Final Meeting of 2020 Held via Zoom
met virtually on Friday, December 4 to review and approve various items related to the Association and the profession. This marked the final meeting of the year, and the last for several outgoing Councillors. The President and members of Council took time to express their appreciation to the following for their hard work and dedication:
Amir Azadeh (Vice President Communications);
Sarah Murray; and
The incoming Councillors-elect also attended the meeting as a sneak peek of sorts before their terms begin on January 1, 2021.
In addition to various updates and discussions from the Executive and Committee Chairs, Councillors explored topics including OAA.chat and a virtual panel discussion for next year that could highlight work done by architects to achieve net zero buildings. Committee appointments, changes to the Continuing Education (ConEd) program, discussions with the provincial government regarding long-term care facility design, as well as the results of the member survey on the Intern Architect title, were also the subjects of discussion.
To access open Council packages for the recent December meeting or others from the last few years, click here
Volunteers are critical to the work of the OAA, with a true diversity of voices, opinions, skills, and knowledge necessary for its decision-making processes. OAA Council strives for inclusion, diversity, and gender parity on all its Committees, aiming for a complement that reflects Ontario and an equitable, inclusive profession.
In addition to approving appointments of members to the COMPASS Advisory Board and Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB), OAA Council agreed to candidates joining the following nine Committees that had vacancies for the 2021–2023 term:
Experience Requirements Committee;
Practice Resource Committee;
Policy Advocacy Coordination Team (PACT);
Sub-Committee on Building Codes and Regulations (SCOBCAR);
Sustainable Built Environments Committee (SBEC); and
These individuals, who applied to the Committees earlier in the fall, are now being contacted by OAA staff in preparation for next year. The OAA thanks all members that put their names forward for consideration.
ConEd: Mandatory Education on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity
Council approved the OAA Comprehensive Education Committee’s recommendation to introduce a mandatory requirement for a minimum of one structural learning hour of accredited programming focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion. This change would take place for the next Continuing Education (ConEd) Cycle, which runs from January 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.
The recommendation was based, in part, on the results of a recent membership survey that showed a third of participants reported some form of discrimination in the workplace. As a regulator, the OAA has a duty under the Architects Act
to investigate actions “regarded by members of the Association as disgraceful, dishonourable, or unprofessional." Promoting a better understanding of equity and inclusivity issues is an important part of this, and is of fundamental importance for all architects licensed to provide services to the public.
More information on this change will be communicated to the membership in the new year.
Long-Term Care Design Support
Council passed a motion to have the OAA President author a letter to the Hon. Bill Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, regarding long-term care and congregate living spaces and the Ontario Building Code (OBC). The letter
, which can be found on the OAA Website’s Government Relations portal
, was drafted further to conversations regarding the lack of building-related infection control measures in the code.
The crisis that has occurred this year in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic within the province’s long-term care facilities has been a matter discussed by Council numerous times this year.
Intern Architect Title
Representatives of the research polling firm, Stratcom, joined Council to share some of the findings from the Intern Architect title survey, which was administered last month. The survey, shared with Intern Architects, Architects, Licensed Technologists OAA, and retired members, sought to gauge anonymous opinions on changing the title of those enrolled in the Internship in Architecture Program (IAP). Based on those surveyed, there was general support for a new name, with some suggestions emerging.
The OAA Interns Committee will now use this information to prepare a motion for Council’s consideration and further discussion in the new year.
The next Council meeting takes place on Thursday, January 21. During the event, OAA President Kathleen Kurtin will complete her second one-year term. The new president, as well as others Officers (i.e. Vice Presidents) for the new Council, will be elected.