Coca News

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    CFBA Fetes Founding Member Van Bolderen see more

    The Canadian Farm Builders Association (CFBA) honoured founding member, Gary van Bolderen, on the occasion of his retirement from the CFBA Board of Directors at a special luncheon held on Friday, May 10th in Guelph. 

    Recognizing his important contributions to the association, President Terry Rothwell noted van Bolderen’s unparalleled dedication exemplified in his almost fourty years of continuous service.  Past President Dan Reimer told the gathering, which included current and many former CFBA directors and members, that van Bolderen distinguished himself with his hard work on behalf of the association and by always going the extra mile.  Vice President Michael Leach praised van Bolderen for his integrity, for setting a new high standard for others to follow and for serving as a role model for many in the industry. 

    In addition to his service to the CFBA, where he served as President multiple times, van Bolderen is the Immediate Past Chair of the Council of Ontario Construction Associations, a member of the Board of Directors of the Barrie Construction Association, the Ontario Vice Chair on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Construction Association and an expert panel member advising the federal government on the farm building code.

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    Poll Shows Ontario Majority Supports Carbon Tax see more

    A new poll from Angus Reid shows public support for the carbon tax is increasing.  This is particularly so following the federal government’s announcement for a rebate plan. 

    Here’s what the poll revealed:

    • More Ontarians approve of the tax than oppose it.
    • Support picked up significantly following the federal government’s rebate announcement
    • 50% of respondents support giving the federal government the authority to impose carbon pricing and 50% oppose; In a previous survey 64% thought the provinces should have jurisdiction on the issue

    The Ontario government believes that Ottawa has overreached its authority with the implementation of a carbon tax and has joined with a number of other provinces to oppose the federal government’s authority on this matter in court.   

     

    Angus Reid surveyed 1,500 Canadian adults between October 24 and October 29 and the poll is statistically accurate within 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    Office of the Employer Adviser - Update from the Director see more

     

     

     

    Big WSIB Changes on the Horizon  - Update from the Director.

    Click here to read the update.

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    Poll Shows Ontario Liberal Support Increasing see more

    An online poll of 1,628 Canadians aged 18 years or older conducted between October 26 and October 28 by Innovation Research Group conducted on behalf of the Ontario Energy

    Association revealed the following:

    • Support for the PC Party is now “in the low end of their range.”
    • Is an election was held on the day the poll was taken, 31 per cent of decided and leaning respondents picked the Tories, 28 per cent chose the Liberals and 22 per cent would vote NDP
    • Among decided respondents the gap narrowed to 35% for the PCs and 32% for the Liberals
    • 37% of respondents felt ambivalent or alienated
    • Only 22% of respondents felt Ontario electricity consumers are well protected on price

    The complete results are available in full graphic form by clicking on the following link:

    https://innovativeresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/OEA-2018-Presentation.pdf  

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    Ford Shuffles Cabinet see more

    On the evening of Friday, November 3rd, a spokesperson for the Premier announced that the Minister of Economic Development Job Creation and Trade and the MPP for Simcoe-Grey, Jim Wilson, had resigned from Cabinet and also from the PC Caucus to seek treatment for addictions.  Then, on Monday, November 5th, various media outlets reported that allegations of sexual misconduct had been made by a male Queen’s Park staffer against Wilson.   

    Also, over the last few weeks, the Opposition has been raising questions about the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Michael Tibolo and in particular about the numerous lawsuits arising during his long career as a lawyer, prior to his election on June 7th as the MPP  for Vaughan-Woodbridge and also about allegations of past questionable management practices.

    These factors caused Premier Ford to visit the Lieutenant Governor on the morning of Monday, November 5th to make the following Cabinet changes:

    • Jim Wilson, (MPP Simcoe-Grey) formerly Minister of Economic Development Job Creation and Trade - RESIGNED from Cabinet and from the PC Caucus and currently sits as an Independent
    • Todd Smith (MPP Bay of Quinte), formerly Government House Leader and Minister of Government and Consumer Services - Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and continues as Government House Leader
    • Bill Walker (MPP Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound), formerly Chief Government Whip - Minister of Government and Consumer Services
    • John Yakabuski (MPP Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke), formerly Minister of Transportation - Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
    • Jeff Yurek (MPP Elgin-Middlesex-London) formerly Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry  - Minister of Transportation
    • Silvia Jones (MPP Dufferin-Caledon) formerly Minister of Tourism Culture and Sport - Minister of Community Safety and Corrections
    • Michael Tibolo, (MPP Vaughan-Woodbridge), formerly Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services - Minister of Tourism Culture and Sport 
    • Lorne Coe (MPP Whitby) - Government Caucus Whip
    • Doug Downey (MPP Barrier-Springwater-Oro-Medonte) - Deputy Government Caucus Whip

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    Fall Economic Statement see more

    On the afternoon of Thursday, November 15th, Finance Minister Vic Fidelli rose in the Legislature to present the government’s Fall Economic Statement.  Features of this financial and legislative roadmap that will be of interest to contractors are as follows:

    • GDP is expected to grow by 2% in 2018, 1.8% in 2019, 1.7% in 2010 and 1.5% in 2021
    • To maintain business tax competitiveness for with the US, the provincial government will introduce accelerated depreciation measures, will maintain the lower small business corporate income tax rate and will increase the Employer Health Tax exemption threshold from $450,000 in payroll to $490,000
    • The provincial deficit was pegged at $14.5B, down $500M from the time when the Tories assumed office little more than five months ago; this is the result of $3.2B in savings already implemented and $2.7B in new spending or foregone revenue (tax spending)
    • The Fall Economic Statement did not prescribe the journey to budget balance (look for that in the March 2019 budget)
    • The government will introduce the Low-Income Individuals and Families Tax (LIFT) Credit, effective January 1, 2019, which will exempt low-income earners from paying provincial income tax; this measure is estimated to benefit 1.1 million people and cost the government $495 million in foregone revenue
    • The government will conduct a review of the workers compensation system to ensure it remains sustainable in the future
    • There will be a review of Metrolinx and possible amendments to the Metrolinx Act
    • Work will resume on the GTA West highway corridor
    • An Open for Business Action Plan will be initiated to reduce the burden of red tape and unnecessary regulation by 25% by 2022
    • The government will conduct a review of power prices for industrial power consumers with public input
    • The government will introduce an environmental plan to fight climate change
    • The government will launch a Housing Supply Action Plan to address housing affordability and grow supply
    • New rental units built after the date of the Fall Economic Statement will be exempted from rent control

    The full document is available at the following link  https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/fallstatement/2018/fes2018-en.pdf:

     

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    Ontario election - Who’s Running, Who’s Not see more

    There will be 124 seats in the Ontario Legislature up for grabs in the June 7th general election as 17 new ridings have been added to the provincial map of electoral districts.

    According to an iPolitics article published on April 3rd, so far the PCs have nominated candidates in 98 ridings, the Liberal 80, the NDP 60 and the Greens 57.  A number of nomination meetings have been held since then but the PCs remain out front with the most nominated candidates.

    On Thursday, April 5th Minister of International Trade Michael Chan (Markham), Minister of Government & Consumer Services and Minister Responsible for Accessibility Tracy McCharles (Pickering-Scarborough East) and backbencher Grant Crack announced that they will not be seeking re-election.  Including Glen Murray, who resigned his Toronto Centre seat seven months ago, that makes a total of 10 Liberals whose names will not be on the ballot come June. 

    Former PC leadership contender Christine Elliott announced that she’ll seek her party’s nomination in Newmarket-Aurora, a seat held by Minister of Environment & Climate Change Chris Ballard since 2014.  Prior to 2014, it was represented for many years by Tory Frank Klees.

    Another of the contenders in the recent PC leadership race, Tanya Granic Allen (the “let’s take sex education back to the dark ages” candidate) is seeking the Tory nomination in the new (again) riding Mississauga Centre.

    On April 7th Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris announced that he would not be seeking re-election because of a serious eye condition that requires him to have corneal replacements.   Then on April 9th Harris was turfed from the Tory caucus for “bad boy” behaviour and joins Patrick Brown on the Independent benches.  It’s rumoured that his wife may seek the PC nomination for the riding.

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    Support Steps for Life see more

    Every working day, 3 Canadian families will receive the news that a loved one is not returning home from work that day. Their families, friends and co-workers will rally together to be there for one another.

    The Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support, known as Threads of Life, supports the healing journey of families who have suffered from a workplace fatality, traumatic life-altering injury, or occupational disease.

    In order to do this, every year Threads of Life hosts its flagship fundraiser – Steps for Life. A fun, 5km walk that aims to educate the community about the devastating ripple effects of each workplace tragedy and how we can work together to prevent others being injured or killed on the job.

    We encourage all construction associations and all construction companies to support the Steps for Life walk by volunteering to help organize the Steps for Life walk in your area, by entering an Association or Company TEAM in the walk, by participating in the walk or by sponsoring a walker. 

    The schedule of walks is as follows:

    • Barrie-Midland May 5, 2018
    • Durham Region May 6, 2018
    • Hamilton – Niagara  May 6, 2018
    • Kingston April 28, 2018
    • Mississauga – Region of Peel May 12, 2018
    • Ottawa  May 5, 2018
    • Sarnia May 5, 2018
    • Sudbury  May 5, 2018
    • Timmins  May 12, 2018
    • Toronto  April 29, 2018

    For more information, click on the following link:  http://events.threadsoflife.ca/site/PageNavigator/steps_for_life_landing.html

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    Schedule of Ministry of Labour Construction Blitzes for 2018/19 see more

    The Ministry of Labour schedules their enforcement blitzes and initiatives and publishes their schedule well in advance to give employers time to review their obligations and make the necessary preparations such as changing procedures, providing training, upgrading equipment and otherwise.  The schedule of MoL interventions that affect our industry are as follows:

    BLITZES

    Working at Heights - fall protection

    • May 1 – May 31, 2018, Phase 1  - Compliance support and prevention education (Ministry of Labour and Infrastructure Health and Safety Association)
    • June 1 – June 30, 2018, Phase 2 - Ministry of Labour enforcement campaign

    Reversing equipment on construction projects

    • September 1 – September 30, 2018 Phase 1 - compliance support and prevention education (Ministry of Labour and Infrastructure Health and Safety Association)
    • October 1 - October 31, 2018, Phase 2 Ministry of Labour enforcement campaign

    Employment Standards 

    • May 1 - August 31, 2018,  (e.g. minimum wage, hours of work, overtime pay, public holidays, paid vacation)

    CONSTRUCTION INITIATIVES

    • Internal Responsibility System (IRS) - June 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019

    CROSS-SECTOR INITIATIVES

    • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) - April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019
    • Ergonomics related to falls (ladders, stairs, access platforms) - April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019

    REGIONAL INITIATIVES 2018/19

    CENTRAL EAST

    • Industrial and construction workplaces that utilize employment services through temporary help agencies - April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019

    CENTRAL WEST

    • Road construction projects - what to look for in traffic control and traffic protection plans - May 1 – 31, 2018
    • Temporary labour agencies initiative - worker training and hazard exposure - June 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019

    EASTERN

    • Utility work - May 1 – August 31, 2018

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    Pollsters Predict PC Election Victory But Differ on Margin of Victory see more

    Latest EKOS Research Poll

    A recent EKOS Research poll published on April 6, 2018, revealed the following:

    • If the election was held at the time of the survey 43% of respondents would support the PCs, 29.3% would support the Liberals, 20.7% would support the NDP and 5.22% would support the Greens
    • If the election was held at the time of the survey just over 50% of the male respondents said they would vote for or were leaning towards voting for the PCs; 27% of the male respondents said they would vote for or were leaning towards voting for the Liberals; almost 16% of the male respondents said they would vote for or were leaning towards voting for the NDP
    • If the election was held at the time of the survey 35% of the female respondents said they would vote for or were leaning towards voting for the PCs, 32% said Liberal and 26% NDP
    • Some of the support for Doug Ford comes from a demographic very similar to the support for Donald Trump in the United States

    Latest Forum Research Poll

    A poll conducted by Forum Research and published on March 29th revealed the following:

    • The PCs enjoy the support of 36% of decided and leaning voters, the Liberals 29% and the NDP 26%
    • The PC lead over the Liberals is narrowing when compared to earlier polls
    • If the election was held at the time of the poll the PCs would win a minority government with 57 seats in the 124 seat Ontario Legislature; the Libs would form the Official Opposition with 36 seats and the NDP close behind with 31
    • A majority of those polled approved of many of the specific elements of the recent Liberal budget

    Latest Mainstreet Research Poll

    A Mainstreet Research poll published on April 6, 2018, showed the following results:

    • The PCs enjoy the support of 50.3% of decided and leaning voters, the Liberals 23.9% , the NDP 18.3% and the Greens at 5.2%
    • The recent Liberal government’s budget did change support for the Liberals
    • 53.1% of respondents said the budget made them less likely to vote Liberals, 20.4% said that they are now more likely to vote Liberal and 14.2% said that the budget had no effect on their considerations
    • Our Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne has a favourability rating of -46.8%, PC Leader Doug Ford -6.3% while NDP leader Andrea Horwath is the most popular leader with a rating of +8.1%

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    New Regulation Extends Terms For OCoT Trade Board Members and Adjudicators see more

    The Minister of Labour has made a regulation that allows certain members of Ontario College of Trades’ Trade Boards and Roster of Adjudicators to be eligible to serve beyond their mandated six consecutive year maximum terms.

    Among the duties of Trade Boards are the following:

    • Supporting the development of apprenticeship training standards, curriculum standards, examinations and other related training and certification material, and making recommendations to the Divisional Board;
    • Considering advice and recommendations from employers, journeypersons and apprentices who work in the trade or group of trades represented by the Trade Board;
    • Identifying trends, emerging technologies, opportunities, challenges, and other issues;
    • Advocating for high standards in the delivery of apprenticeship programs;
    • Promoting apprenticeship as a method of acquiring skills for trades.

    The duties of the Roster of Adjudicators include:

    • Serving and protecting the public interest in carrying out journeyperson to apprentice ratio reviews;
    • Participating on review panels to make determinations on the ratio of journeypersons to apprentices in certain trades;
    • Advising the College’s Board of Governors of the decisions of the review panel, and providing written reasons  for those decisions

    Members of Trade Boards and the Roster of Adjudicators who are eligible are those who were appointed in 2012 who will reach six consecutive years of service on a Trade Board or the Roster of Adjudicators between February 14, 2018, and September 30, 2018. 

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    New CPO Meets with the Provincial Committee see more

    The Province’s new Chief Prevention Officer Ron Kalusky met with the Provincial Labour Management Health and Safety Committee at its monthly meeting on April 4th.  Noting that he was only four weeks on the job and still, in learning mode, he made the following comments:

    • He has worked in public health where he has seen the positive impact of root cause analysis
    • The Prevention Office’s mining review uncovered three or four common root causes of incidents and this will contribute to better health and safety performance
    • He is looking for an opportunity to make a genuine difference, to have an impact
    • The 2016/17 report was released recently and it contains some alarming results
    • he expects to have the 2017 18 report out in the first quarter of 2019
    • the Construction Health and Safety Action Plan is moving ahead and making progress
    • he wants to maintain the relevance of the Prevention Council and make it more successful
    • the Prevention Office is at the tail end of its first 5-year strategy
    • every stakeholder will be engaged in the development of the next long-range strategy that will drive the system and be measureable
    • he sees his job as helping make things happen

    Kalusky is impressive, an experienced and results-oriented executive and it looks like he has what it takes to drive improved performance and better outcomes for our province’s health and safety system.  

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    National Day of Mourning – A Time to Remember and Recommit see more

    April 28th has been designated as the National Day of Mourning.  Ceremonies will be held in cities and towns across Canada to remember those who have lost their lives as a result of workplace accidents or occupational disease.  These ceremonies are also a time to renew the commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace and prevent further injuries, illnesses and deaths.

    While Ontario’s construction industry is safe when compared statistically with other jurisdictions, statistics are just numbers and one fatality is one fatality too many.  A fatality leaves a family, a workplace and a community scarred for life. 

    According to the Ministry of Labour’s most recent report to the Provincial Labour Management Health and Safety Committee, there were 7 fatalities in the construction industry for the period January 16, 2018, to March 15, 2018, versus 2 fatalities for the same period the previous year.  We can and must do better. 

    Please attend the Day of Mourning ceremony in your community, remember those who have lost their lives and recommit to making your workplace safer.

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    Minister Ignores Advice, Proclaims WSIA Amendments see more

    Against the advice of the Ontario Business Coalition and others, the Minister of Labour proclaimed schedule 5 of Bill 18 Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act 2014.  Schedule 5 amends the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) allowing the costs of an injury suffered by an employee of a temporary employment agency (TEA) while working at a TEA’s client employer’s workplace to be transferred to the client employer.

    Anyone with rudimentary knowledge understands that employers’ premium rates are based largely on expected claims costs.  Expected claims costs are assigned the appropriate premium rate.  Given the proclamation of schedule 5, can we expect the premium paid by TEAs to be nil since they will incur no claims costs for their employees?

    A more thoughtful approach could have and should have been taken to protect the employees of temporary help agencies.