COCA Gala Key to Building Relationships

As the industry gears up for another busy summer, the Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA) hosts its annual Welcome to Construction Season Reception at Queen’s Park today.

Now in its fourth year, the reception reintroduces COCA’s issues to MPPs and celebrates the construction industry.

It is one way that COCA maintains and develops relationships with key decision makers.

“We work with our members to develop public policy alternatives that help to support success in the construction industry. The other part of our work is developing the relationships to help carry the ideas that we’ve helped developed with our members,” said COCA president Ian Cunningham.

Minister of Labour Yasir Naqvi will deliver the keynote address at the reception, which will host MPPs from all parties.

Naqvi is one of the new faces leading one of the ministries important to the construction industry after February’s cabinet shuffle.

COCA recently held meetings with Naqvi, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Brad Duguid and Minister of Infrastructure and Minister of Transportation Glen Murray to discuss issues important to the construction industry and COCA’s membership.

“The reception is just another opportunity to see them again and to build positive relationships with key decision makers,” said Cunningham.

The private member’s bill, entitled Prompt Payment Act 2013, which passed second reading at Queen’s Park on May 16 is one of COCA’s biggest priorities.

“We want to make sure it gets favourable treatment at committee and comes back and passes third reading, receives royal assent and is proclaimed because it works for everybody in construction,” said Cunningham.

COCA has also been working closely with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to ensure the modernization of the compensation agency.

Other priorities include ensuring the provincial government continues long-term infrastructure investments, working with the Chief Prevention Officer towards improvements to Ontario’s occupational health and safety system and providing a watchdog role for the Ontario College of Trades.

The Welcome to Construction Season reception and COCA’s Lobby Day at Queen’s Park are instrumental “in a non-partisan way, developing relationships on every side of the aisle,” said Cunningham.

The reception will run 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on June 3 and will take place in the Legislative Dining Room at Queen’s Park.

Last year’s event hosted more than 40 MPPs and a few ministers. COCA represents more than 10,000 construction businesses and more than 400,000 employees.