March 2021 - ICBA

ICBA NEWS: Members Now Get Access to ConstructConnect Project Intelligence

ICBA is proud to announce a new partnership with ConstructConnect, giving our members a month-long free trial of the new ConstructConnect Project Intelligence platform.

ConstructConnect Project Intelligence is the ultimate construction tool for finding the perfect project and preparing your bid. This trade contractor platform brings together the entire bidding process with the only end-to-end preconstruction solution of its kind.

  • PROMOTE: Respond to invitations and get promoted to general contractors as part of the largest, most engaged network in construction.
  • PREDICT: Receive personalized recommendations for projects predicted based on the best fit in your trade, service area, total project value, and other preferences.
  • SELECT: Quickly review notes, documents, addenda, and up-to-date information on projects added to your watch list to stay organized and prioritize which opportunities to pursue next.
  • SHARE: Easily share projects, contacts, and company information in real time with team members, suppliers, and subs to improve collaboration.
  • PREPARE: Once you’ve selected a project to bid, seamlessly transition to performing digital takeoffs to prepare quick and accurate estimates.
  • MOBILE: Our full-featured mobile app gives you instant access from anywhere to keep you in control of all your preconstruction projects.

For NEW ICBA members, ConstructConnect Project Intelligence is offered free for one month. If you like it, you renew it, paying $1,400 per year — the guaranteed lowest rate in British Columbia.

With ConstructConnect Project Intelligence, you can stay ahead of the competition with its industry-leading tools and features. Contact to start your trial.


ICBA Celebrates #WomenInConstructionWeek

This year, ICBA is proud to support #WomenInConstructionWeek March 7-13, and highlight some of the amazing women who are building BC – and our association. Keep checking in here as we honour some of our construction pioneers and leaders.

Saturday, March 13

Leanne Dyer, operations manager of Hymach Industries Ltd., is our newest ICBA Board member, having been voted to the board in November 2020. Hymach specializes in bridge lifting, bearing remediation and heavy industrial construction including the maintenance, and structural repairs of bridges owned by CN Rail and SRY Rail Link.

Leanne keeps the business running – responsible for staffing, business direction, financials, advertising, and overseeing daily operations. She’s been with Hymach for more than 25 years, and is a great new voice at the ICBA board table.



Friday, March 12

We’re celebrating #WomenInConstructionWeek by honouring some of the women who have made our industry (and ICBA) the success it is today.

Cindy Kaufman of Fraser Burrard Diving Ltd. chaired the ICBA Board of Directors from 2001-02. Kaufman led ICBA during a pivotal time in our advocacy. The election of the BC Liberals in 2001 reversed the hostile labour conditions of successive, discredited NDP governments – returning fairness to government bidding practices. But it was more than just advocacy; Cindy legitimately cared about the people she was working with and representing.

In one meeting with Premier Gordon Campbell, she encouraged him to persevere during difficult times, even bringing him a book that had helped shape her own leadership. It was a touch of kindness and genuine humanity that politicians don’t usually see in meetings. ICBA’s former president, Phil Hochstein, remembers this being an important moment in the relationship between the association and the new premier.

Her company, Fraser Burrard Diving Ltd., was the perfect example of a construction company flourishing in a niche market – underwater building and pile driving. When she retired, the company was sold to its employees, a tribute to the succession planning and professional development she brought to the company.

March 11, 2021

We’re celebrating #WomenInConstructionWeek by honouring some of the women who have made our industry (and ICBA) the success it is today.

Margot Middleton, president of Middleton Petroleum Services, has served on the ICBA board of directors for more than two years.

Since 1987, Middleton Petroleum Services has provided fuel system installations and maintenance in Kamloops and across BC and Alberta. Their team is fully trained in all aspects of fuel system equipment maintenance, from diagnostics to repair and replacement, including tank monitoring systems and leak detection systems. MPS, under their newly branded Middleton Energy Services division, is also installing EV charging stations. MPS is a licensed electrical contractor, certified to install and service all major brands of equipment for every aspect of the retail and commercial fuel industry.

Margot is a powerhouse in her company, her community, and in BC construction!


March 10, 2021

If not for Christina Koechl of Martina Enterprises, there may not be an ICBA today. The organization was struggling in the mid 1980s, until Christina took the chair of the ICBA Board of Directors from 1985-1988. Under her leadership, ICBA hired Phil Hochstein, won a major political battle in getting the open shop into EXPO 86 projects, signed up new members, and found financial stability. She was also the driving force in pushing ICBA to create a professional development program and directly train workers.

From a history of ICBA:

Two incidents helped shape Christina and Hermann Koechl’s resolve to operate non-union when they launched Martina Enterprises in 1972. The first was the relatively minor affront of being laughed at by a unionized contractor and told “you’ll never do more than a duplex, the unions will make sure of that.” The second was the much more chilling observation and advice of a union agent, passed along via Christina’s brother-in-law, that he “knew we had young kids and we should watch out for their safety.” The threat, she says, made her blood boil. And it drove her decision to become “part of a change, part of a movement,” and to take on a leadership role in the early ICBA.

The threat against her family was never acted on. But like those of other ICBA founders, Christina Koechl’s business faced huge hurdles. Suppliers refused to bid to it, its apprentices were denied study materials, and guard dogs and other extraordinary measures had to be taken to prevent vandalism at its work sites. In the end though, unions made sure of very little other than that Koechl’s resolve remained steely. “Give me a good fight any day,” she says. She and Hermann handled diverse and large mechanical contracting projects across North America – everything from multi-unit residential complexes, to a corporate head office, and an observatory in Hawaii. She also played an instrumental role in ICBA’s development, chairing its board and becoming a Life Member. But they faced some tough realities when starting out as an open shop contractor.


March 9, 2021:

We’re celebrating #WomenInConstructionWeek by honouring some of the women who have made our industry (and ICBA) the success it is today.

Laura Stanton has served on the ICBA board of directors for more than six years. She oversees the daily operations of four companies: Independent Glass Distributors, AWG Northern Distribution, AWG Windows & Doors and All-West Glass.

This year All-West Glass celebrates its 50th Anniversary and under Laura’s leadership the company currently has 19 locations across northwest Canada. Automotive, residential, commercial, windows, doors, custom: if it’s glass, All-West can help. Laura’s team now numbers more than 300 people, including 175 ticketed glaziers and/or automotive glass technicians.

Laura is a phenomenal leader, and ICBA has benefited greatly from her work on our board.


March 8, 2021:

This #InternationalWomensDay (and #WomeninConstruction Week), ICBA recognizes both our history and our future. We’re proud to have four amazing women as life members (ICBA’s highest honour) in our organization:
  • Christina Koechl, the first woman to chair our board, and founder of Martina Enterprises
  • Myrtle-Anne Rempel, one of the founders of ICBA, a huge part of building Rempel Bros Concrete, and an accomplished artist
  • Ethel Rempel, the administrative and organizational force behind Rempel Bros Concrete
  • Ruth Purdy, who stitched together the people of ICBA’s early days—helping open shop contractors become allies, then colleagues, then friends, and then family
We also want to highlight the future of women in construction – ICBA is proud to be the second-largest sponsor of women trade apprentices in BC. And we plan to be #1 soon.

March 7, 2021:

TRAINING THURSDAY: Ground Disturbance Level II (BC)

Kerry and Jordan chat about the latest web offering from ICBA Training – learn about ground disturbance – from the pre-planning stage to the close out, all with a focus on damage prevention.
Participants learn how to clarify sources when searching for underground facilities, provide notification to the facility owner and receive owner notification. You’ll gain an understanding of the necessary approvals/crossing agreements and regulations necessary before creating a ground disturbance. And receive an understanding of line locating, including the use of electro-magnetic equipment, learn about types of exposure, and how to close out a ground disturbance project.
All courses:

ICBA NEWS: The Lesson from COVID-19, Everything is About People

A special message from ICBA President Chris Gardner, on the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdowns.

The one-year anniversary of the shutdown of much of the global economy is upon us. Back in March 2020, no one could have imagined the scale of the devastation and disruption that would be unleashed over the next 12 months. Never before had governments around the world acted in unison to direct people to simply stay home and do nothing. Everything was taken away from all of us in ways large and small – the consequences were punishing and unforgiving.

Looking back one year on, I can say with conviction that at ICBA we got through the toughest of these times because of the personal sacrifice, commitment and dedication of our 50 employees. Even in the darkest days, they all showed up to make sure that the health, dental and disability benefits were there for our customers when they and their families needed them most; that the training and apprenticeship programs ran smoothly so that construction professionals could continue to hone their skills and advance their careers; and that the voice of open shop contractors was heard at all levels of government when elected officials made decisions about economic relief programs, new infrastructure spending or implemented new site safety protocols.

This year, four exceptional members of our outstanding team are celebrating significant milestones at ICBA. Each of them exemplifies the very best that ICBA offers its members and customers. I am very proud to call each of them a colleague and a friend and I am inspired every day by their talent, their drive, and their commitment to provide an exceptional customer and member experience:

  • Gloria Pecile, 25 years
  • Steven Fang, 15 years
  • Leah Rennie, 14 years
  • Sabine Just, 10 years

While there was a lot to be despondent about during the pandemic, with vaccines rolling out across the globe and the prospect of the dark cloud of COVID-19 lifting, as I look back on the past year, there was also a lot of things to be grateful for, and for me, the team at ICBA is one of them.

In speaking to ICBA members everyday, I know that I am not alone in waking up every day so thankful that I get to work with some very amazing people and that because of them, we made it through the worst financial and health crisis in more than 100 years.

ICBA PHOTO: Jon Walker Picks Up Lincor’s Gord Stewart Award

Jon Walker of Lincor Enterprises LTD. stopped by ICBA today to pick up the 2020 Gord Stewart safety innovation award for Lincor’s outstanding Industrial Athletes Injury Prevention Program. Here’s the announcement on Lincor’s win from late last year:

Congratulations to Lincor Enterprises Ltd., which has won the 2020 ICBA Gord Stewart Award for its outstanding Industrial Athletes Injury Prevention Program.

The Gord Stewart Award is presented annually by ICBA and WorkSafeBC to acknowledge individuals and companies for their efforts in the prevention of workplace incidents, injuries and illnesses. The award recognizes the employee or team of employees who come up with an innovative program, policy, tool or project that demonstrates a proven accomplishment in the area of health and safety for the construction industry sector. The Award comes with a $5,000 prize.

In 2020, Lincor Enterprises started a pilot program using technology and a team of contracted physiotherapists to provide a personalized, engaging and comprehensive physiotherapy program. This innovative new program initiative is designed to add value to their existing Health and Wellness program by connecting staff with a unique set of services not previously available to construction companies in British Columbia.

An initial screening of participants at the UBC Allan McGavin Sports Physiotherapy clinic provides a baseline and serves as the starting point for a daily warm up and cool down program. This screening is repeated every six months while weekly surveys are conducted between the physiotherapists and company employees to ensure the exercise routines are meaningful and effective. Another positive outcome of this experience is the team building taking place at the start of shift on site when employees do their daily warm-up together.

A key driver for this program was the current basic approach to injuries on site, send someone home or work through the pain. This new innovative program provides construction workers access to a personalized physiotherapy program as well as a physio on demand through zoom, phone or text during regular working hours.

A major barrier Lincor had to overcome was combating the stigma was associated with workers looking “soft” on the job site by doing yoga exercises or warming up in a group setting each morning. Another barrier was the technology required to provide an app-based program allowing video calling, text surveys and confidential relaying of information between the physio clinic and company employees.

The innovation reduces workplace risks by making construction workers aware of ongoing injuries, wear and tear, and things they may typically work through. Additionally, workers are being contacted by the same physiotherapist week after week and developing a relationship while working towards improving their baseline health and mobility. There is a mental health and wellbeing component that can be associated to this type of care.

The information is very current and is being updated on a weekly basis with feedback provided to and from both the physiotherapists and construction workers.

This innovation is transforming construction workers, who typically endure heavy loads of physical strain over extended periods of time, into industrial athletes who are being given the tools and resources to understand what is hurting them, how to take better care of their bodies on a daily basis and set long term health and wellness goals measured every six months in a renowned physiotherapy clinic.

Mental Health Resources (Spring 2021 Construction Monitor)

Employees of ICBA Benefits Services client companies can access counselling services through an Employee and Family Assistance Program operated by Morneau Shapel. ICBA has also launched a new and holistic Workplace Wellness Program tailored to the construction sector (see back page). Many other resources are also available to anyone with a mental health concern:

Crisis Line Association of BC: 310-6789 (no area code needed)
Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-SUICIDE
Online Chat Service (for adults):