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TRAINING THURSDAY: Communication Skills Workshop

Our training department wants to make you a better communicator! Our Communication Skills workshop is designed to improve your communication skills as a supervisor and manager, both in the office and in the field. 

You’ll learn effective leadership, how to deal with difficult people, how to prepare for and facilitate meetings, and much much more! Here’s the full course outline:

  • Effective Leadership through Communication Skills
  • Dealing with Difficult People, Conflict and Confrontation
  • Assertive Training and Speaking Skills
  • Communicating Motivation
  • Communication through Body Language
  • Managing a Good Impression to Clients
  • Constructive Use of Anger and Persuasion Skills
  • Anger and Conflict Management Skills
  • Communicating Discipline and Termination
  • Resolving Disputes through Communication
  • How to Prepare for and Facilitate Meetings
  • Communication through Writing Skills
  • Drafting and Preparing Proper Reports and Correspondence
  • Communicating Teamwork to Staff and Workers

This two-day workshop also gives you 5 Gold Seal Credits and 14 Group A CPD points from BC Housing. Our next workshop is April 19 to 20 in Burnaby, and then we’re coming to Kamloops on June 13-14! Register for either session or any of our other upcoming workshops at www.icba.ca/training.

We can also provide this or any of our other courses as a private session for you and your employees! You can email our training team at training@icba.ca for more information.

And, the Canada-BC Jobs Grant is accepting new applications, and most of ICBA’s courses are applicable! We’ll talk about it next week on Training Thursday but in the meantime, visit www.workbc.ca/Employer-Resources/Canada-BC-Job-Grant/What-is-the-Canada-B-C-Job-Grant.aspx for more information.

NEWS RELEASE: ICBA Joins Campaign to Scrap the ‘Speculation’ Tax

BURNABY – The NDP government should scrap its so-called ‘speculation’ tax, as it risks the health of the provincial economy with a host of unintended consequences, says the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA).

While the government wants to address housing affordability, this patchwork tax will do the exact opposite. It will kill jobs, make the housing affordability issue worse, and hurt the B.C. tourism industry.

“This speculation tax targets hardworking British Columbians and other Canadian taxpayers,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA president. “It is difficult to fathom why the B.C. Government wants to stop or penalize Canadians from investing in B.C.”

Gardner noted that ICBA represents hundreds of small residential construction companies, most of whom point out that the lack of supply of new housing is the biggest cost driver for buyers.

“If the NDP government wanted to get serious about making housing more affordable, they would have dedicated at least one point in their 30-point housing plan to cutting red tape and getting more supply to market,” said Gardner. “Instead, they’ve resorted to simply raising taxes. At ICBA, we want to ‘Get to yes’ on new housing supply – not on new taxes.  No amount of new taxes is going to make housing more affordable for young families starting out looking to buy a home.”

To help spread the word, a website, www.scrapthespeculationtax.ca, launched today. It allows citizens to learn more about the tax and send an email to their local MLA with their concerns.

“Just because John Horgan calls it a ‘speculation’ tax doesn’t mean it has anything to do with actual speculation,” said Jordan Bateman, ICBA Communications Director. “This tax does nothing to address the speculation that has helped drive up housing prices. It does, however, hurt people who own second properties or may be looking to move to B.C. when they retire. That’s why cities like Langford, West Vancouver, Kelowna and West Kelowna are desperately appealing to Victoria to be exempted from this tax.”

ICBA has joined a coalition of provincial groups recommending that the B.C. government immediately scrap the ‘Speculation’ Tax and do the following to address housing affordability:

  • Target real speculators, not long-term homeowners, including many out-of-province residents;
  • Protect our local tourism-dependent economies, like Kelowna and the South Island;
  • Reduce the cost of delivering housing units by exempting vacant development land from this tax;
  • Exempt Canadian and British Columbian taxpayers from this unfair tax measure; and,
  • Work with municipalities to speed up permitting and approvals to help bring more housing supply to market faster.

NEWS RELEASE – Proposed Federal Regulations Will Slow Investment in Canadian Energy: ICBA

BURNABY – New rules and bureaucracy proposed by the federal government will adversely impact Canada’s energy industry, says the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) in a submission to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

ICBA opposes Bill C-69, introduced by the Trudeau government aimed at dramatically changing how major resource development projects are vetted in Canada.

ICBA is concerned that over the past several years, it has been excruciatingly difficult – often impossible – for major infrastructure projects to ‘get to yes’ in Canada. Energy East, Pacific Northwest LNG, and Keystone XL have all been cancelled. In addition, nearly every major international energy company has sold its assets in the oil sands and left Canada.

“Unfortunately, the exodus may continue given the recent announcement by Kinder Morgan that its $7.4 billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project may be the next major project to be shelved in Canada,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA president. “The message sent by Bill C-69 is not helpful.”

ICBA noted in its submission that the president of RBC, Dave McKay, recently raised concerns about investment capital leaving Canada and going elsewhere – mainly the United States – as a result of lower taxes, more effective regulations and an investment-friendly environment.

In recent years, investors in Canada have had to digest significant federal and provincial tax increases which – taken together with recent substantial tax reductions in the United States and general uncertainty over NAFTA negotiation outcomes – underscore that Canada’s (and British Columbia’s) small, open trade-exposed economy is no longer competitive.

“We need to make it easier to attract investment and do business in Canada not harder,” said Gardner. “By adding gender-based analysis, climate change objectives, and other socio-economic concerns to the existing list of items a proponent must examine as part of their review, the government has made the process more – not less – complex.”

Canada’s energy sector directly employs more than 425,000 men and women and is the single largest source of private sector investment in the country. “We have to stop vilifying Canada’s energy industry,” said Gardner. “No jurisdiction in the world harnesses its natural resources more sustainably than Canada – we have a lot to proud of, yet we seem content to lose investment, jobs, opportunity and talent as companies decide to invest billions of dollars, not in Canada, but in other countries.”

“This legislation seems designed to make it more difficult to invest in Canada and aimed at relegating bold, visionary and nation-building construction and infrastructure projects to something found only in Canadian history textbooks,” said Gardner.

See ICBA’s full submission HERE.

NEWS RELEASE – Canadian Economy Hangs On Future of Pipeline: ICBA

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must act immediately to get the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project built, a project that was approved 18 months ago, says the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA). ICBA is floored by today’s news that Kinder Morgan is close to pulling the plug on this vital national project because of the interference of the B.C. Government.

“By strangling Trans Mountain, the B.C. NDP Government would throw away $5.7 billion in provincial tax revenue, $1 billion in municipal tax revenue, and the opportunities that come with 15,000 construction jobs and 189,000 person-years of employment,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA president. “This decision will send a simple chilling message to businesses looking to start or expand major projects here – stay away from B.C. because you cannot rely on the government to honour its commitments or follow the law.”

Trans Mountain pipeline was approved two years ago after a 29-month long process and had 194 environmental and legal conditions attached that Kinder Morgan has to meet during the construction and operation of the pipeline. But the deliberate and unfair interference of the B.C. NDP and Burnaby city governments saw the province and city hall actively engage in activities designed to deliberately terminate the project.

“Once this project was approved by the federal government after an exhaustive review process, the provincial NDP government and Burnaby city hall were required to act in good faith, and to process permits properly – a message reinforced by court decisions,” said Gardner. “If this project fails because of their illegal maneuvering, it would be a crushing blow to Canada’s oil and gas sector and the repercussions for Canada’s economy would be irreparable.”

“The impact would be felt in communities across not only B.C. but also Western Canada – no Trans Mountain royalties, no Trans Mountain jobs, and no investment in training and new technology that comes along with a $7.4 billion investment in our economy.”

“The province and the city of Burnaby have not acted fairly and have given no thought to the national interest. In fact, the opposite has occurred, Premier Horgan has started a trade war with Alberta and brought into question what it means for a province to be part of this great country.”

The energy sector in Canada directly employs over 425,000 men and women and is the single largest source of private sector investment in the country. Yet the companies like Kinder Morgan, which are investing, or planning to invest, billions of dollars in our economy are vilified at nearly every turn.

“Canada’s energy sector is being hollowed out – Canada is losing investment, jobs and talent. Capital that should be committed to projects in Canada is instead being deployed in other jurisdictions providing opportunities and growth for our competitors.”

ICBA has been a strong supporter of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project through its #Get2Yes platform. It is concerned that everyday British Columbians – including the nearly 50,000 who work with ICBA-affiliated companies – will be hurt by this decision.

TRAINING THURSDAY: Supervisors Bootcamp

The training department is happy to announce that one of our most popular courses is coming back! The Supervisors Bootcamp – Practical Leadership Tools for Front Line Supervisors has taken place all over BC, and we’ve scheduled several new sessions for 2018.

The course is designed for front-line supervisors and managers in all industries (not just construction!) Participants will be given a leadership “tool kit” as well as self-assessment questionnaires and exercises based on the actual work they do and the people they lead.

The ideas covered in this course will assist employers to tackle important and emerging issues facing business operations today:

  • Greater productivity and quality outcomes
  • Greater safety program effectiveness
  • Greater worker retention and engagement

We’re bringing this course to Victoria, Prince George, Fort St John and Burnaby; register now at www.icba.ca/training. You’ll also earn 1 Gold Seal Credit and 7.5 Group B CPD Points from BC Housing!

You don’t have to be a member of ICBA to take our courses, but don’t forget that members do save on registration fees! Visit www.icba.ca/become-a-member for more information.

HOCHSTEIN FELLOWSHIP: ICBA Chair Jim Bogusz’s Speech at the Fellowship Launch

On March 29, 2018, ICBA and Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business formalized the Philip Hochstein Fellowship. This Fellowship was made possible by a $945,000 donation from ICBA to the school. The following is the speech given by ICBA board chairman Jim Bogusz to mark the occasion:

I am honoured today to represent the Board of Directors, employees and members of the ICBA at this launch of the Philip Hochstein Fellowship.  I wear another hat too, as I also serve on the Beedie Advisory Board so I am doubly excited about this new partnership between the ICBA and the Beedie School.

Words cannot describe how important Philip has been to the ICBA – and the advancement of free enterprise in BC. Equally so, I doubt anyone could have predicted this 30 years ago.

To say Philip followed his own path is an understatement. And it was anything but a straight line. In his youth Philip had once campaigned for the NDP in Montreal. And after moving to BC in the late 1970s, he pursued graduate studies in public administration at the University of Victoria. Construction never quite made it on to his resume.

So…an NDP campaigner, a public administration major at UVIC and on top of that he had his trademark bohemian look – how did he end up at the ICBA, and crusading for free enterprise?

A short stint in government work was all it took to convince Philip to move to private enterprise. After leaving the government he worked briefly with the Mechanical Contractors Association, where an ICBA member named Hermann Koechl recruited him.

Philip was an unlikely leader for our movement. And only a handful founding members, such as Ed and Ewald Rempel, Bill Kerkhoff and a few others could have foreseen the ICBA becoming the strong organization it is today.

In the fall of 1985, the ICBA was on its deathbed. The board was down to three options:

  • fold it,
  • merge it with another association, or
  • take one last attempt at making it work.

They chose the third option, and pinned considerable hope on an upcoming Labour Code seminar, which Philip Hochstein was contracted to help organize.

The seminar in North Vancouver was make-or-break for the ICBA. Thanks to Philip’s hard work – and the event’s featured speaker, a much younger Mr. Peter Gall, who we’re fortunate to have in the room today, the seminar was a smashing success.

Three times, the room had to be rebooked to accommodate more attendees.

Shortly thereafter, the board hired Philip to take over as ICBA’s lone staff member.

So began the era of Philip Hochstein and the ICBA. An unproven leader and an unlikely organization.

In those early days Philip worked out of the ICBA’s tiny basement office in Surrey.  He was all alone – he was all the ICBA could afford at the time. When it came time for a mail out to members, Philip would conscript his children – who are here today – to help stuff envelopes. ICBA barely had enough money in its bank account to pay him, but he had a plan to stabilize and grow the organization. His fiscal management and ability to do so much with so little is what legends are made of.

His contributions to the ICBA, and to the BC construction industry, are nothing short of remarkable:

  • In 1986, he launched the ICBA’s apprenticeship program. Today, the ICBA is the single largest sponsor of trades apprentices in British Columbia, with nearly 1,200 men and women apprenticing with ICBA member companies today.
  • In the late 1980s, ICBA launched the Hour Bank as a way for employers to extend affordable, flexible benefits to their workers. It’s worked so well that it’s become known as THE Construction Industry’s Benefit Plan, and it created a stable funding source for the ICBA.
  • He helped form Merit Canada, a coalition of like-minded groups from across the country. Coincidently that’s where the ICBA’s president, Chris Gardner, is today. Chris would have loved to have been here, and the board is grateful to him for his leadership in establishing this Fellowship.
  • Philip led the ICBA and open shop contractors to the lion’s share of the construction business. He built the organization into the public policy and advocacy powerhouse it is today. The open shop sector now represents 85% of the construction industry and has a voice that is heard across the country.

But Philip always had the time for our members. While the ICBA grew and prospered, he never forgot that this was a member-driven organization, and we were there to serve them. He always returned calls.

He constantly reminded us that we are here for the little guy, and laid down those values which guide the organization today.

Now, today….we are investing in creating and developing the next generation of Philip Hochsteins. We hope this Philip Hochstein Fellowship inspires other unlikely people to become champions of free enterprise and open markets, and continue to make the case to build a stronger British Columbia.

On behalf of the ICBA board, staff and members, thank you, Philip. May your legacy flourish for decades to come. And thank you – Simon Fraser University – for facilitating this endowment.

NEWS RELEASE: ICBA endows Hochstein Fellowship at SFU’s Beedie School

VANCOUVER — The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) has committed nearly one million dollars to Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business to create a new Philip Hochstein Fellowship at the school. The gift will provide resources to support the study of free trade, open markets and economic growth by researchers, academics and students.

The endowment will provide funding for the newly created Philip Hochstein Fellowship, named in honour of the ICBA’s former president, which will recognize a member of SFU Beedie’s faculty who has had significant achievements in the study and research of these ideas. In addition, funding will be available for related programming activities.

“Philip’s contributions to building BC are immeasurable. His vision, conviction and courage helped transform the construction industry and established ICBA as a powerful voice for jobs, investment and opportunity in this province,” said Chris Gardner, president of ICBA. “We have endowed the Philip Hochstein Fellowship to ensure Philip’s legacy continues. We want to support future generations of business leaders, and, yes, future Philip Hochsteins, who will be standing up for free markets and the opportunities that flow from a strong economy.”

“This generous gift will provide resources for our faculty to carry out valuable research into the effects of policies on job creation and economic growth,” says Ali Dastmalchian, Dean of SFU Beedie. “Our work at SFU Beedie is underpinned by world-class research, and the additional resources provided by ICBA will help us to continue developing knowledge in these important areas of economic theory.”

For more than 40 years, the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) has been the voice of BC’s construction industry. Today, ICBA represents more than 2,000 members and clients employing over 50,000 British Columbians.  ICBA is also one of the largest independent providers of group health and retirement benefits in British Columbia and the single largest sponsor of trades apprentices in the province.

Philip Hochstein, after whom the new fellowship is named, was ICBA’s president for 30 years. When he walked in the door as ICBA’s lone employee in 1986, he worked out of a basement suite and the organization’s bank account was empty. By the end of his tenure in 2017, he had grown ICBA into a dynamic public policy advocacy and training organization that has nearly 40 employees.