July 2017 - ICBA

ICBA CAST: Philip Hochstein Relives the 1990s NDP

Chris Gardner is on vacation this week, so we brought in the old pro: Philip Hochstein, retired president of ICBA. Phil’s battles with the NDP in the 1990s are legendary, and seeing old NDP hands Horgan, Dix, Krog, Farnworth and Meggs getting the Bad Government Band back together has him worried.

Find us on iTunes (Search for ICBA Cast), or listen below:

TRAINING THURSDAY: Managing Stress in the Workplace

How’s your stress level? We’re going to assume that if you’re anything like us, it can get pretty high! Our brand-new Managing Stress in the Workplace course can help.

Our Project Coordinator tested this course earlier this year as part of a pre-employment training project she developed, and she can’t say enough good things about it. You’ll learn how to recognize stress, how it affects your work and personal life, and effective strategies to handle stress in the workplace, including practical exercises you can do again and again when stress strikes. You’ll also learn how to reduce your stress and set goals for effectively managing internal and external stressors.

The workshop will be on September 19 in Burnaby; for more information and to register for any of our upcoming workshops visit www.icba.ca/training. Remember, you don’t have to be a member of ICBA to take our courses – but you’ll get a nice discount if you are!

Does your entire office need this course, or any other one we offer? We would be happy to set up a private course for you. Feel free to contact us at any time to talk about training! If you’re interested in getting regular updates on our courses in your area, we urge you to sign up for our training newsletter at www.icba.ca/trainingnewsletter.

ANALYSIS: B.C. Housing Starts to Decline

The Conference Board of Canada put out its provincial outlook economic forecast for B.C. this week, and the news is mixed.

The Board anticipates B.C.’s economic growth to slow – they think it will be 2.5 per cent this year, down from the 3.7 per cent, nation-leading growth recorded last year. It is expected to further dip to 2.1 per cent in 2018.

While the Board’s report steers clear of predicting the ramifications of the GreeNDP government, it does highlight some important indicators:

  • Housing starts are expected to fall 12.4 per cent this year and 5.5 per cent in 2018
  • Home prices, however, will continue to rise
  • Forestry will struggle due to the softwood lumber dispute with the U.S.
  • LNG could go forward, thanks to positive developments with First Nations
  • Net migration (from both within Canada and abroad) will add between 40,000 and 50,000 people to B.C. every year for the foreseeable future

IN THE NEWS: New ICBA boss an ardent construction sector advocate

Business in Vancouver has a profile on new ICBA President Chris Gardner, including a look at how he went from Langley, B.C., to Seoul, South Korea, and back to the Lower Mainland:

When he graduated in 1991 mutual friends reconnected him with Gene Macdonald, who had been his principal at Langley Secondary School.

“We ended up touching base, and he was a very strong believer in travelling abroad, studying abroad, living abroad, working abroad,” Gardner said. “It was because of him that I went to Korea.”

Macdonald was cultivating an international student program in Langley, and a Time magazine cover story on the four Asian tigers – Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea – caught Gardner’s attention. He set off for Seoul, arriving in time for the country’s first democratic elections. The zeitgeist was infectious, and one year became 11 as work with Lee & Ko, the country’s second-largest law firm, introduced him to his wife, and opportunities opened up in the head office of Samsung Electronics and then ING Investment Bank.

Gardner returned to B.C. in 2002 to establish a beachhead for a Korean company seeking to expand into North America. It made dial-up modems, but wireless was the future. A chance encounter in late 2005 with Britco co-founder David Taft at Milestones in South Surrey saw Gardner enter the construction sector in 2006. Gardner prepared a feasibility study for Taft and business partner Rick McClymont while at law school and they welcomed him back as vice-president of operations.

Gardner worked for Britco through 2014, when he became principal secretary to Premier Christy Clark. It wasn’t his first political appointment; he previously helped run mayoral campaigns for Surrey mayors Doug McCallum and Dianne Watts.

Gardner joined Civeo Canada Inc., a provider of work camps, in 2015. The resource sector’s downturn led to coffee with Phil Hochstein in late 2016 and, in January 2017, he was appointed ICBA vice-president, and a month later, president.

“He’s a very smart man. He’s very calm and reasoned. I always liked being in negotiations when he was on our side,” McClymont said. “I think he’ll bring a lot to the ICBA.”

Read the full piece HERE.

NEWS RELEASE: ICBA Seeks Intervenor Status in Kinder Morgan Lawsuit

BURNABY, B.C. – The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) has requested intervenor status in a B.C. Supreme Court action aimed at stopping the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. ICBA wants construction on the pipeline to start this fall.

This action puts the largest private sector investment in B.C. history in jeopardy, along with 58,037 person-years of construction employment, 802,000 person-years of ongoing, operating employment over 20 years, and nearly $50 billion in government revenue over the next two decades.

Getting Canada’s natural resources to global markets is a key driver of economic growth and prosperity.

“Responsible resource development is one of Canada’s time-tested creators of jobs and wealth. There is no jurisdiction in the world that develops resources in a more sustainable way than we do in B.C. and Canada,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA President. “Workers in B.C. will be first-in-line for the thousands of jobs, skills training and apprenticeship opportunities that will flow from this project.”

Trans Mountain has worked on their plan for years and was approved by the Trudeau government after a 29-month independent review by the National Energy Board (“NEB”). The NEB imposed 157 conditions that Kinder Morgan must meet during the construction and operation of the pipeline.

In January of this year, the provincial government added a further 37 provincial environmental and technical conditions that Kinder Morgan must meet in order for the project to proceed.

“It’s about balance,” said Gardner. “The approval process was independent and rigorous. As a result, the pipeline will be built in a way that protects the environment, involves First Nations and provides B.C. with significant economic benefits.”

ICBA is being joined by the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA), Canadian Iron, Steel and Industrial Workers’ Union (CISAIWU), and Canada West Construction Union (CWU) in the application to intervene that was filed last week.

Anti-pipeline groups Pipe Up and Democracy Watch claim the B.C. Government was in a conflict of interest because the BC Liberal Party accepted contributions from Kinder Morgan. Should the court accept such an argument, virtually every decision made by any government at any level could be overturned, if a project proponent, a union, a small business or an individual has ever lawfully participated in the democratic process by making contributions to a political party.

See ICBA’s application to the court HERE.

#GET2YES: Site C Dam Now Employing 2,522 People


The newest Site C employment numbers are out, and the workforce at the dam continues to swell: there are now 2,522 people employed building Site C. Of note:

  • 2,027 are British Columbians
  • 736 (35%) on-site are from the Peace River Regional District
  • There were 6 temporary foreign workers
  • At least 393 are women
  • At least 211 are aboriginal
  • These are only the direct jobs – there are thousands more indirect or induced jobs that aren’t counted.

Let’s keep these folks working! Go to http://get2yes.icba.ca/projects/site-c and send an email to B.C.’s political leaders and stand up for Site C!

TRAINING THURSDAY – An ICBA Success Story, Charles Baverstock

Here at ICBA, we strive to provide exceptional customer service, and that’s especially true when it comes to our training department. We’ve trained thousands of people over the years, helping them achieve their goals and continue their life-long education.

Charles Baverstock, of Stonebridge Operations Incorporated, is just one example. Charles has been an electrician for about 15 years after leaving the healthcare sector. With the assistance of our Director of Training Sabine Just and one of our instructors, Tim Williams, Charles was able to get his Gold Seal Certification.

“Without Sabine’s knowledge of the Gold Seal System and her support through the ICBA, I would not have known about the program or the process,” Charles says, adding “She helped me determine if I had enough credits and experience to write the exam, while Tim helped me prep for it.”

Charles continues to take several courses per year with us, and recommends that people continue to educate themselves throughout their career.

“Take more courses that pertain to your industry, whether it’s estimating, project management, or safety. You never know when these courses will take your career in a different direction,” he says. “Education makes you more employable, and creates different opportunities for you.”

ICBA Vice-President Dr. Lindsay Langill recalls some advice from when he was an apprentice. “My journeyperson mentor continually told me to take courses, get certified and keep learning,” he says. “He told me ‘every certification is like another tool in your toolbox; you may not know when you will use it, but you have it for when you need it’.”

Most of ICBA’s courses offer Gold Seal Certification credits and BC Housing Continued Professional Development Points. Remember, you don’t have to be a member of ICBA to take our courses, though members receive a discount on their registration fees.

For a full list of our upcoming courses, visit www.icba.ca/training. While you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe to our bi-weekly training newsletter at http://icba.ca/trainingnewsletter.

NEWS RELEASE: Site C Workers Come From All Over B.C.

BURNABY, B.C.: New numbers released by the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) today show that hundreds of Site C workers come from across B.C. Every region of the province is home to people who rely on employment at the Site C Dam.

“While the dam is nearly 1,300 kilometres away from where John Horgan and Andrew Weaver live, there are people in every part of B.C. – including their south Vancouver Island ridings – who rely on Site C to feed their families and pay their bills,” said Chris Gardner, president of ICBA. “Those jobs are now at risk as a result of the NDP-Greens, who seem to be grasping for any excuse to kill Site C – a clean energy project that will provide hydroelectricity for B.C. for the next hundred years and more.”

Gardner noted that at least seven Site C workers list Sooke, in Horgan’s riding, as their hometown. “Will John Horgan explain in person to those constituents why he’s putting their jobs in jeopardy?” Gardner said. “He hasn’t bothered to go to Fort St. John to hear the concerns of the thousands of men and working working on the job site – will he ignore the ones in his own backyard too?”

Site C workers by region (click HERE for a further breakdown by individual communities):

  • Lower Mainland/Sea to Sky (Pemberton to Aldergrove) – 144
  • Kamloops area (Armstrong to Williams Lake) – 89
  • Prince George area (Burns Lake to Valemount) – 118
  • Fraser Valley and Canyon (Abbotsford to Merritt) – 41
  • Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast – 174
  • Kelowna/Vernon area (Lumby to Westbank) – 99
  • Penticton area (Naramata to Osoyoos) – 39

(Note: these numbers DO NOT include several other B.C. communities, nor the Peace River Regional District, where 35 per cent of Site C workers live.)

“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,” said Gardner. “On top of that, Site C has faced 14 separate court actions and won every single one of them. At ICBA, we talk a lot about the need to ‘Get to Yes.’ On Site C, we need government to ‘Stick to Yes.’”

ICBA, voice of B.C.’s construction industry, has been fighting hard to keep Site C workers on the job. Today, 2,522 people went to work on Site C.

“It’s difficult for people working on this project and in construction generally to hear the NDP and the Greens talking about cancelling this project and more than a little depressing hear Andrew Weaver call Site C jobs ‘temporary,’” said Gardner. “When Andrew Weaver goes to Fort St. John and calls construction jobs ‘artificial,’ he demeans the hard work of the men and women who get up every day and head to a construction site.”

In recent weeks, ICBA has fought for Site C through its pink slip campaign, its poster campaign in Fort St. John, hiring a plane to tow a pro-Site C banner over the Throne Speech in Victoria, and generating more than 2,400 emails in support of Site C through www.get2yes.icba.ca.

For a list of cities where Site C workers hail from, click HERE.