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Stop Prop Rep!

ICBA believes strongly that the current, First Past The Post, method of electing MLAs is far superior to the three proportional representations systems being suggested by NDP Attorney General David Eby. For the sake of political and economic stability, we suggest BC voters vote to stop prop rep in this fall’s referendum.

More details, and a deeper analysis of the issues, will come shortly from ICBA, but, in the meantime:

Read this piece, by ICBA’s Jordan Bateman and Kwantlen Polytechnic University poli sci professor Shinder Purewal opposing the prop rep referendum process, which has been skewed by David Eby to try and sneak this radical change through.

Or this one, by Vaughn Palmer, looking at how Eby is “stacking the deck”.

Or this analysis by Keith Baldrey, which looks at how the power in this new system will be given to party bosses.

TRAINING THURSDAY: Reading Blueprints

Kerry & Jordan discuss the World Cup (Kerry’s pulling for Portugal), Father’s Day, and our latest icba.ca/training course offering – Reading Blueprints.

Introduction to Blueprint Reading

Reading blueprints is an integral part of many construction careers, whether you work in residential or commercial construction. Unfamiliar with how to read blueprints and specifications? We’re here to help!

Our Introduction to Blueprint Reading course is perfect for those who have little or no background in blueprint reading. Here’s what’s covered in this one-day course:

  • Blueprint reading basics
  • Design process and the role of design professionals
  • Building Codes, bylaws and building permits
  • Find trade information using blueprints
  • Layout basics 
  • Architectural, civil, electrical and mechanical drawings, and how they fit together
  • Architectural & engineering scales
  • Floor plans, sections and elevations
  • Symbols, notation, abbreviations and material schedules
  • Dimension, finishes, details, area calculations, and material take offs
  • Understanding specifications
  • Commercial and residential blueprints

Our next session is June 26 in Victoria, and then July 27 in Burnaby. You’ll also earn 1 Gold Seal Credit and 8 Group A CPD Points from BC Housing. 

We always get great feedback on this course so don’t miss your chance to register! You can sign up for this or any of our other workshops at www.icba.ca/training.

And while you’re there, don’t forget to sign up for our bi-weekly training newsletter at www.icba.ca/trainingnewsletter.

Remembering Ed Rempel

Ed Rempel
Ed Rempel

It is with heavy hearts that we report that construction icon and ICBA life member Ed Rempel passed away today, June 11. Ed and his wife of 60 years, Myrtle-Anne, are beloved members of the ICBA family and with Ed’s late brother, Ewald, founded Rempel Bros. Concrete. We grieve with Myrtle-Anne and the Rempel family today.

Rempel Bros., at one point, was the largest open shop concrete company in the province, thanks to the Rempels’ persistence in bidding, advocacy for open shop, and belief in treating their employees fairly.

The Rempels were key to open shop construction growing in B.C., as they supplied open shop builders with cement. Several times, unions tried to organize Rempel Bros., but the family had built a loyal and well-cared-for employee group, and every effort failed. If the unions had been able to certify Rempel Bros., they could have choked off the concrete supply and put non-union builders out of business. “They were far and above, in my opinion, the key to this whole thing,” says Ken Funk, another early-era ICBA member.

Myrtle-Anne recently told ICBA about the scare tactics used against Ed and her family: “At night, they would come up and down our driveway, flashing their lights. We would see the cars out there. Sometimes they’d get out of the cars and there’d be six big guys in our driveway, at our home,” she recalled. On one occasion, her 16-year-old daughter was followed in her car from school, and had to detour from the empty residence to a nearby Rempel Bros. plant before the trailing vehicle sped off. Such incidents led Myrtle-Anne’s mother to become too fearful to babysit her grandchildren, and led some of her friends to fear for their own safety if they continued to socialize with her. “The tension was so electric in the air,” she said of the mid 1970s, when Ed, Myrtle-Anne and Ewald first helped form ICBA.

During the pivotal negotiations over who would build the Expo 86 projects – open shop or building trades unions – Ed was a key contributor. It was so controversial at the time that when Ed met with Expo boss Jimmy Pattison, he was asked to get off the elevator two floors below and then take the stairs. ICBA, prompted by people like Ed Rempel, told Pattison “We’ll build Expo.” And the Rempels (with a lot of other ICBA members) did.

Our generation at ICBA stands on the shoulders of persistent, principled leaders like Ed Rempel.

A celebration of Ed’s life will be held July 9, 1:30 PM at Sevenoaks Alliance Church in Abbotsford.

Ed was father to  Dr. Cheryl Holmes, Kirk W.D. Rempel, and predeceased by son Bruce Rempel; grandfather to Derek Holmes (Victoria Holmes), Meredith Holmes, Shae Rempel (Evyn Bartlett), Alyssa Rempel, Samantha Rempel; and great grandfather to Chase McCrum, Spence McCrum, Oliver Holmes, Vanessa Domina and Ricardina Rico Valen, Sydney and Elyse Bartlett.

TRAINING THURSDAY: Microsoft Outlook

Are emails the bane of your existence some days? Do you want to learn some valuable time-saving shortcuts for dealing with your Microsoft Outlook?

Of course you do. And our Microsoft Outlook – Strategic Management course will help you do just that! This one-day course will teach you powerful organizational strategies that will save you hours of time every week.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Understand how outlook is set up and the types of information it can track
  • Create, format and send messages
  • Create or modify signatures for e-mail
  • Choose customized outlook settings and views
  • Organize and manage messages using quick steps
  • Utilize the powerful search tools in outlook
  • Create rules and out of office notices
  • Use the To Do bar to manage tasks
  • Manage multiple calendars
  • Create and organize tasks, appointments, meetings and events
  • Create and manage notes, tasks and journals
  • Utilize options such as voting buttons, flags or level of importance 
  • Create contacts and groups

Plus, you’ll earn 1 Gold Seal Credit and 7 Group A CPD Points from BC Housing.

Our next session is on June 22 in Burnaby, and then we’re heading to Prince George on June 27! Register for this or any of our other upcoming training at www.icba.ca/training. We add new courses nearly every week!

TRAINING THURSDAY: Construction, Excavation and Demolition Involving Hazardous Building Materials

What are you doing for breakfast on June 26? We have a suggestion for you!

Our training department would like to welcome you at our Construction, Excavation and Demolition Involving Hazardous Building Materials breakfast session in Burnaby.

This new breakfast session will provide you with an opportunity to learn about the new changes to the OHS Regulation Section 20.112, which requires additional information during hazardous materials surveys. You’ll also learn how these changes can impact your scope of work under renovation and demolition projects involving these materials.

In addition, this session will also provide a refresher on regulatory sampling requirements for submitting suspect bulk materials to a laboratory for determination of asbestos content, and a limited discussion of lead and silica bulk sampling protocols.

Plus, you’ll earn 2 Group A CPD Points from BC Housing! You can learn more about this breakfast session at www.icba.ca/training.

Did you know that you get a discount for registering three or more people in the majority of our training courses? Members also save even more on their course fees; learn more about ICBA membership at www.icba.ca/become-a-member.

NEWS RELEASE: Pipeline project purchase exposes fundamental flaws in Canada’s regulatory systems – Confidence In Canada

The following news release was issued this morning by the Confidence In Canada coalition, of which ICBA is a key part.

While today’s announcement that the Trans Mountain Pipeline project will move forward in the national interest is encouraging, the recent events and the need for federal taxpayers to purchase this project have exposed fundamental flaws in the regulatory systems at all levels of government. We cannot build confidence in Canada if we continue to allow our country’s economic assets and natural resources to be held hostage by obstructionist governments, misinformation or an inability to uphold the rule of law and project approvals.

While Canada has an opportunity to be an energy supplier to the world, we are developing a reputation as a country which is too complex, too costly and taking too much time to do business. This is particularly damaging when our closest competitors are looking at ways to reduce taxes and ease the regulatory burden facing investors.

As we have said all along, this is about more than a pipeline.

Our regulatory processes are fundamentally broken and continue to create uncertainty for communities, companies, employees, and Indigenous peoples. At risk is the ability to create jobs, attract investment and sustain overall confidence in the Canadian economy among large and small businesses and local and international investors.

The time has come for a national conversation on how we can restore confidence in Canada. Natural resources and permitted sectors have and should continue to drive our economic prosperity, our quality of life and the innovations necessary to create a more sustainable, lower-carbon future. In the coming days, the Confidence in Canada partners from across the country will identify next steps and opportunities to advance the national interest and create certainty for Canada’s economic future.


“The BC government has a lot to answer for in putting Canada in this situation.” Laura Jones, Executive Vice-President and Chief Strategic Officer of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business

“It’s long-overdue good news that Canada will get its resources to tidewater and stop selling to a single customer – but the fact that our federal government had to step in proves there’s still deep uncertainty around investing in Canada. Our nation must take a hard look at itself: The regulatory regime in Canada is broken.”Val Litwin, President and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce

“This whole exercise has shone a light on what companies have known for years: Canada is too costly, too complex and takes too long to come to a decision and get things done. The system has broken down to the point where taxpayer dollars are required to complete major infrastructure projects that support our collective prosperity when there have been willing private sector, tax-paying investors. This is no way to operate in a globally competitive world and expect to maintain our quality of life.” Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia

“In less than a year on the job, John Horgan has ripped-up approval of the Trans Mountain project; created a constitutional crisis; started a trade war with B.C.’s closest neighbor; sent a chilling message to investors that Canada does not respect the process or the law; and, forced Ottawa to spend $4.5 billion taxpayer dollars to build a project that the private sector was more than willing to deliver.” Chris Gardner, President, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association

“Although we are pleased this project of national significance is forging ahead, government intervention should not have been necessary for a project that was already federally approved. This is not a great day for Canada’s reputation on the international investment front. While we are going to save the vital pipeline and the thousands of jobs that come with it, today’s decision highlights how much damage has been done to our international reputation. The job ahead of us now is to rebuild Confidence in Canada.”- Iain Black, President and CEO, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade

The letter signed by 114 business, labour and municipal organizations from across the country expressing support for restoring #ConfidenceinCanada is available here.