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Council Highlights: May 22, 2019 Meeting

The most recent meeting of the OAA Council was held on Wednesday, May 22, taking place as part of the 2019 OAA Annual Conference, held in Quebec City. The event was held at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, and gave Councillors an opportunity to deal with numerous priority and agenda items. Here is a brief rundown of some of the major highlights that occurred. 

Recognition of Traditional Lands

OAA Vice President (Regulatory) Mélisa Audet began the meeting by reciting in French an acknowledgement of the traditional lands on which the meeting was being held—the traditional and unceded territory Nionwentsïo of the Huron-Wendat people. 

The Education Continuum Committee

Council accepted the Terms of Reference for the newly created Education Continuum Committee, which includes the roles and responsibilities of the now-sunset Continuing Education Committee. 

The Education Continuum Committee’s expanded mandate involves overseeing recommendations covering the whole spectrum of education, from primary and secondary school to universities, internship, licensure and the various phases of practice, and finally through to retirement. 

Based on Council’s priorities, the purview of this Committee can be thought of as falling into four categories:

  1. What is an architect? Why do I want to be an architect? How do I become an architect? Why do I want to hire an architect?
  2. What do I need to know to become a good architect through education, internship and mentorship?
  3. How do I keep current with emerging trends, building sciences and technologies? How do I learn from, and share knowledge with, my peers? How do I prepare for transitioning through the various stages of my career?
  4. Concurrently, how do I develop financial literacy, beginning in university with managing my time and the cost of an education through to how do I know how much to ask to be paid in a job interview? What is a fair wage to pay my staff? How do I run a practice, price jobs, bid on projects, bill clients and pay myself and my employees an amount reflective of the complexity and responsibilities of being an architect? How do I prepare for retirement?

Financial literacy benefits owners and the public by enabling reduction of project risks and improving project outcomes. 

A Call for Volunteers will appear in OAA News in the very near future as Council begins the process of populated the new committee. 

Proposed Changes to the Internship in Architecture Program

OAA Council has moved in favour of the report and recommendations from the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA) National Standing Committee regarding changes to the Internship in Architecture (IAP) program. As equal partners in the development, implementation and recognition of the IAP, all the Canadian architectural regulators are in the process of considering the report with their respective councils. The intent is for approval across the country in the very near future. A more detailed announcement regarding the OAA’s acceptance of the changes to the IAP will be issued later this month. 

Building Committee Report

The timing and schedule for relocation back to the OAA Headquarters at 111 Moatfield Drive was shared with Council. Staff had begun the process of moving back to the offices, though an unforeseen issue relative to required testing resulted in a delay in obtaining occupancy. Since the Council meeting, the OAA has fully relocated back to the building, with daily operations resuming onsite. 

Work on the second floor, which is predominately meeting room space, will continue for another four to six weeks. A full report on the final state of completion of the project will be provided to Council at the June meeting, as well as final budget numbers. A proposal for the grand re-opening of the building is also anticipated. 

Pro-Demnity Insurance Company

OAA Senior Vice President & Treasurer Walter Derhak presented the 2018 Summarized Financial Statements for Pro-Demnity Insurance Company. He briefly discussed the insurance provider’s annual report and business plan, including explorations into ways to expand business for increased capital. 

Derhak explained Pro-Dem is now transitioning, over two years, to a new reporting standard. The group’s new CEO and president, Bruce Palmer, assumed his role as of May 13, while Byron Treves remains as Executive Advisor. OAA Council also moved to reappoint the auditor (BDO Canada) and actuary (J.S. Cheng & Partners Inc.). 

June Meeting

The next Council meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 19 at the OAA Headquarters located at 111 Moatfield Drive in Toronto. Members are welcome to attend the open meeting. Please RSVP to Tina Carfa if you plan to be there.