OCN celebrates its second birthday, looks forward to growth in the year ahead

first issue cover
The first issue cover of Ontario Construction News, on May 1, 2019.

By Mark Buckshon
Publisher, Ontario Construction News

This week marks the second anniversary of Ontario Construction News’ launch as the province’s first digital daily construction trade newspaper.

Undoubtedly, much has changed in the two years since we started publishing five times a week on May 1, 2019.

Competition in publishing Certificates of Substantial Performance (CSP) has reduced costs to contractors by 50 per cent or more, and the certificates of publication are now delivered in hours, not days.

There has been much news to cover; starting with labour disruptions in the summer of 2019 and later, difficult racism/diversity challenges at several jobsites. In the past year, we’ve faced the continuing and complex challenges for operations, health and safety caused by COVID-19.

Through these months, we’ve sought to enhance and improve OCN, providing support for community service initiatives and simplifying the search process for legal notice data with a universal search site, certficatesubstantialperformance.com. We’ve also embraced our identity as a truly Canadian publication.

It turns out our working model has been ideal for the current environment. Even before the pandemic, our employees worked from their own homes in St. Catharines, Barrie and Ottawa/Gatineau.

What can you expect to see in the year ahead?

To start, we’re working on an initiative to greatly improve and enhance the scope of construction leads and data available to subscribers. This service cannot be free – but through arrangements with DataBid.com, it will be highly economical and easy-to-use.

And, although the additional leads will provide extra opportunities for interested readers, we’re not going to diminish our existing free service as part of the process.You’ll continue to have access to eight full tabloid pages of news and information each day, and if you register for a free subscription, you’ll receive a sampling of current DataBid leads.

Hopefully, by the time May, 2022 arrives, in-person events, conferences, awards galas and other events will return and the construction industry will make progress on overcoming materials price inflation, delays and shortages caused by COVID-19. We cannot predict the labour relations environment as the industry’s three year contracts expire this time next year, but hopefully there will be a spirit of collaboration and co-operation between unions and employer bargaining agencies.

In the meantime, we welcome your feedback and suggestions. You can email me at buckshon@ontarioconstructionnews.com or call us at (888) 627-8717.


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