TCBN introduces inaugural Building Diversity Awards and Recognition Program

TORONTO — In partnership with community, labour and construction industry partners, the Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN) recently launched the first annual province-wide Building Diversity Awards (BDA) and Recognition Program.

BDA will recognize and award exemplary contractors, unions and client/owners as well as industry champions who are leading in diversity, equity and inclusion, indicates a release, adding award recipients will be selected by a committee of diversity, equity and inclusion experts from other industries and jurisdictions.

Read the full article here.

Vote for CBAs

A Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) ensures public infrastructure projects get built the right way. This means there are ongoing benefits to each community where we live and work, which includes opportunities for youth, apprenticeships, women, and Indigenous communities. Communities are stronger when they are able to participate directly in the economy and contribute to the well-being of their local suppliers and services.

A vote for CBA’s is a vote for four more years of strong NDP leadership that results in:

  • More jobs + training opportunities for women, youth, and Indigenous communities
  • New investments in apprenticeships
  • Overall target increase of 25% in apprenticeships
  • Priority hiring for qualified workers who live within 100 km of projects
  • Increase in skilled workers
  • Higher graduation rates amongst youth
  • Projects built the right way with the environment and safety put first
  • Open bidding process that ensures everyone has an opportunity to participate

Please take the time to vote on Saturday Oct 24th for CBAs.

For further information about your polling location please visit

Delta company snags Highway 1 improvement contract

SALMON ARM, B.C. — Springline Construction Services Ltd. of Delta has won a $29.7-million contract to enhance Highway 1 through Salmon Arm, B.C.

Crews will begin work this fall to expand the route from two to four lanes and build a new Salmon River Bridge.

The province noted that because the project is being built under its Community Benefits Agreement policy, hiring local workers and under-represented groups will be made a priority. The province added the policy also provides opportunities for Red Seal apprentices to get experience on the site.

“This major work to add lanes, a multi-use pathway, a bridge and a new interchange to Highway 1 through Salmon Arm will make the route safer and easier to navigate for local residents,” said Catherine McKenna, federal minister of infrastructure and communities, in a statement. “It will also improve traffic flow along one of British Columbia’s key trade and commuter corridors.”

Read the full article.

B.C. government awards $1.7-billion Broadway Subway contract

VANCOUVER- The Government of British Columbia has awarded a $1.728 billion contract to the Broadway Subway Project Corporation to design and build Vancouver’s newest Skytrain extension.

The Broadway Subway Project Corporation is an Acciona-Ghella joint venture and the contract specifies the corporation will design, construct and partially finance the project with construction starting in fall 2020 and start of service in 2025.

“As we restore the economy through B.C.’s Restart Plan, major infrastructure projects like the Broadway Subway line will be key to our recovery. When completed, the Broadway Subway will transform how people get around in Vancouver. It will mean faster travel to work and school, better access to local business and fewer cars on the road,” B.C. Premier John Horgan said in a statement.

The Broadway Subway build is a 5.7 kilometre extension of the Millennium Line from VCC-Clark Station to Broadway and Arbutus.

Transportation Investment Corporation (TI Corp) is leading the delivery of the Broadway Subway Project on behalf of the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and will provide the controls, practices and other oversight for the project.

The project will be delivered under the province’s Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), which a B.C. government release said “will increase training and apprenticeship opportunities and prioritize hiring locals, Indigenous peoples, women, people with disabilities and other traditionally under-represented groups, including youth, who want to build a career in the skilled trades.”

Read the full article.

‘Real jobs, real recovery’ needed after COVID-19, resource industries say

While thousands of businesses slowed or shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, resource industries have kept work boots on the ground in Western Canada.

Trans Mountain and Coastal Gaslink pipelines, the Site C hydro dam and lately the forest industry have carried on despite coronavirus setbacks and restrictions, and more steady resource industry work is needed to dig out of the huge deficit hole created by the pandemic, a national industry report recommends.

Resource and manufacturing industries have the potential to add as much as 17 per cent to Canada’s gross domestic product and $200 billion in labour earnings, according to economic modelling conducted for the Task Force for Real Jobs, Real Recovery, which released recommendations from a summer-long research project Aug. 19.

Sponsors of the Task Force for Real Jobs, Real Recovery include the Canadian, B.C., Alberta and Atlantic Chambers of Commerce, the Aboriginal Skilled Workers Association, Alberta Chamber of Resources, Alberta Forest Products Association, B.C. Construction Association, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada.

Read the full article.

9 cool things you never knew about working in trades

In a short space of time, almost all Canadians have experienced some form of change in their employment. Career prospects, reskilling opportunities, and upskilling are top of mind for many people right now, and some of us are exploring the potential of the trades sector.

It’s still a sector obscured by misconceptions. The average person probably has little idea what work in the trades sector entails, the education required — or the perks.

Here is a list of things you might not know about careers in trades.

Read the full article.

The BC Regional Council Of Carpenters Create A Home For Female Ingenuity

Women Play Increasingly Vital Role In Future Of Construction In Canada

VICTORIA – Kristine Byers was in middle school when she asked her parents for a scroll saw for her birthday.

It was the first power tool she ever owned.

“My passion for woodworking began as a kid, when it was mandatory in school to try different trades,” remembers Kristine who has been adding to that power-tool collection since becoming a carpenter thirteen years ago. Today, she’s a representative and instructor for the BC Regional Council of Carpenters, servicing members across BC and the Yukon. She also sits as a trustee on the executive board for Local 1907, Metro Vancouver, and heads the council’s Sisters in the Brotherhood women’s committee.

Read the full article.

Students awarded cash as Youth Work in Trades incentive

Three Williams Lake youth were the recent recipients of $1,000 cash after successfully completing the Youth Work in Trades program through School District 27.

Gwen Rohls was the recipient of a cash award by completing the program as a baker apprentice at Taylor Made Cakes and Sweets in Williams Lake. She achieved this by completing over 900 hours of work while attending secondary school.

Jaxon Passeri received a cash award after completing the program as an arborist apprentice for Kylar Tree Professionals. He now works for Peka Enterprises Ltd., and completed over 900 hours of work while also attending secondary school.

Outreach programs coupled with support and data prove successful

Given the apparent drop in women in the trades reported by Statistic Canada is enough being done to attract women into the trades and keep them there?

“I’d hesitate to say yes,” Lindsay Kearns, a Red Seal electrician and outreach co-ordinator for the BC Centre for Women in the Trades (BCCWITT) says.

“I meet women in their mid-30s like me who find out what I do and say, oh, I never thought I could go into a trade like that.”

Reaching out to kids in high school and getting them into shop class — especially all girl classes — takes a lot of the stigma and embarrassment out of the picture, she says.

“We can always do more,” she adds noting she was a late starter and many women also enter the trades at a later age.

“There’s all kinds of discussion from PPE that fits, dealing with pregnancy on the job and childcare,” Cheryl Paron International Representative, First District (Canada), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, in B.C. says. “Sometimes it is just about having someone to talk to after a bad day.”

The outreach programs have been working, she says, focusing on kids in Grade 9 and up is critical for both boys and girls in terms of flagging construction as a career path.

“One of the key things I think is to have more women in leadership positions in construction as role models,” she says.

Read the full article.

Broadway SkyTrain Line - Built Right with a CBA

Vancouver’s Broadway Corridor is an important economic, healthcare, and residential centre for Metro Vancouver.

The Broadway SkyTrain Line will bring frequent and reliable SkyTrain access to commuters by adding 5.7 kilometres and six stations to one of the most congested transit corridors in the city. Once in service, the line will relieve congestion, while giving people easier access to healthcare, services and businesses.

The Broadway SkyTrain Line will also be built the right way. That’s because the project will be delivered under the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), as announced by the provincial government in 2018.

Under the CBA framework, the Broadway SkyTrain Line will:

  • Create well-paying jobs so workers can earn a decent living for their families
  • Have our most skilled workers training the next generation of apprentices
  • Give women, youth and Indigenous communities the opportunities they deserve to develop valuable skills
  • Ensure that the project is built to the highest safety and environmental standards
  • Create a positive and lasting legacy in our local communities

In other words, the project will bring vital job and training opportunities for local workers, including groups traditionally underrepresented in the construction sector like women and Indigenous communities. Skills training opportunities will also help address our current skilled labour shortage by training up the next generation of trades workers in B.C.

The Community Building Standard applauds these positive steps by the B.C. Government.