B.C.’s construction industry has a proud history. Name a landmark in this province – and we’ve built it. The BC Legislature. BC Place. Canada Place. The Shangri La Hotel.
And if that landmark has been built in the last 35 years, it’s a safe bet it was built by members of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C. and the Open Shop. The 1,200 companies who make up the ICBA are the heart of the Open Shop that builds more than 90 per cent of the commercial, industrial, and multi-family residential projects in B.C.
It wasn’t always this way. In fact, three short decades ago contracts were doled out to friends and insiders from the building trade unions. It was about who you knew – not about the job you did. In the intervening decades we’ve fought hard – not to exclude the building trades, but to level the playing field. We’ve fought for fair tendering so the best company – regardless of union affiliation – can win the contract. We’ve fought hard to reduce the tax burden. We’ve fought for smarter regulations driven by outcomes, not paperwork.
No matter who’s in government, and no matter what level of government we’re talking about, the fight continues each and every day. WorkSafeBC regulations, municipal spending, zoning regulations, and tendering policies all impact the bottom line. The more these costs are reduced the more money that’s left in the system – and the more money there’s left to invest in new construction projects and new jobs.
More than 35 years on we’re keeping up the fight for an even playing field where your company is judged on only one thing – your ability to get the job done. We’re building this blog to keep you up-to-date on emerging issues and how you can help our common cause. ICBA may have started with phone calls and mimeographed letters, but now were online. This blog will get the ideas and information at the heart of the construction industry. And you can be a part of the conversation by sharing the information to help raise the voice of construction in our province.
Together we can make sure we keep on building B.C. for the next generation of construction companies, workers, and taxpayers.