ACA Opposes Changes to the WCB Accident Fund

On August 10, 2018 ACA sent a letter to the Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) outlining the association’s opposition to proposed changes to the WCB funding policy governing the Accident Fund.

ACA does not support WCB’s proposal to define the Accident Fund as two distinct components: a Worker Benefit Fund and a Safer Workplaces Development Fund. ACA supports the intent to focus on an actuarially sound fully funded Accident Fund that covers current and future claims costs, and related administration and WCB services.

As ACA noted in the June consultation meeting with the WCB, the surpluses generated in 2015-2017 exceed existing investments of WCB premiums in safer workplaces. The creation of a segregated portion risks duplication with existing investments to improve safety such as the funded safety associations and the OHS Futures Fund and potentially weakens the link for employer to safely manage their worksites. It further may create an expectation of a continuous funding source and avoids the issue of funds exceeding quality applications. We believe the sustainability of the funding of the WCB Accident Fund is best maintained by managing funds as a single pool.

You can read the full letter here.

In Memorium: Doug Bate

On July 31st, 2018, Douglas Bate, former chair of ACA, passed away at the age of 69.

He spent his career in the construction industry involved with the companies his father started (Armor Elevator & Bate Industrial Services), but more than that, he spent his career incredibly engaged serving in the Edmonton Construction Association for 13 years including as President in 1986 and in 1991 Doug was named ACA chair after years of service. He served during a difficult period for the industry and the province as a whole during the end of the last major recession.

Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

ACA Expresses Opposition to Altalink Reverse Auctions Plans

On August 8, 2018 ACA sent a letter to Altalink outlining concerns about plans to solicit bids using a reverse bid auction process in relation to design/build services arising from RFP 537 issued August 1, 2018. The Alberta Construction Association (ACA) strongly opposes the use of reverse bid auctions for the procurement of construction services.

The extension of bid closing times and the ability to resubmit prices under a reverse auction is a form of pre-closing negotiation or bid shopping, which compromises a fair and open competitive process. The use of a sealed bid tendering process is the recommended practice for construction procurement in Canada. Under sealed bid tendering, the owner is receiving a contractor’s competitive price for providing the services required. Traditional bidding practices have mechanisms in place to deal with governing laws and regulations, bid and contract security, mistaken bids, and issuance of addenda thereby reducing the likelihood of disputes, bad faith, and risk of claims.

You can read the full letter here.