October 18, 2012
Construction key in Dalton McGuinty's Ontario premier record
Infrastructure and health and safety have been among the key areas of emphasis during Dalton McGuinty’s nine-year tenure as premier of Ontario.
On Monday evening, McGuinty announced that he was stepping down as provincial Liberal leader and adjourning the legislature.
In his resignation speech, McGuinty reflected on his three terms as premier.
“Sixteen years ago, when I was elected leader of our Party, the Ontario Liberals had won exactly one election in 50 years,” he said, adding that those three election wins have allowed the Liberals to make strides.
“When it comes to the economy: We've made our workforce the strongest and our taxes very competitive. We're renewing our infrastructure. We keep creating jobs.”
Here are some notable events during McGuinty’s time as Ontario’s premier that have impacted the construction industry:
•The Liberals created a 10-year infrastructure plan to focus on economic growth and improve asset management. It created an expanded role for Infrastructure Ontario. The six years prior to the June 2011 announcement of the plan saw an annual average of $10 billion in infrastructure spending. Since then they have committed to $35 billion over three years.
•On July 1, 2011, changes were made to the Ontario Construction Lien Act. One amendment requires developers and builders to post a Notice of Intention to Register a Condominium in a construction trade newspaper five to 15 days prior to sending the package description to the municipality where the condo is located. The second changes the definition of an improvement.
•In May 2012, the Liberal government released the funding review of the province’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to reduce the unfunded liability. “Funding Fairness” recommended getting to 90 per cent funding within 20 years. The review was asked to consider six specific issues: the WSIB’s unfunded liability, premium rate setting, rate groups, employer incentives, occupational diseases, indexation of benefits for partially disabled workers.
•In 2011, the government created the role of Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) to develop a provincial occupational health and safety strategy. The CPO will provide advice on the prevention of workplace injuries and occupational disease. The position has the authority to set standards to improve health and safety training.
•In June 2012, Bill 8, the Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act, 2012, passed third reading at Queen’s Park. Formerly the Ontario One Call Ltd. Act, the law will establish a non-profit, industry-funded mandatory “One Call” call centre as the single point of contact for all underground utility location services in Ontario. Currently an excavator may need to call up to 13 numbers to locate all nearby underground utilities.
•In 2009, the Liberal government legislated the formation of the Ontario College of Trades, which will create an arms-length governing body for the skilled trades in the province. It will represent the construction, motive power, industrial and services sectors. Some policy-areas covered by the College include: disciplining members and enforcing training standards, reviewing the status of compulsory certification and apprenticeship ratios, and keeping track of labour market availability for future planning.
•After the fall 2011 election, the ministries of infrastructure and transportation were put under veteran cabinet minister Bob Chiarelli in an effort to reduce the size of cabinet. Construction industry leaders said this partnership makes the most sense as many projects require input for both ministries.
McGuinty has asked Liberal party president Yasir Naqvi, to convene a leadership convention at the earliest possible time. McGuinty will remain as premier until that convention and will continue to be the MPP for Ottawa South until the next election.
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