One of the most important things we do is advocate at the provincial level on behalf of the industry we serve, collaborating with the Regional Associations to support their local issues and the Canadian Construction Association on issues that impact our industry nationwide.

An archive of previous issues within BC's construction industry:

Proportional Representation

On December 20, 2018 the votes came in on the BC Electoral Reform Referendum. With a 42% voter turn out, 61.3% of the voters cast a ballot against 'proportional representation' preferring instead to maintain our current electoral system of 'first past the post'.

Site C

BCCA supports the Site C project and has taken an active role over the years to ensure the project moves forward.

BCCA Responds to Federal Budget

The Federal Budget 2019 was announced on March 20.

  • A commitment to introduce prompt payment legislation, following the example set in Ontario
  • A plan to introduce a tax credit of $250 per year per worker contribute to the costs of occupational skills training, to a cap of $5000 (this amounts to $250/year for 20 years)
  • The introduction of an EI Training Support Benefit designed to cover employees’ living expenses for up to four weeks when they’re on training leave. Details yet to be worked out.
  • An EI Small Business Premium Rebate to help offset the costs of the new program to small businesses (although the CFIB cautions that the program would end up subsidizing training that doesn’t help employers)
  • $2.2BN top-up of the Federal Gas Tax Fund in support of municipal infrastructure
  • First-time home buyer incentive
  • $35M towards a permanent Global Talent Stream program to help Canadian companies hire skilled overseas workers when no Canadians are available to fill needed jobs

“We’re always glad to see a focus on training and a continued commitment to infrastructure investment, but BC construction employers are dealing with unique challenges at a time of significant construction activity. The Federal budget nods towards industry hot buttons but doesn’t go far enough – a notable exception being the commitment to prompt payment legislation, which we haven’t seen yet from our provincial government.” Says BCCA President Chris Atchison. “ BC contractors need meaningful and tangible solutions today to operational challenges like steel and aluminum tariffs, small business taxes, the flow of federal dollars on infrastructure projects, and skilled workforce – it’s essential for them to remain competitive in this market. For those new policies that are undefined, such as EI Training Support Benefit and Small Businesses Premium Rebate, we certainly would expect that industry be invited to help shape the details.”>

Asbestos Regulations

The BC Government released an asbestos exposure report on January 3, 2019.

The report was prepared by a working group led by the Ministry of Labour and included the ministries of environment and energy, health and municipal affairs and housing as well as WorkSafeBC.

Input was gathered from the construction industry, contractors, workers and employers, homeowners, local governments and union locals. BCCA provided construction industry feedback through our leadership role in the Council of Construction Associations (COCA).

The government report lists 16 recommended actions, and government is asking for further public feedback until Feb. 15, specifically on:

  • options for increasing material disposal capacity
  • the possibility of a licensing or certification requirement for consultants, surveyors and contractors;
  • opportunities to create an incentive-based program for safe asbestos removal practices from buildings;
  • and opinions on a provincially recognized set of standards and programs for training asbestos abatement workers

BCCA and COCA are generally in agreement with the report’s recommendations, which on balance is very good and represents the diverse opinions of the organizations that participated. However, there is a concern that instituting mandatory certification of Asbestos contractors may drive the cost of these services up (as contractors will have to pay more to remain compliant if new standards are added). This in turn may inadvertently fuel the illegal underground economy (the lowest price argument). The reality is professional abatement contractors are already easily identified and on balance are in full compliance with the regulations. We asked the question, does it make sense to focus on professional contractors? Shouldn't the system focus on those who are not compliant?

COCA stressed the need for government to help by developing incentives to encourage homeowners to choose professional contractors through a grant or tax incentive.

Read the full report here.