The OPCA held their Annual General Meeting on March 31, 2022. While we were set to hold our event in person, unfortunately at the time of planning earlier in the year the province was still under restrictions for public gatherings, and we were compelled to cancel and hold the event virtually. Despite this, we still had a great turnout and appreciate our member’s participation. This was the second year we held our event virtually and look forward to meeting again in person next year.
President Ken Jamieson reported the OPCA is currently working with TSSA to try to streamline the underground storage tank inspection process between the fuel oil and liquid fuels requirements especially as the procedures for both are the same. OPCA believes this alignment will improve the inspection process and communication between TSSA and contractors knowing the inspector’s expectations during an inspection. This will also help contractors with their project timelines and budgets when working with their customer. We will keep our members updated on this progress.
Marie-Michelle Modéry and Shelia McFarlane with Environment and Climate Change Canada’s storage tank program were on hand to discuss the storage tank requirements for working on Federal Lands. They discussed their programs to assist contractors help their clients better understand the identification requirements of the Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations as well as help determine if their systems are subject to the Regulations (visit the OPCA website for more information and links to these resources).
We also celebrated and acknowledged an industry colleague upon their retirement who has provided exceptional service to our association and to our industry – TSSA’s Engineering Specialist Ann-Marie Barker. Ann-Marie has worked actively with the association and our members for over twenty-years, attending meetings and participating in OPCA events and working with industry to improve regulation and public safety in Ontario.
“Ann-Marie is considered a pillar of our industry and we are sad to see her leave,” says Ken Jamieson, “Ann has been instrumental in the development of the Liquid Fuels Handling Code and proven leader within TSSA’s Liquid Fuels Risk Reduction Group. Many of us have worked with Ann for over twenty-five years and while we are happy she can enjoy her retirement, we are sad to see her go and will leave a big gap in our industry”.
Ann-Marie’s contribution to safety is unparalleled and upon her retirement thanked her for the exceptional service to our association and to our industry. Ann-Marie was also in attendance and said while she looks forward to her retirement, she will miss working with the OPCA and the many petroleum contractors she has worked with over the years.
Canada Brokerlink insurance specialist Dave Mason handles OPCA’s insurance program and provided an update on the program. OPCA’s program includes Environmental and Contractor Liability, Auto and Fleet insurance as well as personal insurance for OPCA member’s and their employees.
He discussed the current market conditions explaining the industry is still in a hard market where insurance companies look at their profitability and are more competitive. Due to the pandemic, the insurance cycle is slower due to the uncertainty and pressures of some pandemic and natural disaster related claims. He also noted the fleet auto options are becoming more limited and some frustrations from companies to add new drivers.
Year in Review Video
The OPCA presented our annual year in review video, with the focus on the global supply chain issues impacting our industry and OPCA’s ongoing initiative to bridge the gap within the generator installation and inspection regulation and requirements.
While we continue to recover from a global pandemic, industries are still dealing with the long-term impacts and how it has disrupted the global movement on the supply of equipment for many businesses.
These supply-chain disruptions, with many causes including port congestions, factory shutdowns and limited production has caused industry-wide supply constraints. In our year in review video, we discussed how these disruptions have impacted our industry. Along with Ken Jamieson, we also spoke with Joe Lynch, VP (Ontario) at National Energy Equipment and Krista Chaytor, Partner at Weirfoulds Law. They all discussed the importance of customers understanding the volatility of the current market and prepare them for unexpected price increases, surcharges and pushed out delivery dates.
Creating a long-term plan and negotiating with clients upfront based on unforeseen price increases and delays can help them look further ahead than they normally would while companies do their best to meet their needs throughout the project.
Weirfoulds Law partner Krista Chaytor is a leading lawyer in construction law and delivers seminars and workshops for the industry, was also on hand during the AGM to discuss what contractors should consider during contract negotiations with their clients to provide for delays and cost escalations. She noted force majeure clauses don’t always apply to supply chain issues and to ensure it covers the unavailability of materials due to this. Clients may also agree to extensions and schedule relief provisions which will help the contractor if there are material and equipment delays. Some owners will also realize price escalations are also a reality and will work with contractors to provide for these additional material costs.
In the video, we also discuss our ongoing initiative to address industry gaps for the installation and inspection of diesel generator systems. This initiative by the OPCA began as the demand and scale for backup generator systems has evolved but the availability of training and qualified people to work on these systems has not kept up with demand. The OPCA has also developed the program to be used nationally where provinces can use the curriculum to fill identified gaps in their own industry and regulatory requirements. Scroll to bottom to watch video!
Board of Directors Election
The Board for the 2022 membership year were elected. OPCA Director Bill Rathwell also acknowledged Zacary Villeneuve who retired his Director-At-Large position and thanked him for his service to the Board. The Director-At-Large represent the small contractor members, Ken Jamieson noted the importance of this representation on the OPCA Board and encouraged members to consider volunteering. Members who may be interested in this position can also attend a few meetings before committing to a position.
Lastly, thank you this year’s AGM sponsors and congratulations to our prize draw winners!