We are pleased to present this issue of FRONTLINE the Ontario Construction Consortium Newsletter – for January - February 2022.

We are pleased to present this issue of FRONTLINE the Ontario Construction Consortium Newsletter – for January – February 2022.

This newsletter will be published every two months – to update you on OCC initiatives and events. We hope you find it informative.

Visit our website – it showcases our publications and activities and is regularly updated.

If you have any questions about OCC. Email –

The Ontario Construction Consortium – a new voice for quality work, a robust training sector and safe workplaces.

Formed in 2018, the Ontario Construction Consortium is an organization dedicated to strengthening the construction industry through Advocacy, Education, Networking and Workforce Development.

We welcome a number of new additions to our distributions list this month. We hope you find the information in Front Line informative and helpful.

The Other Pandemic – campaign update


The Ontario Government is introducing legislation that will mandate a measure to help construction workers wrestling with opioid addiction issues. This morning, OCC Phil Gillies joined Labour Minister Monte McNaughton and Associate Minister for Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo for the announcement – that all construction sites in the province will be required to have Naloxone kits onsite. Naloxone is a nasal spray that if administered to a person going into opioid overdose, can bring them out of the overdose state and possibly save their life.

This measure was a key recommendation of OCC’s The Other Pandemic campaign, which has been working for the last year to focus attention on the opioid overdose crisis in the construction

industry workforce. In 2020, 2500 Ontarians died of drug overdose. Of those who were employed at the time of their death, 30% were construction workers.

In his remarks this morning, Minister McNaughton thanked OCC for the leadership we have shown on this issue.

What is The Other Pandemic?

The Other Pandemic is a construction industry campaign initiated by OCC and the Carpenters Union. It is aimed at the alarming rate of opioid overdose deaths occurring in the construction industry workforce.

Please go to our website to see in detail the work we have done:

  • The Ontario Construction Consortium and the Carpenters Union were hearing anecdotally throughout 2020 that construction workers in various parts of Ontario were dying of drug overdose
  • A study released by St Michael’s Hospital and the Ontario Coroner’s Office confirmed that in 2021, close to one-third of Ontarians who died of overdose who were employed at the time of their death – were construction workers.

OCC and our industry partners decided an information campaign directed at construction workers and the general public was needed.

• The Other Pandemic campaign has consisted of:

  • Newsreleasesandmediainterviews;
    • A website:
      o Full page advertorials sponsored by the Carpenters Union in the Toronto Sun and
    • The National Post.
    • Avideofeaturingcommentsbyhealthexpertsandcommunityleaders,including
    • Toronto Mayor John Tory.
    • Emails to construction industry stakeholders.
  • We launched The Other Pandemic campaign on May 31, 2021. The details on the campaignelements can be found on our website:
  • We are pleased to report that the Ontario Government is taking some action on this situation.
  • On June 21st, Labour Minister McNaughton announced a research project at the De Novo Treatment Centre in Huntsville to study and provide support for addiction and suicide issues in the construction industry. This project will develop a report and create tools for training centres, unions and employers to better understand and address mental health. Funding is coming out of the governments Skills Development Fund which was part of the 2021 Budget.
  • At the time of the announcement, Minister McNaughton said, ‘The Other Pandemic Campaign helped focus attention on this important issue.’
  • NOW – Our next step. In partnership with the Ontario General Contractors Association, we have produced a second video. This new video features comments from Labour Minister Monte McNaughton, OGCA President Giovanni Cautillo, and Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown.
  • Our new video is complete and is being released today. You can view it here:

We want to thank all our industry and labour partners who have made The Other Pandemic Campaign possible – especially Mike Yorke and Tony Iannuzzi from the Carpenters Union, Bruno Mandic from the Painters Union, Ontario General Contractors

Association CEO Giovanni Cautillo, and Ron Johnson from the Interior Systems Contractors Association.

We intend this initiative to help save and improve the lives of our workers.

Ontario replaces Ontario College of Trades

The Ontario Government has eliminated the College of Trades, and instead has set up a “one stop shop” – Skilled Trades Ontario. This new organization is intended to serve tradespeople and industries with:

  • Promotion and marketing of the trades
  • Develop the latest training and curriculum standards
  • Make it easier to start and finish an apprenticeship.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton said, “By creating this new agency, we are working for workers and delivering the generational change that labour leaders and employers have been calling for”.

The intent is to bring the trades into the 21st century and to help more workers start in- demand and rewarding careers in the skilled trades.

Ontario Passes the Working for Workers Act

The Ford government has passed the Working for Workers Act. The main feature of this legislation is to bring in measures to make it easier for gig workers to spend time with their families and loved ones by requiring most workplaces to have a ‘right to disconnect’ policy. The Act also bans businesses from using non-compete agreements.

Job recruiters and temp agencies will also face mandatory licensing. Failing to comply with these requirements will be met with the harshest penalties in the country.

Part 2 of Working for Workers was just announced – establishing a $15 / hour minimum wage for remote, online workers.

Front Line is a publication of the Ontario Construction Consortium, a think-tank/lobby that represents contractors and workers in the unionized construction sector.

We welcome your feedback – please contact us at any time:

Ontario Construction Consortium