Executive Directors Message

UNITED AND STRONG:

WE CAN OVERCOME

OADC Members are professional, sophisticated, and safety-conscious

This industry continues to surprise me every day! The level of professionalism and sophistication our Membership has shown me over the past two years, has been overwhelming. As an Industry, we have come a long way. We have managed to clear up some ofthe stigma surrounding Demolition, and allowedthe public to realise we are not an industry thatjust demolishes buildings. Our work is part of a sophisticated and complicated work practice, that involves science, engineering and adherence to the highest safety standards. Our Members are subject to huge amounts of overhead because of the Heavy Equipment used, and liability when their teams are dispatched to remove asbestos, mould and other hazardous materials. They are also always in the public eye and are a prime target for media outlets on a regular basis.

My past experience, which included involvement in all facets of my families’ environmental abatement and interior demolition business, prepared me well for the role as Executive Director. Our Members are what make our Association so great. They also make my job as Executive Director both challenging and enjoyable. I am honoured to represent and lead such a diverse Membership, which are comprised of employers who are actively engaged in the demolition and abatement industry and who have entered into a Collective Agreement with the Labourers’ International Union of North America (“LiUNA”). As an Association, our core functions are to act as a bargaining agency for the Members during negotiations with LiUNA, to keep the membership informed about issues that may impact their business, and to lobby the government and its agencies on behalf of the Industry.

Our Members have definitely turned a corner in the past decade when it comes to Health & Safety. I remember the days when your administration took care of the Policies, which happened to be a handbook that was around 30 pages long, to having a complete department that focuses on the Companies Health & Safety Management System, which are responsible to uphold Federal and Provincial Legislation. All these systems are in place now for our Members to work safer moving forward and now it’s time to groom the next generation to eventually replace the veterans of our Industry. In my opinion, this knowledge transfer will only occur by changing the culture surrounding Health & Safety. That starts with education beginning in our elementary schools and continuing on to post-secondary education. We must enhance this current systems-based safety program, to one that also includes cultural based policies. Or, as I would say, “some good old common sense”. We strive to work safer but sometimes over systemizing our Contractors adds a cost burden and has proven not to be effective enough. It also makes it almost impossible for the smaller contractors to stay competitive. We must continue to figure out the right balance between the two.

The OADC plays an active role in lobbying our elected representatives and making sure all the issues important to our Industry are heard. Government relations are always a challenge as we navigate through the different levels and layers. We were all successful and celebrated a win for the good guys when, Bill 142 – The Construction Lien Amendment Act, received Royal Assent on December 12, 2017, and officially came into effect on July 2, 2018. The OADC played an active role in lobbying the Provincial Government to pass Bill 142. We are usually the first trade on site and the last to get paid, in most cases. We applaud everyone who worked to make these long overdue changes in the construction industry.

During my first 18 months on the job, working collaboratively with my team, Executive Assistant, Helen Garrett, President, Robin Priestly and our Board of Directors, we have expanded our Association’s role and worked to better market our brand. This work has paid off! We are now being recognized and respected through trade magazine articles, social media engagement, and being asked to participate in more Industry stakeholder committees. This website is just one example of our renewed focus on marketing and communications. Watch for our other branding initiatives going forward. Looking ahead, our priorities beyond marketing include: training, safety, strengthening the recruiting partnership with LiUNA and advocacy.

Members: please use the OADC as a resource and as a conduit to safer work practices and higher industry standards. I pride myself on being available to our Members and stakeholders 24-7. I’m here to listen to any concerns and my office is always open. No matter how big or how small your company is in the Association, my priorities will always remain the same. The objectives we have created in the last 12 months were completed to try to level the playing field among Members and to raise awareness for the Demolition and Abatement Industry.

This past summer was amongst one of the busiest construction seasons I have witnessed in the past 20 years. There has recently been a considerable influx of infrastructure funding and hopefully, the newly elected government continues to see infrastructure investments in Ontario’s Construction Industry as their top priority.

Thank you to our current and past Board of Directors, Committee Members, and each and every one of you that belong to our Association and volunteer your time. You make a difference and play an important role in the evolution and ongoing transformation of the OADC.

Looking ahead to 2020 and our next round of labour negotiations, our Industry is in great shape! OADC is here to support your success. We provide invaluable advocacy on key issues, member representation, updates on industry news and networking and trade events to keep you competitive. As your trade association, we’re committed to driving new business, showcasing member business value and bringing our membership exclusive benefits.