Canadian Common Ground Alliance

Damage Prevention is a Shared Responsibility



  • 29 Sep 2016 1:24 PM | Anonymous member

    Following several months of review with stakeholders, including a transparent comment period in early 2016, the Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act was tabled by Senator Grant Mitchell in the Senate this afternoon.

    This bill creates a federal underground infrastructure notification system that requires, among other things,

    • a)      operators of underground infrastructure that is federally regulated or that is located on federal land to register that underground infrastructure with a notification centre and provide information on it;
    • b)      persons planning to undertake a ground disturbance to make a locate request to the relevant notification centres; and
    • c)      operators of registered underground infrastructure, as a result of the locate request, to mark the location of the underground infrastructure on the ground, provide in writing any other accurate and clear description of the location of the underground infrastructure or indicate that the ground disturbance is not likely to cause damage to the underground infrastructure.

    Finally, the enactment also provides a mechanism by which reserves and some other lands subject to the Indian Act can become subject to this notification system, after consultation with the council of any band in question.

    There are five steps to passing a bill in the Senate:

    1.      First reading
    The Senate receives the bill, and it is printed and circulated among senators. This is an introductory proceeding in the Senate Chamber and takes place without debate or vote.

    2.      Second reading
    Senators debate the principle of the bill in the Chamber (Is the bill good policy?). To help with this process, the Senate may refer the subject matter of the bill to a Senate committee for closer examination before voting on whether to proceed with it.

    3.      Committee stage
    The Senate refers the bill to one of its committees. The committee may invite Cabinet ministers, Government officials, experts, and members of the public who have an interest in the bill to share information and perspectives in public hearings. Committee members then study the bill clause by clause. Members of the committee may propose changes to the bill (known as amendments) during this process.

    After it has completed the clause-by-clause analysis, the committee adopts a report on the bill. The report will recommend to the Senate that the bill be accepted as is; that it be accepted with amendments; or that it be rejected. Committees often also append observations to their report. These comments may highlight issues raised by the committee’s study of the bill.

    4.      Report stage
    If the committee’s report recommends adopting the bill as is (i.e., with no amendments), there is no report stage in the Senate and the bill goes directly to third reading. If, however, the report suggests amendments to the bill, senators must debate the report in the Senate Chamber and either accept, amend, or reject the amendments, in whole or in part.

    5.      Third reading
    This is the final stage of debate in the Chamber. Senators may propose further amendments at this stage before voting to pass or reject the bill. 

    If the bill was introduced in the Senate, it is sent to the House of Commons, which will examine it in a similar three-reading process. If the bill was introduced in the House of Commons and was not amended in the Senate, it is now ready for Royal Assent. 

    If a bill is introduced in the House of Commons and was amended in the Senate, a message about the amendments is sent to the Commons, asking for their agreement. If the Senate and the House of Commons do not agree on the contents of a bill, they may propose amendments until they reach agreement. Once the two Houses agree on a final version, the bill is granted Royal Assent by the Queen or one of her Canadian representatives (usually the Governor General or a deputy), making it law.

  • 22 Apr 2016 12:20 PM | Anonymous member

    The CCGA wishes to thank Senator Grant Mitchell for recognizing DigSafe Month in the Senate yesterday, April 21, 2016. 

    Senator Mitchell has become a champion for safe digging in Canada and has been instrumental in helping the CCGA achieve greater safety for all Canadians and further enhancing the integrity of Canada's critical underground infrastructure.

    Please click HERE to read Senator Mitchell's speech or click this link to hear it: Mitchell_21apr16_DigSafeMonth.04.21.2016.mp3

  • 02 Mar 2016 10:43 PM | Anonymous member

    To all Interested Parties: 

    On behalf of the Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act Team, I am pleased to present you with the second draft of the proposed Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act (previously Bill S-233)This second draft is posted for a 25-day comment period closing midnight Eastern Time March 28, 2016. 

    Using this form, please submit all comments, questions and feedback via email or fax (below) under the subject heading: 

    COMMENTS - Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act

    By Email:

    By Fax: (403) 531-3703

    All feedback will be provided to the Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act Team for consideration into the final version of the Bill.

    Thank you,

    Mike Sullivan - Executive Director, CCGA

  • 02 Feb 2016 1:45 AM | Anonymous member

    Damage Prevention Partners,

    Comments provided by interested parties on the proposed language of Bill S-233, and feedback from the Bill S-233 Team, are posted in this matrix.

    In the coming weeks, the CCGA will release Version 2 of Bill S-233, post it to the CCGA website and notify its members and damage prevention stakeholders by email and social media. Once released, a 25 day comment period will begin. When the comment period has closed, the Bill S-233 Team will once again review all comments, generate the final version of the Bill and present it to Senator Grant Mitchell (April 2016). 

    On behalf of the Canadian Common Ground Alliance, I wish to thank the Bill S-233 Team and Senator Grant Mitchell for their dedication to this initiative.

    Mike Sullivan, Executive Director - CCGA

  • 21 Dec 2015 1:30 PM | Anonymous member

    After several weeks of conference calls with Parliamentary Counsel and Kyle Johnston, Senator Mitchell’s Legislative Assistant on Bill S-233, which died on paper this year when the federal government called for the elections, we are very close to releasing responses to comments and feedback received during the consultation process on the Bill. We still have a couple of minor points to clarify but once those are addressed, the Bill will be revised accordingly with new language. Senator Mitchell intends to table a new version of the bill, which will have taken into account comments received by stakeholders, in 2016.

    In an effort to be as transparent as possible, a new draft version of the Bill will be circulated after the release of those responses to the CCGA Board of Directors (all info will also be posted to the CCGA website). At that time, Directors will be requested to channel the correspondence to their respective stakeholders for a second round of comments. Once the second comment period has closed (beginning of March), the Bill S-233 Team will resume the same process we are completing with this first round; revising the 2nd version of the Bill accordingly and posting version 3 of the Bill to the CCGA website. This 3rd version will not be circulated for comment. Rather, it will go to Senator Mitchell to commence the process of re-tabling the Bill in Parliament.


    Mike Sullivan - Executive Director, CCGA

  • 09 Nov 2015 11:00 AM | Anonymous member
    Click HERE to be re-directed to the Canadian Standards Association's products and publications page to secure your copy of CSA Z247.
  • 05 Nov 2015 4:29 PM | Anonymous member

    The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association's (CEPA) 2015 Pipeline Industry Performance Report shares the recent performance of the Canadian transmission pipeline industry and the actions CEPA’s member companies are taking to improve safety, lessen environmental impacts and achieve operational excellence. 

    Learn more about the Report and download it HERE.

  • 27 Oct 2015 11:18 AM | Anonymous member

    The Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance's Ear to the Ground eMagazine is available online. Learn what's happening in Canada's largest province.

    There's always something going on underground.

  • 27 Oct 2015 9:15 AM | Anonymous member

    The latest edition of the Western Canada Damage Prevention Professional eMagazine is now online. Get up to date on damage prevention initiatives in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia!

  • 14 Oct 2015 4:42 PM | Anonymous member, Canada's online one-window approach to initiating the damage prevention process, opened it's cyber doors to the U.S. last week. "Whether ground disturbance is occurring in Canada, the United States, or anywhere in the world, damage prevention has no boundaries and neither does the World Wide Web", states Sher Kirk, Chair of the Canadian One Call Centres Committee and Director of Operations for Alberta One-Call. "With more people going to the web to initiate the damage prevention process, the portal needed to expand. It was never intended to be limited to Canada."

    "Additionally", advises Ms Nathalie Moreau, incoming Chair of the CCGA and Director General with Info-Excavation, "many of our transmission pipeline members' facilities traverse into the U.S. and they've been asking when they might be able to utilize and promote the URL along with the 811 brand. Now, they can."

    The one-window portal allows any person to submit an online locate request from any One-Call Centre in Canada or the United States 24hrs/day, 7 days/wk, 365 days/yr. 

    Just point and click - it's that easy!

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