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ICBA supports Site C and responsible resource development

(Burnaby, April 18, 2017) Today’s message from Premier Christy Clark about the benefits the Site C Clean Energy Project will provide is important as British Columbians choose which party will lead the province for the next four years.

With our population expected to grow by another million British Columbians in the next 20 years, the demand for clean power will increase 40 per cent. The Site C Clean Energy Project will provide the power needed for 100 years and provide thousands of construction and operations jobs.

“The stakes are high in this election for construction workers and all British Columbians. Both the NDP and the Green Party have expressed hostility to these kinds of responsible resource developments and major infrastructure projects, and that creates a risk to our economy,” says Chris Gardner, President of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA).Site C, as well as the Kinder Morgan pipeline, Pacific NorthWest LNG and the George Massey Tunnel replacement will mean thousands of jobs in BC. We need leadership that will get to ‘yes’ on these kinds of developments.”
For more information and interviews, contact:
Trevor Pancoust

ICBA Technical Trades Room Unveiled at The College of New Caledonia

Naming rights for a technical trade’s classroom have been given to the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) following last year’s $25,000 donation by ICBA to the College of New Caledonia (CNC). CNC will use ICBA’s donation for technology advancements in the John A. Brink Trades and Technology Centre, including the purchase of electronics and other equipment that will enhance education and training for CNC trades students.

“This classroom will be instrumental in ensuring that our students are being educated and trained with the newest classroom technology,” says Frank Rossi, Dean of Trades and Technologies. “It will be a great instrument for CNC’s instructors to share their knowledge and skills to support student success.”

The classroom will be named the ICBA Technical Trades Room until 2021. ICBA made the donation in March, 2016 as part of a provincial education and training program ICBA launched to celebrate its 40th Anniversary.

“ICBA’s contribution will help prepare the next generation of construction industry professionals and support students as they pursue in-demand trades,” says Mike Davis, Regional Vice President of ICBA. “We are very excited to be investing in the students of northern B.C. and in the future of our province.”

ICBA opened an office in Prince George last year and represents over 2,000 members and clients in the construction sector across B.C.


Now is the Time to Build

Source: BC Gov News
Source: BC Gov News

Today’s budget demonstrates that the Province’s commitment to balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility is paying dividends for British Columbians and for the construction industry.

“The message in this budget is clear –when governments save and spend responsibly they can cut taxes, invest in construction projects and support small businesses.” said Chris Gardner, President, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association.

“The government has rolled out an aggressive plan to build our province and to support families and small businesses.” Read more

How to hold an economy hostage: The Activist Playbook

The “Activist Playbook” is a set of four tactics used by environmentalists to delay, cancel or block projects from getting shovels in the ground.
The “Activist Playbook” is a set of four tactics used by environmentalists to delay, cancel or block projects from getting shovels in the ground.

A recent investigation from the Financial Post sent reporters to communities across Canada where major projects had been stalled or cancelled by activist opposition. They uncovered 35 projects worth $129 billion dollars that were victim to activism, and of that, $40 billion were projects in BC. The “Activist Playbook” are tactics used by the anti-resource development movement to stall economic growth and drive away investment. With every project that the eco-activists block, our economy becomes vulnerable to instability in oil and gas prices, fewer investments that lead to tax revenue for important social services, as well as an increasing reliance on the US market.

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ICBA grows stronger with additional regional expansion

February 1, 2017 – Energy Services BC merges with ICBA. (Left: Art Jarvis, Executive Director of ESBC; Mike Davis, Regional Vice President, ICBA)
February 1, 2017 – Energy Services BC merges with ICBA. (Left: Art Jarvis, Executive Director of ESBC; Mike Davis, Regional Vice President, ICBA)
On February 1, 2017, the voice of BC’s construction sector became stronger.
We are pleased to announce that Energy Services BC merged with the ICBA.
Together, advocating for growth and investment in Northeast BC.

Natural resources play a crucial role in BC’s economy, creating jobs and investment in our province.  The construction sector alone employs more than 200,000 people and is responsible for 10 per cent of our province’s economic activity.

Over the past year, ICBA has helped bring projects to yes along with the support of more than 35,000 British Columbians. With our expansion in Prince George, BC, we were able to connect with businesses in the north and understand the challenges and opportunities ahead.

This year, we continue the regional expansion with the acquisition of Fort St. John-based Energy Services BC – the largest oil and gas industry association in BC. For northeast BC and our businesses, this merger means we will now have a much stronger voice when dealing with issues impacting the industry. Advocating for responsible resource development and attracting investment to the northeast region will create much needed jobs and create stronger communities.

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BC Construction Monitor – Winter 2016/17

A balanced and realistic energy future

We get and use our energy in very different ways today than we did just a decade or two ago. But does that mean we’re on pace to make the changes we need to, or should we be trying instead to end fossil fuel use as completely and quickly as possible?

The federal government has clearly signaled that it foresees a long-term transition away from fossil fuels: One that will involve continued carbon-reduction, as well as new infrastructure to get responsibly produced conventional energy to world markets where the long-term demand outlook is strong.

Demand growth will be driven by an expanding global population, and a determination on the part of developing countries to improve their living standards. It’s true that renewables are poised to make up a much bigger part of the energy mix. But they’re starting from a low baseline and won’t be able to fully meet demand without more modest but still significant growth in conventional energy sources as well.

Even putting demand growth aside, a quick and complete transition to renewables is simply not viable. Their costs are coming down, and technical challenges such as the irregular availability of sources like wind are being tackled. But these remain big hurdles. Carbon-free energy sources can also have significant ecological footprints of their own. Read more

Coordination of benefits can save you money

Sometimes you might have benefit coverage under more than one health plan, typically through your spouse’s employer. In these cases, you can submit the expense under both plans to get up to 100% of your expense covered. This is called coordination of benefits (COB).

With coordination of benefits, you claim first with the plan you are the main member of, then you claim any amount that was not reimbursed through your spouse’s plan.
If you and your spouse both pay premiums to participate in a benefit plan, you may be tempted to save on payroll deductions by opting out of your spouse’s plan. However, coordinating the benefits provided by each plan can save you money, in most cases providing coverage up to 100% of the expense. Saving you from out-of-pocket expenses related to health care costs is what your benefit plan is designed to do. Read more

Organizational changes at the ICBA

Dear friends,

After more than 30 years leading ICBA I have decided to take a step back in the organization. The announcement below outlines the new leadership team. I will continue with ICBA as special counsel to the new President Gord Stewart.

It has been my honour to have served the ICBA members and the construction industry. Special thanks to those members who served with me on boards and committees through the years. They helped make the organization better.

These are exciting times for the BC construction industry. I am confident ICBA will continue to serve its members, their employees and the industry well for many years to come.

My contact information remains the same. Please never hesitate to get in touch.

Philip H.

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Woodfibre LNG’s positive decision is welcome news for B.C. families and workers

(November 4, 2016 – Burnaby) ­– On behalf of B.C.’s construction industry, the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C. (ICBA) offers congratulations to Woodfibre LNG for their positive decision for the liquefied natural gas project in Squamish. Their investment in this project is welcome news for the families and workers of B.C.

“LNG is potentially one of the best things to ever happen to B.C.’s economy, and Woodfibre LNG’s decision to invest reflects tremendous confidence in this emerging industry,” said Philip Hochstein, president of the ICBA.

“We need to ensure that this project has every opportunity to reach its full potential,” he said.

Woodfibre LNG’s project will be the first of its kind in B.C., and will grow our economy by significantly increasing the return that B.C. and Canada receives from our natural gas reserves.

Squamish residents will reap many long-term benefits including spin-off jobs and opportunities for local small businesses, as well as tax revenues that will support new and improved community centres, parks, festivals, and more.

The project will create more than 650 construction jobs per year during a two-year construction period, and 100 full-time jobs during operation.

About ICBA (www.icba.ca) The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C. services and represents B.C.’s construction sector. ICBA’s 1,200 members build in every construction sector and are involved in virtually all major capital projects in British Columbia.

Media Contact:
Philip Hochstein
President, ICBA

Employment Insurance Changes 2016


The Government has made several changes to the Employment Insurance Act through Budget 2016, aimed at improving the coverage and services available to claimants.

Below we have outlined the changes that are most likely to affect your employees, including the reduction of waiting periods for EI and the ability to work during parental or compassion leave.

There are other changes to the act, and more details to the information below listed on the Service Canada website.  For further information, click here.


Reducing the two-week waiting period to one week

The Employment Insurance (EI) waiting period is a period of time that must be served before a claimant can begin to receive EI benefits.  It has been set at two weeks since 1971. Shortening the waiting period is expected to ease the financial strain for EI claimants at the front-end of a claim and will put an additional $650 million in the pockets of Canadians annually beginning next year. Read more

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