Advocacy Wins on Utility Locates Reform
For years, RCCAO has been leading the way on advocating for common sense reforms on the underground utilities process in Ontario. Following years of engagement and advocacy with Ontario government officials to enact reforms to Ontario One Call, RCCAO recently celebrated the passage of Bill 93, the Getting Ontario Connected Act, which became law last month. These reforms address several longstanding issues that led to industry facing costly disruptions while waiting for delayed utility locates to be fulfilled.
Action on Utility Locate Fees
RCCAO, along with other industry organizations, was instrumental in reversing a recent policy proposal by Enbridge Gas to charge for locates and relocates in Ontario. RCCAO will continue its leadership role on underground utilities locates to ensure their timely delivery for critical infrastructure and housing projects.
RCCAO/GTSWCA Excavator Utility Locates Webinar
On April 28, RCCAO, in partnership with GTSWCA, held a webinar on the recent changes to the underground utilities process. It was encouraging to see so much engagement from industry. Several questions were asked on a variety of topics, including:
Restructuring Ontario One Call as a two-way hub to send and receive requests
Details around administrative penalties and when they can be levied
The relationship between municipalities, utility owners and dedicated locators
Clarifications on the role of dedicated locators and their responsibilities
RCCAO’s advocacy work will continue to focus on these priorities and push for positive changes to improve these processes so that industry can do what they do best — build!
Consultation on Upcoming Legislation
The Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery and the Ministry of Energy intends to consult on potential options that could prohibit fees being charged by members of Ontario One Call for underground infrastructure locates.
In a joint letter sent to RCCAO from the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery and the Ministry of Energy, the government says it is working to consult on enhancements to the locate delivery requirements and will consider a range of options to build flexibility into the current locate delivery system, while supporting overall locate performance improvements and taking into account the realities of Ontario’s construction sector.
As a result of these consultation efforts, the effective date of the administrative penalty regulation administered by Ontario One Call will now be April 1, 2024.
RCCAO will proactively continue to demonstrate leadership on improving the underground utilities process in Ontario through advocacy and close collaboration with our industry partners, stakeholders, and government officials.
The timely delivery of underground locates information is crucial to the infrastructure and construction process and RCCAO will actively remain focused on this issue.