Contract language a hot issue at CEO’s 2nd Annual Queen’s Park Day

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STAFF WRITER The GTA Construction Report

Representatives of Consulting Engineers of Ontario (CEO) gathered in Toronto Oct. 17 for the group’s second annual Queen’s Park Day at the Ontario legislature.

The meetings included in-depth discussions around the challenges of contract language, risk transfer and the impacts these issues have on consulting engineers undertaking public infrastructure projects.

“Many of our clients have seen directly the long-term lifecycle cost benefits from adopting a more QBS (Qualifications Based Selection) approach with less focus on price for their consulting engineering work. This, coupled with fair and equitable contract language, can really improve the outcome and progress on infrastructure investment,” said CEO chair Peter Mallory.

“Consulting engineers not only design and contribute directly to the construction of the province’s infrastructure, but our work also directly impacts the health of Ontario’s economy,” said CEO chief executive officer Barry Steinberg. He said the event helps to “elevate the profile of our profession and provide an opportunity for government officials and industry leaders to become partners in finding solutions to problems of common interest.”

The day began with opposition caucus members and staff including Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman, Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton. They discussed CEO’s core issues, including infrastructure investment, procurement practices, contract language, qualifications based selection (QBS), the Construction Lien Act and municipal asset management planning, the organization said in a news release.

Infrastructure minister Bob Chiarelli met with the CEO representatives during the working lunch meeting and acknowledged a strong relationship with the association.

“The ministry worked closely with CEO to produce Ontario’s long term infrastructure plan Building Together,” he told the CEO delegation. “Especially now when Ontario is committed to the largest infrastructure investment, the ministry will continue to work with CEO to tackle industry issues and develop sound public policy.”

CEO said its 20 representatives and staff met with decision makers from all three parties representing the attorney general, infrastructure, finance, transportation, economic development and growth, environment and government, and consumer services portfolios.

Liberal MPP for Etobicoke Centre Yvan Baker sponsored an evening reception, which attracted approximately 100 attendees.

During the reception, Ontario attorney general Yasir Naqvi, MPP Baker, PC MPP Hardeman and Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates gave special remarks, acknowledging CEO as a valuable industry voice, the news release said.

“Ontario will work with important industry stakeholders like Consulting Engineers of Ontario to modernize the Constructing Lien Act to draft fair and balanced legislation that is reflective of diverse stakeholder opinions,” Naqvi said. “Our legislation will ensure that Ontario’s construction industry continues to be a driving force of Ontario’s economy, while being supported by the engineering industry.”

(from left to right): Etobicoke Centre MPP Yvan 1Baker, Peter Mallory, chair of CEO Board of Directors, Niagara Falls MPP Wayne
Gates, Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman, Barry Steinberg, chief executive officer of CEO, Ontario attorney general Ya
sir Naqvi.

 

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