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TRAINING THURSDAY: Trenching and Excavation Safety Workshop 

Do you work in ground disturbance? Does your work involve trenching and excavation? Safety should always be top of mind, and our Trenching and Excavation Safety Workshop aims to keep you, your coworkers and the public safe.

The workshop walks participants through a comprehensive program that includes what the WorkSafeBC Regulations & Guidelines state, safe work procedures and what to do if something goes wrong. 

It covers shoring, benching, sloping and shielding systems. It also includes a section on location of underground utilities and the geotechnical and structural engineered documentation requirements.

At the end of the course, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify hazards around trenches and excavations
  • Be able to locate underground utilities
  • Understand soil types, soil collapse patterns, and warning signs
  • Gain familiarity with WorkSafeBC regulations
  • Understand geotechnical and structural engineered documentation
  • Understand sloping and benching
  • Understand shoring and shielding systems
  • Describe and demonstrate where possible safe installation and removal processes
  • Identify emergency procedures for a trench collapse

You’ll also earn 8 Group A CPD Points from BC Housing!

We are offering this course in Prince George, Kelowna, Whitehorse, Victoria, and Burnaby in the coming months. For more information on this or any of our other upcoming courses, visit 

NEWS RELEASE: Horgan’s Pipeline Hail Mary Fumbling Away Investor Confidence

BURNABY – British Columbia’s referral of questions surrounding the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is nothing more than a desperate Hail Mary attempt to delay and ultimately kill the project, said the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association today.

“B.C.’s concerns over this project were fully heard and addressed during an exhaustive 4-year review process,” said Chris Gardner, president of ICBA. “That’s why the pipeline must meet 194 conditions set out by federal and provincial regulators, why $1.5 billion has been allocated for ocean protection measures, and why 43 First Nations support this project. This project was approved nearly two years ago, but the B.C. Government refuses to allow it to go ahead, costing British Columbians the jobs and opportunities that will flow from this investment.”

The $7.4 billion Trans Mountain project will generate $5.7 billion in revenue for the provincial government, and an additional $922 million in municipal property taxes. More than 15,000 construction jobs would be created and there will be investments in energy innovations and training for people working on the project.

Gardner dismissed Premier Horgan’s claim that the government is “protecting British Columbians,” noting that, as polls recently confirmed, the majority of B.C. residents support the Trans Mountain project. “If Premier Horgan was truly interested in standing up for British Columbia, he’d get out of the way of this historic investment and job-creating project,” said Gardner. “The only thing he’s protecting right now is his premiership, pandering to the BC Green Party that is propping up his administration.”

The B.C. Government’s activist-driven agenda against Kinder Morgan is sending chills through the investment community across Canada and beyond our borders.

“Investors – the companies that provide jobs, build infrastructure and create opportunities for Canadians – are losing confidence in Canada’s ability to ‘Get to yes’ and ‘Stick to yes’ on significant projects,” said Gardner. “Already, we are seeing investors go elsewhere with their dollars, and our economy could take years to recover from the damage being caused by the uncertainty that comes with governments refusing to establish clear rules. By continuing to change the rules and move the goal posts, the only thing the NDP government is going to end up with are lost opportunities for our province.”


Did you know that you can get up to $300,000 per fiscal year in government funding to train your employees? The Canada-BC Job Grant is open!

The Grant is funded under the new Workforce Development Agreement, and provides funding for employers to support skills training for their current and new employees. More information can be found at

The criteria features three streams this year: foundational training, technical skills training, and workforce training.

The foundational stream allows for 100 percent of eligible training costs up to a maximum of $10,000 per participant with no contribution from the employer. This stream includes apprenticeship training and safety training courses!

The technical skills training stream will reimburse 80 percent of the training costs, again to a maximum of $10,000 per participant. As an employer, you would contribute the remaining 20 percent.

The workforce training stream will return 60 percent of the costs up to maximum of $5,000 per participant, with the employer contributing 40 percent.

Most of our training courses are eligible for this grant! Check out the full list of our upcoming courses at, or send our training team an email at; they’d be happy to help you!

NEWS RELEASE – Horgan Plunges Canada Into a Crisis of Confidence: ICBA

BURNABY – Premier John Horgan’s “double-down” today on his flawed, obstructionist, unfair attack on the duly-approved Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is shaking investor confidence and showing the BC NDP Government has no interest in doing what’s right for Canada.

“B.C. has created a crisis of confidence and the implication is that Canada cannot get major projects approved and built,” said ICBA President Chris Gardner. “It is abundantly clear that the responsibility for this crisis we are facing today rests squarely at the feet of Premier John Horgan – he went to Ottawa and ‘doubled down’ on his obstructionist approach to the pipeline, rather than offer solutions to resolve the impasse.”

ICBA commended the federal government for convening today’s meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Premier Horgan in Ottawa, and is pleased that the Federal Government will assert its authority over this project to increase the chances of the project being built.

However, Premier Horgan’s comments that his government has every right to undo a project approval granted under a previous administration sets a very dangerous precedent that will further erode the confidence of investors seeking stability and certainty when looking to invest in BC.

“Prime Minister Trudeau’s statement today that Premier Horgan’s attempt to block the pipeline is the direct cause of this impasse is a stunning indictment on the actions of Premier Horgan,” said Gardner. “Premier Horgan is effectively ripping up a contract which Kinder Morgan negotiated in good faith with the federal and provincial governments of the day – that’s not how we must do business in Canada. It’s not right, it’s not fair, and it’s not legal.”

Kinder Morgan is prepared to invest $7.4 billion in our economy but Premier Horgan’s actions have forced the federal government to act in a way that means taxpayers could assume risk that a private sector investor was willing to undertake. “Canada is now basically saying that only governments can build major projects – and BC is saying we’re not interested in having private companies invest in our economy,” said Gardner. “This has profound implications beyond BC now – investor confidence in Canada is also being seriously undermined.”

IN THE NEWS: ICBA Joins #ConfidenceInCanada Coalition to #Get2Yes on Trans Mountain Pipeline

On April 12, ICBA joined more than 75 other organizations calling on Justin Trudeau, John Horgan and Rachel Notley to break the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project impasse. We want to show #ConfidenceInCanada! Make your voice heard at!

Some of the news coverage of the event:
The full news conference, including the speech by ICBA President Chris Gardner, can be seen here:

TRAINING THURSDAY: Communication Skills Workshop

Our training department wants to make you a better communicator! Our Communication Skills workshop is designed to improve your communication skills as a supervisor and manager, both in the office and in the field. 

You’ll learn effective leadership, how to deal with difficult people, how to prepare for and facilitate meetings, and much much more! Here’s the full course outline:

  • Effective Leadership through Communication Skills
  • Dealing with Difficult People, Conflict and Confrontation
  • Assertive Training and Speaking Skills
  • Communicating Motivation
  • Communication through Body Language
  • Managing a Good Impression to Clients
  • Constructive Use of Anger and Persuasion Skills
  • Anger and Conflict Management Skills
  • Communicating Discipline and Termination
  • Resolving Disputes through Communication
  • How to Prepare for and Facilitate Meetings
  • Communication through Writing Skills
  • Drafting and Preparing Proper Reports and Correspondence
  • Communicating Teamwork to Staff and Workers

This two-day workshop also gives you 5 Gold Seal Credits and 14 Group A CPD points from BC Housing. Our next workshop is April 19 to 20 in Burnaby, and then we’re coming to Kamloops on June 13-14! Register for either session or any of our other upcoming workshops at

We can also provide this or any of our other courses as a private session for you and your employees! You can email our training team at for more information.

And, the Canada-BC Jobs Grant is accepting new applications, and most of ICBA’s courses are applicable! We’ll talk about it next week on Training Thursday but in the meantime, visit for more information.

NEWS RELEASE: ICBA Joins Campaign to Scrap the ‘Speculation’ Tax

BURNABY – The NDP government should scrap its so-called ‘speculation’ tax, as it risks the health of the provincial economy with a host of unintended consequences, says the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA).

While the government wants to address housing affordability, this patchwork tax will do the exact opposite. It will kill jobs, make the housing affordability issue worse, and hurt the B.C. tourism industry.

“This speculation tax targets hardworking British Columbians and other Canadian taxpayers,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA president. “It is difficult to fathom why the B.C. Government wants to stop or penalize Canadians from investing in B.C.”

Gardner noted that ICBA represents hundreds of small residential construction companies, most of whom point out that the lack of supply of new housing is the biggest cost driver for buyers.

“If the NDP government wanted to get serious about making housing more affordable, they would have dedicated at least one point in their 30-point housing plan to cutting red tape and getting more supply to market,” said Gardner. “Instead, they’ve resorted to simply raising taxes. At ICBA, we want to ‘Get to yes’ on new housing supply – not on new taxes.  No amount of new taxes is going to make housing more affordable for young families starting out looking to buy a home.”

To help spread the word, a website,, launched today. It allows citizens to learn more about the tax and send an email to their local MLA with their concerns.

“Just because John Horgan calls it a ‘speculation’ tax doesn’t mean it has anything to do with actual speculation,” said Jordan Bateman, ICBA Communications Director. “This tax does nothing to address the speculation that has helped drive up housing prices. It does, however, hurt people who own second properties or may be looking to move to B.C. when they retire. That’s why cities like Langford, West Vancouver, Kelowna and West Kelowna are desperately appealing to Victoria to be exempted from this tax.”

ICBA has joined a coalition of provincial groups recommending that the B.C. government immediately scrap the ‘Speculation’ Tax and do the following to address housing affordability:

  • Target real speculators, not long-term homeowners, including many out-of-province residents;
  • Protect our local tourism-dependent economies, like Kelowna and the South Island;
  • Reduce the cost of delivering housing units by exempting vacant development land from this tax;
  • Exempt Canadian and British Columbian taxpayers from this unfair tax measure; and,
  • Work with municipalities to speed up permitting and approvals to help bring more housing supply to market faster.

NEWS RELEASE – Proposed Federal Regulations Will Slow Investment in Canadian Energy: ICBA

BURNABY – New rules and bureaucracy proposed by the federal government will adversely impact Canada’s energy industry, says the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) in a submission to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

ICBA opposes Bill C-69, introduced by the Trudeau government aimed at dramatically changing how major resource development projects are vetted in Canada.

ICBA is concerned that over the past several years, it has been excruciatingly difficult – often impossible – for major infrastructure projects to ‘get to yes’ in Canada. Energy East, Pacific Northwest LNG, and Keystone XL have all been cancelled. In addition, nearly every major international energy company has sold its assets in the oil sands and left Canada.

“Unfortunately, the exodus may continue given the recent announcement by Kinder Morgan that its $7.4 billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project may be the next major project to be shelved in Canada,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA president. “The message sent by Bill C-69 is not helpful.”

ICBA noted in its submission that the president of RBC, Dave McKay, recently raised concerns about investment capital leaving Canada and going elsewhere – mainly the United States – as a result of lower taxes, more effective regulations and an investment-friendly environment.

In recent years, investors in Canada have had to digest significant federal and provincial tax increases which – taken together with recent substantial tax reductions in the United States and general uncertainty over NAFTA negotiation outcomes – underscore that Canada’s (and British Columbia’s) small, open trade-exposed economy is no longer competitive.

“We need to make it easier to attract investment and do business in Canada not harder,” said Gardner. “By adding gender-based analysis, climate change objectives, and other socio-economic concerns to the existing list of items a proponent must examine as part of their review, the government has made the process more – not less – complex.”

Canada’s energy sector directly employs more than 425,000 men and women and is the single largest source of private sector investment in the country. “We have to stop vilifying Canada’s energy industry,” said Gardner. “No jurisdiction in the world harnesses its natural resources more sustainably than Canada – we have a lot to proud of, yet we seem content to lose investment, jobs, opportunity and talent as companies decide to invest billions of dollars, not in Canada, but in other countries.”

“This legislation seems designed to make it more difficult to invest in Canada and aimed at relegating bold, visionary and nation-building construction and infrastructure projects to something found only in Canadian history textbooks,” said Gardner.

See ICBA’s full submission HERE.