News, Issues & Publications

Issues

Advocacy Day
On November 23rd, 2016 representatives of OGRA will be visiting Queen’s Park for the annual OGRA Advocacy Day.  This is a non-partisan initiative.  All MPPs and all parties will be engaged irrespective of political affiliation.
Following extensive discussions by the Board of Directors, OGRA agreed to advocate for the following three issues:  

  • Enhanced Clarity and Transparency Regarding Formulas and Rationale for Infrastructure Funding – This has been an ongoing source of contention for municipalities, particularly those that have had funding applications rejected. Ontario Good Roads Association has been receiving numerous complaints from our members regarding the manner in which these funds are allocated.  Specific comments include that the ranking system is not transparent and that the formula being used actually appears to penalize those municipalities that have attempted to plan for major infrastructure improvements.  
  • New Revenue Options for Municipalities – The need for new revenue capacities for municipalities remains an on-going concern. Ontario’s municipalities need new sources of revenue to maintain their existing infrastructure and accommodate future growth. Infrastructure is the backbone of Ontario’s future prosperity, livability and economic competitiveness. Underfunded infrastructure represents a major threat to the long-term prosperity and well-being of Ontario. The immensity of the need and the fiscal challenges facing all levels of government demands new stable, predictable, long-term funding sources.
  • Joint and Several Liability Reform – The current joint and several liability regime is unfairly disadvantaging municipalities. The final MMS revisions will be landing with the appropriate ministers only adds to timeliness to this issue.

OGRA will be sharing further information about Advocacy Day as plans for this initiative develop. If your municipality has input that it would like to share on any of these issues, please contact Scott Butler or Thomas Barakat at your convenience. 

Click Here to download your Advocacy Briefing Package
Click Here to download Sample Support Letters 


Ontario One Call Act Review
The Public Safety Branch in the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) has contacted OGRA seeking input on key implementation issues relating to the Ontario One Call Act.  These include: 
•    timely utility locate delivery;
•    improved efficiency for excavators; and
•    reducing damage to buried infrastructure.  
Through this exercise MGCS wants a better understanding of the benefits as well as the challenges confronting municipalities now that ON1Call, Ontario’s one-call-to-dig call centre provider, is fully operational. It has been more than two years since the regulation was passed to enable the administration of the Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act, 2012.
OGRA will be meeting with officials from MGSC on September 28, 2016.
OGRA is interested in hearing about your experience with ON1Call. If you have input that you would like OGRA to share with MGSC, email Scott Butler by September 27 or call him at 289-291-6472 ext. 24.


Asset Recycling
In its first budget, the new federal government unveiled an ambitious infrastructure plan to revitalize the public assets in Canada. This once-in-a-generation investment called for more than $125 billion to be invested over the next 10 years. At the same time, the Government of Ontario has plans to invest $160 billion into infrastructure over the next twelve years.  
The federal government has openly stated that engaging institutional investors is one of the key objectives for raising capital for these projects. To that end, the idea of “asset recycling” is being examined to determine if each order of government might have mature assets that could be leased or sold to investors. Ontario has already begun doing this. 
At its September meetings, the OGRA Board of Director agreed to endorse the concept of asset recycling in principle. OGRA will be sharing further analysis about asset recycling in the near future.  


Construction Lien Act Review
The Government of Ontario will be releasing the final report of the Construction Lien Act Review by construction law experts Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel on Monday September 26, 2016.  The report will be made available on the Attorney General’s ministry website, www.ontario.ca/mag. 
If you are interested in learning more about this review, OGRA encourages you to join the webcast that will be held on Wednesday, September 28.  Mr. Reynolds and Ms. Vogel will provide an executive overview of the report, including their findings and recommendations, as well as their review process, during the webcast.  The webcast will take place between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm EDT. During the webcast, you will have the opportunity to submit questions online.  You may also submit your questions ahead of time at constructionlienactreview@ontario.ca.  
To register for the webcast before September 28 please click on the following link http://www1.webcastcanada.ca/events/registration/09163mag.php.