Ear to the Ground - Spring 2012 - (Page 7)

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE BY J IM DOUGL AS, ORCGA PRESIDEN T & CEO Mandatory One Call Participation; “All we want is a safer Ontario, is that too much to ask?” AS I PREPARE this article for our 2012 spring edition (May), I’m full of anticipation that finally we have a real chance of getting one call legislation in the Province of Ontario. We have been working on this initiative since the ORCGA provided the government with a “One Call Legislation Proposal for Ontario” back in 2005. Of course, our success to date comes in the form of Bill 8, a Private Members Bill introduced by both PC MPP Bob Bailey & NDP MPP Paul Miller. After receiving unanimous all party approval in December 2011, Bill 8 is now with a government standing committee. The committee have announced two dates in April, 2012 for Bill 8 public consultation. Since this is as close to getting mandatory participation by all facility owners as we’ve ever had, I, along with others who have been involved from the start are hoping that all of the time spent and the incredible frustration will be rewarded with the implementation of Bill 8. Over the years I have been asked many times by individuals from both inside and especially outside the damage prevention industry “why would anyone not want this? In other words, why would anyone not want to make Ontario a safer place to work and live? The answer would appear to be simple; unfortunately, it has become complicated by those opposing it with many untruths. It is simple! All we are asking is that a homeowner or excavator would make a locate request to the One Call Centre which in turn would relay the locate request to the facility owner, that’s it! Now compare that to the nightmare of having to make ‘up to 13 calls’ in some parts of Ontario today. S P R I N G 12 Having worked in the gas distribution industry for many years before joining the ORCGA, perhaps it has been easier for me to develop a great passion for damage prevention. After all, I was involved with serious incidents when things went very wrong. This may have caused me to become disappointed with the attitude of some municipalities and utilities who are opposed to participating in a Provincial One Call Centre. However, I should know better. After all, I was part of the team that helped put Ontario One Call on the provincial map. It has always intrigued me that in 1996 we chose to call the centre Ontario One Call. I guess we were somewhat naive in thinking that all facility owners would join. Well, after almost 17 years of trying to the ‘volunteer approach’ by all facility owners, we can safely state that it has not worked. It took both Federal and State One Call Legislation for all 50 U.S States to have mandatory one call participation. Having enjoyed excellent working relationships with municipalities during my time in the gas industry, I’m especially disappointed with the negative attitude by some municipalities who oppose participation in a one call centre. Municipalities should be ‘leading this initiative’, not opposing it! They are the custodians of the ‘right of way’. They issue excavating permits, their first responders (fire, police, paramedics) are involved when incidents occur and incur costs as a result. In the 2005 the ORCGA funded a societal cost study of damages to underground infrastructure as a result of no call damages and the study revealed these costs to be approximate $33 million. At the time this was a very conservation estimate and in today’s dollars may be twice as much. You would think that municipal leaders would want to ensure that anyone excavating in the ‘right of way’ has locates and are digging safely. A one call centre with full participation by all underground facility owners would reduce the risk of inadvertent damage to underground facilities considerably. Let’s hope for the safety of all Ontarians, the Government shows great leadership and legislates a true One Call System for the Province of Ontario. ■ 2012 GOLD SPONSORS 7 http://www.orcga.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Ear to the Ground - Spring 2012

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
INTERNATIONAL NEWS: ‘811 BIKE’ PROMOTES SAFE DIGGING MESSAGE ON DISCOVERY CHANNEL’S AMERICAN CHOPPER: SENIOR VS. JUNIOR
INTERNATIONAL NEWS: UPDATE FROM THE CCGA - A UNIFIED APPROACH TO DAMAGE PREVENTION
Q&A: A CONVERSATION WITH CORAL LUKANIUK, PUBLIC AWARENESS PROGRAM MANAGER, TRANSCANADA
THE SIGNS OF SPRING: TRAFFIC PROTECTION
BLOCKED SEWER SERVICE LINE? CALL BEFORE YOU CLEAR
CHEERS TO ORCGA VOLUNTEERS
LEGISLATIVE SPOTLIGHT
ORCGA’S HALL OF FAME MEMBERS AND MEMBER OF THE YEAR
ORCGA’S EXCAVATOR OF THE YEAR
JOE JOHNSON EQUIPMENT – ONE OF CANADA’S 50 BEST MANAGED COMPANIES
ORCGA’S 2012 SYMPOSIUM
ADVERTISER.COM

Ear to the Ground - Spring 2012

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