May 16, 2017
Paul Brydges
LO President

Paul BrydgesSpring is upon us and every member I have spoken with is extremely busy and booking new work daily. The flurry of trying to find new staff is a dominant issue that is not going away any time soon. Many companies are reaching out to potential staff in new and different ways than ever before. I was asked to engage our members and attend a student tech and trade fair at Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute on March 9. We saw good member turnout to be in front of almost 1,800 students. Some of the senior students were looking for summer jobs and others were looking for post-graduate jobs and careers.

Lutherwood Employment Services in Cambridge held a career fair in late February that also saw many member companies meet with potential employees. Other member companies are holding their own career fairs in hopes of generating public interest in their firms.

Finding one key hire in any of these opportunities makes the time and effort worthwhile. The Golden Horseshoe Chapter’s Gear Up for Spring event in Jerseyville was a huge success this year with over 400 attendees. Congratulations to the many volunteers and members who supported the event, and the amazing efforts of members for all of our shows and conferences. As employers, we should take advantage of shows and events and bring staff out to engage in the association more.

On behalf of LO, I attended the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA) annual general meeting in Ottawa on March 31. I was given the opportunity to have a brief discussion with the Attorney General about the Ottawa Botanical Garden which is in his home riding.

Our ongoing discussions with the OALA on the joint Practice Act/Name Act legislation are progressing well. LO members Chris Mace, Sabrina Goettler, Jen Cuddie and Jennifer Hayden are now part of the committee to help create a clear vision for all landscape designers. At the OALA AGM, Practice Legislation Committee member Glenn O’Conner spoke to OALA members and stated that “LO is‎ a critical partner” in the success of the OALA Practice Act pursuit. In reverse, the OALA will be a critical partner for our success at LO for a Name Act for landscape designers.

OALA has shared the draft act legislation wording with the LO committee for comment and discussion. Our next meeting will discuss this in detail. As it should be, the Attorney General will create the final wording for the act to be created. OALA is working with LO and other allied professions to draft wording of the act, but it is out of theirs and our hands as to how the government will create the final wording. As we pursue our Name Act for landscape designers, we are using the wording of the existing OALA Name Act as our framework, but ultimately, the Attorney General has the final say on wording and implementation of our act as well.

There is still a lot of work to do on our end for Name Act success, but our collaboration with OALA is a key starting point for success.

Good luck out there this spring. Collaboration is the key to all of our success.

Paul Brydges may be reached at