June 2017 - ICBA

ICBA CAST: NDP/Green Deal, Clark Cabinet & #ComeOn

Chris and Jordan have a lot to talk about these days in #bcpoli – the NDP/Green deal and the crippling effect it will have on the B.C. economy; Clark’s potential “cabinet”; a couple of #ComeOn news clips, and Chris shows his love for 1980s rock with a song dedicated to John Horgan and Andrew Weaver.

ICBA OP/ED: NDP-Green Deal Will Burn British Columbians

By Chris Gardner, ICBA President

The big smiling premier from Kelowna always knew defeat in politics was inevitable. After all, no political party rules forever. It could come after one term, or two or three or four, but a loss was always coming. It was just a matter of time.

W.A.C. Bennett had been premier for 20 years when the NDP finally defeated him in 1972. But he saw that loss as an opportunity to cement another generation of free enterprise government. He was right: three years later, the NDP were vanquished again.

“People needed to put their finger on the hot stove, and feel it,” W.A.C. Bennett said on election night, 1975, the night the Socreds defeated the NDP and were restored to government. “They felt it! And tonight they’ve taken it away.”

As we prepare for Premier John Horgan – with his Green-infused plans to raise taxes, kill responsible resource development projects, strangle job creators with red tape, and go into deficit – W.A.C.’s words ring true again. B.C. is about to experience the economic pain NDP governments inevitably cause in British Columbia.

B.C.’s finger is on the hot stove again.

Horgan and Andrew Weaver live 1,282 kilometres away from the Site C dam, but are rigging the BC Utilities Commission process to kill Site C, and fire 2,200 construction workers. These men and women got up this morning and went to the job site to support their families and build a project that will deliver clean reliable power for future generations.

Site C spent more than a decade going through environmental assessments and regulatory reviews, and was signed off by both the federal and provincial governments – all of which was upheld by a unanimous decision of the B.C. Court of Appeal last fall.

Horgan and Weaver’s backroom deal promises a Site C review based on “current” energy supply and demand. This stacks the deck against a project that isn’t being built for today, but to help meet B.C.’s electricity needs for the next century, and to offer a climate-friendly alternative to fossil fuels.

It’s short-term thinking, partisan politics and outright hypocrisy at its worst: In 2009, Andrew Weaver was a passionate defender of Site C. He wanted BC Hydro to get back into megaprojects. “They should be carving out their niche with the Site C dam,” he told The Globe and Mail. “I cannot see what is stopping Site C.” Now he is the one stopping Site C’s clean energy.

The NDP-Green goal of “revitalizing the environmental review process” is code for finding ways to get to “No.” They plan to inject their politics into every regulatory and environmental review of important energy, resource and infrastructure projects.

Not found in the Horgan-Weaver pact: any prospect of a balanced budget, any target for economic growth, any plan to build the infrastructure we need to compete in a global economy, or any plan to harness our natural resources responsibly.  In short, no bold vision to build our province.

More than 200,000 people in B.C. make a living in construction. Another 65,000 people work in forestry and tens of thousands more on pipelines, in the mines, on the water, and in the oil and gas sector – responsibly developing B.C.’s abundant natural resources.

These are real projects, real jobs and real families. They are not “a myth,” or “unicorns,” as Weaver so arrogantly dismissed them last week with Horgan standing by his side. When Horgan and Weaver talk about “yesterday’s economy,” they demean the work of hundreds of thousands of British Columbians who put on a tool belt every morning and go about building our province.

W.A.C. Bennett knew what would happen as British Columbians saw jobs disappear and the province’s prosperity evaporate under the 1970s NDP. We’d pull our hand from the hot stove.

Let’s hope that once again we learn our lesson quickly, and that our economy doesn’t get burned too badly by this new NDP-Green coalition government.

ICBA NEWS RELEASE: ICBA Launches Campaign To #Get2Yes on Site C

Support the 2,252 Site C Construction Workers – go to Get2Yes.icba.ca and send an email to B.C.’s three party leaders! (See here for photos from today’s pink slip event in Vancouver.)

VANCOUVER, B.C.: With 2,252 jobs hanging in the balance, the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) launched a public campaign today to push the NDP-Green alliance to #Get2Yes on the Site C dam.

ICBA launched its campaign with a media event at BC Hydro’s Vancouver headquarters, using 2,252 Site C pink slips to illustrate how many people went to work this morning on the Peace River dam site. It is encouraging members of the public who support clean energy jobs to visit Get2Yes.icba.ca and send an email to B.C.’s three party leaders.

“In their power-sharing deal, John Horgan and Andrew Weaver agreed that Site C should be reviewed based on ‘current’ supply and demand metrics,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA President. “This stacks the deck against a project that isn’t being built for today, but to help meet B.C.’s electricity needs for the next century, and to offer a clean energy alternative to fossil fuels.”

“B.C. can’t simply throw away the $4 billion already spent on Site C,” said Jordan Bateman, ICBA Communications Director. “Taxpayers have made a significant investment in that clean energy project, one ratified by the people who live closest to it – the BC Liberal candidate won the Site C riding by 10 to 1 over the NDP.”

Site C spent more than a decade going through environmental assessments and regulatory reviews, and was signed off by both the federal and provincial governments – all of which was upheld by a unanimous decision of the B.C. Court of Appeal last fall.

In the coming weeks, ICBA will hold more #Get2Yes on Site C campaign events in Victoria and Fort St. John.

“The 2,252 men and women working on Site C today deserve our support as their jobs hang in the balance,” said Gardner. “When Horgan and Weaver talk about ‘yesterday’s economy,’ they demean the work of hundreds of thousands of British Columbians who put on a tool belt every morning and go about building our province.”


IN THE NEWS: ICBA Signs Partnership With College of New Caledonia

ICBA Vice-President Lindsay Langill and VP-Regional Development Mike Davis were in Prince George yesterday to sign a partnership agreement with the College of New Caledonia. As reported by 250News:

Specifically, both parties will partner on recruitment, retention and advancement opportunities for graduates in the construction industry.

“I think it’s an opportunity. It’s that seamless transition from our classrooms into the industry,” said Frank Rossi, CNC Dean of Trades and Technologies. “And I think there’s a gap with industry as far as the need for students and our students are always looking for opportunities. So, if there’s an opportunity for them to transition into an industry, that’s an advantage.”

It’s the first time the ICBA has signed an MOU with a post-secondary institution. Will it be the first of many?

“We want to be strategic in who we partner with and certainly the North has golden opportunities around many new projects that hopefully come to fruition,” said Dr. Lindsay Langill, ICBA VP. “And so, working with a college like CNC, which is the anchor of training in the North, is very important for us to make sure we’re a partner in assisting and helping them achieve their goals.”

CKPG News was also at the signing and did this story:

IN THE NEWS: ICBA Opposes Proportional Representation

ICBA believes stability is key to growing the economy. Minority governments erode that, and proportional representation would bring more elections, more minorities, and more backroom dealmaking into B.C. politics.

ICBA President Chris Gardner opposes all that. From CKNW Radio:

Instead, he says he thinks the change is wrong on its merits and will lead to more elections and more political uncertainty.

“We will definitely be campaigning against proportional representation. It’s just wrong.”

Proportional representation refers to one of several models of vote counting, in which the percentage of the vote a party receives more closely resembles the percentage of seats they get in the legislature.

Gardner says the prospect of elections and uncertainty are no good for creating a climate for investment and jobs in the province.

“I actually don’t think there is anything wrong with a majority government, whatever the stripe of the party is. At least they can govern for four years. We know where they are going and at the end of that four years we can vote for that government or a different party.”

IN THE NEWS: Media Report on ICBA #Get2Yes Site C Event

Our Site C pink slip event got a lot of media coverage yesterday – but don’t forget to send your email supporting the Site C’s 2,252 workers by clicking HERE.

Here’s what Breakfast Television reported:

Or, if you’d like to see what we said translated into Chinese, click here for a Fairchild TV clip.

Some other media hits:

TRAINING THURSDAY: Meet ICBA’s Apprenticeship Team

Did you know ICBA is the single-biggest sponsor of construction apprentices in B.C., with nearly 1,300?

ICBA prides itself on our incredible customer service, and nowhere is that more evident than in our apprenticeship team.

As part of our training department, our Senior Training & Apprenticeship Coordinator Ally Bodnar and Training & Apprenticeship Coordinator Desiree McGee work hard every day to ensure that apprentices and employers are supported.

“We want to make sure that apprentices have everything they need to successfully complete their apprenticeship,” Ally says, adding that her favourite part of her job is seeing people earn their journeyperson designation and go on to a rewarding career in the construction industry.

The program starts with an employer member contacting ICBA and asking us to sponsor an apprentice for them. We assist with the paperwork involved in setting up that sponsorship, and will then take on the regular tasks involved with reporting hours and certifications to the Industry Training Authority.

“We are a one-stop-shop for everything the apprentices and employers need,” Ally says. “We answer questions, offer a bursary to apprentices and help them get the other grants and bursaries that they are eligible for.”

Desiree is a new addition to our team, joining us earlier this month, but says she’s already enjoying working with apprentices and helping them on their road to certification as a journeyperson. Ally is a five-year veteran of ICBA, starting in reception and making her way to the training department.

Both of them would be happy to talk to you! Interested in learning more about how ICBA helps apprentices? Email us at apprenticeship@icba.ca.