Monday, November 3, 2014

Protecting public safety with landmark ruling under Alberta’s Building Code

The City of Calgary takes public safety seriously, making Canadian history today with a landmark ruling under the provincial Building Codes legislation.

On November 3, 2014 Provincial Court Judge Heather Lamoureux ruled that William Engineering Canada Inc. is accountable for its involvement in repairs undertaken at the Rocky Mountain Court building parkade, 221 6 Ave SE, in the summer of 2011.

Marco Civitarese, Chief Building Official for The City of Calgary, and Ola Malik,
Municipal Prosecutor, stand outside the Provincial Court House,
following a historic ruling for public safety
“Public safety is our utmost concern”, says Marco Civitarese, Chief Building Official and Manager of Building Regulations. “We always seek compliance to Alberta’s Building Code, and our partnerships with industry have made construction sites safer in Calgary, however when prosecution is warranted, we will seek enforcement under legislation,” notes Marco.

The City created the Safety Reponses Unit (SRU) in 2009 to address unsafe construction sites in Calgary. The SRU leads a Coordinated Safety Response Team with the objective of protecting public safety by identifying issues, investigating incidents and correcting unsafe issues. The SRU has implemented a number of construction safety measures in Calgary that promote site safety, public awareness and have made Calgary a national leader.

“We’re pleased with Judge Heather Lamoureux’s ruling today,” says Ola Malik, The City’s municipal prosecutor who conducted the 3-week trial. “Engineering firms, like other parties who are involved at the various stages of a construction project, have independent obligations to satisfy in the design and execution of a construction project,” adds Malik.

The City appears to be the only jurisdiction in Canada that is actively prosecuting breaches of the Building Code and obtaining significant fines.

A sentencing hearing is being scheduled for a later date.

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