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NEWS RELEASE: Government Should Be Cutting B.C.’s Big Gas Taxes, Not Hiking Them

BURNABY – Today’s surprise announcement by the TransLink Mayors that they have received the blessing of the NDP Government to hike the TransLink gas tax to 18.5 cents per litre is another sign of how the NDP’s promise of affordability was just a cynical campaign slogan.

This latest 1.5 cents/L gas tax increase, combined with their April 1st 1.1 cents/L carbon tax increase, and their commitment to hike the carbon tax by 1.1 cents/L every year, solidifies the Lower Mainland’s position as the highest gas tax jurisdiction in North America. By April 1, 2019, the Lower Mainland gas tax will be at least 54 cents per litre:

  • 18.5 cents/L to TransLink
  • 10 cents/L to federal government
  • 8.5 cents/L to provincial government
  • 9 cents/L to provincial government in carbon tax (set to rise 1.1 cents/L every year)
  • 8 cents/L in GST (will increase as gas prices increase)

“With drivers already stretched thin by near-record gasoline process, the NDP have made it even worse. We already had the highest gas taxes in North America, and now the NDP have made it worse,” said Jordan Bateman, ICBA’s Communications Director and the leader of the No TransLink Tax campaign that defeated the TransLink sales tax in 2015. “If this is how the NDP makes good on their promise to make Lower Mainland life more affordable, taxpayers say, ‘STOP! We can’t afford any more of the NDP’s affordability’.”

With the Canada Day long weekend approaching and gas supply stretched thin in the Lower Mainland, analysts predicted prices would skyrocket. Today, the ICBA launched a new campaign calling on the NDP government to work to increase the Lower Mainland’s gas supply and to cut gas taxes.

The campaign includes this cheeky video, making the case to lower B.C.’s Big Gas prices by cutting our Big Gas taxes and getting a Big Gas pipeline built to move Canada’s Big Gas supply.

“We never imagined the NDP and TransLink mayors would kick off the long weekend by hiking already out-of-control gas taxes,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA president. “This is a critical issue to construction contractors and businesses, who must move goods and services around the region. Higher gas prices drive up the cost of everything in B.C.”

The NDP’s tax hiking isn’t limited to the Lower Mainland. Earlier this year, the NDP increased the Capital Region’s gas tax by 3.1 cents/L to third-highest in North America, paying 45.3 cents/L in direct gasoline taxes. That includes:

  • 5.5 cents/L to BC Transit
  • 10 cents/L to federal government
  • 14.5 cents/L to provincial government
  • 7.8 cents/L to provincial government in carbon tax (set to rise 1.1 cents/L every year)
  • 8 cents/L in GST

The rest of B.C. has a slightly lighter tax burden, paying 38.8 cents/L in direct gasoline taxes, but that still includes a 1.1 cent/L carbon tax hike approved by the NDP:

  • 10 cents/L to federal government
  • 14.5 cents/L to provincial government
  • 7.8 cents/L to provincial government in carbon tax (set to rise 1.1 cents/L every year)
  • 7.5 cents/L in GST

View ICBA’s Big Gas tax video HERE.

TRAINING THURSDAY: Negotiation Skills Workshop

In life and in business, few people get what they deserve. Instead, they get what they negotiate. Could you be a better negotiator? Our Negotiation Skills Workshop is here to help! You’ll learn a proven, practical step-by-step approach to win-win negotiations and how to protect yourself from “hardball” negotiators.

Here’s what the course covers:

– The most common negotiating mistakes people make and how to avoid them
– Understanding the difference between Collaborative “win-win” and Competitive “hardball” negotiations and how to know what game you are playing
– The characteristics of highly effective negotiators
– Understanding the different sources of negotiating power
– How to strengthen your bargaining position
– How to create an open communication flow that allows you to deeply understand the other party
– The 5-step process to quickly and effectively plan and prepare for your negotiations
– How to determine your “walk-away point”
– How to defend yourself against “hardball’ negotiators
– How to counter the 5 common manipulative strategies being used against you
– How to create win – win outcomes that ensure the other party lives up to their end of the bargain

You’ll also earn 1 Gold Seal Credit and 7 Group A CPD Points from BC Housing.

We have several sessions coming up, including in Kelowna on July 26, Burnaby on August 22, Victoria on August 28, and Prince George on November 5. You can register for any of these sessions, or any other ICBA training course, at www.icba.ca/training. We look forward to having you!

TRAINING THURSDAY: Leading and Managing Organizational Change

Change is constant in business, no matter the industry, and when it comes to changes in an organization, it can be stressful for employees and supervisors alike.

Our Leading and Managing Organizational Change course on July 10 in Burnaby can help! It will prepare you to manage organizational change and will teach you how to lead and mentor others through these changes. You’ll understand the impacts change has on employees, and what you need to do manage and address any resistance. You’ll also learn practical tips and techniques on how to get your organization or client ready for upcoming changes and impacts. Through a series of hands-on workshops, you’ll develop a deeper understanding on what is involved in successfully adapting to and implementing change, both from a personal and professional perspective.

In this seminar, you’ll:

  • Understand the impact change and transitions have on you and your employees;
  • Learn how to adapt to and be resilient to change, whether the change is from a people, process, or technology transformation;
  • Develop approaches to managing and leading change;
  • Use pragmatic tools to help you with anticipating and addressing resistance to change, engaging with stakeholders, and facilitating change.

We’ve gotten some fantastic feedback on this course as well, including that the instructor “is very personable and easy to listen to,” and that he’s “engaging and very knowledgeable.”

You’ll earn 1 Gold Seal Credit and 7 Group B CPD Points from BC Housing; for more information and to register for this or any of our other upcoming courses, please visit icba.ca/training.

Our training team is also always here to help if you have any questions about this or any other course; email them at training@icba.ca and they will be happy to assist you.

Stop Prop Rep!

ICBA believes strongly that the current, First Past The Post, method of electing MLAs is far superior to the three proportional representations systems being suggested by NDP Attorney General David Eby. For the sake of political and economic stability, we suggest BC voters vote to stop prop rep in this fall’s referendum.

More details, and a deeper analysis of the issues, will come shortly from ICBA, but, in the meantime:

Read this piece, by ICBA’s Jordan Bateman and Kwantlen Polytechnic University poli sci professor Shinder Purewal, opposing the prop rep referendum process, which has been skewed by David Eby to try and sneak this radical change through.

Or this one, by Vaughn Palmer, looking at how Eby is “stacking the deck”.

Or this analysis by Keith Baldrey, which looks at how the power in this new system will be given to party bosses.

Or think about how it will diminish the voice of B.C. communities outside the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Places like Cariboo North & Chilcotin, Columbia River-Revelstoke-Kootenay East, Kelowna West-Fraser Nicola, Kootenay West-Nelson-Creston, Peace River North & South, Prince George-Valemount-Mackenzie, Skeena-North Coast, and Stikine-Nechako Lakes.

We’ve also challenged the entire process in court, as we believe it’s unconstitutional and violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. See our court filing here.

TRAINING THURSDAY: Reading Blueprints

Kerry & Jordan discuss the World Cup (Kerry’s pulling for Portugal), Father’s Day, and our latest icba.ca/training course offering – Reading Blueprints.

Introduction to Blueprint Reading

Reading blueprints is an integral part of many construction careers, whether you work in residential or commercial construction. Unfamiliar with how to read blueprints and specifications? We’re here to help!

Our Introduction to Blueprint Reading course is perfect for those who have little or no background in blueprint reading. Here’s what’s covered in this one-day course:

  • Blueprint reading basics
  • Design process and the role of design professionals
  • Building Codes, bylaws and building permits
  • Find trade information using blueprints
  • Layout basics 
  • Architectural, civil, electrical and mechanical drawings, and how they fit together
  • Architectural & engineering scales
  • Floor plans, sections and elevations
  • Symbols, notation, abbreviations and material schedules
  • Dimension, finishes, details, area calculations, and material take offs
  • Understanding specifications
  • Commercial and residential blueprints

Our next session is June 26 in Victoria, and then July 27 in Burnaby. You’ll also earn 1 Gold Seal Credit and 8 Group A CPD Points from BC Housing. 

We always get great feedback on this course so don’t miss your chance to register! You can sign up for this or any of our other workshops at www.icba.ca/training.

And while you’re there, don’t forget to sign up for our bi-weekly training newsletter at www.icba.ca/trainingnewsletter.

Remembering Ed Rempel

Ed Rempel
Ed Rempel

It is with heavy hearts that we report that construction icon and ICBA life member Ed Rempel passed away today, June 11. Ed and his wife of 60 years, Myrtle-Anne, are beloved members of the ICBA family and with Ed’s late brother, Ewald, founded Rempel Bros. Concrete. We grieve with Myrtle-Anne and the Rempel family today.

Rempel Bros., at one point, was the largest open shop concrete company in the province, thanks to the Rempels’ persistence in bidding, advocacy for open shop, and belief in treating their employees fairly.

The Rempels were key to open shop construction growing in B.C., as they supplied open shop builders with cement. Several times, unions tried to organize Rempel Bros., but the family had built a loyal and well-cared-for employee group, and every effort failed. If the unions had been able to certify Rempel Bros., they could have choked off the concrete supply and put non-union builders out of business. “They were far and above, in my opinion, the key to this whole thing,” says Ken Funk, another early-era ICBA member.

Myrtle-Anne recently told ICBA about the scare tactics used against Ed and her family: “At night, they would come up and down our driveway, flashing their lights. We would see the cars out there. Sometimes they’d get out of the cars and there’d be six big guys in our driveway, at our home,” she recalled. On one occasion, her 16-year-old daughter was followed in her car from school, and had to detour from the empty residence to a nearby Rempel Bros. plant before the trailing vehicle sped off. Such incidents led Myrtle-Anne’s mother to become too fearful to babysit her grandchildren, and led some of her friends to fear for their own safety if they continued to socialize with her. “The tension was so electric in the air,” she said of the mid 1970s, when Ed, Myrtle-Anne and Ewald first helped form ICBA.

During the pivotal negotiations over who would build the Expo 86 projects – open shop or building trades unions – Ed was a key contributor. It was so controversial at the time that when Ed met with Expo boss Jimmy Pattison, he was asked to get off the elevator two floors below and then take the stairs. ICBA, prompted by people like Ed Rempel, told Pattison “We’ll build Expo.” And the Rempels (with a lot of other ICBA members) did.

Our generation at ICBA stands on the shoulders of persistent, principled leaders like Ed Rempel.

A celebration of Ed’s life will be held July 9, 1:30 PM at Sevenoaks Alliance Church in Abbotsford.

Ed was father to  Dr. Cheryl Holmes, Kirk W.D. Rempel, and predeceased by son Bruce Rempel; grandfather to Derek Holmes (Victoria Holmes), Meredith Holmes, Shae Rempel (Evyn Bartlett), Alyssa Rempel, Samantha Rempel; and great grandfather to Chase McCrum, Spence McCrum, Oliver Holmes, Vanessa Domina and Ricardina Rico Valen, Sydney and Elyse Bartlett.

TRAINING THURSDAY: Microsoft Outlook

Are emails the bane of your existence some days? Do you want to learn some valuable time-saving shortcuts for dealing with your Microsoft Outlook?

Of course you do. And our Microsoft Outlook – Strategic Management course will help you do just that! This one-day course will teach you powerful organizational strategies that will save you hours of time every week.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Understand how outlook is set up and the types of information it can track
  • Create, format and send messages
  • Create or modify signatures for e-mail
  • Choose customized outlook settings and views
  • Organize and manage messages using quick steps
  • Utilize the powerful search tools in outlook
  • Create rules and out of office notices
  • Use the To Do bar to manage tasks
  • Manage multiple calendars
  • Create and organize tasks, appointments, meetings and events
  • Create and manage notes, tasks and journals
  • Utilize options such as voting buttons, flags or level of importance 
  • Create contacts and groups

Plus, you’ll earn 1 Gold Seal Credit and 7 Group A CPD Points from BC Housing.

Our next session is on June 22 in Burnaby, and then we’re heading to Prince George on June 27! Register for this or any of our other upcoming training at www.icba.ca/training. We add new courses nearly every week!