The Heavy Construction Association of Regional Niagara (HCARN) is a non-profit organization operated by volunteers and established to represent the interests of the civil and heavy construction industry in the Niagara Region. Our members are Contractors, Trade Contractors, Manufacturers, Suppliers, and professionals affiliated with the industry.
Growth in Niagara over the last several years has been felt with the never-ending sprawl of the GTA toward our area. Reinvestment in our infrastructure has been evident with record expenditures on bridges, roads, sewer and watermain replacement programs. This has buoyed confidence in private spending as well with our housing market at an all-time high- new subdivision growth spurred more construction than we have seen in past decades, as new families enter Niagara.
As we entered 2020 with a feeling of optimism based on continued market growth, we were greeted with the menacing introduction of a global pandemic. Contractors, like society, had to learn to adjust and adapt on the fly to a new reality not previously seen or experienced. Both Provincial and Municipal tendering, which serves as a primary conduit of bid opportunities of which our industry is so heavily reliant, slowed in response as all levels of Government were challenged by the unknown. Collectively, all parties had to rapidly transform their policies, work environment and delivery models to continue. As a result, social distancing, face masks, daily health screening, and virtual meetings became the 'new norm' in our business world. The construction industry in 2020, proved its resiliency in response to this pandemic. As many sectors were forced to either layoff or close, construction persevered, learning to adjust and adapt.
HCARN has been busy working with local municipalities to better understand their challenges as they struggle financially to balance budgets while continuing to reinvest in their aged infrastructure. We will continue to work closely with our municipal partners to support their needs and advise of the paramount importance of timely tender calling. As an Association, the timeliness of critical information and its delivery to Membership has never been more important. In response to this need, our team is undertaking steps to not only facilitate current upgrading, but also a process to maintain and monitor future change. Web page refreshment with current Member information, vital links to relevant agencies, and current information on Ontario's new Construction Lien Act, hired Consultant up to date findings and quarterly meeting minutes, are examples of information which will be regularly updated.
As we enter our 48th year as an organization, as your incoming President, I look forward to working with the HCARN executive team, our Membership, and our Municipal colleagues, as we continue to adjust and adapt to the concerns and challenges that lie ahead within our industry.
Jim Phibbs, President 2021
Heavy Construction Association of Regional Niagara
Please find links to helpful documentation below
- Niagara Region Councillors Directory
- Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association (OSWCA)
- Niagara Peninsula Standard Contract Document
The Heavy Construction Association of Regional Niagara is a non-profit organization operated by volunteers and established to represent the interests of the civil and heavy construction industry in the Niagara Region. Members are Contractors, Trade Contractors, Manufacturers, Suppliers and professionals affiliated with the industry.
The Association was originally formed in 1973 by a small group of interested contractors. In 2001 the Association by-laws were amended to allow the membership of Associate Members. The 2007 membership consists of 28 Contractor Members (voting) and 27 Associate Members (non-voting). The mandate of the Association is as follows:
- To foster and advance the interest of those who are engaged in or who are directly connected with the heavy construction industry in the Niagara Region;
- To promote and maintain harmonious relations between the members of the Association and their employees in their mutual interest;
- To establish and maintain better understanding and goodwill between the public and members of the Association;
- To obtain, disseminate and exchange information regarding all matters conducive to the improvement of conditions within the industry;
- To represent members who authorize the Association to act on their behalf in their relations with professional bodies and related associations;
- To promote suitable and desirable legislation affecting the industry, and to provide liaison regarding any contemplated legislation by either Municipal, Provincial or Federal authorities, insofar as the same may affect the industry
- To do all such things as may directly or indirectly seem to be incidental, conducive, or the objectives of the Association, or expedient for or benefit of the members
As a member of the Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association (OSWCA), HCARN members automatically receive membership with OSWCA, who continually monitor ongoing province-wide issues affecting the underground infrastructure construction industry. Items of concern to members are addressed on several levels including lobbying Federal and Provincial governments. The major focus of HCARN is to keep on top of such issues and at all times represent the interests of their members. Since 2000 the Association has actively monitored and reported on municipal roads, water and wastewater capital spending to ensure that proper levels of investment are committed to these important infrastructures in Niagara.
With ongoing Scholarship Awards, the Association in conjunction with OSWCA partners with Niagara College in a Construction Engineering Technology program. To date the contributions to the Niagara College endowment fund exceed $100,000. Along with the Niagara Construction Association resumes and Educational Program information are placed on the bulletin board to assist and encourage young adults branching into the construction industry. Members sit on advisory boards at Niagara College in addition to donating money and services. Secondary School Career Days and Take Your Kids to Work Days, introduce students to the trades where they participate in hands-on demonstrations. The ultimate goal of the Education Committee is to encourage the youth of today to become the skilled tradespeople of tomorrow.
Benefits and services are plentiful for members. The Specs and Tendering Committee represents the interests of the members in working with representatives of the local municipal governments in the content, form and specifications contained in the Municipal Tenders. Working closely with the Construction Safety Association of Ontario, WSIB and the Ministry of Labour, HCARN actively promotes industry safety. Annually the Board of HCARN meets with the public works officials of the area municipalities to discuss matters of mutual interest in order to continually improve the working environment between the two groups. Generally three membership meetings are held during the year to report to the membership on Association business and at the same time to provide speakers that impart insight and information on issues of interest to the members.
Socially on an annual basis, a Christmas dinner and dance, golf tournament and dinner and a Spring social event are held. The social events also provide an opportunity for the Association to fundraise for worthwhile Community Organizations, such as Tender Wishes, The Child Advocacy Centre and the Niagara Peninsula Children’s Centre Foundation.
The Heavy Construction Association of Regional Niagara is committed to addressing construction issues and concerns of the membership while striving to enhance the industry in our regional community.