CALGARY – The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) is expanding in Alberta, and Mike Martens, one of the province’s top advocacy leaders, has been selected to head up ICBA Alberta, ICBA president Chris Gardner announced today.
Building on the growth of its Alberta group health benefits business which has been offering health, dental and retirement plans to contractors and businesses for nearly a decade, ICBA is rolling out a suite of new services for its members in Alberta.
“Founded 48 years ago, ICBA has grown into the country’s largest construction association with more than 4,000 members and clients and 150,000 people on one of our group health benefit plans,” said Gardner. “Today, I’m proud to announce that we are expanding in Alberta and that Mike Martens has joined us to lead the roll-out and growth of the suite of new member services we will be offering to ICBA Alberta members. Mike is a dynamic, respected advocate, and is focused on growing the construction, building, and resource development industries in Alberta.”
Martens was Director of Public Affairs (Western Canada) for the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada for the past eight years. Working out of ICBA’s Calgary office as ICBA Alberta President, Martens will work with the ICBA Alberta team to expand its member service offering in areas related to advocacy, group health benefits, training, and wellness programs designed for Alberta’s open shop contractors, builders, and entrepreneurs.
Some 88 per cent of the more than 220,000 people who work in Alberta construction make up the open shop sector.
“It’s an honour for me to be able to help build on ICBA’s incredible platform in Alberta,” said Martens. “We’re going to be offering some very exciting services to help merit and open shop construction contractors grow, and we’re going to give them a strong voice in public policy advocacy.”
Over the past few years, ICBA has worked to advance several projects important to growing Alberta’s economy:
- Generated thousands of supportive emails through ICBA’s #Get2Yes petition in support of Alberta energy projects
- Offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and charge of the people who attacked the Coastal Gas Link LNG pipeline construction site in northern B.C.
- Produced an international award-winning “Big Gas Pipeline” video that was viewed more than 2 million times on social media
- Intervened in the court challenge to support Alberta’s fight against the Bill C-69
- Intervened in the court challenge against the B.C. Government and supported Alberta’s efforts to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion approved
- Wrote op-eds in major Alberta papers supporting the need for Canada to speed up building permits – currently Canada is 64th in how long it takes to approve construction and infrastructure projects
When it comes to federal advocacy, ICBA Alberta is a member of Merit Canada, joining Merit Saskatchewan, Merit Manitoba, Merit Ontario, Merit Nova Scotia and ICBA. Through Merit Canada, this powerful partnership of open shop construction organizations advocates on issues important to open shop contractors in Ottawa.
“Mike and the team at ICBA Alberta will be working to help construction companies grow and support their workers with the best benefits, training and advocacy possible,” said Gardner. “They will be supporting the reduction in unnecessary red tape and the creation the economic conditions necessary to attract investment, build the infrastructure and harness our energy resources in a way that secures our long-term prosperity.”
“I’ve hit the ground running with meetings and introductions, and I can’t wait to share what ICBA Alberta can do to help construction companies,” said Martens. “If you’re a merit-based, open shop construction company doing work in Alberta, send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s meet to discuss how our association and our services can help you.”