OFA provides comments to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing regarding proposed changes to Ontario’s Building Code (OBC) regarding future enhancements to the Qualification Program for Ontario’s Building Practitioners. OFA views enhancing the Qualification Program for Ontario’s Building Practitioners as a positive step to addressing the housing crisis in rural Ontario.
OFA sees that mandatory training on farm buildings for practitioners would be an advantage to municipalities, the building industry, and the agricultural industry. It would be valuable for MMAH to develop training and examinations for Part 2 Large Farm Buildings for building officials and registered code agencies as well as a training and exam package for small farm buildings. OFA sees that enhancing the qualification and training programs for Ontario’s building practitioners would help achieve consistent interpretation and application of building requirements across jurisdictions to improve clarity and efficiency.
Farm employers across different regions of Ontario have experienced unique and unexpected obstacles when using existing houses, apartment buildings or other boarding, lodging, and rooming accommodations to provide safe and comfortable housing for international farm workers. OFA would like to see an ongoing and constructive dialogue between farm employers and government agencies, including building practitioners, on addressing these obstacles to the responsible and safe use of existing housing and buildings to increase housing opportunities for international farm workers.
OFA looks forward to ongoing discussions with the MMAH to ensure that the OBC supports farm businesses and reflects OFA’s advice and recommendations.