The province announced that the implementation of the Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act, 2012, (“One Call Act”) regulation will be delayed until April 1, 2024. The regulation, which included administrative monetary penalties, has been in effect since April 1, 2023. It will now be pushed back as a result of a new round of consultation that the province intends to carry out.
The Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery and the Ministry of Energy intend to consult on potential options that could prohibit fees being charged by members of Ontario One Call for underground infrastructure locates. The provision of free locates is a current practice in almost every municipality in Ontario. The province has pledged to engage key stakeholders, including energy utilities, municipalities, telecommunication companies, excavators, and others. This consultation will consider how a prohibition on locate fees will affect the ability of infrastructure owners to provide locate services in a cost-effective manner.
The province also announced it will consult on enhancements to the locate delivery requirements specified in the One Call Act and will consider a range of options to build flexibility into the current locate delivery system while supporting overall locate performance improvements. This includes potential expansion of the dedicated locator model, new rules to support locate delivery timeframes, and consideration of compliance-related activities that account for the realities of Ontario’s construction sector.
The Government of Ontario has pledged to move forward with any changes resulting from these consultations in a timely manner. Additional details about these consultations will be provided over the next few weeks.
Good Roads will participate in these consultations to ensure the concerns of Ontario municipalities are considered.