CCA’s 2016 Accomplishments and 2017 Priorities

  • Working with the Federal Government

    Canadian Construction Association (CCA) began 2016 making sure that key ministers and their political staff in the new Liberal federal government were familiar with

    CCA and its positions and policies on major platform issues.

  • Federal Infrastructure Program

    CCA was pleased to see the federal government make good on its election promise by committing in its inaugural budget to a new 10-year, $60-billion program that essentially doubled the previous federal commitment. CCA immediately made known to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and the Minister of Finance, its desire to assist the government in a successful and timely roll-out of the new program. CCA continues to be consulted, including with respect to the further infrastructure measures introduced in the November economic statement.

  • Prompt Payment

    CCA established a taskforce charged with educating the federal construction contracting authorities on the importance of prompt payment and cash flow on federal construction projects, and to work with them to resolve industry concerns. A joint federal government – CCA working group was established in April. That working group continues to meet.


    One of the corollary objectives of the CCA taskforce was to develop a statement of principles concerning payment. The CCA board passed the following new policy statement at its October 2016 meetings:


    “CCA advocates contractual payment and related terms that are fair, reflecting the industry consensus expressed in CCDC and CCA standard documents. Further, CCA advocates that project owners, prime contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, payment certifiers and other stakeholders in the payment chain comply with all statutory/legal requirements and honour commitments and contractual obligations on time, and in the spirit of the following general principles:

    1. Contracting parties, both payers and payees, should be responsible for understanding all agreed contractual terms affecting obligations to make and entitlement to receive payment; and
    2. Project owners should share with others in a project payment chain the dates on which they make payments to prime contractors to enable parties to comply with and benefit from contract payment provisions with confidence.

    While CCA supports free competitive enterprise and individual freedom (Policy Statement 1.1), CCA (National) does not object in principle to the use of effective regulation and legislation where there is broad industry consensus that this is necessary in specific circumstances to correct imbalances or preserve an efficient and productive economic and commercial environment for the benefit of the whole construction industry.”

  • Quality of Design Documents

    The quality of design documents continues to be another high-priority issue for CCA. After hosting a series of regional workshops in 2015 – 2016 to raise the awareness of the impact of this issue and to seek feedback on the causes and potential solutions, CCA captured and recorded the major points, findings and recommendations that emerged and posted this information on its website.


    In April 2016 CCA approached the federal government as a major construction purchaser to explore how it and the industry might explore the application of some of the proposed solutions identified in the report on federal construction projects. A joint industry-federal government working group was established for this purpose. The resulting actions are expected to provide a good model for other public and even private owners.

  • National Industry Ethics Course

    CCA and BuildForce Canada partnered to produce the first-ever national construction industry ethics course. The course was launched in April and consists of both an online and a classroom portion.


    The Gold Seal Certification program has announced that both the online and classroom portions of the new course will be mandatory for all new Gold Seal applicants starting in 2017.

  • Lean Construction Institute of Canada

    Lean Construction Institute of Canada (LCI-C) held its inaugural conference last April in Calgary and is preparing the program for its next conference in May 2017 in Toronto. As part of its mission to foster a culture of continuous improvement through the adoption of lean principles in the Canadian construction industry, the LCI-C is working to deliver a certification/accreditation program for lean professionals in Canada. This multi-level certification/accreditation program would recognize various degrees of understanding and education related to lean construction, as well as an experiential component for individuals with demonstrable experience in implementing lean principles on construction projects. In addition, LCI-C continues to discuss a licensing agreement with the Associated General Contractors of America to supplement the Lean Construction Education Program (LCEP) material with Canadian lean examples and to facilitate examinations for those individuals who have completed the required 7-units of in-class instruction to challenge the AGC CM-Lean certification.


    LCI-C uses local communities of practice (CoPs) to provide a meeting ground at the local level where construction people can gather, learn, connect, and explore the ramifications of lean principles both for their own organizations and the larger industry.

  • New Indigenous Engagement Best Practices Guide

    CCA published an Indigenous Engagement Guide – a free download for members from the CCA website – in November. This guide was developed by CCA’s consultants Indigenous Works and included input from both the non-indigenous and indigenous business communities.

  • Use of Standard Contract Form for Civil Works

    The CCA Civil Infrastructure Council made a presentation to the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) calling upon its Chief Engineers’ Council to help to develop and promote a common, national set of specifications and the use of a standard contract form for civil works. The Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) has a standard civil works contract form known as CCDC 18. The Civil Infrastructure Council has decided to advance common contractual language as a first priority and will work in tandem with the CCDC.

  • Corporate Social Responsibility

    CCA has a taskforce looking at what role the association should take in the promotion of best practices concerning corporate social responsibility (CSR).


    In phase one, the CCA board approved a policy that promotes the voluntary adoption of CSR principles. CCA has also posted on its website educational literature and information on CSR.


    In 2016, the CCA board approved phase 2, which calls for the development of a CSR how-to-guide for member firms. This guide is expected to be released in the spring of 2017.

  • Updated Trade Contractors Guide Published

    CCA published in 2016 an updated version of the CCA Trade Contractors’ Guide and Checklist to Construction Contracts. Changes included updating and incorporating a former guide for trade contractors on design responsibility and incorporating enhanced insurance considerations.


    Other new and updated contracts and industry guides published in 2016 include:

    • CCDC 2MA: Master Agreement and Work Authorization;
    • CCDC 3: Cost-Plus Contract (update);
    • CCDC 11: Contractors Qualification Statement (update);
    • CCDC 24: A Guide to Administrative Support Documents (update);
    • CCDC 29: Guide to Pre-Qualification.
  • Community Benefits and Social Procurement

    Over the course of 2016, CCA became concerned about the growing tendency of public sector buyers of construction services to embrace social procurement and to seek “community benefits” in their construction purchasing.


    At the federal level, a private member’s bill (Bill C-227) was introduced that would effectively permit the Minister of PSPC to inquire from bidders on PSPC construction contracts what local community benefits they intend to provide if successful. At its September meeting in Fort McMurray the CCA board passed the following motion:


    “THAT, CCA (National) is opposed to using the procurement of construction services to advance unrelated community benefits and other public policy objectives where they jeopardize the integrity of the competitive bid system.”


    CCA appeared as a witness before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities looking at Bill C-227.

  • Supporting Resource Development

    There was a good deal of discussion at CCA ‘s fall board meetings in Fort McMurray on the opposition to pipeline and similar trade-enabling infrastructure projects actually being opposition to further resource development in Canada. In a letter to the Prime Minister, CCA called upon the federal government to give a swift go-ahead to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline project. The letter stated that pipeline capacity is critical to the country’s long-term economic competitiveness and that while there may be some Canadians that dispute the NEB’s conclusions, on balance, CCA feels the review process was fair, comprehensive and sufficiently robust to ensure the project minimizes any adverse impacts on the environment. It further called upon the government to stand up for projects that are in the national interest, even in the face of criticism by anti-development interests and stated that Canada simply cannot afford and must not permit the anti-development voice to dictate economic development policy for the country.


    The federal government announced its support for Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline project in December.

  • Review of Environmental Laws and Regulations

    The federal government had promised to make environmental assessments “credible again” and to restore protections lost by the previous government’s changes to the Fisheries Act and the Navigable Waters Protection Act. CCA is concerned that this could mean a return to the uncertainty, unnecessary duplication, and “green tape” of the past that had nothing to do with good environmental stewardship.


    CCA appointed a representative to the Minister of Environment’s Multi-Interest Advisory Committee on Environmental Assessment, which will provide advice on matters related to environmental assessment to the Expert Panel established by the minister to review environmental assessment processes. CCA also appeared in October before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport during its deliberations on the Navigation Protection Act.

  • Gold Seal Certification Program

    With the expiry of the grandfathering and senior practitioner categories, the Gold Seal Certification program has entered a new phase. The only way to become Gold Seal certified is to successfully challenge and pass (i.e. achieve a mark of 75% or better on) a national Gold Seal exam.


    New measures include mandatory courses as part of the education component to qualify to challenge the Gold Seal exams. The first such mandatory course is the new National Industry Ethics course. Gold Seal also recently announced that it will be introducing a new designation for foremen. The program is also investigating making the Construction 101 course mandatory.

  • Exclusionary or Reprisal Bid Clauses

    CCA has been monitoring the increasing use of exclusionary or reprisal bid clauses whereby owners exclude from bidding or otherwise penalize contractors with past or current claims or disputes with that public owner or other owners.


    Recently CCA, through its Civil Infrastructure Council, has agreed to co-fund with the BC Road Builders & Heavy Construction Association a legal challenge to such clauses.

  • Institute for BIM in Canada

    CCA is a founding member of the Institute for BIM in Canada (IBC). IBC also now serves as the Canadian chapter of buildingSMART International. IBC’s mission is “to lead and facilitate the coordinated use of building information modeling (BIM) in the design, construction and management of the Canadian built environment.”


    The IBC will be releasing the first three volumes of its BIM Practice Manual in early 2017:

    • Volume1 – BIM: A Primer;
    • Volume 2 – Setting up BIM in an Office; and
    • Volume 3 – Setting up BIM on a Project.

Coming in 2017

  • IPD standard contract form;
  • CSR how-to guide;
  • Guidelines for owners’ use of project managers;
  • Gold Seal foreman designation;
  • First three volumes of the new IBC BIM Practice Manual;
  • Federal government action on prompt payment;
  • Federal government action on the quality of documents;
  • CCDC 10: A Guide to Construction Project Delivery;
  • CCDC 23: A Guide to Calling Bids and Awarding Construction Contracts (update);
  • CCDC Division 00: Instructions to Bidders;
  • CCDC 40: Mediation and Arbitration Rules (update);
  • Cost-Plus Subcontract Form.