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TRAINING THURSDAY: Online Courses and 2019

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t learn a few things! ICBA offers more than a dozen online courses that you can take on your own time and at your own pace. Plus, most of them offer Gold Seal Credits and BC Housing CPD Points!

Whether you’re looking for safety courses such as Confined Spaces Safety Awareness or Pipeline Construction Safety Training, or supervisory skills courses such as First Level Supervisor Training, we’re here to help. 

This year we added several more online courses to our lineup, including Working in a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace, Bear Awareness, and TDG Transportation of Dangerous Goods. We also have courses such as Construction Project Management, Construction Law, and Introduction to Construction Estimating.

Are you going for your Gold Seal Certification in 2019? It’s mandatory to take both the online and in-class portions, so get a head start and take the online course over the holidays!

When it comes to classroom courses, in 2019 we will continue to offer some of our most popular sessions, including Responsibilities of Joint Health & Safety Committees, Occupational First Aid Level 1, Supervisory and Management Skills, and many, many more. The training department adds new courses nearly every week all over BC; check out for the latest updates and to register for any of our upcoming courses.

The training department wishes you a safe and happy holiday season and we look forward to seeing you at one of our courses in 2019!

NEWS RELEASE – NDP’s Massey Malaise Keeps Drivers Idling: ICBA

BURNABY, B.C.: The NDP Government’s Massey Tunnel non-announcement today will keep Lower Mainland drivers idling in traffic unnecessarily for years to come, said the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA).

“This is about a government using its partisan lens to look at a practical problem – the NDP don’t want to admit the BC Liberals ever had a single good idea,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA President. “Massey has undergone years of consultation and even had consultation about the consultation that was held. It’s time to build this bridge, get people out of traffic, and get our economy moving.”

The 10-lane Massey Bridge, cancelled by the NDP 16 months ago, was the product of a consultation process that took five years, nearly 150 technical reports, 35 meetings with regional authorities, and 110 meetings with municipal governments. “The NDP Government will shoot first and ask questions later on things like taxes, but won’t accept years of work on necessary infrastructure projects like Massey,” said Gardner. “The NDP’s handling of this project is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money.”

The NDP’s own report acknowledges that reducing a new bridge to eight lanes will simply mean the same traffic delays 25 years from now as we see today.

“The South Fraser is growing in leaps and bounds, but the NDP refuse to acknowledge the need for new infrastructure to match. They talked the talk in opposition but don’t walk the walk in power,” said Gardner. “Whether it’s another delay on the Massey Bridge project or refusing to fund SkyTrain past Fleetwood or dragging their heels on new school construction, the is failing to invest in the infrastructure we need in our communities.”

Gardner also noted the NDP Government’s price tags don’t include a multi-million dollar markup for their preferred model of freezing out 85% of all construction workers in B.C. and handing over all construction contracts to the Building Trades unions that gave them millions in donations in previous elections. On the Pattullo Bridge, Transportation Minister Claire Trevena admitted the sweetheart deal will cost taxpayers at least seven per cent more – while other analyses show it could be several times that amount.

“By overpaying for construction on the Pattullo and Highway 1 projects, the NDP are running out of money for other critical infrastructure in Surrey and Delta,” said Gardner.

IN THE NEWS: ICBA Board Chairman Jim Bogusz Interviewed by BiV

Great Q & A in today’s Business in Vancouver with our ICBA board chairman, Jim Bogusz.

He tried to retire, but we (and the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade) refuse to let him. “I thought I was retired, or at least slowing down.,” he said. “My two boards and startup project have me busier than ever before.” Darn right, Jim – we’re not letting you disappear into the Chilean wine region or some tropical vacation.

People like Jim do a lot for the construction industry and we greatly value his leadership.

NEWS RELEASE: NDP Government Must Listen to Panel, Employers and Public and Protect the Secret Ballot: ICBA

BURNABY – A significant swath of associations representing B.C.’s job creators and employers – including the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) – called on the NDP government today to protect workers’ right to a secret ballot in unionization votes.

The 13 groups made the call in a 22-page submission to government, following up on the recommendations of the BC Labour Relations Code Review Panel.

“There is no more fundamental democratic value than the right to a secret ballot, and workers should have that right when they are deciding if they should join a union,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA President. “The current system, which uses a secret ballot and was upheld by the NDP’s own review panel, ensures that neither employers nor unions can coerce workers one way or the other. Certification votes are fair and transparent and they are supervised by a neutral referee, the Labour Relations Board.”

Earlier this spring, 13 groups made a joint submission to the BC Labour Relations Code Review Panel, calling on government to protect the secret ballot, and several other labour code measures. The panel issued its draft report, which recommended keeping the secret ballot.

But the NDP’s allies in the traditional union hierarchy chafed against that recommendation, demanding more “consultation” with the government. Today’s submission from 13 business groups lays out the other side of the story on the labour code.

“In construction, only a small portion of workers – less than 15 per cent – have decided to affiliate themselves with traditional building trades unions. The rest are organized by progressive unions, employee associations or are open shop,” said Gardner. “The NDP and their traditional union allies have been desperate to stop this evolution by forcing workers to join their 19 favoured unions on taxpayer-funded construction projects like the Pattullo Bridge, and by stripping their democratic right to a secret ballot.”

Polling done for one media outlet shows that 79% of British Columbians support the secret ballot. Even among households with a private sector union member living in it, nearly three-quarters support secret ballots.

“The public knows that forcing unionization and stripping the democratic right to a secret ballot is wrong and unfair,” said Gardner. “It’s time for the NDP government to abandon this outdated approach to labour relations and protect this basic worker right.”

The joint submission was filed yesterday, and was signed by ICBA as well as the BC Chamber of Commerce, BC Hotels Association, BC Trucking Association, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Canadian Franchise Association, Canadian Home Builders Association, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, Restaurants Canada, Retail Council of Canada, Urban Development Institute, and Vancouver Regional Construction Association. Read the full submission HERE.

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About the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association

ICBA represents more than 2,100 members and clients in construction and responsible resource development and is one of the leading third-party providers of group health and retirement benefits in B.C. ICBA trains more than 3,500 workers every year and is the single largest sponsor of trades apprentices in the province.

ICBA CEO Breakfast at BUILDEX Vancouver, Feb. 13, 2019


You’re invited to our ICBA CEO Breakfast, kicking off the 2019 BUILDEX construction trade show at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Wednesday morning, Feb. 13, 2019.

  • Date/Time: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 (8:00am–9:30am)
  • Location: Vancouver Convention Centre West
  • Speaker: Brett Wilson
  • Cost: Free!

Join us to hear keynote speaker Brett Wilson, Dragon Emeritus, Celebrated Entrepreneur and Respected Philanthropist.

Energy and Construction: Canada’s Economic Backbone

Dragon’s Den entrepreneur W. Brett Wilson makes his BUILDEX debut with his take-no-prisoners support for Canadian energy and construction. Wilson, a prominent investor in sectors ranging from energy to agriculture, is concerned for Canada’s economic future, as more and more interests from the United States creep north. Canada has so much potential as a nation – it just needs vision and leadership to harness it all.

ICBA President Chris Gardner will also release the results of our 2019 Wage and Benefits Survey, which gives insight into which trades are most in demand, what companies are paying workers, and how construction businesses are feeling about the state of the economy.

This breakfast is free-of-charge, and attendees get access to the BUILDEX trade show immediately following. To reserve your seat, click HERE and use the form password DRAGON (all caps).