The Barrie Construction Association – Constructing solutions

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By Alison Smith

BCA executive director

The BCA board of directors and staff are pleased to present you with our eighth annual BCA Magazine, your only official BCA publication.

I am privileged to serve our membership, the board of directors, and the construction industry, as the executive director of this association. The BCA staff is committed to supporting members on all levels.

BCA members deliver two loud, clear and consistent messages; they want equal opportunity to bid on projects and, a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.

The BCA is dealing with both of these issues on behalf of our members.

BestBidz project opportunities

Last year the BCA joined 11 other construction associations across Ontario to form the BestBidz network of on-line project distribution. The platform offers general and trade contractors an advanced platform for searching project opportunities.

Throughout the year the BCA also hosted members and procurement professionals at numerous lunch and learns. Topics ranged from an economic forecast to cutting through the red tape of public procurement.

On October 22, 2015 we will once again gather for Constructing Relationships . . . Constructing Solutions – a round-table meeting with local buyers that will give our membership the opportunity to develop ‘top-of-mind’ relationships with the buyers of construction.

Prompt payment legislation

            Construction provides more than 6.4 per cent of Ontario’s workforce, yet delinquent payments seem to be standard in the industry. This puts the financial burden on those who can least afford it; the ones who create jobs, drive the economy and employ workers.

Many jurisdictions have prompt payment legislation in place including the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia.

The current existing law in Ontario, the Construction Lien Act (CLA) is costly and the lien rights of many will expire long before they realize they will not get paid.

In May of 2013 a private member’s bill, Bill 69, the Prompt Payment Act, 2013 received all party support when it passed second reading in the Ontario Legislature. However, as is the case with most private member’s bills, it did not become law.

The lack of prompt payment legislation is an obstacle to smaller contractors in terms of bidding on projects. Unless a contractor is large enough to handle delays in receiving payment, it is difficult to compete. This lack of competition then drives up construction costs.

As a member of the Council of Ontario Construction Associations, the BCA belongs to Prompt Payment Ontario, an alliance of contractor associations, unions, suppliers, general contractors, pension trust funds, and anyone else who has an interest is seeing prompt payment legislation enacted. The BCA board and staff will be meeting with MPPs at Queen’s Park this fall to ensure the Ontario government understands the need for reform.

Construction Lien Act

A review of the CLA was announced by the Attorney General’s Office on March 28, 2014, presumably to lessen the blow of the defeat of Bill 69.

Bruce Reynolds, senior partner at Borden Ladner Gervais has been engaged to conduct a review of the Act.

COCA looks forward to participating fully in the review process and will be convening its Construction Lien Act Committee and Prompt Payment Working Group. Eric Gionet, representing BCA member Dooley Lucenti Barristers & Solicitors, has joined the CLA committee and will ensure the concerns of the BCA members are at the forefront of discussions.

Advancing the industry’s interests

I leave you with my personal guarantee that your association is committed to advancing our industry’s local, provincial and national interests on every front.

This magazine includes many interesting and informative articles about your association and its affiliates. The strength of the Barrie Construction Association is the active involvement and diversity of its members. Should you have any ideas for future publications, be sure to drop a line to me at alisonsmith@barrieca.com.