The BC Construction Monitor - Environmental Assessments
In the debate over energy infrastruc-ture and other major projects, one common question recently has been whether proposals are being rigorously enough reviewed. This issue of the Monitor takes a close look at what major project review processes actually consist of.
Even with more renewables and energy efficiency, rising global demand means we’ll need to rely on conventional energy sources for a long time yet. Fossil fuels provided 84% of the world’s energy in 2012, and are projected to provide 78% in 2040.
BURNABY, B.C. – The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) has requested intervenor status in a B.C. Supreme Court action aimed at stopping the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. ICBA wants construction on the pipeline to start this fall.
This action puts the largest private sector investment in B.C. history in jeopardy, along with 58,037 person-years of construction employment, 802,000 person-years of ongoing, operating employment over 20 years, and nearly $50 billion in government revenue over the next two decades.
Getting Canada’s natural resources to global markets is a key driver of economic growth and prosperity.
“Responsible resource development is one of Canada’s time-tested creators of jobs and wealth. There is no jurisdiction in the world that develops resources in a more sustainable way than we do in B.C. and Canada,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA President. “Workers in B.C. will be first-in-line for the thousands of jobs, skills training and apprenticeship opportunities that will flow from this project.”
Trans Mountain has worked on their plan for years and was approved by the Trudeau government after a 29-month independent review by the National Energy Board (“NEB”). The NEB imposed 157 conditions that Kinder Morgan must meet during the construction and operation of the pipeline.
In January of this year, the provincial government added a further 37 provincial environmental and technical conditions that Kinder Morgan must meet in order for the project to proceed.
“It’s about balance,” said Gardner. “The approval process was independent and rigorous. As a result, the pipeline will be built in a way that protects the environment, involves First Nations and provides B.C. with significant economic benefits.”
ICBA is being joined by the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA), Canadian Iron, Steel and Industrial Workers’ Union (CISAIWU), and Canada West Construction Union (CWU) in the application to intervene that was filed last week.
Anti-pipeline groups Pipe Up and Democracy Watch claim the B.C. Government was in a conflict of interest because the BC Liberal Party accepted contributions from Kinder Morgan. Should the court accept such an argument, virtually every decision made by any government at any level could be overturned, if a project proponent, a union, a small business or an individual has ever lawfully participated in the democratic process by making contributions to a political party.
When he graduated in 1991 mutual friends reconnected him with Gene Macdonald, who had been his principal at Langley Secondary School.
“We ended up touching base, and he was a very strong believer in travelling abroad, studying abroad, living abroad, working abroad,” Gardner said. “It was because of him that I went to Korea.”
Macdonald was cultivating an international student program in Langley, and a Time magazine cover story on the four Asian tigers – Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea – caught Gardner’s attention. He set off for Seoul, arriving in time for the country’s first democratic elections. The zeitgeist was infectious, and one year became 11 as work with Lee & Ko, the country’s second-largest law firm, introduced him to his wife, and opportunities opened up in the head office of Samsung Electronics and then ING Investment Bank.
Gardner returned to B.C. in 2002 to establish a beachhead for a Korean company seeking to expand into North America. It made dial-up modems, but wireless was the future. A chance encounter in late 2005 with Britco co-founder David Taft at Milestones in South Surrey saw Gardner enter the construction sector in 2006. Gardner prepared a feasibility study for Taft and business partner Rick McClymont while at law school and they welcomed him back as vice-president of operations.
Gardner worked for Britco through 2014, when he became principal secretary to Premier Christy Clark. It wasn’t his first political appointment; he previously helped run mayoral campaigns for Surrey mayors Doug McCallum and Dianne Watts.
Gardner joined Civeo Canada Inc., a provider of work camps, in 2015. The resource sector’s downturn led to coffee with Phil Hochstein in late 2016 and, in January 2017, he was appointed ICBA vice-president, and a month later, president.
“He’s a very smart man. He’s very calm and reasoned. I always liked being in negotiations when he was on our side,” McClymont said. “I think he’ll bring a lot to the ICBA.”
The Conference Board of Canada put out its provincial outlook economic forecast for B.C. this week, and the news is mixed.
The Board anticipates B.C.’s economic growth to slow – they think it will be 2.5 per cent this year, down from the 3.7 per cent, nation-leading growth recorded last year. It is expected to further dip to 2.1 per cent in 2018.
While the Board’s report steers clear of predicting the ramifications of the GreeNDP government, it does highlight some important indicators:
Housing starts are expected to fall 12.4 per cent this year and 5.5 per cent in 2018
Home prices, however, will continue to rise
Forestry will struggle due to the softwood lumber dispute with the U.S.
LNG could go forward, thanks to positive developments with First Nations
Net migration (from both within Canada and abroad) will add between 40,000 and 50,000 people to B.C. every year for the foreseeable future
For the 1980 ICBA convention, a quilt was made to remember some of our founding companies. We still have it, and it’s a prized piece of ICBA history. Over the next few weeks, we will post some of the panels on our social media. Take a look:
How’s your stress level? We’re going to assume that if you’re anything like us, it can get pretty high! Our brand-new Managing Stress in the Workplace course can help.
Our Project Coordinator tested this course earlier this year as part of a pre-employment training project she developed, and she can’t say enough good things about it. You’ll learn how to recognize stress, how it affects your work and personal life, and effective strategies to handle stress in the workplace, including practical exercises you can do again and again when stress strikes. You’ll also learn how to reduce your stress and set goals for effectively managing internal and external stressors.
The workshop will be on September 19 in Burnaby; for more information and to register for any of our upcoming workshops visit www.icba.ca/training. Remember, you don’t have to be a member of ICBA to take our courses – but you’ll get a nice discount if you are!
Does your entire office need this course, or any other one we offer? We would be happy to set up a private course for you. Feel free to contact us at any time to talk about training! If you’re interested in getting regular updates on our courses in your area, we urge you to sign up for our training newsletter at www.icba.ca/trainingnewsletter.
Chris Gardner is on vacation this week, so we brought in the old pro: Philip Hochstein, retired president of ICBA. Phil’s battles with the NDP in the 1990s are legendary, and seeing old NDP hands Horgan, Dix, Krog, Farnworth and Meggs getting the Bad Government Band back together has him worried.
Find us on iTunes (Search for ICBA Cast), or listen below:
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C.: Just hours after the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed two anti-Site C cases and just hours before the B.C. Liberal government is expected to fall, the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) launched a poster campaign in Fort St. John to demonstrate public support for the Site C dam project, the more than 2,200 people employed there, and the clean energy it will produce for decades.
ICBA’s pro-Site C poster makes up the front page of today’s Alaska Highway News and was delivered to nearly 12,000 homes and businesses in and around Fort St. John. ICBA president Chris Gardner and regional vice president Mike Davis are in Fort St. John today to launch the campaign.
“B.C. is staring down the prospect of an NDP government and their politics of saying no to responsible resource development projects like Site C,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA President. “Unfortunately, it will be workers, local suppliers, and families in towns like Fort St. John that bear the brunt of the NDP’s poor decisions.”
ICBA launched its #Get2Yes on Site C campaign with a media event at BC Hydro’s Vancouver headquarters on June 8, using 2,252 Site C pink slips to illustrate how many people work on the Peace River dam site and who are risk of being fired. It followed up with a plane towing a banner stating “BC Needs Site C Jobs” around the B.C. Legislature during the Throne Speech on June 22.
ICBA is encouraging people who support clean energy jobs to visit Get2Yes.icba.ca and send an email to B.C.’s three party leaders. In the two weeks of the campaign, more than 2,000 people have sent an email supporting Site C.
“The people who live closest to Site C voted overwhelmingly for the BC Liberals and their agenda of supporting a strong construction sector in B.C.,” said Davis. “Now we have two politicians – John Horgan and Andrew Weaver – who live 1,282 km away ready to fire thousands of Site C workers. It’s not right, and the public knows it.”
Site C was more than a decade in the planning, has undergone extensive environmental assessments and regulatory reviews, and was signed off by both the federal and provincial governments. Both the process and project have been upheld in nine different judicial reviews in the B.C. Supreme Court, the B.C. Court of Appeal and the Federal Court of Canada.
Just this morning, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed two appeals to stop the dam project. “After nine judicial reviews upholding Site C, it should come as no surprise that the Supreme Court approves of the consultation, planning and regulatory work done by BC Hydro,” said Gardner. “The forces of ‘no’ have tried everything to stop this project, but it must go forward for B.C.’s future economic and energy needs.”
In the coming weeks, ICBA will hold more #Get2Yes on Site C campaign events in Victoria and Dawson Creek.
“We are going to keep pleading the case across B.C. for Site C’s workers and the clean energy the dam will produce for generations,” said Gardner. “The 41 NDP and 3 Green MLAs need to be held accountable for the way they demean the men and women in construction when they call Site C jobs ‘temporary’ or ‘part of yesterday’s economy.’ This is a real project and these are real jobs and real families who are helping build our province every day they get up and go to work.”
Becoming a foreman is an important step on the career ladder in the trades; yet too often one is just elevated to the position without any training. The status quo has been “that is how I was treated by my foreman, so that is how I will deal with you.”
There is a better way, and ICBA’s How To Be A Better Foreman course is here to help give you the tools to succeed.
You’ll learn the fundamentals of field leadership, organization, crew morale, efficiency and productivity in this one-day course. You’ll also learn the valuable skill of dealing with workplace conflict without being a jerk, and understand how you play a major role in increasing jobsite productivity. This course has been offered for several years, training over one hundred people; it’s one of our most popular workshops! Here’s what some of our past participants have said:
“Well-structured, informative course.”
“All of the content was quite relevant. It was a very valuable seminar.”
“Covered a lot of different topics.”
“Very good course.”
We’re offering the course in Victoria and Burnaby in August; we often fill the course so don’t procrastinate in signing up! For more information on these courses and others, or to register, please visit www.icba.ca/training. And remember, you don’t have to be a member of ICBA to take our courses.