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It’s Watermain Break Season

Posted on February 26, 2009
Just as we have a flu season and a mosquito season, we have a burst watermain season in Ontario and we're just now heading into it," says executive director of the Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association (OSWCA), Frank Zechner. Over the next six weeks, the association warns pedestrians and motorists alike to look out for sinkholes and flooding. The thawing and freezing that take place through March and into April play havoc with older water pipes, of which Ontario has many. In some municipalities, parts of water systems date back to the [...]

New High-Speed Rail Study

Posted on February 25, 2009
The Governments of Québec, Ontario and Canada have awarded a contract to the EcoTrain Consortium to update the feasibility studies for high-speed rail (HSR) in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor. The $3-million study will be funded equally by each government. The consortium (Dessau, MMM Group, KPMG, Wilbur Smith & Associates, Deutsche Bahn International) will focus on a few areas: HSR technology and route options; transportation demand forecasts; development and operating costs; environmental and social impacts; financial and economic analyses; institutional [...]

Acting Green

Posted on February 24, 2009
The Green Energy Act Alliance, a coalition of leading environmental groups, industry associations, farmers, First Nations, community power groups and unions, was at Queen's Park yesterday to support, what else, the Green Energy Act. Ontario's Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, George Smitherman, has been making the rounds this month to introduce the Act to stakeholders and industry insiders. On Monday, he addressed the Toronto Board of Trade-the unusually large number of registrants (over 750) pushed the event out of its regular venue. Smitherman [...]

New RCCAO Report Calls for Speedier EAs

Posted on February 20, 2009
The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) is calling for the streamlining of "burdensome" environmental assessment (EA) legislation that's slowing up infrastructure projects that could get people working and stimulate the economy. The report says that while the industry is ready to respond quickly, "complex and inefficient" EA legislation at the provincial and federal levels is a major roadblock. "Unless the red tape is eliminated, there will be unacceptable delays of many months and even years for these projects to come on [...]

Fast-Tracking the EA Process

Posted on February 15, 2009
The federal government is fast-tracking the way it evaluates the environmental impact of the vast majority of its infrastructure projects On Friday, Minister Baird said the federal government will start relying more on provincial assessments for joint projects instead of having both levels of government do the same work. "We are going to be coming in the next 14 days with regulatory changes that should eliminate about 90 per cent of federal ," said Baird. Baird said the streamlined system will mean 289 projects will be fast-tracked. In cases where [...]

Partnership Will Promote Public Works

Posted on February 13, 2009
The Ontario Public Works Association and the Association of Ontario Road Supervisors have signed a Partnership Agreement that will help coordinate their respective mission and business objectives to improve Ontario's core civil public works infrastructure and operations. The agreement lists specific partnership projects and action points each organization will undertake with the goal of increasing public awareness of the public works profession, advocacy opportunities and increased education, and training and professional development services for their [...]


Posted on February 12, 2009
Flooding in the GTA leads to overflows at the banks of the Humber River as snow melts and warnings from the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. At the same time, last night's flood at Toronto’s Union Station led to escalator waterfalls and evacuation. Lucky for commuters like yours truly, the station was operational again by this morning. This event comes only a short time after a water main break caused city-wide power outages in Toronto, perhaps indicating that Toronto should use some of that new federal funding to maintain and replace aging [...]

Global Revitalization Centre for the GTA

Posted on February 11, 2009
This Thursday, leaders in the GTA's restorative development industry gathered to support plans to develop a 700-acre global centre for restoration/revitalization research and training at Seneca's King Campus. Representatives from the Revitalization Institute, Ontario's Centres of Excellence, Canadian Urban Institute, ReNew Canada, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation, and the municipalities of Aurora and King, plus senior Seneca College staff, were all at the King Campus. The Revitalization Centre's emphasis will [...]

Some Companies are Still Growing, Not Downsizing

Posted on February 9, 2009
The GENIVAR Income Fund has acquired ENTRA Consultants Inc. (an Ontario-based transportation planning firm), Sherbrooke-based Envirotel 3000 Inc. and Montreal-based WSATrenchless Consultants Inc. GENIVAR's president and CEO, Pierre Shoiry, says, "Given the need for transportation infrastructure development and improvements across Canada, we are strategically positioned to take part in a wide range of emerging projects." Envirotel has both private and public-sector clients, including a number of private hydro and wind power developers, as well as Hydro-Quebec [...]

Toronto's Union Station under Construction...Maybe

Posted on February 9, 2009
Construction boarding is up at Union Station today, finally. Renovations to Union Station, Toronto's transit hub, were on Minister Flaherty's list of Toronto projects to be fast-tracked. Federal Transportation, Communities and Infrastructure Minister John Baird told Globe & Mail reporters, "We are prepared to move very quickly to make things happen. If the project is ready to go, the money will be there to match the speed with which they can start construction." How much will the feds contribute to this project and-more importantly-when will that [...]
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