ICBA’s Summer 2020 edition of the Construction Monitor examines how the construction industry — and ICBA itself — adapted and worked safely throughout the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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9 hours ago
Our Jordan Bateman gives you the heads-up on Clean BC and Alberta’s hard look at CPP. For links to sources, visit www.icbaindependent.ca. We can't post media links here because of the Trudeau Government's foolish Online News Act. 🙄💸 The Eby government’s CleanBC plan will rip $28 billion out of the B.C. economy by 2030, putting the province at risk of recession. Those aren’t ICBA’s numbers, or the Opposition’s, or the Business Council of British Columbia’s – even though it was the work of BCBC economists Ken Peacock and Jock Finlayson that uncovered them. It’s the analysis of the provincial government itself of CleanBC measures such as the carbon tax rising to $170 per tonne by 2030, a “hard” emissions caps imposed on heavy industry and the fossil fuel sector, heating options restricted to electricity for businesses and households, and a plethora of other “stretch regulations and standards”– which all result in higher costs. This economic hit will reach across every industry, with heavy industry down 20% and construction and forestry down 14%. Are you willing to see the provincial economy gutted for this? As Peacock and Finlayson write, “the government’s CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 sits awkwardly with its other priority commitments to improve affordability and boost job opportunities, incomes and overall well-being for households.” And again, these aren’t our numbers – they’re the Government of British Columbia’s. Worrisome indeed.💰 In Alberta, it’s pension tension time, as the province released a LifeWorks analysis showing the province would be better off leaving the Canada Pension Plan and running their own Alberta Pension Plan, a la Quebec. The report says Alberta should get 53% of CPP assets – some $334 billion. There’s no doubt Alberta has got the shrt end of the stick in equalization and pension contributions, but this CPP exit formula is based on outdated law. Nonetheless, the province is doing more analysis and the CPP folks are pushing back hard. No one knows yet if there really is a business case to move on from CPP, but more scrutiny on what Ottawa costs provinces is always welcome. Accountability is important. So we’ll see what former finance minister Jim Dinning comes up with in his review for the Alberta government. ... See MoreSee Less
1 day ago
Our Jordan Bateman gives you the heads-up on mixed government messaging on housing and energy. For links to sources, visit www.icbaindependent.ca. We can't post media links here because of the Trudeau Government's foolish Online News Act. 🙄🏠 Ah, government – where all too often the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, and in fact often works at cross purposes. At a time when housing is more expensive than it’s ever been, and the federal government has said affordability is a top priority, we see another piece of the bureaucracy come forward with regulations that will drive costs up even more. Writing for the Financial Post today, the Fraser Institute’s Ross McKitrick says new federal energy efficiency rules will drive up housing costs by $55,000 per unit – a government-authored price hike of 8%. It will also slow construction, harm GDP, and cause tradespeople to leave the industry. 🛢Speaking of division within government, the eyes of the energy industry were on Calgary this week for the World Petroleum Coference, the world’s largest energy sector conference. And the messaging of the Trudeau federal government and the Danielle Smith Alberta government could not have been more different. Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson painted oil and gas as a sunset industry – promising to eliminate fossil fuels by 2050. But Premier Smith, after saying Wilkinson’s comments were “tone deaf” and went over like a “lead balloon”, had a much stronger message: “This is not an industry that’s winding down. It’s an industry that’s transitioning away from emissions."🗣 B.C. mayors and councillors are gathered at the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference this week in Vancouver, and the topic is housing, housing, housing, getting more money from the B.C. government for infrastructure to serve housing, and housing. As Cowichan Valley Regional District director Ben Maartman said: “You know, I’m a simple farmer … I just can’t keep adding to my herd without being able to look after them, resource them, care for them, and house them.” Schools, roads, sewer, water, electricity: it’s all needed, and the province has been quick to demand housing approvals and slow to hand out cash to help. ... See MoreSee Less
WELLNESS WEDNESDAY #118: Stress Levels Rising 📈If you’re feeling stressed, you’re not alone: Benefits Canada reports that 38% of Canadians say they are experiencing a high level of stress – up from 27% last year.The survey, which polled more than 1,000 group benefits plan members from across Canada, found those in poor mental health (65 per cent) and poor overall health (63 per cent) were far more likely to report high levels of stress, as were those with caregiving responsibilities (57 per cent) or who had a major injury or illness in the past 12 months (53 per cent).The top 3 sources of stress:1. Personal finances (38%)2. Workload (32%)3. Work-life balance (30%)We know from our experience with ICBA Wellness that there are no quick fixes to destressing workplaces. But fostering open communication and providing resources for mental well-being can create a supportive environment that alleviates work-related pressures. It’s a start we can all make today.-----Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 100 companies and more than 10,000 construction professionals better understand mental health. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out icba.ca/wellness for details. ... See MoreSee Less
4 days ago
Our Jordan Bateman gives you the heads-up on MP housing hypocrisy, B.C. taxes killing affordability, and a hospital groundfaking. For links to sources, visit www.icbaindependent.ca. We can't post media links here because of the Trudeau Government's foolish Online News Act. 🙄🏠 There was a fascinating column from Chris Selley in the National Post yesterday, looking at how the Trudeau Liberals are desperately trying to reverse the tide of polls showing them falling further and further behind Pierre Poilievre and the Conservatives. But they just can’t get out of their own way. He included a great series of tweets from one Liberal MP who attacked Poilievre’s plan to punish cities financially if they didn’t increase housing density near transit stations. A day later, Calgary mayor and council released a letter showing the Trudeau government had adopted the same plan! Another Liberal MP tweeted that she can’t afford a home in her London, Ontario, riding. She makes $194,000+ a year! When the Conservatives retweeted her, she attacked them. Great stuff from Selley, and worth a read. Trudeau wants to be rumblin’ with Poilievre, but he’s stuck stumblin’ and bumblin’.💸 Economist Jack Mintz analyzed B.C.’s affordability issues and came up with a diagnosis: NDP tax hikes are making life far more expensive in B.C., calling the tax increases “relentless”, and all “to feed its spending appetite.” He cited hikes to income taxes, corporate taxes, sales taxes, energy taxes, payroll taxes, and property taxes. “B.C.’s taxes and other own-source revenues (such as fees and royalties) have risen sharply under the NDP. As a share of GDP, they are up from 18 per cent in 2017 to 22.9 per cent this year, while real per capita own-source revenues have risen from $9,628 to $11,584. That’s more than 20 per cent in just five years. It’s clear that taxes are the real affordability problem in B.C.”🚜 Speaking of the BC NDP, they had a big announcement last week in Surrey – the fastest growing city in Canada with 10 swing ridings – that a new hospital was now “under construction”. But within 48 hours, the excavator used at the event was gone and the site was deserted, leaving one BC United MLA to call it a “ground-faking, not groundbreaking.” Said the head of the Surrey Board of Trade: “Why hasn't construction already started? Why were construction equipment being taken away from the facility when it should be beginning immediately? Every single day construction costs escalate.” They sure do – the project, delayed by the NDP for more than two years, is already more than a billion dollars more than the original pricetag.💻 And a bonus story: SiteNews sat down with construction tech expert Jeff Sample to get a sense of where the industry is headed. “Modern delivery methods are changing into more collaborative methods, teaming up earlier together to achieve more predictable and reliable products for owners, “ he says. You can hear Jeff for yourself at ICBA’s Construction Innovation Summit in Vancouver Oct. 30-31. Visit icba.ca/CIS for details. ... See MoreSee Less
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TRAINING THURSDAY: Asbestos Abatement Certification
Kerry and Jordan talk about time-sensitive course and change coming to construction – WorkSafeBC has mandated Asbestos Abatement Certification by January 1st. To help get you ready, ICBA is offering four sessions to prepare you…
Don't miss our Civil Blueprint Reading workshop Sept 27 in Langley! Participants will learn how to read a set of civil construction blueprints, drawing specifications, and general notes, and gain experience and practical knowledge. Register now: https://ow.ly/V7gP50PNTvw