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MEDIA ADVISORY: ICBA in Court of Appeal Today Seeking Injunction to Pause Flawed Prop Rep Process

VANCOUVER – The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) will be in front of a B.C. Court of Appeal judge in Vancouver this morning to make the case for an injunction to pause the proportional representation referendum process until government can make it fair and constitutional.

ICBA wants to overturn an August 28, 2018, B.C. Supreme Court decision to deny an application for an injunction forcing the provincial government to fix its flawed proportional representation referendum process.

ICBA believes the government has rushed the process, failed to consult British Columbians adequately, has placed unconstitutional restrictions on public participation, and is presenting voters with a confusing question that is very difficult to understand. This was reinforced on the weekend when Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, admitted that despite having a degree in political science and being a Minister of the Crown, she does not understand the proportional representation systems she is asking voters to support – nor how the systems work.

ICBA will argue that the referendum questions and process are illegal because they don’t present the public with a clear choice between the current electoral system and a clearly defined and easily understood system of proportional representation – as was the case in the two previous referenda held on this matter in 2005 and 2009.

“The Government has rigged every aspect of this referendum in an attempt to get the answer it wants,” said ICBA president Chris Gardner. “While the provincial government has been using every legal maneuver in the book to delay the case, we believe it is in the public interest to ensure this referendum is conducted in a fair, transparent, and lawful manner, given that it involves such a fundamental change to our democratic system.”

The bar set by the courts to grant an injunction is high, but ICBA has been forced to seek an injunction because the Government has argued it needs more time to prepare its case to defend the referendum itself. The ICBA’s original court challenge – filed in late June – has been delayed to at least early 2019 due to the government’s inability to defend its own rules in a timely fashion.

  • WHO: Chris Gardner, ICBA president
  • WHAT: ICBA court appeal for an injunction against the government’s prop rep process
  • WHEN: Today, Monday, October 29, 2018. The hearing starts at 9:30AM and is scheduled to run to approximately 10AM. Chris will be available outside the court immediately following (likely 10:15AM).
  • WHERE: BC Supreme Court, 800 Smithe Street, Vancouver

For more on ICBA’s intended arguments today, click HERE. For our full, initial filing, click HERE.

OP/ED: Trudeau’s Bill C-69 Puts Investment and Jobs at Risk

This piece, authored by eight business association leaders, first appeared in The National Post on Oct. 25, 2018. It was written by:

  • Bob Masterson, President and CEO, Chemistry Industry Association of Canada
  • Gary Leach, President, The Explorers and Producers Association of Canada
  • Chris Gardner, President, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association
  • Chris Bloomer, President and CEO, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association
  • Tom Whalen, Interim President and CEO, Petroleum Services Association of Canada
  • Tim McMillan, President and CEO, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
  • Timothy M. Egan, President and CEO, Canadian Gas Association
  • Wendy Zatylny, President, Association of Canadian Port Authorities

The LNG Canada announcement that its liquified natural gas project at Kitimat, BC will move forward is a great story for Canada and shows how complex and important Canadian resource development is to our country. It also shows that our current environmental impact assessment process works to protect our precious natural environment.

But, stories like this will become few and far between, especially if the impact assessment process proposed in the current Bill C-69 is passed and implemented. Middle-class Canadians across the country who are hoping for similar projects and the many direct and indirect job opportunities that flow from them should know that Canada is developing a reputation as a high-risk place to do business. Bill C-69, if passed in its current form, will make this reputation much, much worse.

We cannot afford to introduce the additional uncertainty created by Bill C-69. Well-paying Canadian middle-class jobs are at stake. In a global business environment that is increasingly unpredictable, it is critical that our regulatory systems balance economic growth with environmental protection and that our elected government create the conditions for that sustainable growth.

Bill C-69, as drafted, suggests neither of these. It will lead to greater uncertainty in the assessment and review processes. It requires assessment and decisions based on broad public policy questions that are beyond the scope of individual projects. It introduces longer timelines, and vague criteria that will increase the risk of legal challenges. It gives the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada broad discretionary powers, further increasing uncertainty for major infrastructure projects.

The federal government wants to take the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency – a regulator and an agency that thoroughly and credibly reviewed and approved the LNG Canada project (and other major projects) – and replace them with brand new entities. The effect will be to erase a rich history of decision-making precedents and proven processes in order to start from scratch.

This will create significant uncertainty for projects – projects that are essential to delivering economic growth and quality of life for all Canadians. We believe in the value and importance of proper environmental impact assessment processes that are robust and science-based, and in the value of sustainability in our operations. Bill C-69 does not assure these – it does not achieve a proper balance between the environment and the economy.

Communities, businesses and families all over the country are feeling the strain. Projects, jobs, and investment are being re-directed to countries with greater predictability in regulatory processes and clearer expectations for investors – meaning those investors are no longer investing in Canada.

Let’s change Bill C-69. We can revitalize our reputation as a great place to do business. It is essential that we do so for the long-term livelihood and prosperity of all Canadians.

The Canadian Senate has an opportunity to put Bill C-69 on hold and to work with stakeholders from across the country to ensure a federal regulatory review process that works for all stakeholders. We urge the federal government to hit pause on Bill C-69 and take the time to get it right.

When the government commenced the regulatory review process, Canadians were promised legislation that would restore public trust, introduce new, fair processes, and get our resources to market. Bill C-69 falls short of that promise. We ask the Government of Canada to take the time needed, and work with us to ensure a better future for Canadians.

NEWS RELEASE: BC Health Ministry Underfunding Parkinson’s Treatment

Family and friends of a Fort Langley man awaiting important surgery are calling on the B.C. Government to put more resources into Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery for patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

More than 25 years ago, Tom Armour founded Armor Installations, one of B.C.’s top steel erection companies. Under his leadership, hundreds of young, ambitious ironworkers were trained and employed – men and women who have helped build B.C. infrastructure and projects.

Armour was diagnosed several years ago with Parkinson’s Disease and sold his company in order to focus on the fight of his life. Thanks to the care of the UBC Hospital, Armour was approved for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery, a special procedure that greatly improves the quality of life for Parkinson’s patients.

Unfortunately, Armour has been waiting ever since – for more than two years, and there is still no defined date for his surgery. Read more

Tales of Prop Rep Horror #13 – “Austrian Nightmare”

The Freedom Party of Austria has been around for decades, built on its anti-immigration focus. Its members and leaders have openly flirted with racism, neo-Nazism and other disgusting, far-right nonsense.

Today, the Freedom Party is considered a reliable ally of Vladimir Putin and Russia. And, in 2017, it partnered with the centre-right People’s Party to form government. Under the deal, Freedom politicians got several cabinet posts, including defence, interior and foreign posts. Its leader became vice-chancellor.

From the Financial Times: “The Freedom party is notorious beyond Austria for its historical links with pan-German nationalists, anti-Semitic voices and airbrushing the country’s Nazi past. When the party joined a government in 2000, Austria was ostracised by its EU neighbours.”

This is another example of proportional representation allowing dangerous, extremist parties to get their hands on the levers of power.

Yet another reason to Stop Prop Rep! www.icba.ca/stopproprep

Pass this post on to your friends and family – David Eby’s draconian, anti-free speech rules won’t allow us to advertise it, but individuals can spread it as much as they like. Let’s make sure every British Columbian sees it.

Tales of Prop Rep Horror #12 – “The Ungovernable”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #11 – “Czech the Commies at the Door”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #10 – “Second Place Prime Minister”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #9 – “No Kings in North(-ern Ireland)”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #8 – “How Swede It Isn’t”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #7 – “Rise of the Dictators”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #6 – “Indonesian Indecency”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #5 – “Beware the Greeks!”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #4 – “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! NO! NO! NO!”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #3 – “From Russia With Blood”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #2 – “The Pain in Spain”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #1 – “The Puzzle of Brussels”

 

NOTICE TO MEMBERS: Proportional Representation – bad for construction, bad for business, bad for BC

To all ICBA Members,

Today, millions of ballots are being put in the mail to ask British Columbians to change the way we elect our provincial government.

The NDP and Green Party want to move to a form of proportional representation, a system of government that has been proved in Europe to slow economic growth, bloat the size of government bureaucracy, and encourage the rise of extremist fringe parties.

After much consideration and study, ICBA has concluded that the current system of electing governments, “First-Past-The-Post” is the best one for creating the economic conditions that keep construction companies working.

We have developed this PDF, describing the choices on the mail-in ballot, and why we believe the current system must be saved. Many of our member companies and clients are distributing this to their staff, posting them in lunch rooms, and encouraging their workers to vote against proportional representation.

We ask that your company consider doing the same. This is too important an issue for the construction community to ignore.

Please read the flyer and decide for yourself. Thank you.

Chris Gardner
ICBA President

TRAINING THURSDAY: Writing Effective Letters, Scope Documents, Reports & Proposals

Everyone can benefit from being a good writer, whether you’re working in an office, on a job site, or telecommuting. How are your writing skills? Is your writing effective and focused on what you need to get across to the reader?

Our Writing Effective Letters, Scope Documents, Reports and Proposals course will teach you exactly that: to write more effectively. You’ll learn to tailor your writing for your audience and purpose, apply the strategies required for effective scope documents, letters, and reports, and incorporate key principles for editing and revising your documents.

Some of the topics the course covers are:

  • Planning your scope documents;
  • Writing concisely;
  • Crafting effective emails and letters;
  • Responding to bids and proposals;
  • Structuring your reports and project documentation.

Plus, you’ll earn 1 Gold Seal Credit, 3.5 Group A CPD Points, and 4 Group B CPD Points from BC Housing! Our next session is October 29 in Victoria, and then November 5 in Kelowna. We are also bringing it to Prince George November 27 and Burnaby November 29. You can register for this or any of our other courses at www.icba.ca/courses.

TALES OF PROP REP HORROR #12 – “The Ungovernable”

Prop rep supporters make it sound warm and wonderful, but prop rep creates nothing but backroom deals, sleazy politics, and splinter parties. As Foreign Policy magazine puts it, it makes country “ungovernable.”

The Netherlands has 150 seats in its parliament, and 13 different parties are represented. This makes it near impossible to stitch together a coalition to govern.

B.C. would eventually go the same way under prop rep. You’d see the BC Liberal splinter into Liberals and Conservatives, and then social conservatives and fiscal conservatives. You’d see the NDP lose their green folks and then their private sector union supporters and the Greens lose their rabid eco-activists and their anti-everything people. There’d be regional parties – the north, Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Kootenays, and Vancouver Island. There’d be a Surrey party. There’d be the fringe parties – anti-immigration, anti-trade.

And before you knew it, B.C. too would be ungovernable.

Don’t believe us? It’s happening in prop rep democracies all over the world. Read it for yourself.

Yet another reason to Stop Prop Rep! www.icba.ca/stopproprep

Pass this post on to your friends and family – David Eby’s draconian, anti-free speech rules won’t allow us to advertise it, but individuals can spread it as much as they like. Let’s make sure every British Columbian sees it.

And stay tuned for more “Tales of Prop Rep Horror”…

Tales of Prop Rep Horror #11 – “Czech the Commies at the Door”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #10 – “Second Place Prime Minister”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #9 – “No Kings in North(-ern Ireland)”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #8 – “How Swede It Isn’t”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #7 – “Rise of the Dictators”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #6 – “Indonesian Indecency”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #5 – “Beware the Greeks!”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #4 – “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! NO! NO! NO!”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #3 – “From Russia With Blood”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #2 – “The Pain in Spain”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #1 – “The Puzzle of Brussels”