Mark’s Viewpoint


By Mark Buckshon

President, Construction News and Report Group of Companies

Two years ago, Robert Merkley of Merkley Supply Ltd. encouraged me to join his team, the Brick Peddlers, in a new initiative to raise funds for cancer research at The Ottawa Hospital. I had no trouble agreeing to ride my beat-up bicycle 100 km. Merkley is one of this business’s earliest and longest-lasting clients (this goes back to 1989-90), the cause is undoubtedly worthy, and, in any case, I thought I could benefit from the exercise.

I hesitated a bit, however, before joining his team – in part because so many other worthy contractors, suppliers, and professionals related to the Ottawa-area architectural, engineering and construction community also decided to participate in this event.  Other leading supporters include The Ottawa Construction Association, the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association, Boone Plumbing and Heating Supply (whose team is aptly named the Boone Flushers), and Minto Developments, a major Ottawa builder/developer.  How could I favour one client rather than another?  Even now, I’m a bit uncomfortable donning the Merkley brick-coloured jerseys because I think I should also wear at jerseys of all the other worthy supporters of this cause.

Nevertheless, built on Merkley and other industry leaders’ initiatives, I’ve sought to support the project with extensive free publicity and advertising, reflecting this company’s policy to actively support community service initiatives, especially when they involve industry leaders and organizations.

While this project is Ottawa-centric, publishers in other communities within the Construction News and Report Group are encouraged to support worthy local causes, especially community initiatives that extend beyond the AEC community, that are initiated or supported by businesses and individuals within it.  For example, if you are working with a community initiative in the GTA, Golden Horseshoe or Barrie, you can connect with Chase at (905) 228-1151 or email

Note that we don’t put any linkage on doing business with us for these community service initiatives. We don’t care whether you are an advertiser or not or whether you have a policy against participating or supporting company feature profiles. Community service is just that – and we are happy to recognize and support it.

If you want to help out with Ride the Rideau, you can find more information at  If you are a rider or supporter, I’m looking forward to seeing you on the ride (this time on a somewhat newer, and hopefully more efficient, bicycle.)

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            You’ll see in this issue a special supplement, The Barrie Construction Association Annual Report. I think, whether you are in Barrie or anywhere else in the province, you’ll find value in reading the report, for it provides information about opportunities and resources in this thriving community on the highway between Toronto and cottage country.  If you represent a community or association which could benefit from a similar report, please email or phone us.

            Mark Buckshon is president of the Construction News and Report Group of Companies.  He writes a daily blog about construction marketing at He can be reached by phone at (888) 432-3555 ext 224 or by email at


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