Here's a snapshot of some of the most important issues
for the residential construction industry.

September 2015

To kick off October and collective bargaining season, we're hosting an economic symposium for the Ontario Residential Council of Construction Associations (ORCCA) this week. We’ll have two guest speakers including Sal Guatieri, senior economist with BMO Financial Group. He will guide participants through the BMO macro-economic outlook and then transition to a focus on the residential housing market in the GTA.
There’s no doubting that our industry could use some help when it comes to dealing with construction permits. The number 45 represents how many government bodies our industry has to deal with in order to put up new homes and condos – but 118 is Canada’s ranking out of 187 countries for dealing with construction permits in a poll by the World Bank Group’s “Doing Business” report, which compares countries’ abilities to do business.
That is absolutely unacceptable. More on this story below.
Meanwhile, even Manhattan is looking to build a wooden high-rise; Michael Steele returns with another terrific Tech Corner column on whether building codes improve our lives; Andrew Pariser writes about the WSIB framework review; and I have a guest column featured in the Daily Commercial News highlighting Steele’s brilliant number 45.


Canada ranked 118th for dealing with construction permits out of 187 countries

This is shocking for some people, but not really for those who have worked in the construction industry for years. This metric is the first major example of how poorly Canada is performing relative to other jurisdictions around the world and supports RESCON's initiative to address this particular problem. Clearly, this is costing the Canadian economy a bundle.

See the World Bank Group's rankings here.

Even the Big Apple hopes to take a bite out
of wood-frame high-rise construction 

The U.S. metropolis best known for its glass and steel-clad skyscrapers might just add a touch of wood. The Wall Street Journal reports that a building consortium is looking to build a 10-storey wood-frame high-rise on the west side of Manhattan in an unprecedented construction project. This project is one of the two winners of the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition.

The other winner is a 12-storey project in Portland, Ore. The two winners will split a US$3-million prize intended in part to finance research into the use of engineered wood for high-rise construction.

The Washington Post adds some background at this link.

'Mr. Mayor, let's move forward together'

Toronto Mayor John Tory, left, and RESCON president Richard Lyall have a spirited conversation at the Local 183 golf tournament. Both gentlemen spent time speaking with key stakeholders and building relationships between government and the residential construction industry.

TECH CORNER: Reflective RESCON guru mulls impact of changing building codes to our lives 

Michael Steele, our respected director of technical standards, gets a little bit philosophical about whether the changes to building codes and regulations have impacted our everyday lives.

Yes? No? It's not that simple, says our thoughtful technical wizard. (But don't call him an expert.)

Read his column on RESCON's blog at this link.

45 government bodies deal with industry

RESCON president Richard Lyall writes about Michael Steele's number 45, a measurement of red tape that will shock the uneducated.

Read Lyall's guest column in the Daily Commercial News here.

CODE NEWS: Ontario risks lagging behind

Is there anyone that can cut the Gordian Knot around construction regulations around Ontario? We only need to look to Quebec and Alberta to see how they can be streamlined and consolidated.

Read Antoniuk's column here.

Deadline looms
for WSIB review

Andrew Pariser follows up on RESCON's submission regarding the WSIB rate framework review. RESCON is supporting the CEC joint submission and will submit another to focus on issues affecting builders.

Check out our vice-president's column here.

We need national housing stategy:
ex-MP Eggleton

Art Eggleton writes in the Ottawa Citizen that the federal political candidates should be aware that Canadian cities and towns can't struggle with affordable housing without federal help.

Read his column here.

RCCAO report looks at future of Ontario's infrastructure

As the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario approaches its 10th anniversary of advocating for infrastructure investment, the Daily Commercial News takes a very intelligent look at what might be the signature report out of 35 produced by RESCON's infrastructure affiliate.

Former Ontario deputy minister and Metrolinx founding CEO Michael Fenn pens a detailed, insightful report.

Click here for the story.

Click here for the report.

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