July 4, 2020
Terry MurphyWe are living in historic times and the unique circumstances we are dealing with present the possibility of several new and significant outcomes. Over the first half of 2020, the world has seen many life-altering events. A global pandemic, unseen in modern times, has resulted in over 130,000 deaths in the United States alone and over 8,000 deaths in Canada. Entire countries have been on lock down, resulting in limited movements and activities for citizens. The brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked protests and riots, leading to a social movement to end racism around the world. Police actions are under scrutiny, and government stimulus will lead to unheard-of deficits. Chaos seems to be winning, so I find myself asking, “Where is all the discipline and order?”

Webster’s dictionary defines discipline as: “a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity,” or “instruction and exercise designed to train proper conduct or action,” or “a set of systems of rules or regulations.” I think you get the idea. It seems that discipline has gone out the window. It’s time to sit back and take a good look at what’s happening. It’s time to set a new discipline and order to our daily way of life. It’s time we all took a little reality check.

Association membership working for you

In this age of uncertainty, one shining light is Landscape Ontario. I commend the association’s leadership: Tony DiGiovanni, Dave Wright, and the Provincial Board of Directors for the swift action in setting up the special Covid-19 Task Force, whose lobbying efforts to the Ontario government led to landscapers and garden centres being among the first businesses allowed to reopen.

This huge win by the association proves that a unified voice in a time of need is something that all industry should be a part of. Now, more than ever, members should be quick to pay their membership dues to continue to be a part of this community. For the reopening work alone, I would pay my dues for the next 10 years!

Throughout the chaos this year, LO has demonstrated and preached discipline. It illustrates the very reason the association exists in the first place and why it remains relevant in a time of crisis. I’m sure all realize the value of belonging to the LO community in these times. If for some reason you are not a member, you should make the investment now and see the high return on that investment that you will get.

ORCGA works to reduce utility costs

In the damage prevention industry, attention to discipline is also required for all excavators, who are required by law to first call for locates before digging. Year after year, we see a high number of underground utility hits across the province, which could have been avoided by following proper excavation practices and calling for locates first. This lack of discipline across Canada costs society over $700 million each year in repair costs to damaged underground infrastructure. Every taxpayer (company and homeowner), collectively pays for this through monthly utility bills. We are all paying for this needless expense.

The Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance (ORCGA) is another great industry association your company should join. The ORCGA is committed to reducing utility hits and promotes damage prevention through education and training to reduce the costs passed on to consumers and companies each month. The work of the ORCGA helps to keep everyone safe and to save lives. A small contractor can join for as little as $125 a year. You can sign up by calling 1-866-446-4493. This safety organization deserves your support.


Now, more than ever, we need discipline to come out of these challenges and uncertainties in good shape. We have to be diligent and continue to follow the recommended health and safety guidelines outlined by health care professionals and government officials. We must continue to exercise patience and be willing to adapt to the new normal. We need everybody in our society to be diligent, follow the rules and be disciplined in order to help get through this tumultuous time. Please do your part by paying attention to your own discipline and staying connected to industry associations and groups.
Terry Murphy CLM