Canadian Common Ground Alliance
The Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act passed 3rd Reading in the Senate May 2, 2017. Please CLICK HERE to read how it all went down in the Senate that day.
The CCGA wishes to thank all stakeholders for their support to achieve this milestone goal in our quest for damage prevention legislation.
On February 14, 2017, Senator Grant Mitchell and CCGA Executive Director, Mike Sullivan, appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment & Natural Resources to provide testimony supporting bill S-229 - The Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act. Senator Mitchell's and Mike Sullivan's testimonies were followed by responding to questions from the Senate Standing Committee.
You may view their testimonies and response to the Committee's questions HERE.
Mike Sullivan's written testimony is available for viewing HERE.
The CCGA is pleased to announce that Mr. Todd Scott, Chair of the Atlantic Canada Common Ground Alliance, and Manager of Safety & Operational Liability with Enbridge Gas New Brunswick, has accepted the role of CCGA Vice Chair; and, Mr. Ian Munro, President of the Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance, has accepted the role of Secretary on the CCGA Board of Directors.
The Vice Chair vacancy occurred following the retirement of Mr. Dean Reeve from SaskEnergy earlier this year while the Secretary position was vacated by Mr. Scott upon his acceptance of the position of Vice Chair.
Nominations for the CCGA Executive are held every two years.
Ms Nathalie Moreau
Chair - CCGA
The National Energy Board (NEB) released the results of its 'Engagement Survey' following release of the Damage Prevention Regulations (DPR) in June 2016. Survey results are available HERE.
The NEB regulates the construction and operation of interprovincial transmission pipelines, and the DPR regulates ground disturbance activities within 30 metres of those pipelines.
The NEB is a member of the Canadian Common Ground Alliance.
National DIRT Report 2015 – Executive Summary
Each year, the CCGA Data Reporting and Evaluation Committee (DREC) collects information about damages to underground infrastructure reported in each province. In British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec, the data is collected through voluntary submission of information into a Virtual Private DIRT (Damage Information Reporting Tool) database. In Atlantic Canada, information is reported directly by participating infrastructure owners. Manitoba does not submit data to the CCGA DREC.
The purpose of the National DIRT Report is to identify national trends over time. The challenge to this point has been that only Quebec, Ontario and to a lesser-extent, British Columbia have collected enough data over a significant amount of time to begin identifying trends with real confidence in the data. In addition, bringing in data from new provinces each year requires re-balancing the dataset, which can have unintended effects on trend analysis if you are looking at specific regions.
That is not to say that the national data does not have value, but only that in its current state, the data has to be analyzed in deeper detail in order to fully appreciate its indications. For example, if one province has an increase in construction activity, it will show a corresponding increase in reported damages; or if the provincial notification centre reduces overall notifications per ticket, the analysis will show an increase in damages per notification. Over the next 2-3 years, national data will continue to increase and improve in quality to where it will have enormous value in making recommendations on a national scale, as well as giving the damage prevention industry a relatively accurate estimate of the societal costs of third party damages on underground infrastructure.
In order to see the most accurate trend analysis for a particular region or province, it is best to go to the originating data source and review the DIRT report specific to that regional partner:
Ontario 2015 DIRT Report
Quebec 2015 DIRT Report
Western Canada 2015 DIRT Report
We hope that the presentation of National Data is useful to your organization. We encourage you to participate in reporting damages to your provincial CGA or provincial Virtual Private DIRT and say thank you to everyone who already does so. The data collected can have significant impact on training, education and marketing initiatives in the damage prevention industry.
Sher Kirk, Chair
Data Reporting and Evaluation Committee
The CCGA released Version 2.0 of the National Best Practices at the 2016 CCGA Damage Prevention Symposium in Banff, Alberta. If you wish to secure hard copies ($10.00 each, plus shipping), please contact Ms Gloria Jackman.
The CCGA is this year's Safety Sponsor for the Grey Cup and we're celebrating by offering two tickets to the big game in Toronto as well as two tickets to the CFL Awards and CFL Alumni Association Luncheon.
To play, all you have to do is follow @CanadianCGA on Twitter and retweet our Grey Cup message for a chance to win the tickets.
Please select this link to see our 2016 Grey Cup Tickets Giveaway Rules.
And remember - always #DigSafe and #ClickBeforeYouDig
Senator Don Plett rose in the Senate yesterday to support The Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act - Bill S-229.
His speech can be accessed HERE.
The Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) strongly supports Bill S-229, An Act respecting underground infrastructure safety, introduced by Senator Grant Mitchell, which entered Second Reading debate on October 4, 2016. This legislation will reduce the costs and increase safety associated with damages to our underground infrastructure by addressing the need for a mandated comprehensive call/click-before-you-dig notification system across Canada.
The members of the CCGA, which include the Canadian Gas Association (CGA), the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), as well as other industry associations representing excavators, locators, road builders, telecommunications, railroad, water, landscapers, construction, engineering and design, encourage all Senators and Parliamentarians to support Bill S-229 and for the federal government to mandate a comprehensive notification system for locate requests before digging.
There is a system of underground infrastructure that delivers and transports the services that support us in our daily lives, including energy, television, telecommunications, water and sewage. As Senator Mitchell stated in the Senate “It’s a web of wires, pipes, fibre optics and oil and gas pipelines that are at the root of our quality of life and our standard of living.”
This legislation is in response to a report published by the Senate Committee on the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources in December 2014 that recommended all jurisdictions mandate the use of this type of notification system. While currently there are Call/Click Before you Dig systems in Canada, there is no legislation, except in Ontario, to require its use. Bill S-229 would ensure the system is comprehensive and effective for underground infrastructure on federal lands.
There is a significant amount of cost and damages from people who hit underground infrastructure when they are digging, whether it is from major construction projects or homeowners digging in their yard. In 2015, there were more than 10,000 voluntary reports of damage to underground infrastructure in Canada, of which 79 per cent caused a disruption to services.
According to a report conducted by CIRANO, an organization based in Quebec, entitled Socio-Economic Cost Assessment for Damages to Underground Infrastructures, there are more than the obvious direct costs, including the cost of the materials, labour costs and administrative costs related to the damages. There are also indirect costs related to the damage, including intervention of emergency services, evacuations, loss of products, environmental impact, economic impact on businesses and risk of injury or death.
While Bill S-229 covers underground infrastructure that is federally regulated or on federal lands, it is a positive step in the right direction. As Senator Mitchell stated, “this federal initiative can contribute to momentum for a national system. It is an opportunity for positive, collaborative national leadership.”
The CCGA’s vision is to be Canada's unified damage prevention voice and attract members from all Canadian national organizations and associations who share common damage prevention and public safety solutions.
For more information, contact:
Canadian Common Ground Alliance (c/o Alberta One-Call)
Senator Grant Mitchell rose in the Senate October 4, 2016 and moved the second reading of Bill S-229, An Act respecting underground infrastructure safety.
Please click HERE to read his speech.