnership with the NTCCC and the OGCA, COCA ensured that Bill 69, the Prompt Payment Act, was introduced in the legislature as a private members bill and passed first and second readings and was referred to committee with the support of all three parties.
- COCA was instrumental in having local content provisions added to Infrastructure Ontario’s procurement requirements;
- The government has lived up to its commitment to consistent long term infrastructure investments as advocated by COCA.
Ontario One Call
- With the support of COCA, the Common Ground Alliance and other construction stakeholders, Bill 8, Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act, 2012 (one call before you dig) was passed into law.