Public Works News

Advocacy Updates – March 2024

On February 4, 2024, on behalf of the AORS Executive Committee, a letter was sent to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on behalf of our members on the need to support legislation that brings accountability to elected officials when they are found to have violated codes of conduct regarding the mistreatment of municipal staff.

On February 15, 2024, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the City of Sudbury’s motion, without reasons, to have the SCC re-hear the appeal as the original appeal was heard before 8 judges, therefore the initial decision from November 2023 stands. The City argued a re-hearing before a full complement of 9 judges would break the deadlock and provide much needed clarity on stakeholders’ obligations and potential liability under the OHSA unsuccessfully. The case will now return back to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to determine if the City can establish a due diligence defense. AORS will continue to update our members with how this case impacts your municipality. You can watch our webinar held in January that offers more legal and insurer advice. Has your municipality passed a motion supporting the City of Greater Sudbury’s request to the Province to amend the OHSA to clarify the definition of “employer”? Find it here to take to your next Council meeting.

On February 22, 2024, Bill 153, An Act to Amend the Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act, 2012, received Royal Assent. In this amendment, utility owners are specifically prohibited from charging a fee for locates. Also coming into effect on May 1st is exceptions to time limit for standard locate requests and administrative penalties. You can find more information about this here.

At this time, we have not received any updates on the status of our Skills Development Fund grant application to implement a Municipal Equipment Course. We appreciate your support as we have received over 95 motions of support from municipalities across the province. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

Do you have an issue that you would like to see AORS advocate on? Contact Kelly Elliott at kellyelliott@aors.on.ca, or have your AORS Representative from your local association bring to the next Board of Directors meeting.