OALA COVID-19 Updates

The OALA is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will post updates to this page as they are distributed to the membership. Scroll to the bottom of this page to access a list of all previous Covid related e-mailed updates.

March 30, 2020

Dear OALA members:

Being faced with the unknown is always a troubling challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic has presented our membership with one of the most extreme situations of our time. As we and other organizations grapple with this, the OALA expresses our concern for the well-being of our members, their families, employees and clients. We ask that members please abide by the Government’s directions to stay safe and healthy through this pandemic.

As many members have been faced with practicing landscape architecture in a different manner than usual or operating their businesses from a work-at-home environment, contact with clientele has been impacted as well as the ability to conduct regular business in a traditional manner.

As the COVID-19 situation evolves daily, we have cancelled or adjusted some programs in order to ensure that our members have the knowledge they need and to remain informed of the impact on our profession.

Office Closed, Staff working from Home
The OALA office is closed however, staff are operating the business of the organization from their respective homes and will continue to deliver services in as timely a fashion as possible.

2020 AGM and Conference Cancelled
The 2020 OALA AGM & Conference will not be held in person this year. Refunds for those that have registered will be processed as soon as possible, however may take a few weeks to be issued. The South West Chapter of the OALA is to be commended for their hard work and the amazing program they had put together.

We are actively working to reconfigure the AGM component to be delivered in an electronic format before the end of June 2020 to ensure some essential business stays on track.

Continuing Education in a time of social distancing
The OALA is also working to make the keynote presentations from the conference available to members in an on-line format. This will enable members to continue to achieve Mandatory Continuing Education credits (MCE).

Similarly, the OALA is working with sponsors from the trade show to provide educational programming for additional credits and opportunity for networking with our membership.

Our recent educational webinars will make this a relatively smooth transition. Keep an eye on the OALA e-blast and on-line calendar for upcoming opportunities: https://www.oala.ca/events-page/

Impact to Practice – Check Website for Updates
In collaboration with our related professional organizations (OAA, CDAO, LO, OPPI, etc.) the OALA website will be updated regularly with resources and status of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is impacting the landscape architecture profession and our membership.

We are aware that new issues will emerge that will force members with difficult decisions, paralleled with employer responsibilities to protect the health of their staff, clients, other business associates. These are issue we as an association must face together.

Please check the OALA website for up to date information on educational opportunities, news and information to assist our members, and please send us your questions as the answers may help others with similar concerns.

Essential Services
Landscape architectural work may fit into several areas of essential services as defined by the Province:

  • 21-25 – Agriculture
  • 26-29 – Construction
  • 35-39 – Resources
  • 40 – Environmental
  • 41 – Road construction
  • 65 – Professional services.

Please review the list and consider whether your area of practice would fit into the broad definition of essential services. Note that some municipalities have included park construction, and Planning Act matters as essential services. In any event, members should check their individual contracts and get legal advice. https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces

Helpful related professional resource links:

Remain ‘social’ and connected:
We encourage our members to remain social by sharing ideas and discussing issues on this new normal that we are facing in conducting business in the near future by engaging in our various social media platforms on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

As recommended by the government and medical officials at the federal, provincial and municipal level, social distancing is the best measure for flattening the curve the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Members are strongly advised to engage in their recommended best practices of work-from-home and where necessary conduct meetings remotely via virtual, electronic methods. Even after the pandemic advisories have been lifted, we encourage our membership to stay safe by considering these practices as a way to ensure that another pandemic does not impact your work and our profession in a negative manner.

In order to go forward and continue to provide our membership with up-to-date information on the impact of COVID-19, OALA staff and Council are monitoring websites from Ontario Public Health and Ministry of Health.

The OALA Membership has grown as a family and what affects one of our members impacts us all. As we face this pandemic, we face it together to keep each of our members, their families and work colleagues safe. We can all do our part by following recommendations to stay safe and healthy now and in the future.

Though the OALA office is close to physical visits, staff are working remotely and available by phone, email and social media to ensure that your concerns are addressed.

On behalf of the OALA staff and Council we hope that you, your family and work colleagues stay safe and healthy through this pandemic.

Sincerely,

Jane Welsh OALA, FCSLA
OALA President

OALA General Updates

OALA Library 

OALA Conference Updates