Skilled trades will help us come back stronger

Since the beginning of the pandemic, our primary concern has been the health and safety of our over 100,000+ tradespeople who can’t work from home. The industry pivoted quickly to develop new safety practices and protocols from the ground up, not only to protect workers and their families, but to demonstrate that the industry could work safely through the pandemic without straining government health resources. 

Our industry is strong and resilient. While the pandemic isn’t behind us, skilled trades women and men can apply their hard-won knowledge, working with other businesses and industries to safely lead our economy’s reopening and recovery. Investments in the kinds of critical infrastructure that Community Benefits Agreements build, will help create jobs, roads and bridges that will create the conditions for British Columbia to come back stronger. 

Kicking Horse highway work details emerging

As crews mobilize and construction draws nearer for the Kicking Horse Canyon Project along the Trans-Canada Highway near Golden, more detailed traffic management schedules will soon be available for people who live and work in the region.

Construction on the fourth and final phase of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project includes realigning and widening a section of the Trans-Canada Highway east of Golden. Along with 4.8 kilometres of four-laning the highway, improvements will include snow avalanche and rock fall mitigation, as well as wildlife exclusion fencing.

Major construction works will get underway in April.

Read the full article.

B.C. program to train new Canadians for trades careers

SURREY, B.C. — A new project by the Province of B.C. will help fund training and certification courses for dozens of aspiring tradespeople.

The program will help up to 36 eligible B.C. residents get skills training and certification courses for jobs as automotive service technicians, millwrights and welders. The program will focus on recruiting new Canadians with previous trades experience.

“There’s a need for skilled tradespeople in B.C. and across the country,” said Nicholas Simons, minister of social development and poverty reduction, in a press release. “This Red Seal certification project supports participants to improve their skills, broaden their work experience and maximize their earning potential.”

Read the full article.

Construction begins on foundations for new replacement Pattullo Bridge

Contractors for the new replacement Pattullo Bridge are scheduled to begin in-river work on the bridge tower foundation over the latter half of February.

According to a bulletin from the provincial government’s project office last week, crews will place rock for bridge foundation protection and install the first piles that will form the foundation for the tower.

However, this work is intended to be a test, which will provide additional information on in-river geotechnical conditions, underwater monitoring data, and construction methodologies.

The schedule for in-river construction is regulated by the federal government’s Fisheries and Oceans Canada department to minimize the impact to fish and fish habitat.

Major construction in the Fraser River is scheduled to begin over the coming months. The new bridge will be constructed roughly 100 metres east of the existing 1937-built, four-lane bridge.

Read the full article here.

Work begins on SkyTrain extension down Broadway in Vancouver

TransLink says work has begun clearing sites for stations and construction of the SkyTrain extension down Broadway in Vancouver. Ted Chernecki reports.

Watch here.

The pathway to trades careers for Central Okanagan students

There are beneficial opportunities for both employers and students who participate in the Central Okanagan Public Schools Industry Training Authority (ITA) youth apprenticeship program for trades.

The program offers students a pathway to both finding employment in the construction industry and furthering their post-secondary education trades certification process, while also providing a labour source for contractors looking to fill particular trades needs.

For students, they get the opportunity to work 900 hours in a chosen trade of their interest while earning the equivalent of 16 credits on their high school graduation transcript. They also receive a $1,000 financial award from the Ministry of Education upon completion.

Read the article here.

Bridge replacement planned for Quartz Creek crossing

GOLDEN, B.C. — A new crossing over Quartz Creek is being planned for the Trans-Canada Highway.

Crews will begin construction this spring. The bridge serves the stretch of highway that goes between Glacier National Park and Golden.

The province has already issued the project tender to replace the aging two-lane bridge crossing at Quartz Creek, 40 kilometres west of Golden, with a new four-lane bridge. The work, which is a portion of the Highway 1 Kamloops-to-Alberta program, will also see 4.4 kilometres of highway widened to four lanes and access improvements to forest service roads.

“It is important to see this project move a step closer to getting underway,” said Catherine McKenna, federal minister of infrastructure and communities, in a statement. “Replacing the Quartz Creek Bridge and widening this part of the Trans-Canada Highway will improve driver safety while supporting trade and a strong regional economy. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”

Read the full article.

P3 2020: CBA experts discuss Canadian, U.S. experiences at P3 conference

A panel of union experts discussed their different experiences with Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) across Canada and even across the border.

The event was part of the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP) 28th annual conference, which was held virtually this year.

Lionel Railton, Canadian director for the International Union of Operating Engineers, outlined the B.C. landscape, where Premier John Horgan’s NDP Party introduced its CBA policy as a minority government but had recently been re-elected with a majority. Railton explained in the B.C. context, the NDP created the BC Infrastructure Benefits Corporation (BCIB) which acts as the employer for all employees on CBA projects to ensure that underrepresented groups are getting opportunities and all are receiving fair pay and benefits. Currently there are several CBA projects underway.

“It is early days but things are going well,” said Railton.

Read the full article here.

Province awards contract for Kicking Horse Canyon highway project

The Province has awarded a contract for construction of the fourth phase of the Kicking Horse Canyon Highway 1 upgrade project.

The $440.6 million contract will go to the Kicking Horse Canyon Constructors, consisting of Aecon Group, Parsons Inc. and Emil Anderson Construction.

The final phase of the project on Highway 1 near Golden will see the highway widened to four lanes and will be complete in winter 2023-24.

Read the full article here.

Billions are being spent on economic recovery. How can Canada maximize the public return on this investment?

On Wednesday, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland set the stage for a fall fiscal and economic update that will include “targeted, carefully thought-out investment on a meaningful scale” in response to COVID-19.

Canada’s governments have already spent hundreds of billions, and they’ll spend billions more in their bid to build back better and deliver on the promise of a future economy that is resilient, inclusive and equitable.

The size of this challenge is undeniably massive. But so is the opportunity to rethink the role of governments in shaping our economy, and the role of businesses in benefiting society.

A keystone of the “build back better” strategy should be collaboration between governments and businesses.

Read the full article here.