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NEWS RELEASE – NDP’s Massey Malaise Keeps Drivers Idling: ICBA

BURNABY, B.C.: The NDP Government’s Massey Tunnel non-announcement today will keep Lower Mainland drivers idling in traffic unnecessarily for years to come, said the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA).

“This is about a government using its partisan lens to look at a practical problem – the NDP don’t want to admit the BC Liberals ever had a single good idea,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA President. “Massey has undergone years of consultation and even had consultation about the consultation that was held. It’s time to build this bridge, get people out of traffic, and get our economy moving.”

The 10-lane Massey Bridge, cancelled by the NDP 16 months ago, was the product of a consultation process that took five years, nearly 150 technical reports, 35 meetings with regional authorities, and 110 meetings with municipal governments. “The NDP Government will shoot first and ask questions later on things like taxes, but won’t accept years of work on necessary infrastructure projects like Massey,” said Gardner. “The NDP’s handling of this project is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money.”

The NDP’s own report acknowledges that reducing a new bridge to eight lanes will simply mean the same traffic delays 25 years from now as we see today.

“The South Fraser is growing in leaps and bounds, but the NDP refuse to acknowledge the need for new infrastructure to match. They talked the talk in opposition but don’t walk the walk in power,” said Gardner. “Whether it’s another delay on the Massey Bridge project or refusing to fund SkyTrain past Fleetwood or dragging their heels on new school construction, the is failing to invest in the infrastructure we need in our communities.”

Gardner also noted the NDP Government’s price tags don’t include a multi-million dollar markup for their preferred model of freezing out 85% of all construction workers in B.C. and handing over all construction contracts to the Building Trades unions that gave them millions in donations in previous elections. On the Pattullo Bridge, Transportation Minister Claire Trevena admitted the sweetheart deal will cost taxpayers at least seven per cent more – while other analyses show it could be several times that amount.

“By overpaying for construction on the Pattullo and Highway 1 projects, the NDP are running out of money for other critical infrastructure in Surrey and Delta,” said Gardner.

IN THE NEWS: ICBA Board Chairman Jim Bogusz Interviewed by BiV

Great Q & A in today’s Business in Vancouver with our ICBA board chairman, Jim Bogusz.

He tried to retire, but we (and the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade) refuse to let him. “I thought I was retired, or at least slowing down.,” he said. “My two boards and startup project have me busier than ever before.” Darn right, Jim – we’re not letting you disappear into the Chilean wine region or some tropical vacation.

People like Jim do a lot for the construction industry and we greatly value his leadership.

NEWS RELEASE: NDP Government Must Listen to Panel, Employers and Public and Protect the Secret Ballot: ICBA

BURNABY – A significant swath of associations representing B.C.’s job creators and employers – including the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) – called on the NDP government today to protect workers’ right to a secret ballot in unionization votes.

The 13 groups made the call in a 22-page submission to government, following up on the recommendations of the BC Labour Relations Code Review Panel.

“There is no more fundamental democratic value than the right to a secret ballot, and workers should have that right when they are deciding if they should join a union,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA President. “The current system, which uses a secret ballot and was upheld by the NDP’s own review panel, ensures that neither employers nor unions can coerce workers one way or the other. Certification votes are fair and transparent and they are supervised by a neutral referee, the Labour Relations Board.”

Earlier this spring, 13 groups made a joint submission to the BC Labour Relations Code Review Panel, calling on government to protect the secret ballot, and several other labour code measures. The panel issued its draft report, which recommended keeping the secret ballot.

But the NDP’s allies in the traditional union hierarchy chafed against that recommendation, demanding more “consultation” with the government. Today’s submission from 13 business groups lays out the other side of the story on the labour code.

“In construction, only a small portion of workers – less than 15 per cent – have decided to affiliate themselves with traditional building trades unions. The rest are organized by progressive unions, employee associations or are open shop,” said Gardner. “The NDP and their traditional union allies have been desperate to stop this evolution by forcing workers to join their 19 favoured unions on taxpayer-funded construction projects like the Pattullo Bridge, and by stripping their democratic right to a secret ballot.”

Polling done for one media outlet shows that 79% of British Columbians support the secret ballot. Even among households with a private sector union member living in it, nearly three-quarters support secret ballots.

“The public knows that forcing unionization and stripping the democratic right to a secret ballot is wrong and unfair,” said Gardner. “It’s time for the NDP government to abandon this outdated approach to labour relations and protect this basic worker right.”

The joint submission was filed yesterday, and was signed by ICBA as well as the BC Chamber of Commerce, BC Hotels Association, BC Trucking Association, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Canadian Franchise Association, Canadian Home Builders Association, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, Restaurants Canada, Retail Council of Canada, Urban Development Institute, and Vancouver Regional Construction Association. Read the full submission HERE.

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About the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association

ICBA represents more than 2,100 members and clients in construction and responsible resource development and is one of the leading third-party providers of group health and retirement benefits in B.C. ICBA trains more than 3,500 workers every year and is the single largest sponsor of trades apprentices in the province. www.icba.ca

ICBA CEO Breakfast at BUILDEX Vancouver, Feb. 13, 2019


You’re invited to our ICBA CEO Breakfast, kicking off the 2019 BUILDEX construction trade show at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Wednesday morning, Feb. 13, 2019.

  • Date/Time: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 (8:00am–9:30am)
  • Location: Vancouver Convention Centre West
  • Speaker: Brett Wilson
  • Cost: Free!

Join us to hear keynote speaker Brett Wilson, Dragon Emeritus, Celebrated Entrepreneur and Respected Philanthropist.

Energy and Construction: Canada’s Economic Backbone

Dragon’s Den entrepreneur W. Brett Wilson makes his BUILDEX debut with his take-no-prisoners support for Canadian energy and construction. Wilson, a prominent investor in sectors ranging from energy to agriculture, is concerned for Canada’s economic future, as more and more interests from the United States creep north. Canada has so much potential as a nation – it just needs vision and leadership to harness it all.

ICBA President Chris Gardner will also release the results of our 2019 Wage and Benefits Survey, which gives insight into which trades are most in demand, what companies are paying workers, and how construction businesses are feeling about the state of the economy.

This breakfast is free-of-charge, and attendees get access to the BUILDEX trade show immediately following. To reserve your seat, click HERE and use the form password DRAGON (all caps).


TRAINING THURSDAY: Supervisors Bootcamp

We’re finishing up the year strong with another session of the Supervisors Bootcamp – Practical Leadership Tools for Front Line Supervisors in Burnaby on December 17!

The course is designed for front-line supervisors and managers in all industries (not just construction!) Participants will be given a leadership “tool kit” as well as self-assessment questionnaires and exercises based on the actual work they do and the people they lead.

The ideas covered in this course will assist employers to tackle important and emerging issues facing business operations today, including:

  • Greater productivity and quality outcomes
  • Greater safety program effectiveness
  • Greater worker retention and engagement

You’ll also earn 1 Gold Seal Credit and 7.5 Group B CPD Points from BC Housing! Register for this or any of our other upcoming courses at www.icba.ca/courses. If you miss this course, we are offering it again in Burnaby on February 12, 2019.

And don’t forget, you don’t have to be a member of ICBA to take our courses. Everyone is welcome!

ICBA’s 2018 Safety Merits Contest

Workplace Safety is a team effort – and ICBA is again going to award one team member with a three-day holiday in Las Vegas in recognition of their safe work practices!

The submission deadline for ICBA’s annual Safety Merits Contest is noon Pacific, Wednesday, December 19, 2018. Don’t miss your chance to submit the names of your company’s safest workers. 

Entrants must be employed below the superintendent level (office staff are not eligible) and must have worked a minimum of 2,500 hours without any time lost due to an accident.

The construction industry recognizes that a safe workplace is the responsibility of management and of the workers on site. The industry realizes that those individuals who have taken great care to avoid injury to themselves and others are invaluable to their firm and an example for all workers.

The purpose of the Safety Merits Contest is for the industry to recognize these individuals, draw attention to their achievement and encourage others to follow their example.


1) All entrants must be employed by an ICBA member company.

2) Entrants must be employed below the superintendent level. Office staff are not eligible.

3) Entrants must have worked a minimum of 2,500 hours for one employer without any time lost due to an accident as of November 15, 2018. Proof of hours may have to be submitted and verified. Note: The required hours need not have been worked consecutively with that one firm.

4) Names of those who meet the above criteria are to be submitted to the ICBA office by the employer to ally@icba.ca (Excel spreadsheet preferred) no later than noon Pacific time, Wednesday, December 19, 2018.

5) Names of employees submitted in previous Safety Merits Contests may be submitted again.

6) One name will be drawn at random.

PRIZE: A 3-day trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. Return airfare to Las Vegas, hotel accommodations, and transportation from Las Vegas airport to the hotel. (Maximum value $1500, including taxes.)