The BC Construction Monitor - Environmental Assessments
In the debate over energy infrastruc-ture and other major projects, one common question recently has been whether proposals are being rigorously enough reviewed. This issue of the Monitor takes a close look at what major project review processes actually consist of.
Even with more renewables and energy efficiency, rising global demand means we’ll need to rely on conventional energy sources for a long time yet. Fossil fuels provided 84% of the world’s energy in 2012, and are projected to provide 78% in 2040.
The Reed Awards, named after Campaigns & Elections founder Stanley Foster Reed, embody excellence in political campaigning, campaign management, political consulting and political design, grassroots & advocacy. Reed Award winners represent the very best the political campaign industry has to offer.
We took home top honours for:
Best Canadian Online Ad Campaign
Best International Use of Outdoor Advertising
Best Canadian Use of Outdoor Advertising
Our pink slip campaign started with a stunt and press conference on a rainy June 2017 day downtown – stringing 2,500 pink slips around the BC Hydro building, one representing each person working on the dam project near Fort St. John. We used them again and again, in advertising, on posters and billboards, and all over our social media. “Pink slips” became part of the vernacular in the debate around Site C, and our work was a major factor in the NDP Government changing their minds and deciding to finish the project.
We’re darned proud to not only have helped save the Site C Dam project, but to have been recognized by campaign experts for the quality of our work. This is a big team win for all of us at ICBA and we’re very proud!
VICTORIA – The NDP Government’s first B.C. Budget in 17 years is balanced, but it’s clear far more attention was given to spending taxpayer dollars than to growing the economy, says the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA).
“This budget puts the economy on autopilot – it offers nothing for how to grow prosperity, how to get to yes on major projects, or how to attract investment to B.C. In fact, its tax hikes hinder that effort,” said Jordan Bateman, ICBA Communications Director. “With a razor-thin surplus dependent on a lot of things going right, B.C. taxpayers should be alarmed that the NDP Government has stopped paying attention to growing the economy.”
The Massey Tunnel replacement project has been completely deleted from the Budget, and while the new Pattullo Bridge is funded, there are no line items for Surrey light rail or the Broadway subway.
“The only workforce and industry support mentioned by the Finance Minister were $18 million for arts grants and $29 million for agriculture. There’s another $144 million from the federal government for employment programs, but you can’t help but think Ottawa might be hesitant to cut that cheque right now,” said Bateman. “This won’t do much to grow the economy.”
While there is much to like in the government’s 30-point housing plan – including cracking down on tax cheats – there are some notable omissions. No mention is made of pushing cities to cut red tape on new housing, which is a significant hindrance to supply.
ICBA members should also brace themselves for a new employer health care payroll tax, to replace the Medical Services Premium. Businesses with payrolls over $500,000 will have to pay a new health tax for their employees. The tax’s initial rate is set at 1.95 per cent of payroll.
“The NDP are balancing this budget by hiking taxes on B.C.’s job creators,” said Bateman. “Lost MSP revenue will be $1.74 billion over three years, but the new payroll tax will bring in $3.2 billion during that time. That kind of double dipping is troubling and disingenuous – collecting both the old and new tax at once.”
With last year’s personal income tax hike, the carbon tax increasing by $5 a ton every year, the minimum wage hike, more regulation, a new 2 cent per litre Capital Region gas tax, and the MSP-Employer Health Tax double dip, small businesses – as 90 per cent of ICBA members are – will be stretched thin. In total, the NDP Government is raising taxes by more than $5.5 billion over three years.
The provincial debt will grow by a billion dollars each quarter over the next two years, to $77 billion.
The 2018 edition of the ICBA Wage and Benefit Survey has been all over the media, and rightfully so: it highlights that construction workers are looking at a 10% wage boost over the next two years, and that there are critical shortages in several trades. See the report HERE.
It was an exciting week for ICBA, as we sponsored BUILDEX Vancouver 2018, the largest construction trade show west of Toronto.
BUILDEX kicked off with our 21st annual CEO Breakfast, which also featured the release of the 2018 Independent Magazine, an ICBA publication looking at what the organization does, and projecting what challenges are to come this year.
Download your copy of the Independent Magazine HERE.
ICBA President Chris Gardner released the results of the survey Wednesday morning at ICBA’s annual CEO Breakfast, kicking off the BUILDEX tradeshow in Vancouver.
“With such strong demand for workers, construction wages are growing more than twice as fast as inflation,” said Gardner. “The need is intense. Every single glass company we surveyed this year said they needed more glaziers. For pipefitting companies, 93% said they needed more help; sheet metal workers, 91%; electricians and plumbers, 89%. The message is clear: if you want to work in construction, there’s a job out there for you.”
Construction in B.C. now employs more than 225,000 people and contributes nearly 10 per cent of the provincial GDP. This year, survey respondents said they expect to give their workers a 4.5% raise; in 2019, they expect another 5.1% increase.
The ICBA Wage and Benefits Survey also looks regionally at how optimistic companies are about adding more work in 2018. Fully 96% of construction companies expect business in 2018 to be as strong or stronger than 2017:
Interior: 43% of contractors expect more work in 2018 than last year; 82% say they are short of workers, especially labourers, carpenters and framers.
North: 60% of contractors expect more work in 2018 than last year; 80% say they are short of workers, especially carpenters, truck drivers and drywallers.
Vancouver Island: 49% of contractors expect more work in 2018 than last year; 76% say they are short of workers, especially carpenters, labourers and framers.
Lower Mainland-Fraser Valley-Whistler: 55% of contractors expect more work in 2018 than last year; 82% say they are short of workers, especially carpenters, labourers and plumbers.
“Our findings bode well for opportunities in construction and its $19 billion annual contribution to provincial GDP – as long as we can continue to get to and stay at ‘yes’ on major projects and otherwise maintain a competitive business climate,” said Gardner. “We must do more to attract investment into British Columbia, ensuring that we continue to build the infrastructure and harness our resources responsibly.”
The following open letter was sent today to Premier John Horgan by five key B.C. business organizations: ICBA, The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the Business Council of British Columbia, and the BC Chamber of Commerce. PDF version HERE.
Dear Premier Horgan and Cabinet,
We are writing to express our deep concern regarding your government’s opposition to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project.
Regardless of one’s personal views on the pipeline, it has been given a green-light to proceed by both the National Energy Board (NEB), and the federal cabinet. The former BC government also explicitly approved the project following significant deliberation and debate.
The pipeline proponent went through a four- year process of consultation and rigorous regulatory review and is meeting 157 federal conditions as well as 37 additional provincial conditions. Many of these requirements were crafted to ensure the highest possible level of environmental protection and operate separately from the $1.5 billion commitment by the Trudeau government to protect coast lines, including a $500 million commitment to BC. Now the rule of law must be respected, and the expansion of the pipeline must be allowed to proceed. Failing to do so, in practice or in spirit, by creating additional delays and uncertainty, is clearly not in the best interests of British Columbia or Canada.
Failing to respect the rule of law and the largely federal jurisdiction over this project is not only deeply unfair to the stakeholders who respected the process, but also represents a fundamental departure from what it means for BC to be part of Canada. The stakes are high. Many small business owners, construction workers, people who support their families in manufacturing, and First Nations are now caught in the crossfire as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the project’s future and the retaliatory trade actions of the Alberta Government. To achieve many of the priorities of your government, from creating good paying jobs, to easing affordability concerns, to spending more on housing, education and healthcare, the province needs the investment and revenue that will flow from this $7.4 billion investment in our economy.
We are concerned that if a resolution is not found quickly, British Columbians, already facing the prospects of Alberta stopping negotiations to purchase our hydro power and banning the sale of BC wine, will be hurt by additional retaliatory action from Alberta. Not finding a resolution quickly creates further risks including expensive lawsuits, and large companies going elsewhere to invest their dollars, create jobs and attract talent.
Like most British Columbians, we believe that economic growth and environmental protection can and do go together, a view reiterated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. It might interest you to know that a recent poll of small business owners— major employers and drivers of economic growth —shows strong support for the project (see attached chart). Many of these businesses will provide goods and services to support this project, from welding supplies and construction materials to hotel rooms, restaurant meals and haircuts which, in turn, will provide thousands of hard-working British Columbians with good-paying jobs to support their families and their communities.
We urge you and your government to stop its opposition to this approved project before we do further damage to the province’s reputation as one that is open for business or, worse, causes a provincial trade war that inflicts lasting damage on the relationship between BC and Alberta. It’s now time to put shovels in the ground.
Laura Jones, CFIB
Chris Gardner, ICBA
Andrew Wynn-Williams, CME
Greg D’Avignon, BCBC
Val Litwin, BC C of C
Our training department is hard at work organizing brand-new courses for 2018! The latest addition is our Municipal Map Reading & Utility Safety Workshop. The first session takes place March 21st in Burnaby!
This course is designed to give participants an understanding on how to interpret and read documentation that relates to the Municipal Infrastructure.
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.
They 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.
You can register for this workshop and any of our other training courses at www.icba.ca/training. And don’t miss out on any of our new courses by subscribing to our training newsletter at www.icba.ca/trainignnewsletter. You don’t want to miss the latest updates!
The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) is the voice of B.C.’s construction industry and the single largest sponsor of construction apprentices in B.C. ICBA’s insurance company, ICBA Benefits, is one of the largest providers of group health and retirement benefits in British Columbia. Representing more than 2,000 companies and clients, ICBA members and their skilled workers are involved in virtually all major capital and infrastructure projects built in British Columbia.
With a combined staff of more than 40 professionals, ICBA and ICBA Benefits offer a wide range of member and client services including public policy research and advocacy, group health and retirement benefit programs, training and apprenticeship programs, and conferences and forums. ICBA and ICBA Benefits’ head office is in Burnaby’s Metrotown, with regional offices in Prince George and Fort St. John.
Membership Services Coordinator
ICBA members are amazing. They are incredible, growing companies that are literally building British Columbia. From small owner-operator operations to some of B.C.’s largest companies, they have diverse needs: benefit plans, advocacy, training, apprenticeship management, and more.
ICBA can help – but we need a point person, a first point-of-contact to deliver that help. That’s you, our Membership Services Coordinator. We need you to triage calls and emails from members, connecting them to the services ICBA and ICBA Benefits offers. You won’t always have all the answers, but if you don’t, you know who will – and will connect the member and the solution.
Answer and/or route our general emails and take member phone and email inquiries as appropriate, along with being proactive in reaching out to members who we have not had much contact with.
Work with the Communications department and be the point person on getting member mail out, including annual invoices and reports.
Discern and offer insight into member needs and questions as we redesign and enhance our membership communication tactics such as monthly e-mail newsletters and welcome packages.
Develop a membership life cycle plan, that includes initial contact, invoicing, welcome packages, promoting training and insurance, and (most importantly) relationship-building.
Provide the senior leadership team with reports on members who have gone untouched by ICBA, and coordinate events with them. You’ll be proactive in reaching out to members who we can help.
Assume responsibility for our affinity program, working with vendors to get even better deals for ICBA members, and promoting the program to our membership. You will also help members with log-ins and other details needed for ICBA.ca.
Periodic coverage for reception, covering breaks and holidays as needed.
Event coordinating and support for events including trade shows and our four major ICBA events – our AGM Gala Dinner, our ICBA Open golf tournament (you’ll take a lead role organizing the tournament), our BUILDEX CEO Breakfast, and our Outlook Industry Forum.
Meeting with members in our office or, better yet, at their workplace.
At least 5 years of experience in client care, membership services or sales coordinator roles
Highly organized and self-motivated
Ability to strategically develop professional relationships and recognize member needs
Strong office and administrative skills
Proficient with MS Office, including Word, Excel (especially mail merge functions) and Outlook, familiarity with Windows environment
WordPress and social media experience
Capable, self-motivated, able to work well alone and as part of a team
Interpersonal skills: organized, resourceful, strong communicator, tactful, flexible, works well with others
Ability to prioritize and multi-task in a fast-paced environment
ICBA has a lot of moving parts, so you’ll need to be a quick learner. We’ll teach you the basics of our training, insurance, and public policy advocacy, so you’ll be able to communicate effectively with members.
Our members are the lifeblood of ICBA. We want someone who understands and values that. If that’s you, please apply – we’re looking forward to having you on our team.
Growth-oriented office with many opportunities to learn and develop new skills.
This role reports to the Director of Communications and Marketing.
ICBA offers a progressive training, benefits and compensation package.
This role is full-time, based out of our Metrotower III office in Burnaby.
Some flexibility will be necessary, as some events are outside of regular business hours.
To apply, please send a cover letter (sell us on why you are the one for this job!) and resume with the subject line, “Membership Services Coordinator”.