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This Week in Construction Law: January 3 – 7, 2022

In national news, the Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance is lobbying the federal government to amend immigration regulations to support the demand for construction labour. The OSTA observes that the national conversation regarding the need for an increased rate of residential housing construction is at odds with the reality that labour is already difficult to source even at the current national build rate.

In national news, the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes recently concluded the development process for the next edition of the National Building Code of Canada, including the addition of an appeal process, and approved all final updates for the next editions of the national model codes.

In national news, ReNew Canada has published a fascinating article discussing the chronic issue of leaky water pipes in Canada as well as proposed solutions. Assessments of water pipe integrity in Ontario suggest partial failure in as many as 40% of existing water mains, leading to millions of cubic metres of treated drinking water being pumped into the ground every year in Ontario alone.

In Ontario, the start of the 2022 calendar year brings the coming into effect of multiple legislative and regulatory changes, including amendments to the Environmental Protection Act, the Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, the Environmental Assessment Act and the Ontario Building Code.

In Ontario, the provincial government is once again mandating that employees work remotely, unless the nature of their work requires them to be on-site. Approximately 1% of Omicron cases require hospital care, but the variant’s wildly infectious nature has led to a very large denominator and renewed concerns about hospital capacity.

In Alberta, a deal between the City of Calgary and the Calgary Flames to construct a new arena has fallen through. The two parties are estimated to have spent more than $20 million to date. Skyrocketing construction costs have been blamed for the sudden lack of interest in continuing the project, connected with an agreement between the principals last summer that the Flames’ ownership group would cover future cost overruns.

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