OHS Act Amendments Take Effect June 12, 2017

In April 2016, government introduced and passed Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act to help keep Nova Scotians safe at work. Most employers in Nova Scotia operate safe workplaces. However, there are some who repeatedly break serious health and safety rules, putting Nova Scotians at risk of serious injury or death. The amendments hold those employers more accountable, and were passed by the legislature with a commitment by the Department to work with stakeholders on next steps. That work is complete, and we’re ready to put the changes into place.

The amendments came into force on June 12, 2017.

Click HERE to review the Safety Bulletin summarizing the changes to the act.

Click HERE for a copy of the updated Act.

To review the details of the revised Act, click HERE for the link to Bill 165.


If you have any questions or concerns, please call 1-800-952-2687 or 902-424-5400, or via email at ohsdivision@novascotia.ca

In Memoriam – Past President of CANS, Leslie Reuben White

Les White of Fundy Construction passed away on Friday, April 28, 2017. Les served as President in 1983. To view his obituary, click HERE.

Fundy Construction (Halifax, Nova Scotia) itself has had a long tradition of involvement and support for the Construction Association of Nova Scotia. Six individuals from the company served as president — A.S. MacMillan in 1932, G.W. Miller in 1941-43, A.E. MacMillan in 1959, Earle Bowman in 1966; Wilf Giffin in 1973; and Les White in 1983.

Holiday Office Closure

PLEASE NOTE: CANS offices in Dartmouth & Sydney will be closed Monday, February 20, 2017 to observe the statuatory holiday. The office will reopen Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 8 am.

CANS Holiday Office Closure

Please Note: CANS office will be closed on Monday, August 1 reopening on Tuesday, August 2 at 8:30 am to observe the Natal Day Holiday. CANS Members are advised to plan accordingly.

CanBIM – June 1st & 2nd, 2016

Why Not BIM! Come join AECO industry leaders and practitioners in an open discussion about BIM. We will host a series of presentations and panel discussions aimed at addressing this central question: Why Not BIM? A lot has been said about BIM; its purpose, its value, but now it’s time to discuss the direction of BIM in Canada’s Eastern Provinces and how this technology will affect your business.

•    What are the key issues surrounding BIM for the various stakeholders?
•    What does the next two to five years look like?
•    What are your options when adopting BIM?
•    What risks do we face from lagging behind other regions and countries?
•    What impact does a lagging BIM adoption have on our workforce in Atlantic Canada?

This event will be the best opportunity to participate alongside industry leaders, stakeholders and decision makers in one room. You will not want to miss the opportunity to participate and perhaps ask the questions that affect you most. Register now!

Day of Mourning

April 28 is the Day of Mourning – a day to remember those who lost their lives or were injured because of their work. The website DayOfMourning.ns.ca features a powerful new video about a young Nova Scotia man named Kyle Hickey. His tragic story, told by his family and friends, is an emotional reminder of the importance of workplace safety.

There are several ways to commemorate the Day of Mourning in your workplace:

•    Visit dayofmourning.ns.ca to view a powerful new video about Kyle Hickey, a young Nova Scotian who died in a workplace tragedy in 2008, and share the video with your employees.
•    Make an online tribute and encourage your employees to do the same.
•    Observe a moment of silence and attend a remembrance service.
•    Lower flags to half-mast.
•    Follow our Day of Mourning Facebook page.
•    Use the Employer Toolkit page for more ideas to commemorate this special day.

We encourage you to take a few minutes this April 28 to share Kyle’s story with your employees, and make them more aware and more focused on the importance of working safely.


NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                         For immediate release
Construction Association of Nova Scotia wins CCA Gold Seal Association Award at Canadian Construction Association Annual Conference

HALIFAX, March 9, 2016 ‐‐The Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) was thrilled to take home the CCA Gold Seal Association Award at the Construction Association of Canada’s (CCA) Annual Conference taking place March 4-11th in New Orleans.

“As part of our Strategic Plan we set out to be the leading provider of industry education and training to the construction industry,” says CANS President Duncan Williams. “Over the past 4 years we have continued to increase the sophistication of offerings and have been promoting Gold Seal Certification as the industry standard.”

The CCA Gold Seal Association Award recognizes outstanding achievements by CCA partner associations to promote and support the CCA Gold Seal program.

“Our entire course catalogue is Gold Seal Accredited,” says Williams. “This translates to over 80 courses, and approximately 44 Gold Seal credits or 220 hours of training, that members can then take and apply towards their Gold Seal Certification.”

Through a variety of communications channels, including Lunch and Learn sessions, CANS provides members with the benefits of Gold Seal Certification, the certification process, the paths to certification, and the process to apply for certification. CANS also works directly with individuals and organizations to develop customized training plans designed to help individuals become certified.

“In 2015-2016 CANS had over 100 members engaged in one of the phases of the Gold Seal process,” adds Williams. “Looking forward to 2016-2017 we are continuing to see growth as more and more members understand the benefits of Gold Seal Certification.”

To-date the construction industry in Nova Scotia has through CANS invested over 2.5 million in training and education. CANS has also assisted members pursuing their Gold Seal Certification in securing funding through the Department of Labour and Advanced Education and an initiative of the Canada-Nova Scotia Job Grant Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive (WIPSI). To date CANS has helped member companies secure more than $400,000 in government funding for training.

The Canadian Construction Association’s National Awards Program recognizes the important contributions of individuals, organizations and projects that promote and enhance the Canadian construction industry, whether through innovation, projects, or dedication to the industry.

“We are always working to find new ways to engage our members and increase value and this Award is really the icing on the cake,” says CANS President Duncan Williams.” It is always great to be recognized for your achievements, especially on the national stage.”

“On behalf of CANS, we’d like to extend huge thank you to all of those who have had a hand in making this happen and to our membership for their support and commitment to the enhancement of the construction industry,” says Williams.

More information about the Canadian Construction Association’s National Awards Program can be found at http://cca-acc.com/en/about-cca/awards.

CANS represents more than 760 large and small companies that build, renovate and restore non-residential buildings, roads, bridges and other engineering projects. We are an industry trade association representing the interests of contractors, suppliers and service providers throughout Atlantic Canada and across the country. Construction is a $2.8 billion a year industry in Nova Scotia and employs nearly 30,000 men and women from across the province. For more information about the Construction Association of Nova Scotia visit www.cans.ns.ca.



For more information, contact:

Janet Tobin
Communications and Marketing Lead
Construction Association of Nova Scotia
Ph: (902) 468.2267 x. 713
Cell: (902) 818-0835

Charbonneau commission

Extract from the inquiry report on the granting and management of public contracts in the construction industry (Charbonneau commission):

Recommendation 15 – To reduce delays in payments to construction contractors
During testimony before the Commission, several contractors have reported the problem of delays in payment of invoices submitted to public work providers (DOP). Generally, payment of accounts payable is 30 days after the invoice date, but payment delays in the construction industry are now 3 to 6 months, according to the latter.

These observations were confirmed by other witnesses involved in the public administration. According to the director of supply of the City of Montreal between 2003 and 2006, Serge Pourreaux, the Finance Department had estimated that in 2003 or 2004, 80% of invoices were paid within varying from 4 to 6 months.

During his testimony, the engineer and investigator Jeannette Gauthier Commission echoed this concern. Having met 25 of them and six suppliers of materials, she first said that the average payment period reached four months. She also said that this situation, generalized to all work providers, seemed worse with the public sector.

A study by the firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton (RCGT) also confirms this information. In Canada, the average time of collection of receivables in the construction industry exceeded 11.3 days in 2002 that of all the other industrial sectors. And in 2011, this gap has increased from 20.6 days. Worse, in the construction industry, the sectors with the highest percentage of customer accounts receivable over 120 days are those of the civil engineering and roads and the institutional setting. Customers in these areas are mainly in the public sector.

For the Commission, this situation presents three major problems. First, it gives significant power to site supervisors, since they must approve such progress payments. According to the approval rate of these, these professionals can intimidate or encourage construction contractors, thereby contributing to private corruption ploys. Second, this situation contributes to restricting competition in the industry, thus promoting the creation and maintenance of collusive agreements. Indeed, having already paid their workforce, suppliers and subcontractors, entrepreneurs must financially support these payment terms. This lack of liquidity limits the number and growth by restricting their ability to undertake new mandates. In this regard, in 2013, over three-quarters of contractors have refused to answer at least one tender, judging unfair payment terms or anticipating payment problems. In addition, late payments penalize more small and medium businesses (SMB) who do not always have easy access to credit. They are therefore more at risk of experiencing financial difficulties. This is not likely to encourage them to engage in new markets.

Third, this situation favors the infiltration of organized crime in the construction industry. Indeed, (SMB)s facing financial difficulties arising from excessive accounts might be tempted to resort to other non-traditional funding sources. In fact, this is what happens. The non-traditional financing is used by a significant proportion of construction companies because of late payments.
To these three major problems must be added a fourth, this time for the state. This situation encourages contractors to consider this financial risk in the price of the tenders submitted. In other words, these financing costs are transferred to the public work providers, and thus taxpayers.

To counter these adverse effects to the progress of the construction industry and development of the economy, several States have undertaken to supervise payment terms to their suppliers. These are the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom5 and the State of South Australia in Australia.

The Commissioners therefore recommend to the Government to adopt legislative or regulatory provisions in order to propose, as part of a prime contract and subcontracts a standard production time progressive statements and payments to reduce the grip of construction supervisors and DOP on companies working in the construction industry as well as the possible infiltration of organized crime.