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ICBA NEWS: New Insurance Head Hired

The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Spence as ICBA’s new Senior Vice President – Group Health and Retirement Benefits. In this portfolio, Mark will lead ICBA Benefits, the association’s wholly-owned group benefits business.

Mark has spent the past six years with GroupHEALTH Benefit Solutions in Surrey, advancing from  Manager, New Business Development; then Director, Business Development; and finally VP – Business Development. Under his leadership, GroupHEALTH substantially grew its group premium business.

He has a demonstrated record of building and executing business plans, growing revenue, creating customer loyalty, and leading successful teams.


ICBA Benefits ( is one of B.C.’s largest third-party administrators of health, dental, life and retirement benefits. With more than 2,300 members and clients, ICBA works with companies ranging from single-person startups to some of the largest employers in Canada. ICBA’s insurance services was one of the key factors in ICBA winning the 2019 Reed Award for Best North American Trade Association.

TRAINING THURSDAY: Construction Business Management

It’s the final course of 2019! Looking to learn how to improve the management and business systems of your construction business? Check out our two-day Construction Business Management course December 19-20 in Burnaby. You’ll also earn 5 Gold Seal Credits and 32 CPD Points from BC Housing!

At the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • Understand the strategic planning process and how to implement it within their context
  • Understand the importance of a business plan and how to prepare one
  • Understand the participants within the construction industry – their roles, responsibilities and limitations
  • Understand the benefits of a participatory management culture
  • Formulate a marketing plan and understand the marketing mix
  • Develop a human resource management plan
  • Understand the employment cycle/process
  • Develop an employee performance evaluation system
  • Increase staff morale and engagement
  • Understand operational planning for construction companies
  • Formulate a financial plan, budgets, ratios and break-even analysis
  • Understand the importance of financial internal controls
  • Develop benchmarks and key performance indicators
  • Understand bonding and insurance for construction companies
  • Use risk management tools to identify risk and how to mitigate risk

We’re bringing it to Kelowna April 22-23, 2020, and again in Burnaby May 11-12. You can register for this or any of our other upcoming sessions at

And while you’re there, subscribe to our biweekly training newsletter at

TRAINING THURSDAY: Effective Management Skills

Are you an effective manager? Could you be better? Check out our last Effective Management Skills workshop of 2019 on December 11 in Burnaby! The most important asset of any organization is the human asset, and we want to help you achieve results.

How much untapped potential, energy, commitment and creativity currently exists within your organization, team or department?  What would it mean to your culture and bottom line if you could learn to unleash just 10% more of the latent human potential?

This course is for all managers, supervisors, team leaders or anyone who is responsible for achieving results through people and who want to bring the best out in people.

Here’s some of what’s covered:

  • Understanding group dynamics and how to develop team synergy
  • Developing clear performance expectations for the team
  • The four core elements of a high-performance team
  • The principles of effective delegation
  • The vital importance of developing clear “outcome-based” performance expectations whenever possible
  • How to listen so that people feel understood
  • How disagree someone without being disagreeable
  • The essential difference between influence and persuasion
  • How to deliver reinforcing or positive feedback in a manner that makes it meaningful

And much more! Plus you’ll earn 1 Gold Seal Credit and 7.5 CPD Points from BC Housing.

Visit for more information and to register for this or any of our other upcoming courses.

NEWS RELEASE: ICBA Joins 105 Keefer Legal Challenge

VANCOUVER – The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) filed papers in BC Supreme Court yesterday (Wednesday), seeking to intervene in Beedie (Keefer Street) Holdings Ltd.’s case against the City of Vancouver over the City’s refusal to issue a development permit for Beedie’s project at 105 Keefer Street.

“As a construction association representing the men and women who would build this project, we are deeply concerned about Vancouver’s increasing red tape and shifting regulatory goalposts,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA president. “This project should have gotten done, but the City flouted its own process and killed a great plan.”

Beedie’s 105 Keefer application met all the City’s zoning criteria, but Vancouver’s Development Permit Board killed the project anyway – the first time the Board has done so in more than decade.

“Homebuyers are facing a housing affordability crisis in Vancouver and decisions like this make the situation worse,” said Gardner.  “We are in a place now where it takes longer to approve and permit a housing project than to build it.”

Last year, the CD Howe Institute issued a report titled, “Through the Roof: The High Cost of Barriers to Building New Housing in Canadian Municipalities.” It calculated that red tape, delays and fees imposed by City Hall increases the cost of building new housing up to $300 per square foot in Vancouver, or up to $600,000 on the price of new homes.

“It’s vital that the City give prospective builders a clear understanding at the outset of a project the criteria to be applied to any given development application, and that if they meet that criteria, the project will be approved. That’s no longer the case in Vancouver and as a result, confidence in the City acting fairly and in an open and transparent fashion has significantly eroded.”

ICBA’s application to intervene is built on several points:

  1. The City is creating regulatory uncertainty for builders
  2. Builders are losing confidence that the development approval process is fair, transparent, and principled
  3. The City’s red tape is a major contributor to the affordability crisis facing homebuyers in Vancouver
  4. Refusing to approve projects that meet the zoning requirements contributes to the shortage of affordable homes
  5. The City’s red tape is preventing construction workers from pursuing jobs and negatively impacting the local economy

“The men and women working in construction and homebuyers and builders in the City of Vancouver deserve better answers and greater accountability from City Hall,” said Gardner.

ICBA’s full application for intervenor status can be found HERE. An affidavit from Chris Gardner can be found HERE.

ICBA Safety Merits Contest 2019

Workplace Safety is a team effort – and ICBA is again going to award one team member with a weekend in Las Vegas in recognition of their safe work practices!

The submission deadline for ICBA’s annual Safety Merits Contest is noon Pacific, Thursday, December 19, 2019. Don’t miss your chance to submit the names of your company’s safest workers.

Entrants must be employed below the superintendent level (office staff are not eligible) and must have worked a minimum of 2,500 hours without any time lost due to an accident.

The construction industry recognizes that a safe workplace is the responsibility of management and of the workers on site. The industry realizes that those individuals who have taken great care to avoid injury to themselves and others are invaluable to their firm and an example for all workers.

The purpose of the Safety Merits Contest is for the industry to recognize these individuals, draw attention to their achievement and encourage others to follow their example.


1) All entrants must be employed by an ICBA member company.

2) Entrants must be employed below the superintendent level. Office staff are not eligible.

3) Entrants must have worked a minimum of 2,500 hours for one employer without any time lost due to an accident as of November 30, 2019. Proof of hours may have to be submitted and verified. Note: The required hours need not have been worked consecutively with that one firm.

4) Names of those who meet the above criteria are to be submitted to the ICBA office by the employer to (Excel spreadsheet preferred) no later than noon Pacific time, Thursday, December 19, 2019.

5) Names of employees submitted in previous Safety Merits Contests may be submitted again.

6) One name will be drawn at random.

PRIZE: A 3-day trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. Return airfare to Las Vegas, hotel accommodations, and transportation from Las Vegas airport to the hotel. (Maximum value $1500, including taxes.)


Microsoft Excel is an integral part of most offices; let us teach you to use it!

Our Microsoft Excel for Business course will teach you to use Excel to create budgets, track costs, generate quotes and more. Participants will even a very basic knowledge of Excel will progress quickly to creating basic databases, budgets, graphs, reports and equations. Here are some of the skills you’ll learn:

  • Customize excel options and views
  • Create and manipulate tables
  • Filter and sort data
  • Apply formulas
  • Use the correct syntax to insert functions
  • Create and format cells and ranges
  • Order and group cells and ranges
  • Apply cell ranges and references in formulas and functions
  • Summarize data with functions
  • Apply conditional logic in functions
  • Format and modify text with functions
  • Create and format charts and objects

This course offers 1 Gold Seal Credit.

And if you’re looking to build on your skills, we have a Microsoft Excel Advanced course! You’ll learn to use advanced functions such as lookup and reference, conditional logic and conditional summary, and work with shared workbooks and worksheets. You’ll also earn 1 Gold Seal Credit for this course.

Interested? Our next Excel for Business course is in Burnaby December 3 and Victoria December 10. Our next Excel Advanced course is in Burnaby December 4, and Victoria December 11!

Register for these or any of our other upcoming workshops at