Navigate / search

SUBMISSION: ICBA’s 2019/20 Pre-Budget Submission to the Government Finance Committee

In ICBA’s submission to the BC Government Finance Committee, we recap the economic headwinds Canada is facing, and add in all the tax and red tape measures brought in by the NDP Government. It’s not good news for B.C.’s job creators:

Coming to grips with these – and other — foundational elements of Canadian economic competitiveness requires concerted focus by both provincial and federal governments. Regrettably, the BC government has embarked on a path which does little to help build a more robust, resilient, and long-term competitive provincial economic policy framework.

Over the course of its first year in office, the provincial government has undertaken many policy measures which will make business investment and long-term job creation more challenging. While putatively focusing on addressing “affordability”, the government has paradoxically pursued an array of measures which raise revenues through business and personal tax increases making life less affordable and BC less attractive for investment and talented workers.

Read our full submission HERE.

MEMBER ALERT: Draft Policies Around Cannabis Legalization

There are big changes coming to Canada around the legalization of cannabis. This will have an effect on every part of Canadian life, including workplaces.

As you are all aware, on October 17th, 2018, subject to provincial restrictions, adults who are 18 years of age or older will be able legally to:

  1. possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis, dried or equivalent in non-dried form in public
  2. share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis with other adults
  3. buy dried or fresh cannabis and cannabis oil from a provincially-licensed retailer
    1. in provinces without a regulated retail framework, individuals would be able to purchase cannabis online from federally-licensed producers
  4. grow, from licensed seed or seedlings, up to 4 cannabis plants per residence for personal use
  5. make cannabis products, such as food and drinks, at home as long as organic solvents are not used to create concentrated products

Cannabis edible products and concentrates will be legal for sale approximately one year after the Cannabis Act has come into force on October 17th, 2018.

Each province and territory will have the ability to set its own rules for cannabis, including:

  1. legal minimum age
  2. where you can buy it
  3. where you can use it
  4. how much you can possess

To help our members adapt to this new policy landscape, two draft employment policies have been prepared by our legal counselone for a small contractor and one for a large contractor. We hope these will help your company as you navigate this new environment. If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Todd Cumiskey, ICBA’s VP–Workforce Development, at todd.cumiskey@icba.ca

On Nov. 14 in Burnaby, ICBA Training is offering a course on this issue, titled Cannabis in the Workplace, that will cover the following areas related to the legalization of marijuana: 

  • Learn more about the federal “Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations”.
  • Understand that a “prescription” for cannabis does not give an employee the absolute right to use it in the workplace.
  • Understand your rights when it comes to those in Safety-Sensitive positions.
  • Discuss employee and employer obligations with regard to the use of cannabis.
  • Recognize the rights, responsibilities and risks for both employers and employees to avoid unnecessary litigation.
  • Identify the various ways the use of cannabis impacts the employer-employee relationship, and what you can do about it.
  • Identify what employers should be doing now to prepare for the pending legalization by reviewing their workplace drug and alcohol policies.

For more on that Training course, click HERE.

For the draft policy for small contractors, click HERE. For large contractors, click HERE.

TRAINING THURSDAY: Canadian Construction Documents

How much do you know about Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) construction contracts? We can help! Register now for our October 23 breakfast session An Overview of CCDC Contract Documents.

The standard form CCDC construction contracts are used across Canada in connection with general contract, construction management and trade contract arrangements. This breakfast seminar will provide an overview of the most commonly used CCDC documents, and of the standard CCA 1 subcontract, with specific focus on the concepts and procedures of the provisions relating to the following significant concerns, among others:

– The definition of the Contract Documents;
– The role of the Consultant;
– Payment;
– Extra work;
– Delays;
– Deficiencies;
– Dispute resolution;
– Default and termination.

The presenter will also talk about the effect of supplementary conditions and the interaction of the contracts with the operation of the Builders Lien Act.

You will earn 1.5 Group B CPD Points! Register at www.icba.ca/courses.

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

TALES OF PROP REP HORROR #11 – “Czech the Commies at the Door”

In 1989, the Soviet Union-led eastern bloc crumbled. The Iron Curtain fell, and Communist-dominated countries started racing for democracy. In the Czech Republic, they call it the “Velvet Revolution,” and it led to their first democratic elections in 44 years in 1990.

Unfortunately for the Czechs, they embraced proportional representation. And in 2017, the Communists were back – in a big way.

Andrej Babis’s Ano Party tried for nine months to build a governing coalition in the Czech parliament, but got nowhere. Until he made a deal with the usually-shunned Communist party.

As the Financial Times reported, “[The Communists’] deal with Mr Babis brings them the closest they have been to power since their political forebears were ousted in the 1989 Velvet Revolution — a prospect that divides opinion in the Czech Republic. Last month, protests against the proposed alliance took place in several cities.”

So Babis gets power, and the Communists get a prime minister committed to backing some of their policies, including taxing churches. Oh, and keep an eye out on the Czechs’ interaction with the rest of the world – the Communists especially hate NATO.

Yet another reason to Stop Prop Rep! www.icba.ca/stopproprep

Pass this post on to your friends and family – David Eby’s draconian, anti-free speech rules won’t allow us to advertise it, but individuals can spread it as much as they like. Let’s make sure every British Columbian sees it.

And stay tuned for more “Tales of Prop Rep Horror”…

Tales of Prop Rep Horror #10 – “Second Place Prime Minister”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #9 – “No Kings in North(-ern Ireland)”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #8 – “How Swede It Isn’t”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #7 – “Rise of the Dictators”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #6 – “Indonesian Indecency”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #5 – “Beware the Greeks!”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #4 – “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! NO! NO! NO!”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #3 – “From Russia With Blood”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #2 – “The Pain in Spain”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #1 – “The Puzzle of Brussels”

NEWS RELEASE: ICBA Disappointed by Elections BC Ad Gag

BURNABY, B.C. – A proposed advertisement explaining the status of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association’s (ICBA) court case against the proportional representation referendum process has been gagged by Elections BC, following the adoption of Attorney General David Eby’s draconian referendum rules by the government earlier this year.

“This is another example of the Government’s heavy-handed approach in restricting free speech for five full months before voting ends – compared to 60 days for a general election, and 30 days for a local election,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA president. “Now they’re not just banning people from publicizing positions on prop rep, they’re stopping people from even talking about the glaring flaws in the process and matters before the courts.”

Before submitting the ad to Elections BC, ICBA had it reviewed by legal counsel from two different law firms, both of whom said the ad simply explains ICBA’s legal proceeding and did not promote or oppose any referendum result. This is well within the new limitations imposed by the government since the ad does not recommend that people vote in any particular way.

Out of an abundance of caution – with fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars that Elections BC could impose, and the rules clearly tilted toward a yes vote on prop rep – ICBA sent the ad and the legal advice to Elections BC to ensure it was good to run.

But Elections BC ignored the independent legal advice and ruled ICBA would be breaking the law if the ad was published.

“A government should act in good faith as a neutral arbiter providing British Columbians with a clear choice, requiring a clear majority of voters to support this significant change in our democracy,” said Gardner. “Rather than encourage debate they have limited the ability of voters to participate, severely restricted free speech, rushed the vote, lowered the threshold for approval and have given voters a set of extremely confusing and complicated choices.”

Said Gardner, “This is an affront to our democracy and diminishes our politics – British Columbians deserve better from this government,”

The proposed advertisement can be viewed HERE.

TRAINING THURSDAY: Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project is one of the world’s most popular project management software packages, and we want to teach you to use it! Our next two-day Microsoft Project workshop takes place in Burnaby on October 15-16, followed by an advanced course on November 22.

Here are the skills you’ll learn in the introductory course:

  • Understanding Views, Screen Tips, Ribbon, and the Quick Access toolbar;
  • Create, edit and outline a task list, establish dependencies by linking tasks
  • Add and assign resources, work with project calendars, and enter project costs
  • Print project information and customize reports
  • Apply task type settings, set task constraints
  • Apply preset and custom contours, edit resource assignments and set and modify a baseline
  • Track and report on an active project and compare to baseline
  • Sort, filter, and group views
  • Format views and the Gantt chart
  • Customize Microsoft project elements including tables, views, and reports
  • Use sample templates, create custom templates, and use the organizer to manage project elements
  • Display progress lines, apply earned value tables, and conduct pert analysis
  • Create master projects, insert and work with subprojects, and create links to external tasks
  • Running multiple projects with a common resource pool

You’ll earn 2 Gold Seal Credits and 15 Group A CPD Points from BC Housing at this workshop! We are also holding this course in Victoria on November 28 to 29. No need to bring your own laptop; the computers and manuals are all provided!

You can register for these or any of our other courses at www.icba.ca/courses.

Tales of Prop Rep Horror #10 – “Second Place Prime Minister”

Iceland is a trendy tourism hotspot these days, but its governance should send folks running.

After the 2016 election, it took more than two months for the Independence Party, the Reform Party and Bright Future to negotiate a coalition deal, giving their new government a bare majority – 32 of 63 seats.

Not surprisingly, this government lasted barely a year – it fell when it was revealed that the father of Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson had composed a recommendation letter on behalf of a convicted pedophile.

The country was plunged into an election in October 2017. The Independence Party again received the most votes, but the Left-Green Party was asked to form a government. Two more months of backroom deals resulted in a three-party coalition, with the Prime Minister coming from the second place Left-Greens.

Iceland’s prop rep system has forced elections in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Three elections in five years…

Yet another reason to Stop Prop Rep! www.icba.ca/stopproprep

Pass this post on to your friends and family – David Eby’s draconian, anti-free speech rules won’t allow us to advertise it, but individuals can spread it as much as they like. Let’s make sure every British Columbian sees it.

And stay tuned for more “Tales of Prop Rep Horror”…

Tales of Prop Rep Horror #9 – “No Kings in North(-ern Ireland)”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #8 – “How Swede It Isn’t”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #7 – “Rise of the Dictators”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #6 – “Indonesian Indecency”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #5 – “Beware the Greeks!”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #4 – “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! NO! NO! NO!”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #3 – “From Russia With Blood”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #2 – “The Pain in Spain”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #1 – “The Puzzle of Brussels”