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NEWS RELEASE: ICBA endows Hochstein Fellowship at SFU’s Beedie School

VANCOUVER — The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) has committed nearly one million dollars to Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business to create a new Philip Hochstein Fellowship at the school. The gift will provide resources to support the study of free trade, open markets and economic growth by researchers, academics and students.

The endowment will provide funding for the newly created Philip Hochstein Fellowship, named in honour of the ICBA’s former president, which will recognize a member of SFU Beedie’s faculty who has had significant achievements in the study and research of these ideas. In addition, funding will be available for related programming activities.

“Philip’s contributions to building BC are immeasurable. His vision, conviction and courage helped transform the construction industry and established ICBA as a powerful voice for jobs, investment and opportunity in this province,” said Chris Gardner, president of ICBA. “We have endowed the Philip Hochstein Fellowship to ensure Philip’s legacy continues. We want to support future generations of business leaders, and, yes, future Philip Hochsteins, who will be standing up for free markets and the opportunities that flow from a strong economy.”

“This generous gift will provide resources for our faculty to carry out valuable research into the effects of policies on job creation and economic growth,” says Ali Dastmalchian, Dean of SFU Beedie. “Our work at SFU Beedie is underpinned by world-class research, and the additional resources provided by ICBA will help us to continue developing knowledge in these important areas of economic theory.”

For more than 40 years, the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) has been the voice of BC’s construction industry. Today, ICBA represents more than 2,000 members and clients employing over 50,000 British Columbians.  ICBA is also one of the largest independent providers of group health and retirement benefits in British Columbia and the single largest sponsor of trades apprentices in the province.

Philip Hochstein, after whom the new fellowship is named, was ICBA’s president for 30 years. When he walked in the door as ICBA’s lone employee in 1986, he worked out of a basement suite and the organization’s bank account was empty. By the end of his tenure in 2017, he had grown ICBA into a dynamic public policy advocacy and training organization that has nearly 40 employees.

TRAINING THURSDAY (on a Wednesday!): Building Liens

What are you doing for breakfast on April 5? The training department wants to offer you a hot breakfast buffet and teach you about builders’ liens at our breakfast session in Burnaby!

If you work in the construction industry, it’s essential that you have a basic understanding of builders’ liens and how they are used as a form of security for contractors, subcontractors, workers and suppliers. Understanding this complex area of law and applying some best practices will help you maximize your potential recovery and reduce your liabilities.

Here’s what the session covers:

  • An overview of the Builders Lien Act, including a review of the holdback provisions
  • The process for filing a claim of lien (who, what, where, when and how)
  • The process for cancelling a claim of lien
  • The process for enforcing a claim of lien
  • Best practices and tips for maximizing potential recovery

Plus, you’ll earn 2.5 Group B CPD Points from BC Housing! Register now at; don’t miss this important session!

All in the Family: Celebrating Longtime ICBA Member Frank Perizzolo

Earlier this year in Coquitlam, Frank Perizzolo, a longtime member of the ICBA family, celebrated his 70th birthday at a surprise event organized by his son Steve.

Left to Right: Steve Perizzolo, Frank Perizzolo, Philip Hochstein

Frank started his company P & F Electric in 1986. He credits Mario Dallazana of Inlet Electric, his former employer, with helping him get a start on his own. Frank originally planned to start P & F with two other partners, but when the day came to sign the papers, the other two didn’t show up and the rest is ICBA history.

“I remember Frank as one of the strongest supporters of the apprenticeship training system,” recalls Gord Stewart, former VP of ICBA who attended the event. “I got to know him early in my days at ICBA when he would come in to register his apprentices and it really meant a lot to him to be giving people a start in the trades .”

P & F Electric took off under Frank’s blue collar work ethic and his son Steve joined the business in the 90s. Steve remembers longtime ICBA President Philip Hochstein signing him up as an apprentice and he went on to graduate as a Red Seal electrician at the tender age of 21.

In 1999, Steve, feeling the need to spread his wings a little started up his own firm NRG Electric, but was called back into P & F  in 2009 when Frank ran into some health issues. Since then, Steve has wound down P & F and concentrated on growing second generation ICBA member NRG Electric. Many of the original P & F employees made the transition from P & F to NRG which specializes in concrete and wood frame multi-family residential electrical.

And, like father like son, Steve takes special pride in training and supporting the apprenticeship system. “Just during my time, we have trained hundreds of apprentices,” Steve beams. “And we have taken at least 50 apprentices all the way from year one to Red Seal journeyman.” 

Recently retired long-time ICBA President Philip Hochstein fondly remembers his days working with Frank. “He really personified the grassroots, family feel of the ICBA membership,” says Hochstein. “When Gord and I were talking about the issues that we should focus on, we often asked ourselves whether this was the kind of issue that would matter to Frank Perizzolo.”


NEWS RELEASE: ICBA Applauds LNG Canada’s Step Forward; Calls on NDP to Reverse Stance on Trans Mountain

BURNABY – Today’s news that LNG Canada and the Government of British Columbia have inked a fiscal framework agreement is a positive step forward for the province’s Liquefied Natural Gas industry, says the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA).

“We are thrilled with this big leap forward for LNG,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA President. “LNG Canada’s potential investment in the B.C. would be the largest private sector investment in the history of our province. At more than $40 billion in private capital, it would be one of the largest projects every undertaken in Canada, it would create thousands of construction jobs, and it would generate opportunities and positive economic spinoffs for communities across B.C.”

Gardner pointed out that with the NDP and BC Liberals both on board, a provincial LNG industry has broad political support.  “By unlocking our world class energy asset, B.C.’s LNG industry will play an important role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by helping many Asian countries transition off coal,” said Gardner.

While ICBA is pleased that LNG Canada continues to move forward toward a final investment decision, more can be done by government to encourage the energy and construction industries.

“The NDP have been seen as reluctant – and sometimes hostile – about opportunities to responsibly harness the potential of our natural resources,” said Gardner who pointed out that businesses considering making investments or expanding in B.C. face excessive regulatory hurdles, an unpredictable political environment, and a growing tax burden that is making B.C. a high cost jurisdiction.

“These investments are critical to B.C.’s long-term prosperity,” said Gardner. “We have lost our focus on attracting investment, creating jobs and developing talent, and we are losing opportunities to grow our economy to other countries.”

ICBA has been encouraging the NDP to ‘Get to yes’ and ‘Stick to yes’ on responsible resource development and major infrastructure projects. “Stalled projects, like the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, represent billions of dollars of investment in new technology, training and community development that needs to move forward,” said Gardner.

TRAINING THURSDAY: Writing Effective Letters, Scope Documents, Reports and Proposals

How are your writing skills? Could they be better? Is your writing effective and focused on what you need to get across to the reader?

Our Writing Effective Letters, Scope Documents, Reports and Proposals course will teach you to write more effectively. The skills you’ll learn will stick with you throughout your career. Previous participants have told us that the course made them rethink how they wrote, and that it gave them a better understanding of how to prepare their documents.

Some of the topics the course covers are:

  • Planning your scope documents;
  • Writing concisely;
  • Crafting effective emails and letters;
  • Responding to bids and proposals;
  • Structuring your reports and project documentation.

Our training department is offering the course in April in Kelowna, and in Burnaby in May. Visit for more information on this and any of our other courses. While you’re there, subscribe to our newsletter! You’ll receive bi-weekly updates on upcoming courses in your area. Subscribe now at


NEWS RELEASE: Business Community Calls on Government to Protect Workers’ Right to a Secret Ballot

MEDIA COVERAGE OF THIS ISSUE: Globe and Mail, Global BC, Simi Sara Show (CKNW)

BURNABY – In a joint submission to the BC Labour Relations Code Review Panel, 13 significant business associations – including the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) – have called on the BC Government to protect workers’ rights to a secret ballot in union certification votes.

“The right to a secret ballot is a fundamental part of our democracy,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA President. “The current system, which uses a secret ballot, 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 party, the Labour Relations Board.”

The joint submission points out that the current Labour Relations Code is the result of uniquely consultative processes in 1992/93 and enhanced in 2002. The Code is working well, evidenced by British Columbia’s long period of labour relations stability, with very few work stoppages.

“If they make radical changes to the labour code, the NDP government will hurt business confidence and put at risk jobs and opportunities for British Columbians,” said Gardner. “The current labour code is serving BC well and has provided certainty for both workers who are increasingly demanding more choice and flexibility in the workplace and employers seeking to invest in BC and grow their businesses.”

Beside protecting the secret ballot in union certification votes, the submission also calls on the panel reviewing the labour code to:

  • Ensure appointments to the Labour Relations Board reflect balance between union and employer representatives
  • Protect the court-tested definition of “essential services”
  • Protect the personal and private information of employees
  • Prevent legislated sectoral bargaining
  • End governments dictating employee choice on large construction projects through project labour agreements

The business community is increasingly concerned that the signal being sent by the NDP government is that BC is not open for business.

“Along with the array of new taxes recently introduced by the NDP Government – everything from the new payroll tax, to increases in personal income tax, to new gas taxes – radical changes in the labour code will have a chilling effect on investment, job creation and new opportunities in BC,” said Gardner.

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

TRAINING THURSDAY: Managing Employee Terminations (Breakfast)

One of the hardest parts of a supervisor’s job is terminating an employee, and it’s essential that you know to manage this task properly. Human Resources professionals are often the ones dealing with the situation, both with the legal aspects and with the employee him or herself. Our training department is here to help! Register now for our March 27 breakfast session in Burnaby.

It will explore the following topics:

  • Employee misconduct and “just cause”;
  • The investigation;
  • Without cause: what do I owe?;
  • Employment Standards Act versus Common Law in the construction industry;
  • Human rights and termination decisions;
  • The termination offer/termination meeting.

The Managing Employee Terminations session is presented by a partner at Pulver Crawford Munroe LLP. Register now at; you’ll also earn 2.5 Group A CPD Points from BC Housing!

You don’t have to be a member to take courses with us, but members save on their registration fees. For more information about becoming an ICBA member, visit