On Monday September 15, 2014 Jim Prentice was sworn in as Alberta’s 16th Premier. He also named his new cabinet. The new cabinet has less ministries and a number of new faces including two members who have yet to be elected in former Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel and former board chairman of the Calgary Board of Education Gordon Dirks.

Minister/Associate Minister Ministry, Responsible for
Jim Prentice Premier, President of Executive Council,
Chair of Agenda and Priorities
International and Intergovernmental Relations
Aboriginal Relations
Robin Campbell Finance, President of Treasury Board
Stephen Mandel Health
Diana McQueen Municipal Affairs, Government House Leader
Frank Oberle Energy, Deputy Government House Leader
Gordon Dirks Education
Manmeet Bhullar Infrastructure
Verlyn Olson Agriculture and Rural Development
Heather Klimchuk Human Services
Kyle Fawcett Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
Jonathan Denis Justice and Solicitor General,
Deputy Government House Leader
Jeff Johnson Seniors
Don Scott Innovation and Advanced Education,
Deputy Government House Leader
Maureen Kubinec Culture and Tourism
Wayne Drysdale Transportation
Stephen Khan Service Alberta
Ric McIver Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour
Teresa Woo-Paw Associate Minister of Asia Pacific Relations
(Reporting to the Premier)
Naresh Bhardwaj Associate Minister of Persons with Disabilities (Reporting to the Minister of Human Services)
David Dorward Associate Minister of Aboriginal Relations
(Reporting to the Premier)


Government Whip and Caucus Chair (non-Cabinet position):
George VanderBurg

Legislative Secretaries (non-Cabinet positions):
Sohail Quadri, Legislative Secretary to the Premier (Reporting to the Premier)

Pearl Calahasen, Legislative Secretary, First Nations Education and Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour (Reporting to the Premier and the Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour)

Rick Fraser, Legislative Secretary, Ambulance Services (Reporting to the Minister of Health)

Cal Dallas, Legislative Secretary, Intergovernmental Relations (Reporting to the Premier) Senior Advisor (non-Cabinet position)

Doug Horner, Senior Advisor to the Premier on Internal Trade and Federal and Provincial Relations


The Executive of the 2 associations meet annually to exchange information on issues and priorities.  Shared issues include:

- advocacy for predictable, consistent levels of infrastructure investment

- promotion of private sector solutions to efficient procurement and delivery of public sector infrastructure projects

- promotion of industry standard documents

- opposition to reverse auctions

- exploring prompt payment legislation

-promoting integrated project delivery methods

- strengthening our ties with the heavy resource industry owners

- promoting careers in the architecture / engineering / contracting industry


ACA’s report commissioned from the College of Alberta School Superintendents is now complete. ACA is proud to partner with CASS to develop Inspiring Partnerships as a guide to best practices for relationships between industry and education.  The report accessible from ACA’s website will be promoted to educators, industry and government.  See report here.

Inspiring Education is a compelling vision that Alberta’s education system prepares every student to be an ethical citizen, an engaged thinker embracing life-long learning, with an entrepreneurial spirit.  All Albertans, individuals, communities, and industry can embrace and support this vision. In a skills short world in which Canadians increasingly experience “jobs without people and people without jobs” greater emphasis on career focused education is essential.

Inspiring Partnerships documents best practices such as try a trade and dual credit already employed by your local construction associations. The report also provides templates for successful engagement and partnership.  To assist in moving from ideas to action, ACA and CASS will be seeking to partner with your local construction association to hold regional roundtables later this year.  These roundtables are intended to expand and inspire partners in education, industry, community and government to help enrich the learning experiences of our students and the prosperity of our great Province of Alberta.

The report will be valuable information to ACA’s proposed Education Committee to help ensure ACA adds value to local leadership, where the real work of associations, members, and schools takes place.  As always, please contact ACA should you have any questions or if you wish assistance in forging connections with the educational community.



ACA’s Board met September 15 and approved a number of actions:

- Strategic Operations Review for mid-October (an online survey for member input will be distributed separately).

- Received the CASS Research report Inspiring Partnerships and agreed to pilot regional roundtables to bring together industry and school boards to promote careers in construction (see separate article this newsletter).

- Discussed advocacy strategies with the new government.

- Reviewed progress in promoting industry standard practices with public owners including Alberta Infrastructure and Alberta Health Services.



ACA is pleased to welcome Jonathan to the ACA team.  Jonathan brings a wealth of policy experience at the provincial and municipal levels. Jonathan will bring his expertise in policy and social media to support ACA’s mission in serving members.


Post-summer holidays, ACA advocacy is in full swing.  Meetings this past week include:

Industry Liaison Committee – a new committee with senior leadership of Alberta Infrastructure and industry associations to identify issues and seek resolution

Alberta Health Services – ACA appreciates the thorough response from AHS to ACA recommendations to clarify and amend AHS contracts.  AHS has committed to sharing drafts of revised contracts with ACA and other industry partners prior to implementing a refresh of the existing contracts.  AHS is also contemplating development of short form versions of selected contracts

Consulting Engineers Buildings Committee – ACA thanks CEA for the opportunity to participate and share perspectives on industry issues

ACA also is meeting with provincial politicians to reinforce the need for adequate, sustainable, and predictable investment in provincial and municipal infrastructure.



Alberta and Nova Scotia have signed an agreement in principle to ensure apprenticeship training is transferable between both provinces.

This agreement will improve the recognition of in-province training, allow for the recognition of apprenticeship work experience hours and enhance labour mobility for apprentices in both provinces.

Under this arrangement, if an apprentice takes pre-apprenticeship training at the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) and then moves to Alberta, their training will be recognized. This will save apprentices from writing additional exams or repeating courses.

The two provinces are also working on an agreement that would make the process of moving between Nova Scotia and Alberta easier and less expensive for apprentices to continue their education.

This cooperation between the two provinces will further support Nova Scotia’s efforts to modernize its apprenticeship system. On July 1, the Nova Scotia government transferred the apprenticeship training division of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education to a separate agency focused on getting more employers involved, improving the number of apprenticeship opportunities in the province and helping more apprentices complete their training. The agency will work with industry to identify further opportunities for harmonization of apprenticeship training in the country.

In addition to this agreement, Alberta strongly supports interprovincial mobility of apprentices and journeymen:

  • Alberta is working with other provinces and territories through the New West Partnership agreement and the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship to enhance apprenticeship mobility.
  • Alberta recognizes registered apprentices and journeymen from other Canadian jurisdictions at the same level as their home jurisdiction and facilitates the transition of apprentices between provinces.
  • Under the provisions of the agreement on internal trade, the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board also recognizes the qualifications of journeymen from across Canada.

Actual results for the first quarter show an operational surplus of  $2.6 billion. Based on these results and updated economic and fiscal assumptions for the remainder of the year, a full fiscal plan surplus of $1.4 billion is forecast, up from the $1.1 billion estimate at budget. The full-year operational surplus is now expected to be $3.2 billion, up from $2.6 billion at budget.

Direct borrowing to support the capital plan is now forecast to be $2.1 billion in 2014-15, down from the expected $4.9 billion included in the budget.

Alberta’s economy continues to power ahead. Real GDP is now expected to grow 3.8 per cent in 2014, up from 3.7. This reflects a stronger-than-expected labour market, continued migration into the province and accelerated activity in the business sector. Alberta’s population is now expected to grow by 3.1 per cent, up from 2.9 forecast at budget. Alberta continues to be Canada’s job engine, with employment growth now forecast to be 2.9 per cent in 2014, up from 2.6 in budget.


2014-15 First Quarter results for the three months ended June 30 ($ millions)

Full year forecast Budget
Total Revenue $44,354 $45,269 +$915
Operational Expense $40,432 $40,760 +$328
Operational Surplus $2,644 $3,168 +$524
Change in net assets
(fiscal plan surplus)
$1,087 $1,385 +$298


First three months actuals Estimate Actual Change
Operational Revenue $11,236 $12,107 +$871
Operational Expense $9,804 $9,543 (-$261)
Operational Surplus $1,432 $2,564 +$1,132


Balance sheet 2013-14
year end
2014-15 forecast Change
Heritage Fund and endowments $18,562 $19,000 +$438
Contingency Account $4,658 $5,000 +$342


Capital Plan Budget
Capital Plan spending $6,599 $7,297 +$698
Direct borrowing $4,883 $2,092 (-$2,791)







(Courtesy of Associated General Contractors of America TechBrief)

The business world is increasingly incorporating mobile devices into everyday operations, and construction – a trillion dollar industry – is no different. For example, the iPad came out in the year 2010 and by 2013 there were over 13,000 construction-related apps on the market. It is predicted that by 2015, 100 percent of contractors will have a smart phone and 60 percent will own tablets. So how can the construction industry best leverage mobile devices to see the most meaningful impact? Here are a few tips.
Learn More…

Aug 252014

(Courtesy of Associated General Contractors of America TechBrief)


With record attendance of more than 300 construction IT professionals, the AGC IT Forum delivered another top-notch conference this year in Chicago.
Learn More…
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