Ontario Construction News staff writer
Infrastructure Minister Kinga Surma sent a virtual address to the Ontario General Contractors Association’s (OGCA) 13th Construction Symposium Saturday.
“It is with your expertise and knowledge that Ontario’s infrastructure projects are made possible,” Surma said.
“Whether you are a contractor, supplier, manufacturer, elected official or public servant, you have an important role in the infrastructure sector.
“The work you do is essential to maintaining, modernizing and expanding the infrastructure projects we all rely on daily.
The pandemic, Surma says, underscored the importance of infrastructure projects and created new, immense pressures in construction, including:
- higher material costs
- challenging labour market
- project budgets
- market volatility
“Our government also understands that infrastructure projects are part of the solution. They generate revenue, create jobs and stimulate the economy.”
She reconfirmed the government’s plan to increase spending to build hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and connect more people and businesses to highspeed internet service across the province.
“Our government has been working to get shovels in the ground on key infrastructure projects … with the help of Infrastructure Ontario.”
The three-day symposium brought together almost 700 people for workshops, networking and entertainment with a focus on bringing the industry together and educating members about industry trends and best practices.
“Our members, sponsors, and presenters make this event special,” said OGCA President Giovanni Cautillo, “We tried to make this the most comprehensive construction event on the calendar and feature topics at the very cutting edge of the construction industry.”
Friday’s sessions, many accredited for Continuing Professional Development (CPD), included: innovation; health and safety; diversity and inclusion; geotechnical risk; surety; and the industry.
“This year more than ever it was such a pleasure to see members engaging with their partners in industry,” said Bryan Arnold, Chair, OGCA Executive Committee. “This event has everything a general contractor in Ontario could ask for.”
The 13th Construction Symposium also hosted the 2021 Ontario Builder Awards showcasing “the latest and greatest projects” including professional office buildings, restaurants, department stores, wastewater treatment plants, hotels and recreational facilities.
Winners, along with details of the symposium sessions, will be featured in Ontario Construction News in this week’s issues.