Public Works News

Bill 153, Building Infrastructure Safety Act, 2023

The Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery tabled Bill 153, Building Infrastructure Safety Act, 2023 on November 22, 2023 and includes proposed changes such as:

  1. Prohibit underground infrastructure owners/operators from charging for locates. Currently, the One Call Act does not explicitly authorize or prohibit charging for locates, however, the proposed changes would make it clear and prohibit these charges. This will align with the long-standing industry practice across Canada and the United States.
  2. Better align Ontario One Call powers and responsibilities with other administrative authorities. Explicitly allow Ontario One Call to charge and collect fees, like all other administrative authorities. Allow the Minister to specific additional objects for Ontario One Call, similar to the TSSA.
  3. Remove a duplicative recourse provision. Repeal a clause of the Act (Section 17(1)(c)) that currently entitles excavators to compensation and to seek recourse, through the Ontario Land Tribunal against One Call members for failing to provide a locate within the legislative time limit. This provision was added in the Act in 2022, however, the administrative penalties regime, which comes into effective Spring 2024, is the new mechanism by which One Call members will be held to account.
  4. Enhance regulation-making authority and make consequential amendments. Allow the Minister to make improvements to locate delivery in the future via regulation (e.g. relating to how excavators request locates).

It is important to note that outside and separately from the Building Infrastructure Safety Act, 2023, the Ministry will be proposing multiple changes to provide more flexibility and enhance efficiencies in locate deliveries. An example of this was included in our November 14th e-blast update to members where the Ministry is proposing the longer time limit to address stakeholder concerns with meeting standard locate time limits from five business days to ten business days for large projects. The Ministry is also proposing regulatory changes to establish process obligations for excavators when submitting large project locate projects.

There is a consultation period for the proposed legislation. AORS will submit feedback on behalf of the membership during this consultation period, and members are welcome to both share their feedback with AORS, as well as submit their own.

Here is the press release from the Province.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Kelly Elliott, AORS Marketing and Communications Specialist at kellyelliott@aors.on.ca.