Government Invests in OOC Transformation plus new By-Laws and Membership Fees
Guelph, ON – July 27, 2023
Dear Underground Infrastructure Owner (UIO),
As you know, Ontario One Call (OOC) is the organization that acts as a pivot point between excavation project leads and owners of underground infrastructure.
At a high level, OOC’s job is to connect UIOs and people who intend to dig through its notification system and ensure that excavation in the province of Ontario is done safely.
In 2022, OOC received more than 1 million locate requests resulting in approximately 6 million notifications to UIOs. They also received more than 135,000 phone calls each averaging almost 10 minutes.
Most recently, the organization has been provided new responsibilities by the province transitioning it to a public safety administrative authority. That means that not only does OOC provide a locate notification service for excavators and UIOs while promoting safe digging, but they also act to ensure compliance with the Act and its regulations.
Over the last 5 years, through economic turbulence and the pandemic, the Board and UIOs have kept membership fee increases to a minimum. Over time, however, that approach has resulted in limited investment in critical IT infrastructure, industry education and training, and a marked drop in the promotion of safe excavation awareness. In fact, research shows a concerning statistic – 2 out of 3 Ontarians do not know they need to request locates before digging.
To better serve the sector, the Board believes that now is the time to invest in the organization’s IT capabilities, service delivery improvements, sector education and training, and the promotion of safe excavation practices. More specifically, these investments will translate into a more user-friendly and efficient system, improved locate visibility for planning purposes, and reduction of unnecessary notifications. Making these investments will increase efficiencies in locate delivery and protect infrastructure and people from damages resulting from unsafe excavation.
To do this, the Board is recommending a 20% increase in membership fees for each of the next three years to be confirmed by the membership at the Annual and Special Members’ Meeting scheduled for September 21, 2023. In tandem, we are very pleased to share that the Ontario government will also be investing in the organization’s transformation by providing multiyear financial assistance beginning with an initial $7M for fiscal 2023-2024. Information on future year funding will be shared with One Call stakeholders when available. We thank the province for their significant commitment to building a stronger, more modern organization.
In addition, to modernize and align OOC’s governance with other Administrative Authorities, the Board of Directors enacted a new set of By-laws, namely By-law No. 1, Schedule 1 to By-law 1, and By-law No. 2. These proposed by-law changes will be sent to all UIOs as support material in advance of the AGM for review and consideration.
Notwithstanding these changes, the Board will also examine the current funding model to ensure it reflects a changing industry and secures the financial sustainability of the province’s newest public safety administrative authority.
Investing in the organization helps us all promote safety, protect communities and infrastructure, and support Ontario’s growth. More details on how to show your support for the organization’s path forward will be sent out shortly.
If you would like further information on the impact of this proposed increase on your membership fees going forward, please email DigSafety@ontarioonecall.ca
Thank you for your consideration of these important matters.
Dean Dalpe – Chair of the Board
Ysni Semsedini – Vice Chair
Scott Mudie – Past Chair
Karen Marner – Director
Chris Hudson – Director
Dereck Oikawa – Director
Mitch Panciuk – Director
Enrico Scalera – Director
Darrell Smith – Director
Nancy Taylor – Director
Tracey Teed Martin – Director
Kevin Green – Director
Wayne Eichenberger – Director
Tony DiPede – Director
Phil Gillies – Director