How the 2021 Federal Budget Impacts Local 793 Members

The federal government unveiled its highly anticipated spring budget on Monday, April 19, 2021, titled A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience. Proposing $101.4 billion in new spending, the plan aims to support Canadian families and businesses during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, lay out a strategy for a post-pandemic economic recovery, […]

The federal government unveiled its highly anticipated spring budget on Monday, April 19, 2021, titled A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience. Proposing $101.4 billion in new spending, the plan aims to support Canadian families and businesses during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, lay out a strategy for a post-pandemic economic recovery, and make Canada’s economy greener.

In the days ahead, the budget will be debated in Parliament, which may lead to changes being introduced by the minority Liberal government.

Key elements of the 2021 Budget, of interest to Local 793 members:

  • Infrastructure Investment: The budget highlighted few new infrastructure investments initiatives but highlighted over $13 billion on various projects including:
      • $2.5 billion investment and $1.3 billion reallocation in existing funding to speed up the construction, repair, or support of 35,000 affordable housing units.
      • $491.2 million over six years, starting in 2021-22, to VIA Rail Canada for infrastructure investments that would support the overall success of the high frequency rail project between Toronto and Quebec City.
      • $6.0 billion over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $388.9 million ongoing, to support infrastructure in Indigenous communities.
      • $35 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, to the National Capital Commission to support the acquisition and upkeep of federal assets, green infrastructure, and spaces in the National Capital Region.
      • $1.9 billion over four years, starting in 2021-22, to recapitalize the National Trade Corridors Fund (Infrastructure work on airports, ports, railway, transportation facilities and access roads).
      • $1 billion over six years, starting in 2021-22, to the Universal Broadband Fund to support a more rapid rollout of broadband projects in collaboration with provinces and territories and other partners.
      • Infrastructure Canada will conduct Canada’s first ever National Infrastructure Assessment with an investment of $22.6 million over four years. This assessment would help identify needs and priorities for Canada’s built environment.
  • EI Changes and Recovery Benefits Extensions to Support Workers: The budget proposed $3.9 billion over three years for a suite of legislative changes to make EI more accessible for Canadians over the coming year while the job market begins to improve. Additionally, proposed was up to 12 added weeks of the Canada Recovery Benefit, for a maximum of 50 weeks. The first four of these additional 12 weeks will be paid at $500 per week and the remaining 8 weeks of this extension will be paid at a lower amount of $300 per week claimed, available up until September 25, 2021.
  • Investments in Indigenous Communities: More than $18 billion over the next five years, to improve the quality of life and create new opportunities for people living in Indigenous communities. These investments will support continued action on infrastructure and clean water.
  • Increased Skills Training: A proposed $470 million over three years, to Employment and Social Development Canada to establish a new Apprenticeship Service.
      • The service will help 55,000 first-year apprentices in construction and manufacturing Red Seal trades connect with employment opportunities.
      • Employers would be eligible to receive up to $5,000 for all first-year apprenticeship opportunities to pay for upfront costs such as salaries and training.
      • To boost diversity in the construction and manufacturing Red Seal trades, the employer incentive will be doubled to $10,000 for employers who hire those underrepresented, including women, racialized Canadians, and persons with disabilities.
  • Community Workforce Development Program: A proposed $55 million over three years for a Community Workforce Development Program. The program will support communities to develop local plans that identify high potential growth organizations and connect their employers with training providers to develop and deliver training and work placements to upskill and reskill jobseekers to fill jobs in demand.

Other significant budget highlights include the following:

  • National Child Care System: A proposed $30 billion over the next five years to ensure that all families have access to high-quality, affordable, and flexible early learning and child-care no matter where they live. Part of this plan is to lower child-care cost to an average of $10/day within the next 5 years.
  • Mental Health: A proposed $45 million over two years to help develop national mental health service standards as well as to support projects for innovative mental health interventions for populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including health care workers, front-line workers, youth, seniors, Indigenous people, and racialized Canadians.
  • Substance Use and Addictions Program: On top of the $66 million invested in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, a proposed $116 million over the next two years for the Substance Use and Addictions Program to support a range of innovative approaches to harm reduction, treatment, and prevention at the community level.
  • Rebuild Vaccine Development/Production: Canada’s bio-manufacturing and life-sciences sector will be rebuilt with $2.2 billion towards national capacity in bio-manufacturing and vaccine development and production.

 

Resources:

The Federal Budget 2021 Click Here

Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) Click Here

COVID-19 Safety Inspection Blitz

On Thursday, April 15, the Ontario Government announced that they would begin targeted provincewide inspections of construction sites. Today (April 16), 200 workplace inspectors started visiting more than 1,300 construction sites to enforce safety requirements. The inspection campaign will focus on enforcing COVID-19 safety rules. Violations of COVID-19 restrictions may result in a fine of […]

On Thursday, April 15, the Ontario Government announced that they would begin targeted provincewide inspections of construction sites. Today (April 16), 200 workplace inspectors started visiting more than 1,300 construction sites to enforce safety requirements.

The inspection campaign will focus on enforcing COVID-19 safety rules. Violations of COVID-19 restrictions may result in a fine of up to $750 for individuals and $1,000 for businesses.

To help ensure that you are upholding proper COVID-19 safety requirements follow the Local 793 Safety Protocol for Jobsite Measures and checklist (see below), which cover the four Ps: Preparation – Prevention – Protection – Policing.

RESOURCES:

Business Manager Gallagher receives a COVID-19 vaccination

Today Business Manager Mike Gallagher received a COVID-19 vaccination in Halton Region. “I encourage all members to get a vaccine as soon as it’s their turn for the health of their family, and themselves.” For information on how to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, visit: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/


Today Business Manager Mike Gallagher received a COVID-19 vaccination in Halton Region. “I encourage all members to get a vaccine as soon as it’s their turn for the health of their family, and themselves.”

For information on how to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, visit: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/

Happy Easter Long Weekend

Local 793 wishes all members and their loved ones a Happy Easter. Easter symbolizes a sense of joy, renewal, and new beginnings. These sentiments have never been more important as we continue to overcome the challenges of the pandemic. While public health restrictions will disrupt many of our Easter plans with family, friends and our […]

Local 793 wishes all members and their loved ones a Happy Easter.

Easter symbolizes a sense of joy, renewal, and new beginnings. These sentiments have never been more important as we continue to overcome the challenges of the pandemic. While public health restrictions will disrupt many of our Easter plans with family, friends and our communities, this provides us with a great opportunity to reflect and appreciate our loved ones over the holiday weekend. There is of course hope and light at the end of the tunnel with the availability of vaccines. Let’s continue to support each other and stay safe and stay vigilant.

This excerpt from Pope Francis’ message about encouragement and strength captures the essence of Easter perfectly:

“Even if we are isolated, thought and spirit can go far with the creativity of love. This is what we need today: the creativity of love.”

Have a Happy and Healthy Easter weekend!

Happy International Women’s Day!

March 8th is a global day of recognition celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The earliest Women’s Day observance, called “National Women’s Day” was held on February 28, 1909, in New York City when 15,000 women marched through the […]

March 8th is a global day of recognition celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

The earliest Women’s Day observance, called “National Women’s Day” was held on February 28, 1909, in New York City when 15,000 women marched through the streets demanding shorter working hours, better pay, and voting rights.

Women of the world want and deserve an equal future free from stigma, stereotypes and violence; a future with equal rights and opportunities for all. To get there, the world needs women at every table where decisions are being made.

Business Manager Mike Gallagher had a few words for this year’s International Women’s Day:

“I think it’s a very important day. It’s a day to celebrate the accomplishments of all women who fought very hard for basic human rights, such as the right to vote.

But there’s more work to be done for women’s rights. The union needs to do more. Recently I hired a female Business Rep., named Torie Coqu, who comes from three generations of union members. We hope she will be with us for a very long time.

I’d also like to congratulate IUOE International Representative Lorna Harnum, whose appointment to the Government of Canada’s Women in the Economy task force, was just announced today.

As a union, we can do more to encourage women to join our trade. We have a number of female crane operators and apprentices that have done very well. But there’s not enough women in the trades, and it’s important that the opportunity is emphasized to both boys and girls at an early age.”

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist, nor to any one organization, but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” -Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist, and activist

Karl Maria Stadler (1888 – nach 1943), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Message on behalf of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario

Initial Guidance on COVID-19 To date, COVID-19 has been characterized as a pandemic worldwide. In response to the construction industry’s questions regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, the following are steps everyone should be taking now: If you are feeling sick, do not go to work. Don’t shake hands when greeting others. Try to stay three to […]

Initial Guidance on COVID-19

To date, COVID-19 has been characterized as a pandemic worldwide. In response to the construction industry’s questions regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, the following are steps everyone should be taking now:

  • If you are feeling sick, do not go to work.
  • Don’t shake hands when greeting others.
  • Try to stay three to six feet away from others in gatherings, meetings, and training sessions.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
  • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

Construction industry employers should also:

  • Stagger work breaks (including lunch) to ensure social distancing in the workplace.
  • Provide soap and running water on all jobsites for frequent handwashing.
  • Provide hand sanitizer when soap and running water are impossible.
  • Plan for office staff to have the ability to work from home.

The Federal Government has made the following changes to the employment insurance program, waiving the mandatory one-week waiting period, making it easier for workers who self-isolate or quarantine, to apply for support immediately.

“Provide support to workers in quarantine or who have been directed to self-isolate who will claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits by waiving the mandatory one-week waiting period so they can be paid for the first week of their claim. We are exploring additional measures to support other affected Canadians, including income support for those who are not eligible for EI sickness benefits.”

Special guidance for travel:

Individuals at high risk for complications from COVID-19 should follow the current CDC’s guidance:

  • Currently, older adults and persons with underlying health conditions are considered to be at increased risk for severe illness and complications from COVID-19. Learn more here.
  • There are several active travel health notices for COVID-19, to see these and learn more about travel during this time, click here.

We will continue to monitor this situation and do our best to keep you up to date.

Stay up to date by following Health Canada here:

Health Canada COVID-19 Updates

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. mine employees vote in favour of a first collective agreement negotiated by IUOE Local 793

BAFFIN ISLAND, NUNAVUT April 17, 2019 – What started as an organizing drive in May 2017 has culminated in the successful ratification of a first collective agreement with Baffinland Iron Mine Corp. to represent its production employees, that took effect May 1, 2019. The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793 (“IUOE Local 793”) appreciates […]

BAFFIN ISLAND, NUNAVUT April 17, 2019 – What started as an organizing drive in May 2017 has culminated in the successful ratification of a first collective agreement with Baffinland Iron Mine Corp. to represent its production employees, that took effect May 1, 2019.

The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793 (“IUOE Local 793”) appreciates Baffinland’s decision to sit down and negotiate a fair and reasonable mutual gains partnership agreement.

With the goal of increasing Union membership, IUOE Local 793 had set as priorities – in their recently concluded Strategic Plan – to augment its organizing with mines and continue its efforts to establish representation rights in Nunavut.

The mine itself is located in Mary River in northwest Baffin Island in the territory of Nunavut. It is an open pit iron mine and is said to be the world’s sixth most northerly mine.

As of the date of closing of the ratification vote there were upward of 800 workers employed in various positions within the bargaining unit, including many ore haul truck drivers, heavy equipment operators, skilled trades, and other workers.

IUOE Local 793’s sister organization, the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (“OETIO”), has offered heavy equipment operator training to the Inuit communities of Nunavut since January 2005. IUOE Local 793 itself was granted a Charter to organize and represent employees in Nunavut on behalf of the International Union of Operating Engineers in 2014. 

On behalf of IUOE Local 793’s Executive Board, Mike Gallagher, business manager of IUOE Local 793 has said “We thank the employees of Baffinland for putting their trust in IUOE Local 793 and having the confidence to vote in favour of the tentative agreement. We are committed to providing them with the quality representation they deserve.” 

“Over the last six months, Baffinland and the Operating Engineers have worked closely based on employee feedback to build a partnership that emphasizes collaboration, fully respects our IIBA, and reflects Baffinland’s core value to engage and develop our employees,” said Brian Penney, President and CEO of Baffinland. “Baffinland will continue to explore partnerships that help our employees continue to be successful at Baffinland, and help our company become the lowest cost-producer of high grade iron ore in the world through the safe and efficient operation and ongoing development of the Mary River Mine.”

About the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793
In 2019, IUOE Local 793 is celebrating its 100thanniversary. IUOE Local 793 represents more than 15,300 crane and heavy equipment operators and industrial and production workers in Ontario and Nunavut. Its members work in all sectors of the construction industry, for municipalities, and in industrial establishments. Local 793 members build the roads and bridges you travel on, the subways you ride in, and the offices you work in. Members also build pipelines, stadiums, refineries, subdivisions, and work in mechanics shops, landfills, quarries, and mines.

The International Union of Operating Engineers is dedicated to serving and protecting the needs and interests of its members and their families through the collective bargaining process, legislative action and extensive training and skills improvement programs. IUOE Local 793 has a head office and training campus in Oakville, Ontario, another training campus in Morrisburg, Ontario and district offices around the province of Ontario. 

New policy on drugs and alcohol

Local 793 has developed an internal policy on drugs and alcohol to be adopted by IUOE, Local 793 members as best practices. It will be updated as the law evolves around the issue. Please see Local 793 Policy on the Use of Cannabis and other impairing substances by its Members.

Local 793 has developed an internal policy on drugs and alcohol to be adopted by IUOE, Local 793 members as best practices.

It will be updated as the law evolves around the issue. Please see Local 793 Policy on the Use of Cannabis and other impairing substances by its Members.

Ford government announces the winding down of the Ontario College of Trades

The Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) was the first organization in Canada that allowed construction trades to govern themselves, rather than leaving them to be directed by a provincial government ministry. At the time of its creation, the OCOT was also responsible for a much-needed modernizing of apprenticeship and skilled trades training and licensing in […]

The Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) was the first organization in Canada that allowed construction trades to govern themselves, rather than leaving them to be directed by a provincial government ministry. At the time of its creation, the OCOT was also responsible for a much-needed modernizing of apprenticeship and skilled trades training and licensing in Ontario. On Tuesday, the Ford government made a sudden announcement that the OCOT is coming to an end.

Before the creation of the OCOT, it had been over 35 years since any government had acted on changes to technology and training needs to declare a new compulsory trade. A compulsory trade is a trade in which registration as an apprentice, journeyperson candidate or certification as a journeyperson is mandatory. At that time, we at the Operating Engineers were the last to be able to make our voice heard. In 1982, Hoisting Engineer was named a compulsory trade. It wasn’t until 2017 that Sprinkler Fitters were named the next compulsory trade. The OCOT provided a clear pathway by which any trade could apply to formally change their status to that of a compulsory trade.

Local 793 supported the creation of the OCOT right from the start. It provided improved safety and training for our members and a clear process to require licensing and training. Local 793 also supported, and continues to support, the concept of trades being regulated by those with the relevant expertise and direct involvement in the construction industry.

With the OCOT in place, many positive changes occurred that benefitted Local 793, OETIO, our members, our signatory contractors and the construction industry as a whole. The OCOT developed for the first time a Provincial Trade Exam for the Concrete Pump. The operators of TLBs, excavators, and bulldozers had their training standards reviewed and updated for the first time in almost 20 years. Appointees to the Heavy Equipment trade board, working with the OCOT, were also able to get Red Seal endorsement for those who wrote the approved Heavy Equipment Trade Exam. This ensures that our members’ skills are recognized anywhere they choose to work in Canada.

Local 793 thanks those 26 members, staff, and members of management of our signatory contractors who have spent many hours working on the OCOT trade boards, the divisional board, the board of governors and the appointments council. Over the last nine years, they have dedicated their time and expertise to make the OCOT all that it could be.

Of course, the OCOT was not perfect and did result in greater costs for fees and regulations. Safety and skills training, and a timely and enforceable means for addressing all industry concerns, remain top priorities of Local 793. We will meet, and where possible, work with the current Ford government to address our concerns and to continue to advance safety and skills training.

Our immediate priority is to meet with all Local 793 staff and with the representatives of our signatory companies, who currently do work at the OCOT, to discuss next steps. Specifically, our focus will be to help ensure the winding down of the OCOT is done responsibly. Most importantly, we must make sure that the development of a replacement model for the regulation of the skilled trades and the apprenticeship system in Ontario continues to promote safety, skills training and licensing.

Cannabis and commercial vehicle drivers

RE. Road Safety Measures under the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act, 2015 and the Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017. Of particular note are the new zero tolerance measures for drivers of commercial vehicles. Commercial vehicles are defined as: a vehicle requiring an A, B, C, D, E, or F […]

RE. Road Safety Measures under the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act, 2015 and the Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017.

Of particular note are the new zero tolerance measures for drivers of commercial vehicles.

Commercial vehicles are defined as:

  • a vehicle requiring an A, B, C, D, E, or F licence to operate;
  • a road building machine;
  • a vehicle that requires a Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR).

Drivers of commercial vehicles must have a blood alcohol concentration of zero when driving a commercial vehicle. Zero tolerance sanctions are currently in place, prohibiting drivers of commercial vehicles from having the presence of drugs and/or alcohol in their body, as detected by a federally approved oral fluid screening device or an approved alcohol breath screening device.

If a commercial driver has the presence of alcohol and/or drugs in their system, they will face serious penalties, including licence suspensions and administrative monetary penalties.

The penalties are:

Licence suspension Monetary penalty Other penalties
First occurrence 3 days $250* Other penalties, such as mandatory education or treatment programs may also apply for repeat offenders
Second occurrence 3 days $350*
Third and subsequent occurrences 3 days $450*

* Monetary penalties are expected to take effect by January 2019, and will be in addition to the existing $198 licence reinstatement fee.

PLUS commercial drivers will be subject to mandatory remedial education or treatment programs; and, ignition interlock (II) requirements for repeat occurrences.

  • 45, 90, or 180-day Vehicle Impoundment Program (VIP) rules will apply to all Criminal Code of Canada (CCC) related suspensions. The current appeal ground for impoundments of 45 days or longer will include drivers who were not subject to an II condition at the time of the VIP.
  • There will be a single consistent authority in the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) to suspend a driver’s licence for failure to complete a prescribed remedial program and II condition on a licence after reinstatement from a CCC suspension.