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LYALL’S FILES: Strengthening relationships with building officials
October 27th, 2015 2:39 pm     A+ | a-

Richard Lyall / RESCON

One of my preferred functions with RESCON is building key relationships across the construction industry, creating ties with like-minded associations.

That’s why we were thrilled and honoured to have the opportunity to speak recently at the president’s dinner at the Ontario Building Officials Association’s (OBOA) 59th annual meeting and training sessions in Toronto.

RESCON vice-president Andrew Pariser, who’s well known for his talent on the microphone among our board and staff, delivered a speech to the OBOA dinner audience that emphasized our key relationship with building officials and the essential role they play in construction. The buck stops with them as those who review, approve and scrutinize the building process.

RESCON vice-president Andrew Pariser addresses the crowd of 500 at the OBOA president's dinner.

“It’s impressive to see the role that the OBOA has taken on in bringing together and creating a community of professionals across the industry,” Pariser said. “We have had a successful past but we need to look forward at new opportunities and challenges. We’ll continue to work together with the OBOA and enhance the relationship between the builders and building officials for the betterment of the future.”

Aubrey LeBlanc, chief administrative officer for OBOA, said the building officials’ relationship with RESCON and the building industry is important for his organization and the president’s dinner was a great platform to show its strength.

“It’s clear that building regulation is only as successful as the relationships within that function, which means our relationships are important,” LeBlanc said. “We’ve had a long relationship with the builder/developer community but RESCON was an obvious missing link and their participation at the dinner was very important to us. It was a happy marriage.”

We can’t emphasize how incredibly important this relationship is for our industry, considering some of the forces that we have working against us. When you consider that a World Bank Group study ranked Canada as 118th out of 187countries for dealing with construction permits, it’s obvious there is a lot of room for improving inefficiencies. Considering that we are a member of the G8 and have an economy that is the envy of most countries, this number has to change.

And as our director of technical standards Michael Steele said in his well-read blog post on this website, there are 45 different government agencies that our industry has to deal with. Click here to read Steele’s column.

As Richard Florida noted in his recent column in the Globe and Mail (click here), “it is time to align zoning and building codes with housing and transportation planning …” And as we align forces, we can tackle housing affordability “in many of Canada’s largest cities, especially at the urban core.”

Getting back to Pariser’s speech to OBOA, he concluded: “Remember residential construction is not a static environment. There is an abundance of desires and pressures for change in the quest to make buildings more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. In addition to those pressures, we also need to focus on housing that meets the needs of future occupants.”

LeBlanc said Pariser was well received by the crowd of 500 and the feedback about his speech was very good.

New OBOA president Alan Shaw, left, and immediate past president Mike Seiling.

Meanwhile, on behalf of everyone at RESCON, I would like to congratulate OBOA president Mike Seiling on completing his two-year term as he moves on to become immediate past president, and wish all the best to Alan Shaw as he moves from VP into the big chair.

We look forward to building this relationship so that together we can tackle industry issues for the betterment of the residential construction sector.

Thanks for reading!

Richard Lyall, president of RESCON, represented the building industry in Ontario since 1991. He is also a frequent speaker and writer on issues related to the construction industry. Contact him @RESCONprez or at

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