October 15, 2011
By Terry Murphy CLP

Terry MurphyThis column has a special message from the Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance (ORCGA) in a press release to media across Ontario. LO members need to pay special attention to the message, as it greatly affects our industry. The press release follows:

Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance launches digsafenow.ca

ORCGA is launching a new advocacy website to help raise awareness among Ontarians and Ontario provincial election candidates of the urgent need for mandatory One Call legislation in Ontario.

Digsafenow.ca allows Ontarians who are concerned about the current inefficient underground locate system in the province — costing Ontario businesses time and money, and posing a threat to worker and public safety — to easily communicate with their local election candidates about the critical need for mandatory One Call legislation in Ontario.

“Mandatory One Call legislation will help reduce costly red tape and will protect Ontario workers and families through a single, reliable number that they can call to get information on the critical underground infrastructure that lies beneath their feet before they dig,” said ORCGA president Jim Douglas. “Digsafenow.ca will help Ontarians send a message to their local candidates that mandatory One Call legislation is an important issue to them and that a candidate’s position on the issue will impact on how they vote in this important provincial election.”

The fragmented voluntary system that is currently in use in Ontario has led to a rate of incidents which is double that of New York State, which has mandatory One Call legislation. With its mandatory One Call model in place, New York State has 2.33 damages per 1,000 locates. Ontario, without a mandatory system, has more than double the rate of incidents, 4.77 damages per 1,000 locates. In the United States, mandatory One Call systems are in place in all 50 States.

ORCGA is a member-driven, not-for-profit association of more than 400 member organizations dedicated to ensuring public safety, environmental protection, and the integrity of underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices.

Digsafenow.ca is available to all Ontarians who wish to communicate with their local election candidates about the need for mandatory One Call legislation and it is an initiative of the ORCGA. Jim Douglas may be contacted at 1-866-446-4493.
Please send your comments, suggestions and ideas to tvmurphy@ca.inter.net.