Viewpoint: The two OCNs – old and new

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By Mark Buckshon

I am fortunate in combining a youthful outlook and seniority. We’ve published Ottawa Construction News monthly since 1989 – 30 years ago – while our new daily publication, Ontario Construction News, with the same OCN abbreviation, has been around since May 1.

The new “construction trade newspaper” has been designed to comply with the Ontario Construction Act’s regulatory provisions for publishing mandatory certificates and notices, including Certificates of Substantial Performance (CSP).

These notices have been part of my life since we launched OCN (the Ottawa version) three decades ago. Every few weeks, I would receive a call from someone wishing to post a CSP notice – and every time, I would need to direct the caller to another publication because of the statutory wording in the former Construction Lien Act, which granted that publisher a monopoly.

The new Construction Act added a few words to the “construction trade newspaper” definition — “or in electronic format in Ontario”.  I also discovered another statute, the Legislation Act, with a truly specific definition of “newspaper”. We set out to publish Ontario Construction News so it would comply with both laws, and launched OCN (the daily) in May.

It has proven to be a fun project, achieving economic viability despite the rather significant challenges in filling eight tabloid newspaper pages each day, five days a week. (You can’t do this by rewriting a few news releases.) Our advertisers appreciate the truly significant cost savings from the former monopoly, combined with speedy service – in many case, we can deliver their published notices within 24 hours.

I’m glad that I can combine experience, sustained relationships, and an adventurous spirit in bringing the new publication to life. You can see for yourself how it is working by visiting www.ontarioconstructionnews.com.

Mark Buckshon is president of the Construction News and Report Group of Companies.  He can be reached by email at buckshon@cnrgp.com or by phone at 888-627-8717 ext 224.

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