Public Announcements

 

Infrastructure Ontario Renewal of Real Estate Vendor of Record System

Infrastructure Ontario’s (IO) Real Estate Division has issued a renewal of its Vendor of Record (VOR) for engineering and technical services.

The system will create a new pre-qualified list of firms that will be eligible to provide services to the agency and its project management service providers (PMSPs). Firms interested in qualifying for the VOR have the opportunity to submit a request for proposal via Biddingo until June 8, 2017. Those firms selected to be on the VOR list will be eligible to be invited to submit responses to agency bid call documents for specific assignments. All firms currently on the agency’s VOR must apply to be included on the VOR list.

The agency will be extending its current VOR Master Agreement terms and conditions beyond the July 1, 2017 expiration date. This is being done to provide an opportunity to evaluate terms and conditions of the new Master Agreement. Consulting Engineers of Ontario (CEO) has been assured by agency staff that the terms and conditions of the Master Agreement will be made available for its review and feedback. The agency has also assured CEO that earlier concerns over language contained in the current Master Agreement empowering it to summarily terminate contracts with vendors on the suspicion of fraudulent practices have been properly addressed.

Click here to read the details of the Renewed VOR.

 

Ontario’s balanced budget increases infrastructure investments $5.9 billion year-over-year: Long-term pledges now total $190 billion over 13 years

Finance Minister Charles Sousa delivered Ontario’s first balanced budget since 2008. The fiscal plan entitled, “A Stronger, Healthier Ontario” details an ambitious strategy for social investment going forward. Proclaiming that “together we have built up Ontario to compete and succeed in the global economy …” the Finance Minister stated that “now we believe it is time to consider what comes next”. The key pillars of the budget are health care, education, supporting families and creating opporitunities and infrastructure.

“Balancing this year’s budget is a much anticipated and significant achievement for Ontario”, said Barry Steinberg, Chief Executive Officer of Consulting Engineers of Ontario. “Planning core investments without the burden of a deficit should substantially improve the government’s ability to deliver on its commitments”. This budget builds on the government’s commitments to the people of Ontario,” Steinberg remarked.

The proposed budget pledges to expand Ontario’s investments in infrastructure by $30 billion to $190 billion over 13 years, starting in 2014-15 and represents a $5.966 billion increase over last year. Emphasis focuses on four key prioirities: public transit ($56 billion); highways and transportation ($26 billion); grants to hospitals (approx. $20 billion); and, education (approx. $16 billion). Also central to infrastructure are continued commitments to municipalities through increased gas tax funding, the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund, Connecting Links program and the Trillium Trust. “CEO has consistently been a strong supporter of separate, dedicated funds for infrastructure investment. They are the most effective tools for providing value to taxpayers”, said Steinberg. “The province’s continued commitment to ensure the full funding of the Trillium Trust is important. It is an imperative tool for eliminating Ontario's core infrastructure deficit. However, the government needs to provide more detail on how the Trust works. I don’t think anyone in our industry really knows how it factors in to proper project planning, prioritization and execution”, remarked Steinberg.

Today’s budget does not include any new taxes. The total government spend for the coming year is projected to be $141.1billion, including 11.6 billion in interest charges on the provincial net debt which now totals almost $302 billion, representing 37.8% of GDP.

 

Construction Lien Act Review Updates

Consulting Engineers of Ontario is pleased to report that all member issues it submitted to the expert review of the Act will be included in the reform legislation, expected to be tabled with the legislature late this spring.

The expert report of the review included 100 recommendations to modernize the lien and holdback process, introduce a prompt payment system and create an adjudicative dispute resolution process. In reviewing this feedback, the Attorney General has stated that the government’s reform legislation will address all of the review reports recommendations except for those proposing: a pilot project for trust accounts in the public sector; providing for a single property identifier number for common elements of condominiums; and, removing the provision that permits liens to expire on a lot-by-lot basis.

CEO is continuing to communicate with the Attorney General and his staff.  Work continues to develop the finer details of the prompt payment system, including the definition of what constitutes a “proper invoice”, the trigger to start the payment clock.  Also important is the ongoing discussion of freedom of contract, given that this is something consultants to not currently have.

CEO is preparing for a busy summer dealing with this issue as extensive public consultations are expected on the bill.  We will keep you up-to-date with details as they become available.

 

Province expected to finalize updated asset management regulation

CEO is expecting the government to soon finalize the update to its asset management regulation.  To qualify for provincial funding for public infrastructure projects municipalities must have submitted an asset management plan with the Ministries of Infrastructure and Municipal Affairs.

CEO, as part of a small group of sector stakeholders, has been working with the province for more than a year to help guide the update of the regulation.  Having already held one round of public consultations, advice has been gathered on how to improve the plans by requiring a standard format and more uniform data collection and reporting.

More information on this issue will be provided as it becomes available.

 

Slate of nominees for the CEO Board of Directors

On behalf of the Peter Mallory, CEO Chairman and Christine Hill, CEO Secretary, and the Chair of the Nominating Committee, we are pleased to advise you of the slate of seven candidates for five available positions on the CEO Board of Directors. The election will be held at AGM on Thursday, June 15, 2017 at the Royal Canadian Military Institute in Toronto.  More information on the AGM will be available in the coming weeks.

The individuals standing for election are:

Bill Allison

Dillon Consulting Limited

“N” = 208

Khaled El-Delati

HDR Corporation

“N” = 94

Christine Hill

XCG Consultants Ltd.

“N” = 49

Don Holland

Stantec Consulting Ltd.

“N” = 1,126

Steven Pilgrim

McIntosh Perry Consulting Engineers Ltd.

“N” = 123

Ron Scheckenberger

Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure Division

“N” = 391

Richard Waite

Black & Veatch Canada Company

“N” = 30

Click here to read the full report of the Nominating Committee. Click here to download the document for Filing of Nominations from the membership.  Additional nominations must be received by Monday, May 1, 2017.

 

Consulting Engineers of Ontario to host its 2nd annual Queen’s Park Day

On Monday October 17, 2016, Consulting Engineers of Ontario will host its 2nd Annual Queen’s Park Day. During the course of the day, CEO’s Board of Directors and staff will meet with Members of Provincial Parliament and senior staff to discuss issues concerning the industry and demonstrate to the province’s infrastructure agenda.

“CEO had a successful inaugural Queen’s Park Day last year. The key to creating lasting relationships between government officials and our industry is to engage in proactive conversations with MPPs on an ongoing basis,” says Barry Steinberg, chief executive officer of CEO. “We will continue to build awareness around the issues impacting the consulting engineering industry and resolve those issues by being a partner to the government, the policy maker, legislator and regulator,” adds Steinberg.

CEO will wrap its Queen’s Park Day with an evening reception, sponsored by Etobicoke Centre MPP Yvan Baker. The reception will bring together the engineering industry leaders and CEO representatives across the province.

Reception Details:

Date: October 17, 2016

Time: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Place: Legislative Dining Room, Queen’s Park

Consulting Engineers of Ontario is a professional, non-profit advocacy association representing the business interests of nearly 200 consulting engineering firms employing more than 20,000 Ontarians. Since it was founded in 1975, CEO has been promoting a sustainable business environment for its members.

 

AECOM, CH2M and Hatch win big at Ontario Consulting Engineering Awards

Consulting Engineers of Ontario (CEO) hosted the 2016 Ontario Consulting Engineering Awards Gala Saturday night at the International Centre. CEO handed out the awards to 14 engineering firms whose projects contributed to improving Ontario’s social, economic and environmental well-being.

The premier award of the night, the Willis Chipman Award, went to AECOM, CH2M and Hatch for their work on Union Station.

AECOM was awarded for project management, detail design and construction of the Union Station and Front Street revitalization project while CH2M was recognized for its project management of the Union Pearson Express. Hatch's work of designing and constructing a Northwest PATH Pedestrian Tunnel also won the Willis Chipman Award. 

“While each project is the epitome of outstanding engineering endeavours, together they represent a multimodal transportation hub that moves people across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond,” said Barry Steinberg, chief executive officer of the association. “The projects of AECOM, CH2M and Hatch have collectively contributed to transforming Union Station into the state-of-art transportation gateway for Ontarians,” added Steinberg.

Five Awards of Excellence were handed out to Associated Engineering, IBI Group, JADE Plus, Morrison Hershfield and Robinson Consultants. Six Awards of Merit were given to Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure, Arup, Blackwell Structural Engineers, Dillon Consulting, Hatch and R.V. Anderson Associates.

The Ontario Consulting Engineering Awards has become the province’s most prestigious awards program since its inception 13 years ago, raising the profile of the consulting engineering community to the new height. The award winners were selected by a panel of five independent judges who have distinguished backgrounds in different fields of the industry.

 

MEA-CEO Standard Client/Engineer Agreement for Professional Consulting Services

Consulting Engineers of Ontario (CEO) and Municipal Engineers Association (MEA) announced the finalization of a Standard Client/Engineer Agreement for Professional Consulting Services. The standard agreement aims at helping Ontario’s 444 municipalities practice a fair procurement process by outlining equitable, consistent terms and conditions for both clients and consulting engineers.

“The standard agreement is built on the principles of partnership and fairness. It symbolizes a collaborative approach to creating a favourable business environment for both clients and consulting engineers,” said Barry Steinberg, P.Eng, Chief Executive Officer of Consulting Engineers of Ontario.

The consulting engineering sector is one of few professional service providers that allow clients to prescribe the terms and conditions under which they offer their services. In response, the two associations have been working closely together to review and update the 2006 version of the MEA/CEO Agreement for Engineering Services so that municipalities can use a contract that is up-to-date with the present business landscape.

“This standard agreement will enable municipalities to be more efficient in doing business with consulting engineers. The template will allow smaller municipalities particularly to save on the significant time and cost spent on creating a contract,” said Reg Russwurm P.Eng, President of the Municipal Engineers Association.

“It has been a lengthy, complex process but also a very rewarding one,” said Geoff Pound, P.Eng, Chair of CEO’s Municipal Engineers Association Liaison Committee. “The revised standard agreement is now in line with current municipal engineering business practices. This will be a benefit to both municipalities and the consulting engineering industry.”

Download: 2016 MEA-CEO Standard Client/Engineer Agreement for Professional Consulting Services

 

CEO Praises “Implementation” Budget – Laments Lack of Federal Vision and Support

Consulting Engineers of Ontario this afternoon welcomed the passage of the Ontario government’s infrastructure implementation budget, Bill 91, the Building Ontario Up Act.

“Where last year’s budget focused on investment commitments today’s plan lays out a vision for realizing those commitments,” said Barry Steinberg, Chief Executive Officer of Consulting Engineers of Ontario.  “Of course, it would be tremendously helpful if Ontario had a partner in the federal government equally committed to eliminating the infrastructure deficit.  It appears however, that Ottawa is more interested rushed an unfocused initiatives like the Canada 150 program,” remarked Steinberg.    

With a 10-year, $130 billion infrastructure commitment at its core, the 2015 budget prioritizes transit and transportation infrastructure as a key element determining Ontario’s future economic success.  Providing an additional $2.6 billion to the Moving Ontario Forward initiative over the next 10 years, Ontario is committing a total of $31.5 billion. 

“What is most important about this investment is its allocation to the Trillium Trust,” said Steinberg.  “Dedicated funds for infrastructure investment are the most effective tools for providing value to taxpayers; they provide a secure and consistent means to eliminate Ontario's core infrastructure deficit.  We think it important there be dedicated funds for each different class of infrastructure.”

“We have gridlock on our roads and highways, our transit systems don’t have the capacity to serve as an alternative to promote mobility, and our water and wastewater systems are suffering the neglect of deferred maintenance.  CEO is looking forward to continuing its work with the province to address these problems and help get Ontario back on the track to prosperity,” said Steinberg.

 

CEO Welcomes Passage of Long-Term Infrastructure Legislation

Consulting Engineers of Ontario applauds this afternoon’s passage of Bill 6, the Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act.

“We have been working with government on this legislation for quite some time and we are pleased to see it pass the legislature,” said Barry Steinberg, Chief Executive Officer of Consulting Engineers of Ontario.

Today’s passage of the legislation sees Ontario join Québec as the only other provincial jurisdiction requiring its government to have a long-term infrastructure plan.  The province will have three years to table its first plan from the date the legislation receives royal assent, and then must renew the plan at least once every five years. 

The government intends to use its new strategic plan to align its infrastructure investments with its economic development and job creation priorities, while emphasizing design and planning.  “Professional Engineers play an integral role in bringing the government’s infrastructure plans to life, we are very pleased this legislation recognizes our public duty,” Steinberg remarked. “The draft Bill was of great concern to us; it made no mention of the role of engineers while prescribing a specific role for architects,” said Steinberg.  “Given the stipulations of the Professional Engineers Act, this had to change; the legislation had to maintain balance.  We are happy with the solution we developed with Minister Duguid’s staff and officials.”  

Also heavily emphasized in the Bill is the role of asset management plans.  “CEO has consistently supported infrastructure investment as a result of sound planning.  By requiring these plans and mandating they be consistent in their form, content and timing, government will be able to make sound, and accurate decisions to prioritize projects and manage their full lifecycle cost.  This is what is necessary to provide innovation, value and public safety for Ontarians,” said Steinberg.

Click here to download Bill 6, the Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act

 

Wynne Government's budget emphasizes transit and transportation infrastructure

Finance Minister Charles Sousa this afternoon delivered the Wynne government’s economic blueprint for Ontario.  With a 10-year, $130 billion infrastructure commitment, the “Building Ontario Up” budget makes transit and transportation infrastructure a key element determining Ontario’s future economic success.  Also playing an important role in the government’s four part plan are: investing in people’s talents and skills; creating a dynamic and innovative environment for business; and, building a secure retirement system. 

“Where last year’s budget focused on investment commitments today’s plan is all about implementing of those commitments,” said Barry Steinberg, Chief Executive Officer of Consulting Engineers of Ontario.  “Our communities are being stifled by the lack of quality core infrastructure,” Steinberg said.  “We have gridlock on our roads and highways, our transit systems don’t have the capacity to serve as an alternative to promote mobility, and our water and wastewater systems are suffering the neglect of deferred maintenance.  There is an urgent need for today’s announced commitments, especially the Moving Ontario Forward investment of $31.5 billion over the next 10 years,” said Steinberg.

Recommendations from the Premier's Advisory Council on Government Assets are providing an additional $2.6 billion to the Moving Ontario Fund over the next 10 years for a total of $31.5 billion.  “What is most important about this investment is its allocation to the Trillium Trust,” said Steinberg.  “Separate, dedicated funds for infrastructure investment are the most effective tools for providing value to taxpayers as they provide government a secure means to eliminate Ontario's core infrastructure deficit.”

Today’s budget details a total government spend for the coming year of $131.9 billion, leaving a deficit of $8.5 billion.  The government is maintaining its pledge to bring its finances back to balance by 2018.  Ontario’s total accumulated debt will reach $298.9 billion next year.