Building Ontario

Ontario General Contractors Association

Dating back pre-1939, the Ontario General Contractors Association, or OGCA, has evolved to become the leading advocate and service provider for Ontario’s construction industry. The association has proven to be a proactive organization that aggressively tackles the many issues and challenges faced by its members and the industry.

The OGCA takes pride in being a force to be reckoned with when it comes to ensuring a safer and better industry for all of its members, whether they are tradespeople, designers, owners or general contractors. It has worked very hard to become an innovator and leader with strong ties to other key organizations serving the sector. After all, the OGCA is the only provincial association that is dedicated to providing help exclusively for general contractors in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors of construction.

The OGCA’s mission is to be the leading advocate and service provider for its members, and to foster an improved general contracting environment. It accomplishes this by providing advocacy, education, networking opportunities, safety, member benefits and association excellence.

Through strong alliances with the Ontario Association of Architects, the Consulting Engineers of Ontario, the Ontario Realty Corporation, and the Canadian Construction Association, the OGCA is able to advocate for the construction industry at all levels of the government. This enables the OGCA to keep all of its members informed of what is happening in the industry. Services like the ones the OGCA provides are fundamental to a construction company, whether the company is a large firm or a small general contractor. If there is an important change within the Government of Ontario’s regulations for construction projects, companies need to be informed – to avoid fines, to promote best practices, and to ensure safety.

The OGCA’s influence in legislation is critical to ensuring the best results for the industry as a whole, and limits negative impacts. Clive Thurston, President of the OGCA, gives an example: “The Early Dispute Resolution Program, which has rescued and restored a healthy contractor-to-owner relationship time and time again, is now part of the Ontario Realty Corporation’s contract. Each year, the OGCA saves its members tens of thousands of dollars by interceding in contract disputes through this program.”

The OGCA will always focus on issues that matter, to ensure fairness in contract negotiations for general contractors and to give them a voice by fighting hard to increase health and safety legislation and the resources that new legislation may require. It will continue to advocate for fair infrastructure procurement policies that are more favorable to all general contractors and to monitor the current trend toward the consolidation and the impacts of P3 projects.

Joining the OGCA is a good decision for any owner, tradesperson, general contractor or designer, and members quickly realize the value of its support in contract negotiation and in the bidding process. The regular bulletins and broadcasts help members keep tabs on the industry, its trends and its issues. The OGCA provides guidance in the development of productive relationships and better communications with owners and consultants, and it is a valuable ally, providing advocacy and lobbying on their behalf. Members can take advantage of the health and safety training courses, general advice and support, and have access to special benefits and discounts through the association’s strategic partnerships, including industry specific educational programs and certifications. OGCA also provides a selection of short webinars, one or two hours in length, for anyone wishing to further their knowledge. It can communicate tender opportunities and grant access to construction documents at a reduced price. Finally, it creates a forum for all industry professionals to come together and discuss tough issues.

The OGCA stands by the training programs it offers and strives to provide up-to-date and relevant courses of university quality that are developed by the industry, along with webinars that are available from anywhere in Canada. Partnerships with educational institutions and professional facilitators give OGCA access to the best education programs available.

OGCA is committed to promoting its members’ businesses, and guarantees that all parties engage ethically and professionally. It is committed to shaping the industry landscape to create a better business environment where quality, fairness and honesty are respected by all.

Complying with all industry standards, the OGCA promotes a strong accident prevention policy to reduce the occurrence of workplace injury or death to workers in the field. It strives to create an equitable environment for the general contractor by protecting the construction market, to keep high professional standards in the industry, to provide methods and means for individual members to take advantage of the power of combined effort through the association, and to promote good relations between general contractors and others within the contracting industry. Though mediation is often a thankless job, the OGCA tries to correct any business being practiced unfairly, dangerously, or with discrimination by or against general contractors. It promotes the use of Standard Construction Documents for contracts and seeks to minimize modifications to these documents. It increases economy and efficiency within the contracting industry, works with other industry and trade associations to promote ethical practice, and fosters strong education and apprenticeship programs that will encourage members to invest in the futures of the company and the industry. The OGCA promises to face all of the steps that are needed to obtain all of the above endeavors.

The challenges facing contractors today are many and varied, and not least among them is the state of the Canadian economy. Even when the economy is booming, it can sometimes be difficult to secure a fair contract, and in more subdued times, it can be even harder. The need for expert contract negotiation is vital to the sustainability of the general contractor’s livelihood. Strength in numbers can accomplish a task that may prove too daunting for an individual person or company, and the OGCA provides these numbers, and strives to help its members succeed.

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July 19, 2018, 3:36 PM EDT

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