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TRAINING THRONESDAY: Electrical Estimating Course 1 (Basic)

Are you confident in your estimating skills for today’s competitive market? Our Electrical Estimating course in Langley May 15-16 and in Burnaby September 19-20 is here to help!

Our two-day, hands-on course will take you right from the start of an estimate to the final bid price. Here’s some of what’s covered:

  • Role of an Estimator
  • Setting up to Estimate
  • Methods of Estimating
  • Estimating Tools and Forms
  • Labor Manual and Use
  • Pricing
  • Review Drawings and Specifications
  • Organization of Estimate
  • Measuring and Counting
  • Use of Forms
  • Reviewing of Addendums Listing of Material
  • Pricing, Labour Units and Extension

And much more! Check out the full course listing and register for either session at Plus you’ll earn 2 Gold Seal Credits and 28 Group A CPD Points from BC Housing!

We’re also offering an advanced session on June 12 and 13 in Langley, and October 24 and 25 in Burnaby. Subscribe to our training newsletter at for the latest updates.

ICBA MEMBER ALERT: NDP Forced to Keep Secret Ballot, But Labour Code Changes Still Skew Against Employers

A message from Chris Gardner, president of ICBA:

Today, the BC NDP Government introduced significant changes to the Labour Relations Code. We are still analyzing all the different aspects of the legislation, but there are some major issues that construction employers need to understand.

First the good news: the secret ballot for union certification votes will remain. This is a big departure from the typical NDP playbook, and is thanks to the work of associations like ICBA and the steadfast opposition to cardcheck by the BC Greens and the BC Liberals. In his news conference today, NDP Labour Minister Harry Bains made it clear he would have scrapped the secret ballot if the NDP had a majority government. Without Andrew Weaver and the Greens’ support, the NDP didn’t have enough votes to strip the secret ballot out of the code.

However, the legislation does shorten the communication period before a secret ballot vote takes place from 10 days to 5 working days. It also greatly curtails an employer’s ability to communicate with workers during a certification vote period. We will have more detail on this to come.

Other key points:

  • Minister Bains says fines for employers violating the Labour Code will be increased by five times
  • The Labour Board will have greater discretion to impose automatic union certification if an employer is found to have interfered with the certification process
  • Construction will be treated differently from other sectors – union raids will be allowed in July and August every year of a collective agreement, rather than longer intervals for other sectors
  • There will be Code reviews at least every five years

These Labour Code changes come a day after the NDP Government made a series of changes to the Employment Standards Act, including:

  • A requirement to “meet or exceed” the Act’s requirements in collective agreements, which could have a big impact on scheduling, overtime, and shortened work weeks
  • New restrictions on employing children under the age of 16 (and rules around the type of work 16-18 year olds can do) – Minister Bains cited construction specifically as an industry that should not have younger workers
  • In disputes, employees can go back up to two years for unpaid wages, rather than the six months previously allowed
  • The Employment Standards Board will be ordered to investigate every complaint and be more proactive
  • The right to an oral hearing has been taken away

Taken together, these changes skew Employment Standards and the Labour Code to the NDP’s big labour allies. There will be no benefit of the doubt given to employers by this government.

We will continue to inform you of changes and concerns as we assess and analyze these pieces of legislation.

ICBA NEWS: Another Award For Our Big Gas Video

Oops, we did it again: we won another major North American award for our Get Canada’s Big Gas Moving web video.

This time, it’s a 2019 CampaignTech Award for Funniest Web Video.

The CampaignTech Award comes on the heels of Big Gas winning five Reed Awards, including Best Web Video – Overall. (ICBA itself won a sixth Reed Award, for North American Trade Association of the Year.)

Big Gas has been viewed more than 700,000 times in the past year, and its message still resonates as British Columbia drivers struggle under the highest gas prices in North American history.


TRAINING ‘THRONESDAY’: Municipal Map Reading and Utility Safety Workshop

April is Safe Digging Month, and as we’re wrapping up the month we have a few courses coming up that focus on that topic! Are you looking to gain an understanding on how to interpret and read documentation that relates to the Municipal Infrastructure? We have the course for you!

Check our Municipal Map Reading workshop in Burnaby May 9 or August 7, Prince George on May 31, and Victoria on August 30.

Participants will learn the related Regulations, Acts and Master Municipal Construction Documents as well as blueprint reading symbols, legend and design specifications for local cities, municipalities and townships.

You will also review BC One Call documentation, utility owner’s roles and responsibilities, ground disturbers’ roles and responsibilities, and safe utility locating practices.

After completing this course, students will get a better understanding of how to read and interpret municipal Construction Drawings.

Here are the course objectives:

  • Reviewing Utility information and hazards
  • Understanding Workers Compensation Act & WorksafeBC Regulations
  • Utility Safety Awareness
  • Review BC One Call Documentation
  • Blue Print Map Reading Group Activities
  • Review on Locating Underground infrastructure
  • Understanding Safety Procedures and Practices
  • Knowing the Emergency Response for Utility Owners

Plus, you’ll earn 3.5 Group A CPD Points and 4 Group B CPD Points from BC Housing!

You can register for this workshop and any of our other training courses at

TRAINING THURSDAY: Lean for Construction – A Practical Approach

Are you familiar with the principles of Lean Construction? We can help!

The application of Lean Construction principles within the industry has gained considerable traction over the last decade due to the need for productivity gains and shortened lead times.

The challenge is that traditional Lean is centered around manufacturing environments, making some tools ineffective in the construction arena. In this session, learn a simple and practical approach to implementing the Lean concepts within construction to boost productivity, shorten lead times, and heighten customer value.

In this fun and interactive full-day workshop, participants will be introduced to key Lean tools:

  • The 8 types of waste negatively impacting cost, lead time, and quality
  • How to use Value Stream Maps to identify where waste is
  • The 5S system for maintaining a safe and organized work environment
  • The Last Planner® System for heightened collaboration and effective work plans
  • The Plan, Do, Check, Act system for problem solving

Plus you’ll earn 1 Gold Seal Credit and 7.5 Group A CPD Points from BC Housing! Our next session takes place May 2 in Victoria, and July 24 in Burnaby. Register for this or any of our upcoming workshops at

And don’t forget to subscribe to our training newsletter at to receive biweekly updates on courses and events in your area.