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OGWA promotes collaboration at annual convention


April 12, 2017
By Ground Water Canada

Alliston, Ont. – The Ontario Ground Water Association drew a good crowd for its annual convention and general meeting at the spacious and tranquil Nottawasaga Inn, Resort and Conference Centre. This year the event was held immediately following a regional training meeting on best practices.

Friday was training day, with more than 80 members attending to get up to date on best practices.

A silent auction run by OGWA staff Anne Gammage and Debbie Stojkovic that began at the Friday night meet-and-greet had members vying with unidentified bidders for everything from maple syrup to water level meters to a day’s excavator rental. The auction featured donations from Canadian Pipe, Franklin Electric, Wellmaster Pipe & Supply, Pompco, Atlas Copco and many others.

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Saturday morning was given over to division meetings and the annual general meeting, with president Darren Juneau presiding for the last time before the end of his term. Juneau received an enthusiastic round of applause for his tireless leadership.

Collaboration seemed to be the unofficial theme of the convention. The association is close to formalizing a partnership with the Canadian Water Quality Association and the Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association that will see the three organizations, which already work together on pertinent issues, collaborate and share information. The OGWA is also working on a partnership with the University of Windsor’s Earth and Environmental Sciences department.

After enjoying a buffet lunch in the Riverview Restaurant, many attended two afternoon learning sessions.

Ellaline Davies of Safety Works Consulting, went over the new WSIB rate framework model and took general questions about requirements. The framework, which Davies expects to take effect in 2019 or 2020, is meant to reward contractors who hold clean records for three years by setting rates based on performance.

Following this well-attended session was an earnest discussion about collaboration between drillers and the scientists and engineers they work with.

“That was the most productive meeting I’ve seen in a few years. It was really good,” longtime driller and past president John Wilson told Ground Water Canada that evening during the awards dinner.

OGWA executive director Craig Stanton thanked outgoing president Darren Juneau and welcomed incoming Bryan Watson and the new board. They cheered as Kevin Wong, director of the Canadian Water Quality Association, accepted the Archie Watt award. They chuckled as Stainton presented the Tenacity Award – along with some good-natured ribbing – to Stephen Bleizeffer of Lackner McLennan Insurance. But perhaps the highlight of the evening was Prof. Peter Russell’s reading of his children’s book, Wally & Deanna’s Groundwater Adventure, as images displayed on the big screen. Prof. Russell, who was presented with the Earth, Wind and Fire award by hydrogeologist Bill Clarke, invited children in the audience to come up to the front and demonstrate – by wriggling energetically – how a drop of rain water “percolates” through gravel, sand, silt and rock.

For photos of the event, check out our Facebook gallery. While you’re there, be sure to “Like” us to stay connected to others in the industry.


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