Hundreds of billions worth of construction projects are on the drawing board in B.C. As a result, most construction contractors geared up for even more work this year, despite an already intense pace. This will keep the industry’s GDP and employment contributions growing at the same pace as the provincial economy.
Congratulations to our ICBA President, Chris Gardner, for landing at #17 on the Vancouver Magazine #Power50 list. A well-deserved honour for a man who has taken ICBA to the next level in training, benefits, advocacy and public policy.
Looking to learn how to improve the management and business systems of your construction business? We have the course for you! Check out our two-day Construction Business Management course. This course is perfect for businesses of all sizes, and especially for start up companies.
At the end of the course participants will be able to:
- Understand the strategic planning process and how to implement it within their context
- Understand the importance of a business plan and how to prepare one
- Understand the participants within the construction industry – their roles, responsibilities and limitations
- Understand the benefits of a participatory management culture
- Formulate a marketing plan and understand the marketing mix
- Develop a human resource management plan
- Understand the employment cycle/process
- Develop an employee performance evaluation system
- Increase staff morale and engagement
- Understand operational planning for construction companies
- Formulate a financial plan, budgets, ratios and break-even analysis
- Understand the importance of financial internal controls
- Develop benchmarks and key performance indicators
- Understand bonding and insurance for construction companies
- Use risk management tools to identify risk and how to mitigate risk
You’ll also earn 5 Gold Seal Credits and 32 CPD Points from BC Housing!
Our next two-day session takes place in Kelowna November 14-15, and then in Burnaby December 19-20. You can register for this or any of our other upcoming sessions at www.icba.ca/courses.
And while you’re there, subscribe to our biweekly training newsletter at www.icba.ca/trainingnewsletter.
Are you a home builder in BC? We have a brand-new course for you! Our Building Code for Residential Builders session is in Langley November 14.
Participants will learn how to read, interpret and use the BC Building Code (2018). The course is specifically targeted for constructors of small buildings and residential construction in order to allow them to discuss with confidence issues brought up by inspectors, plan checkers and/or consultants.
At the end of the course participants will be able to:
• Have a working knowledge of the BC Building Code (2018) and be able to reference relevant sections quickly in their day-to-day dealings with inspectors, plan checkers and/or consultants;
• Understand the differences in construction where Part 9 of the Code is used for Small Buildings
compared to Part 3-8 for larger and more complex building systems;
• Understand how various Building Codes (National, Provincial and Local) and Bylaws operate in various jurisdictions;
• Understand the 38 sections within Part 9 of the Code and their application within residential construction;
• Understand where Part 10 applies to residential construction projects;
• Recognize the shortcomings of the Code and understand how to deal with multiple interpretations.
This course is ideal for those who have little or no background in using the BC Building Code or for those wanting an update on the changes from the 2012 version. Plus, you’ll earn 7.5 CPD Points from BC Housing!
Register at www.icba.ca/courses.
Driving Choice is pleased to announce that the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) has joined as a partner in the campaign calling for more choice and competition in car insurance in British Columbia (BC).
“Under ICBC’s monopoly, our members have seen years of successive rate hikes with no relief in sight. Now more than ever, British Columbians deserve to be able to choose the car insurer that provides the best product at the best possible price,” said Jordan Bateman, Vice President, Communications & Marketing, ICBA. “The Driving Choice campaign is an effective voice for BC drivers. We’re proud to be playing a role.”
ICBA joins more than 8,000 British Columbians who have already signed up in support of the Driving Choice campaign, which launched just one month ago.
“The response to the Driving Choice campaign has been overwhelming, and is still growing strong,” said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, Insurance Bureau of Canada. “ICBA’s participation is yet another sign that businesses and drivers across our province are fed up with the current system, and want to be able to shop around for their auto insurance needs.”
As part of the Driving Choice campaign, more than 5,000 British Columbians have sent letters to their MLA’s voicing their frustrations with ICBC and demanding choice and competition in car insurance.
“British Columbians pay more for auto insurance than anyone else in Canada, so it’s no wonder that more than 80% of drivers want to be able to shop around,” said Sutherland. “Recent reports demonstrate that competition could save drivers up to $325 annually. Driving Choice gives a voice to British Columbians to tell government what they really want – choice in car insurance.”
- Report on how competition can save BC drivers up to $325 annually: Benefits of Competition in the Provision of Automobile Insurance in BC
- Report comparing auto insurance in BC and Alberta: Comparison of Auto Insurance in BC and Alberta
- Poll results showing that the vast majority of BC drivers want choice in auto insurance: Auto Insurance Attitudes in BC
- Under ICBC’s new rate design, over the next 10 years insurance rates for businesses will be increasing by an additional 4% on top of ICBC’s overall rate increases. Source: ICBC Figure 3.7 – Rate Classes
- In other provinces, business customers have access to a variety of auto insurance discounts tailored to their needs and not available from ICBC. These include discounts for multiple policies, telematics, and for positive risk management practice
TRAINING THURSDAY: The New Labour Relations Code and You: How the Code Changes may impact your Business
Significant changes have taken place to the Labour Relations Code recently, and we want to keep you updated with our two-hour The New Labour Relations Code and You seminar November 1 in Burnaby!
The Labour Relations Code sets out requirements for unionized companies. However, the Code also sets out the rules that apply to non-union companies that Unions are seeking to certify. There have been important changes to the Code that you will want to understand and prepare for.
This two-hour seminar will outline the recent significant changes to the Labour Relations Code that are important to both union and non-union companies, including:
- Changes to employer free speech rights
- Faster voting period
- New raid period rules for construction companies
- Easier first collective agreement arbitration access for unions
- Section 54 adjustment planning changes
- Extended freeze period after union certification
- Increased fines
- Filing requirements for collective agreements
- Expedited arbitration changes
Register for this or any of our other upcoming sessions at www.icba.ca/courses.
Concerned about how to achieve your Step Code targets effectively? We have the course for you! Our half-day Strategic & Cost-Effective Stop Code Compliance for Part 9 Buildings workshop is in Burnaby October 29, Victoria November 7, and Kelowna November 18!
This course will not only enhance your comprehension of the Step Code for Part 9 buildings, it will enable you to prioritize the energy conservation measures you consider for your projects based on construction cost and energy impact. By attending this seminar, you will:
- Refresh your understanding of building science fundamentals
- Understand the Step Code performance targets, and to what extent their achievement is influenced by:
- Building envelope components (windows, wall assemblies, etc.)
- Building airtightness
- HVAC equipment selections
- Improve your ability to:
- Facilitate an efficient design and documentation cycle, from acquisition of development permit through to submission of the building permit application
- Ensure design details, particularly related to airtightness, are successfully implemented in the field
- Learn to predict which Step Code projects will be especially challenging
- Be able to identify and rank the most cost-effective measures for achieving Step Code targets, and estimate corresponding cost premiums
- Expand your knowledge about high efficiency mechanical systems and their relevance to Step Code, including:
- Common and not-so-common options for hot water heating, space conditioning and ventilation
- Proper application, selection, and installation of equipment
And, you’ll earn 4 CPD Points from BC Housing!
Register for these or any of our other upcoming courses at www.icba.ca/courses.
By Chris Gardner, President, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association
This op-ed first ran in The Vancouver Sun on October 7, 2019.
Taxpayers, small businesses and those looking to put their investment dollars to work in British Columbia cannot be blamed for wondering how much more the playing field can be tilted against them by the NDP Government.
The signs of an economic winter are everywhere: slumping retail sales, tanking real estate sales, job losses, the forestry fallout, and exports down. No wonder the Business Council recently cut back its growth forecast for B.C. for the next three years.
Ask most small business owners, and they will tell you they’re worried about the future. In Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses surveys, the optimism of B.C. business owners is now the lowest in the country (and still falling). An ICBA survey showed 51% of construction contractors felt John Horgan’s government was on the wrong track in dealing with business; only 8% said they were satisfied with how the NDP is treating them.
Fairness, balance and even-handedness in Victoria is deliberately being replaced by a policy agenda defined by special interests. In just two years, Horgan has doubled the amount taken in taxes from businesses. And, when you add the additional taxes paid by individuals, the NDP have raised taxes by nearly $6 billion. It’s a breathtaking number.
Last month, 46 business associations, representing every part of the provincial economy, pulled out of the NDP’s review of WorkSafeBC, citing a “clear apprehension of bias” on the part of the reviewer appointed by Victoria. What was promised as an open and transparent process was anything but – it has been tilted firmly in favour of the NDP’s long-time supporters at the B.C. Federation of Labour.
One wonders if the NDP’s sinking fiscal fortunes is a reason why: WorkSafe gets all of its revenue from employers and is sitting on reserves of more than $2 billion. Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and PEI have all refunded employers when surpluses hit record levels. However, employers in B.C. are not expecting to get any of their money back any time soon.
Horgan’s approach to governing for special interests has also manifested itself in his building trades union-only monopoly on the Pattullo Bridge, the Broadway Skytrain expansion, and Highway 1 construction projects. Horgan has frozen out 85 per cent of the men and women in construction in B.C. to give an expensive, sweetheart deal to his building trade union donors and supporters.
The message from the NDP Government is clear: fair and open bidding doesn’t matter in B.C. You have to play ball and support the NDP’s favoured unions to get taxpayer-funded work.
It’s offensive and unfair that thousands of B.C. owned and operated construction companies are being passed over by their government for work on projects all B.C. taxpayers are funding.
Another insult to everyday British Columbians is watching the NDP’s train-wreck on ride-sharing. The NDP spent the last two years doing everything they could to slow the emergence of ride-sharing in the province. What we are about to see here will satisfy no one – not the taxi industry, not Uber and Lyft, and certainly not the travelling public. The end result will be a far cry from the ride-sharing models that have revolutionized choice in transportation in cities around the globe.
When it becomes more expensive to employ people, the price of goods and services go up. When taxes on your local small business increase, so do the prices you pay. When provincial construction projects become more expensive, the government passes that bill on to taxpayers. When a government puts special interests first, it makes life less affordable – a frightening thought in a place already as wildly expensive as B.C.
When you look at the scorecard, taxpayers, workers and small businesses looking for a fair shake from their government are not doing well. Higher taxes and regulations that do not make sense are turning away investment, jobs and opportunity.
It is easy to see why more people come to the conclusion that the system all-too-often seems rigged and that their own government is working against them.
Yesterday, ICBA put out a news release and music video calling on Premier John Horgan to reverse his mistake cancelling the Massey bridge project. The story has picked up a lot of press:
- CTV News Vancouver included a clip of our video in their coverage
- City News/News 1130 quoted us
- Vancouver Courier wrote a whole piece on our video
- Fairchild TV takes our message to the Cantonese community
- Vaughn Palmer shredded the Metro Mayors for going along with Horgan (Vancouver Sun)
- Les Leyne made the case for the Massey Bridge