January 15, 2010
Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is in the process of increasing the qualification requirements for contractors bidding on grounds maintenance contracts for federal government sites in Ottawa.

Acting head, horticultural services for maintenance and operational assurance (MOA), Joanna Wichers, told Horticulture Review that in order to give the contractors time to obtain the necessary training, we will not make these requirements mandatory for another year. “The purpose of the new requirements is to reflect the changes to the scope of work in our contracts.” She noted that the new requirements are only for PWGSC grounds maintenance contracts within the Ottawa area.

Areas targeted

Snow and ice management:
PWGSC will require contractors to take training courses in salt management and snow removal. Specifically, the contractor will provide a training report with supporting documented proof to demonstrate that staff members have the training to operate and maintain snow removal equipment and have received training on best salt management practices through recognized institutions such as, but not limited to Landscape Ontario, Association of Ontario Road Supervisors (AORS) and the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA). Winter maintenance training must include, but is not limited to, anti-icing and de-icing products and technologies, salt management plans, proper plowing techniques, equipment maintenance and calibration, material selection to mitigate environmental impacts, mitigating blowing snow, and winter maintenance management. Contractors will be required to submit salt management plans.

Sustainable landscaping:
PWGSC will require contractors to follow a sustainable approach to materials and methodologies used in landscape maintenance, so as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect public health through safe management of potentially hazardous substances, and to protect soils and groundwater. In order to reduce carbon emissions and noise pollution, equipment will only be used as required. The contractor will select equipment and fuel to limit air-pollutant emissions and ensure that all equipment used on site is properly maintained. The contractor will clean equipment prior to bringing it onsite to prevent transportation of invasive species. The contractor will make all efforts to minimize disturbance and protect sensitive areas.

Green roofs:
PWGSC will require contractors to have the necessary fall protection certification to maintain green roofs. PWGSC will also expect the contractor’s supervisor to have taken green roof courses.

Joanna Wichers may be contacted at 819-775-4268, or email Joanna.Wichers@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.