About

About Us

The Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA) is a federation of construction associations; the largest and most representative group of ICI and heavy civil construction employers in Ontario. Our member organizations represent more than 10,000 construction businesses and more than 400,000 employees.

COCA brings the concerns of our members to the attention of Queen's Park and is committed to working with the government to ensure that Ontario's legislative landscape is one in which our industry can grow and prosper.

History of COCA

COCA was created at the behest of then Premier Bill Davis to act as a single voice for the ICI and heavy civil sectors of the construction industry in dealings with Queen’s Park.  In 1975 more than 20 associations came together as the Council of Ontario Contractors Associations.  By 1985, the growing organization took steps to become independent with its own staff, mandate and offices. That same year, the name was changed to the Council of Ontario Construction Associations.

More than 40 years after its inception, COCA can look back on very significant achievements for the construction industry.  Just a few of these include:

  • In 2015 COCA’s policy arm was extremely active making substantive submissions to the Review of the Ontario College of Trades, the Review of the Construction Lien Act and to the WSIB’s rate Framework Modernization consultation
  • COCA’s advocacy calling for a review of the Ontario College of Trades was acted upon and in November 2014 the government appointed Tony Dean to conduct a review of some of the most contentious aspects of OCoT
  • In 2013, in partnership with the NTCCC and the OGCA, COCA ensured that Bill 69, the Prompt Payment Act, was introduced in the legislature as a private members bill; Bill 69 passed first and second reading and was referred to Committee with the support of all three parties
  • At the request of Chief Prevention Officer George Gritziotis, COCA recruited a group of industry leading contractors to provide ongoing advice on the development of Ontario’s first integrated Health & Safety strategy which was released in December 2013
  • In late 2013, Dawn Tattle of Anchor Shoring was appointed to the Ministry of Labour’s Prevention Council; COCA had long advocated for a construction employer to be included on the Council and recommended  Ms. Tattle for the position when a vacancy was announced
  • In 2013, COCA’s Board of Directors approved a position paper that addressed the role of the Ontario College of Trades and struck a College of Trades Committee to position COCA as construction’s watchdog over the new self-regulating body for the trades
  • COCA’s lobbying at the WSIB met with significant success – the Safety Groups Program was continued for another year and there will be no premium rate increases in 2014
  • In 2012, COCA supported Bill 8, Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act, 2012 which was passed into law
  • In 2012, COCA successfully lobbied for a special WSIB premium rate for Executive Officers and the new Rate Group 755 for EOs was established with a reduced rate
  • COCA advocated for the WSIB to develop a plan to eliminate their unfunded liability and achieve 100% funding within 15-20 years. The government established a regulation that requires the WSIB to achieve full funding by 2027
  • The efforts of COCA and our industry partners resulted in the first changes to the Construction Lien Act in 20 years, included in Bill 68, Open for Business Act, 2010
  • COCA successfully advocated for a consultation on further substantive reforms to the Construction Lien Act by the Attorney General’s office, and participated in Opposition hearings on the Act, convened as a result of COCA’s advocacy efforts and those of our partners
  • COCA secured one of only three employer positions on the Expert Panel assisting Mr. Tony Dean in a comprehensive review of Ontario’s occupational health and safety prevention and enforcement system with the appointment of COCA 1st Vice-Chair Domenic Mattina
  • COCA assisted in the development of draft policies for Bill 119, Mandatory Coverage Legislation
  • COCA played a key role in the construction industry winning an exemption for a single Executive Officer in every construction office under Bill 119
  • COCA was a key proponent of Safety Groups to assist smaller companies
  • COCA led a group of associations to secure a new Limitations Act in 2002 which saved contractors millions and protects against lawsuits after 15 years
  • COCA secured a reduction in the industry’s liability at WSIB of $2.2 billion in 1999 which saved contractors millions of dollars in fees
  • COCA played a key role in the 1997 reform of workers’ compensation laws that resulted in the creation of the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board
  • In the mid 90’s, COCA helped lead a coalition of associations to lobby for more “normal” workplace legislation regarding labour laws, training and scrapping of the wasteful Workplace Safety Agency
  • In 1985, COCA secured a decision from the Ministry of Finance that saved millions of dollars for those who erect temporary structures
  • In 1983, COCA convinced all parties to pass a new Construction Lien Act

COCA was founded as and remains an organization funded by voluntary contributions from member associations.  Volunteers contribute thousands of hours every year to provide information, advice and governance to our organization.  COCA’s successes are a direct reflection of the industry’s commitment to action.