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On July 15, HRAI staff Martin Luymes, VP, Government & Stakeholder Relations and Dorothy McCabe, Government Relations Specialist – Ontario, presented to the Ontario government’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.  The committee is hearing from representatives in the Municipal, Construction and Building sectors regarding the impact of COVID-19.

HRAI used this opportunity to provide an update on a variety of issues facing the HVACR sector and to make several requests to help the provincial government chart a pathway to economic recovery particularly for small business owners.  (See presentation here)

HRAI reminded the committee members that, in with a potentially airborne virus to contend with, the HVACR sector is the sector to consult with regarding air circulation and ventilation in buildings, and the association is looking for opportunities to engage with relevant provincial ministries on technical matters and appropriate guidelines relating to the indoor environment of homes and buildings. 

In addition, HRAI’s specific requests included:

  • Resuming discussions regarding issues surrounding skills training, governance and regulation – i.e. the next iteration of the Ontario College of Trades,
  • Addressing issues regarding the delays in the renewal of licenses and certifications of existing workers,
  • Investing in a Building Retrofits program which will stimulate economic investment and job growth while reducing energy costs and carbon emissions,
  • Increasing funding at the secondary school level to allow for HVAC training facilities to encourage interest in these trades, and
  • Increasing available training seats and apprenticeship opportunities at colleges.

The delegation reminded committee members that, particularly in the COVID environment, the apprenticeship system is an excellent way to deliver training as it done in on job sites with small groups often in outdoor environments.  Classroom training can be converted into a virtual environment.

HRAI remains committed to working with the government to help bring the economy back to full health, in a safe and responsible fashion. 

For more information, contact Dorothy McCabe, Government Relations Specialist -- Ontario, at dmccabe@hrai.ca, or call 905-602-4700 ext. 274.