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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
(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.
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
The Northeast BC Resource Municipalities Coalition today announced the Independent Contractors and Business Association of BC (ICBA) as its 1st Associate Member. The announcement was made today at a Coalition Community Luncheon in Fort St John. The Coalition’s Associate Membership program has several categories aimed at allowing companies, associations, institutions, organizations and individuals who support the Coalition’s goals and objectives to demonstrate their support by becoming an Associate Member.
ICBA Vice President, Regional Initiatives Mike Davis states “ICBA is really pleased to become the 1st Associate Member of the Coalition. We’ve seen the Coalition as a very proactive organization that brings together municipalities and rural communities in Northeast BC with industry, government and other organizations to support and enhance existing communities and to support responsible resource development and access to new markets.
Carpentry students from Northern Lights College (NLC) will be pleased to learn of a new $10,000 donation from the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA).
Dean of Trades and Apprenticeships, Mark Heartt, said the donation will directly benefit the College’s Carpentry program.
“The Trades Department was able to purchase audiovisual equipment worth about $5,000 to date that will enable better online training for our learning management system,” said Heartt, “the additional funds will go towards other much needed carpentry equipment.” Read more