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Fixing licencing, permitting

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Business in Vancouver has run a pair of solid articles in recent weeks over the rampant problems with the licencing and permitting process at the City of Vancouver.

Former city councillor Peter Ladner laid out some of the challenges in a column calling for changes to the system. His column, which you can read here, lays out the kind of problems that hike construction costs and add frustrating delays.

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Training Tuesday – Preventing Falls

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Contractors know that the key to any job is having the right tools. The same applies to preventing avoidable workplace falls – tools and knowledge can go a long way in preventing these needless accidents.

Our Fall Protection Awareness Training slated for April 12 in Nanaimo is designed to provide participants the basic required knowledge to understand and use equipment safely. The course will offer an understanding of the requirements for fall protection systems as well as the hazards associated with working at elevations.

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Mapping out retirement options

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One of the core services at ICBA is our suite of retirement and employee benefit plans offered through ICBA Benefit Services Ltd. With changes in the wind around the creation of new Pooled Retirement Pension Plans in B.C. it’s important for companies to look at all their options.

ICBA Benefit Services Ltd President Gord Stewart mapped out those options in a column published today in the Journal of Commerce. You can read the article here.

BC union fights based on Hotel California approach

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Interesting column in the Vancouver Sun today about the tight ties between the NDP and the labour movement. Though many readers may shake their heads at how these tight ties qualify as news, read on.

What’s at issue is conflict in the labour family. The Licensed Practical Nurses wanted to move from the Hospital Employees Union to the B.C. Nurses Union shows. That means the BCNU is now in the bad books of all the other unions – and the BC NDP. As the Vaughn Palmer points out, NDP Adrian Dix was as noticeable in his absence at the BCNU convention as he was noticed at the HEU confab.

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ICBA squad bowls for Big Brothers

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ICBA staff travelled back in time and out to the bowling alley to take part in the annual Bowl for Big Brothers for the fourth straight year. The team dressed the part for the 80s night theme and did their part to raise funds to help the charity.

The ICBA squad raised more than $700 that will go to help support the Big Brothers mentoring programs that help kids reach their full potential by heightening self esteem and enabling them to make healthy decisions.

You can get more information on Bowl for Big Brothers and the organization on their event website.

ICBA offers savings tips for nurses union

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One of our members recently got their hands on a tender bid for construction work with the BC Nurses Union.

The biggest and boldest part of the call for bids were three giant words:

UNION TRADES ONLY

Besides being a bit of overkill in terms of typography, it’s also a contract condition that will hurt the nurses.

That’s why ICBA President Philip Hochstein sent a letter to the nurses offering free advice on how the could save money on their construction work – and plough the money that flows from taxpayers, to nurses, to the union, back in to services for their membership. Open the contract to all bidders, including the more than 80% belonging to the Open Shop.

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Training Tuesday – Spotting Hazards

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ICBA’s Hazard Recognition and Control session on March 11 will give  participants the knowledge they need to understand the principle of hazard recognition and control as well as the methods used to ensure hazards are identified and adequately addressed in the workplace.

By the time the session is over, sessions participants will have the tools they need to identify hazards, assess them, and score them by priority. They will also learn methods to take the information gathered and develop Safe Work Procedures to mitigate the hazards.

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Trades training contest from ITA

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The Industry Training Authority has a contest running until March 5 looking for workers in the trades to complete the sentence “ITA. My ticket to…” as part of their Faces of the Trades promotion.

They’re looking for workers to tell their own story about how a career in the trades has positively impacted their life. Workers who share their thoughts on the benefits of  being a skilled trades worker get a shot a the price – a featured role in a short video and a $25 gift card from Tim Hortons. The hope is that the stories will highlight the benefits of trades training to the next generation of workers.

An entry form, details on how to apply, and contest rules are available here. The deadline to apply is March 5 so don’t delay!