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TRAINING THURSDAY: Back to School, Back to Training

Kids aren’t the only ones heading back to school this fall; you can head back to class too at one of our upcoming training sessions and fulfill any professional development requirements you might have.

Our training team is gearing up for a busy fall, with courses taking place nearly every day throughout September and October. Name a course you’re interested in; we probably have it. If not – email us at with your suggestions.

Looking for safety courses? We have Occupational First Aid Level 1 and Fall Protection coming up, or check out our online Construction Safety Training System (CSTS-09), Confined Spaces Awareness, or National Construction Safety Awareness Training.

Going for your Gold Seal Certification in 2017/2018? Make sure to take the online and classroom Construction Industry Ethics courses; they’re mandatory as of January 1 this year.

Need management training? We have courses in Effective Management Skills, and Leading and Managing Organizational Change on our calendar, as well as Negotiation Skills, Time Management, and Incident Investigations.

We’ve brought our Arc Flash Safety Workshop back; we’ve also added Introduction to Electrical Quality Management Systems (QA/QC) to our course list.

Our full course list can be found at, or feel free to email our training department at for more information on any of our courses. We also offer courses online; visit for more.

You don’t have to be a member to take our courses, but it will save you money on your registration fees! If you’re interested in becoming a member of ICBA, visit for more information.

IN THE NEWS: ICBA on Trump’s NAFTA Posturing

In a Journal of Commerce piece today, ICBA president Chris Gardner made the case for the North American Free Trade Agreement:

U.S. President Donald Trump has recently indicated he may “blow up” NAFTA, though Canadian and Mexican leaders are playing down his threat.

At the industry level, construction leaders see room for improvement and cause for concern.

“The issue goes to whether Canada has benefited from NAFTA and the reviews are compelling; Canada has long benefited from secure access to our largest market,” said Independent Contractors and Businesses Association president Chris Gardner.

“Renegotiating the agreement is of tremendous importance to Canada and to our economy. If we went back to the old regime, the U.S. picking and choosing would have a significant negative impact on the economy. Protectionism is not the way to go.”

Upcoming course: Negotiation Skills Workshop, Sept. 15, Prince George, B.C.

In life and in business, few people get what they deserve. Instead, they get what they negotiate. Could you be a better negotiator? Register now for our Negotiation Skills Workshop and you’ll learn some fantastic new tips and tricks to make sure you walk away from the table with what you want.

Here’s what the course covers:

  • The most common negotiating mistakes people make and how to avoid them
  • Understanding the difference between Collaborative “win-win” and Competitive “hardball” negotiations and how to know what game you are playing
  • The characteristics of highly effective negotiators
  • Understanding the different sources of negotiating power
  • How to strengthen your bargaining position
  • How to create an open communication flow that allows you to deeply understand the other party
  • The 5-step process to quickly and effectively plan and prepare for your negotiations
  • How to determine your “walk-away point”
  • How to defend yourself against “hardball’ negotiators
  • How to counter the 5 common manipulative strategies being used against you
  • How to create win – win outcomes that ensure the other party lives up to their end of the bargain

Our next workshop takes place in Prince George on September 15; register HERE.

You don’t have to be a member of ICBA to take our courses; we look forward to seeing you there!

NEWS RELEASE: Site C Must Be Completed, ICBA Tells BCUC

BURNABY, B.C. – The message in the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) submission to the B.C. Utilities Commission’s (BCUC) Site C review panel is very simple: Finish the job building Site C.

“The Site C dam has been the subject of a robust, nearly three-year, independent review and its business case is solid – we cannot produce this kind of high-quality, reasonably-priced, clean energy anywhere,” said ICBA President Chris Gardner. “For the next century, Site C will act as the foundation for the solar, wind and other clean sources of energy that comes on stream, ensuring B.C. can meet its climate goals and power its economy with renewable energy.”

In response to the BCUC’s terms of reference, the ICBA submission made five key points:

  • Site C is on time and on budget
  • Ratepayers cannot be expected to spend billions of dollars and get nothing in return – the result of cancelling or postponing the project
  • Site C provides the best value and an all-important backbone for other renewable energy sources as we transition from fossil fuels to the clean renewable energy provided by Site C
  • Energy demand will continue to grow in B.C., as more people move here and the economy expands
  • Site C, the subject of more than 150 legally binding environmental and technical conditions, will be one of the most sustainable energy projects ever built in any country

“Claims by Site C opponents that electricity demand is flat are false. They forget that the once-in-a-generation recession of 2008/09 artificially held down the demand for energy for two years,” said ICBA Communications Director Jordan Bateman. “That recession crippled our economy, but unless we’re going to have a major recession every single decade, energy demand will grow substantially over the next 50 years as it has for the past 50 years.  We need Site C to meet the demand of a growing population, more electric vehicles, an expanding economy and to help meet our commitments under the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.”

ICBA, the voice of B.C.’s construction industry, has been fighting hard to keep Site C workers on the job. Today, more than 2,400 men and women are working on Site C.

“The stakes of the outcome of the BCUC review are significant,” said Gardner. “It affects real people and real families who are counting on the jobs at Site C to pay the bills. To shut it down now would hurt BC Hydro’s finances, cost B.C. taxpayers dearly, cripple the Peace River economy, and send a chilling message to investors looking to build a business and create opportunities – B.C. is not open for business.”

In recent weeks, ICBA has fought for Site C through its pink slip campaign and a poster campaign in Fort St. John, that generated nearly 4,000 emails supporting Site C through

Click HERE for the full ICBA submission to the BCUC and here for a list of cities in B.C. where Site C workers live.

ICBA IN THE NEWS: The UN Gets Site C Wrong

It sounds dramatic and made all the papers today: A United Nations committee condemning Site C for harming indigenous people. But there are two facts that are conveniently ignored:

  1. BC Hydro’s record of consultation with First Nations has been so strong that provincial and federal have sided with BC Hydro on indigenous consultation. And ruled for them not once, not twice, but 14 times. That’s right: Site C indigenous opponents are 0-for-14 in court.
  2. As ICBA president Chris Gardner told the Globe and Mail: “It should not be lost on anyone” that the members of the UN committee that wrote the report represent countries that include Algeria, China, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey, “all countries with records on human rights that would not meet Canadian standards.”

At ICBA, we believe all levels of government – First Nations, Municipal, Provincial and Federal – should work in good faith to ‘Get to yes’ on job-creating, environmentally-responsible resource development projects. Just like we’ve done on Site C.  

TRAINING THURSDAY: Harassment in the workplace – Employer responsibilities (Breakfast Session)

Harassment at work is an unfortunate occurrence, but it can be dealt with and prevented. Our new breakfast session in Burnaby on September 13 will offer some valuable knowledge to employers.

The presenter will cover the following issues:

  • What is bullying and harassment and what are the risks?
  • What should an Employer do when faced with a potential bullying and harassment situation?
  • Employer’s duty to investigate
  • Workplace training
  • Disciplinary responses
  • Complaints made for improper reasons
  • Creation of policies
  • Access to information
  • Workplace training
  • Proactive steps to help protect the workplace

Participants will be provided with real life examples involving the above topics together with practical business-based solutions.  There will also be time for questions, so bring your pressing concerns. You will also earn 2 Group A Continued Professional Development points from BC Housing.

For more information about this course or any of ICBA’s other training sessions, visit Or, send our training team a message at They’d love to chat with you.

Interested in getting bi-weekly updates on our courses in your area? Subscribe to our newsletter at

BC Construction Monitor – Ominous Signs for Construction Jobs in BC

Ominous Signs for Construction Jobs in B.C.

Chris Gardner, President, ICBA

After an unprecedented long period of post-election uncertainty, a minority NDP government has taken power in Victoria – with the formal backing of the Green caucus. And while speculation abounds about the likely shelf life of this government, I believe current dynamics suggest it will remain in power for at least a significant proportion of the usual four-year term.

So in this Monitor, we take stock of what that may mean for B.C. – drawing from the platforms and accord of the two parties, ministerial mandate letters, and various public statements from key figures within the NDP and Green Parties.

We begin with the current outlook for several resource-development and other major projects, upon which thousands of existing and even more future jobs depend. None of these projects were treated very favourably in the NDP or Green platforms, and if anything the outlook has worsened since they formally took power. Indeed, Pacific NorthWest LNG was just cancelled – a $36 billion investment lost.

The message from Pacific NorthWest LNG’s decision is that we have to move faster to compete globally – but the new government is signalling that we will be moving more slowly, if at all, on many major projects.

We also look at some of the central players in the new government – with a particular focus on those with construction-related portfolios – and at the agendas they’ve been tasked with implementing. As with the cabinet as a whole, these people represent a narrow segment of views and backgrounds, with markedly little experience in entrepreneurship, small business or the private sector.

Finally, we look at the single most troubling of all the Labour Code reforms the NDP would like to implement – elimination of a secret ballot for union certification. Encouragingly, this one is a bridge-too-far for the Greens, and one we hope they’ll prevent the NDP from crossing.

As to the rest of the NDP’s agenda and how this all unfolds, we’ll be watching carefully and intervening forcefully if we see construction sector and major provincial interests jeopardized – as we already have in recent weeks with our campaign to support Site C. And if you haven’t already joined us in the effort, please be sure to sign up as part of our #Get2Yes Community:


Major Projects Check In

These four energy and infrastructure projects all have their environmental approvals, and construction was either underway or on the cusp of proceeding at the time of the election.

Site C Clean Energy

A $9B investment in clean power designed to operate for 100+ years has now been sent back for yet another review. Best case? Delays that cost taxpayers. Worst case? 2,500 people currently working on the project get pink slips.



Trans Mountain Pipeline

In what experts have called a violation of the rule of law, the NDP has pledged to use “every tool available” to stop this $7B project. Recent speculation has focused on making it “prohibitive” for the project to get provincial permits.



Pacific NorthWest LNG

Global market dynamics and skepticism on the part of the new government – the threat of increased regulation and taxation – contributed to the collapse of the business case for what might have been the largest-ever private sector investment in B.C.



George Massey Tunnel

The province is leaving this $3B project up to regional mayors – most of whom oppose it, except for the mayor of Delta. If the bridge is cancelled, extending the life of the existing tunnel will come at a high cost.



Who and What: NDP Minister and Their Marching Orders

The NDP front benches are dominated by trade union organizers, environmental activists, community organizers and other special interests, with sparse representation from outside Greater Vancouver and Victoria. Government MLAs are short on experience in small business or the private sector. Further, a bleak outlook for the construction and responsible resource development sector emerges from a close look at the Green and NDP platforms, the accord between the two parties, the mandate letters issued to ministers, and other indications of next steps.



Stacking the Deck with Card Check Unionization

Joining a union is a deeply personal and very important decision – one that can impact the competitiveness and viability of a business. The BC Liberals and Greens favour the current democratic approach to determining whether a union gets certified – employees get to vote using a secret ballot. The governing NDP is determined to turn the clock back to “card check.”

The card check approach removes the secret ballot and opens the union certification process to intimidation and coercion.

Vote or Sign: Two Different Paths to a Crucial Decision