Council Highlights

Next Meeting: Thursday, November 5

Members of OAA Council met virtually through Zoom on Thursday, September 24 to review and approve various items related to the Association and the profession. In addition to various updates and discussions from the Executive and Committee Chairs, Councillors explored topics such as the Association’s continued steps toward addressing discrimination in the profession, including plans on member surveys and upcoming roundtable discussions.

Other discussion points highlighted below include the rescinding of the mandatory requirement for Notarius digital seals, a revision to a category of learning in the Continuing Education (ConEd) program, improved access to CSA standards for members, progress related to Indigenous Truth and Reconciliation, and meeting dates for 2021.

Notarius digital seals

OAA Council passed a motion, effective immediately, that removed the requirement for licensed members to have a digital seal issued through Notarius. A members' resolution to rescind the mandatory requirement for new OAA seals to be digital via Notarius was approved at the Annual General Meeting in August. As per OAA By-laws, Council explored this matter, having a lengthy discussion that capped off months of reviewing and evaluating OAA seal use. 
Previously, Notarius digital seals had been mandatory for new applications, as of January 2019, for Architects and Licensed Technologists OAA. This would have been extended to all Members as of January 2, 2022. However, with the requirement rescinded, both physical and digital OAA seals, as well as high-resolution seal images, may now be used. For more, see the Regulatory Notice issued to the membership on Wednesday, September 30.

ConEd category revision

To stay current with the latest technological advances and the new learning options, the OAA Comprehensive Education Committee proposed amending the Continuing Education (ConEd) program’s “Reading” Category under Unstructured Learning by adding the following education activities:

  • videos;
  • podcasts; and
  • documentaries.

It was recommended to keep the maximum number of hours for this new category the same total of 15. Council passed this motion, renaming the category “Multimedia” to include books, articles, podcasts, documentaries and videos.

CSA Standards

Architects need access to CSA standards in order to design to meet building code requirements and to properly conduct General Review. As most practices lack easy access to all the pertinent standards, the OAA serves the public interest by ensuring its members have access.

Council agreed to offer all OAA members the full suite of CSA standards in English (and French where available) for viewing, but without the ability to download, search, highlight, or bookmark. This includes 926 standards (359 active and 567 withdrawn).

Previously, the membership had access (including downloading capabilities) for only 10 CSA standards online, which the specific choices changing each year based on feedback and use. However, this license agreement ended at the beginning of May 2020, with CSA decommissioning its existing platform.

Through the Practice Resource Committee, the OAA has been negotiating with the CSA for renewed access over the past six months. Adding standards referenced in the National Building Code of Canada (NBC) was deemed particularly desirable as it would be useful for Ontario practices working on federal projects or outside the province, and also because of the harmonization of the Ontario Building Code with the NBC.

Details regarding the rollout of this enhanced member service will be available shortly.

Indigenous cultural competency training

The OAA’s Truth and Reconciliation Working Group updated Council on the environmental scan that is currently underway, with grad student Dani Kastelein sharing her findings of the research she collected on examining how others in the design sphere, as well as other regulators, have approached issues related to decolonization and the recommendations for educating, supporting, and engaging.

Plans are also moving forward on the organization of a virtual Indigenous cultural competency training day—Bimickaway—for Council, the OAA Truth and Reconciliation Working Group, and OAA staff, inviting an Elder as well as facilitators from the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Meeting dates for 2021

Council decided on its dates for 2021. The meetings will take place either remotely through Zoom or, depending on health and safety requirements, in person at the OAA Headquarters in Toronto. The days identified are:

  • Thursday, January 21;
  • Thursday and Friday, February 4 and 5 (Priority Planning Retreat);
  • Thursday, March 4;
  • Wednesday, May 12;
  • Thursday, June 24;
  • Thursday, September 23;
  • Thursday, November 4; and
  • Friday, December 10.