Advocacy

COCA is the voice of ICI and heavy civil construction employers in Ontario. Advocating on behalf of the industry , COCA has a long and successful  history working with members and officials at Queen’s Park to shape the province’s laws and regulations so that contractors can achieve their goals and Ontario can be more prosperous. 

Construction Lien Act

Originally announced March 28, 2014 and launched on February 11, 2015, the long-awaited review of the Ontario Construction Lien Act is nearing completion.  Reform of the antiquated Act has been advocated by COCA for almost two decades and is long overdue.  Lead reviewers Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel will submit their report to the Attorney General and to the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Infrastructure on April 30, 2016.  It is hoped that the government will consider the report and introduce legislation consistent with COCA’s long-held positions. 

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Prompt Payment

Construction is a primary driver of the economy, providing  for more than 434,000 Ontarians (6.4% of Ontario’s workforce). Yet delinquent payment in construction is rampant and a growing problem in the industry. General and trade contractors are commonly forced to wait extended periods of time before receiving payment  for work that has been certified as being complete.

Delayed payment causes contractors to hire fewer workers, take on fewer apprentices and invest less in capital and equipment.  Furthermore it drives up the costs of construction. 

Because of the efforts of COCA, the issues of delayed payment are well understood at Queen’s Park and there have already been two unsuccessful Private Members Bills introduced in the legislature to address the problem.

In their review of the Ontario Construction Lien Act, Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel were also mandated by the government to consider the issue of delayed payment and make recommendations to correct it.

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WSIB

Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is an Agency of the Government of Ontario responsible for the administration of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act and its regulations.

It provides income replacement, health care, medical rehabilitation, disability pensions, return to work and labour market re-entry services to workers in certain industries identified in the Act who become injured while at work or sick due to workplace causes.  It also provides death benefits to surviving dependants of workers who are killed in the course of their work.

Benefits are determined by the government and premium rates required to pay for those benefits are determined by the WSIB.  Premiums are paid by employers. 

The WSIB is currently modernizing the way determines premium rates, the manner in which it classifies employers for the purposes of assigning the appropriate premium rates and the way it adjusts individual employers premium rates to reflect their experience.

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Occupational Health and Safety

Construction work by its very nature is hazardous.  It’s physical; the work environment changes constantly; workers are often exposed to severe weather conditions; and the workforce on construction changes regularly as projects advance. This is why health and safety must be paramount on every construction site in Ontario.  Preventing work-related illness and injury is the most important job at all construction sites because all workers deserve the right to return home to their families safe and sound each and every day.

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Ontario College of Trades

In October 2014, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities announced that Tony Dean, well known to the Ontario construction industry through his work leading the expert panel on health and safety, would lead a review the Ontario College of Trades.  Dean’s report was submitted and on November 20, 2015 the Ministry announced that it had accepted his recommendations and that it would work with the College of Trades to implement them, including introducing a Bill in the Spring 2016 session of the legislature.

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Third Party Verification

Ontario contractors and industry suppliers have expressed concern about the increasing use by buyers of construction  of third-party verification services to offload their responsibilities for health and safety on their construction projects. 

COCA is opposed to the use of third party verification companies because they fail to improve the health and safety performance on construction projects, they impose a significant administrative burden and undue expense on contractors who are bidding work and in the end add little value and drive up the cost of construction.

Public Infrastructure InvestmentPublic infrastructure is critically important to our way of life in Ontario.  Without our roads, highways and bridges, hospitals, colleges, universities and schools, water and sewage delivery systems and treatment plants, parks, community centres and arenas and other public infrastructure, we would not enjoy the same high standard of living.  Governments at all levels must continue to invest in the maintenance and development of our public infrastructure to maintain and improve our standard of living.  

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Accessibility For Ontarians With Disabilities Act (AODA)

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) became law on June 13, 2005. Under this landmark legislation, the government of Ontario has developed mandatory accessibility standards that identifies, removes, and prevents barriers for people with disabilities.

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Other Issues

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