Sarnia – The improved safety of Ontario’s homeowners and excavators is being celebrated today (Wednesday, June 14th) on the 5th anniversary of the passing of the Ontario One Call Act (Bill 8).
The bill, introduced by Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey and Hamilton East-Stoney Creek NDP MPP Paul Miller, passed on June 14, 2012 and established Ontario One Call Ltd. as a not-forprofit, mandatory single point of contact for all utility location services in Ontario.
In the five years since the act passed, Ontario One Call Executive Director Ben Hamilton estimates that four million calls and web requests have been received, resulting in approximately 25 million notifications of underground infrastructure, including oil and gas pipelines, telecommunication cables, electrical and transit signal wires, and sewer and water pipelines.
MPP Bailey says, “I am proud to have introduced a bill that has had such a widespread impact on safety throughout the province by streamlining the previous notification system.”
At the time it was introduced, Ontario had twice as many accidental hits as the average American state. In the U.S., every state already had a form of a mandatory One Call system.
In addition to improved safety, Ontario One Call has also reduced unnecessary and wasteful costs to utility customers and municipal taxpayers, which totaled nearly $40 million per year before the establishment of the province-wide Ontario One Call.
Prior to the act, homeowners and excavators had to make an average of seven calls for each locate – and sometimes as many as thirteen. As a result, says MPP Bailey, “The act has helped increase revenue, productivity and efficiency for businesses of all sizes.”
There are 736 individual members signed up for the program, including approximately 350 municipalities.
In November 2015, Ontario One Call moved into a new 11,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Guelph, which operates 24/7/365.
This April, the non-profit opened a second office in Sudbury to better serve Northern Ontario. Between the two centres, Ontario One Call now has 150 employees, helping to improve the safety of residents and excavators across the province.
For more information on Ontario One Call Ltd., visit www.on1call.com