The Alberta Construction Association Annual General Meeting was held on Friday January 27th, in Edmonton. The meeting brought together the board, our associate members, and local construction associations from across Alberta and government representatives.
Paul Heyens is our new Chair, Paul is the CEO of Alberta Glass. Paul has served with ACA for a number of years. Paul Verhesen moves to Past Chair, Chris Ambrozic is now the Senior Vice Chair, and Ian Reid was named Vice Chair.
Dave Hagen for his tremendous work for ACA was also recognised with the ACA Chair’s Award. Outgoing Chair Paul Verhesen was honoured for his contributions for the construction industry and ACA in particular.
ACA 2017 Executive:
Chair: Paul Heyens – Alberta Glass
Past Chair: Paul Verhesen – Clark Builders
Senior Vice Chair: Chris Ambrozic – Scorpio Masonry
Vice Chair: Ian Reid – Bird Construction
As well as these changes two representatives from the government appeared to speak to our AGM. Deputy Minister of Labour Jeff Parr and Alberta Infrastructure Assistant Deputy Minister Alan Humphries.
Highlights of comments from Jeff Parr:
- Government will strike the balance between fair workplaces and maintaining competitive industries
- The government focus began with the farm sector, then dealt with essential services, and then minimum wage
- WCB review there will be a greater focus and integration on workplace safety. The final report of Panel will be Spring 2017.
- Employment Standards Code – make it more family friendly. The department is looking to bring it forward in a matter of weeks.
- Labor Relations Code – CETA agreement with EU requires Canada and Alberta to adopt all 8 conventions of the International Labor Organization. Likely all stakeholder groups will find something that they dislike about the code. In the next few weeks will begin consulting on a limited number of changes.
- OHS Code – legislation has not been addressed since 1976. Across Canada, OHS has adopted internal responsibility system – ie. Right to know, right to participate, right to refuse unsafe work. He strongly favoured joint worker employer safety committees, applying lean principles by bringing the worker into the decision-making. Labour ministry is looking to encourage partnerships with WCB and others to drive prevention. As well will also foster harmonization across western Canada. Coming out in next few weeks.
Highlights of Alan Humphries comments:
- Capital spend this year and next year $7B a year, capital budget to remain at $35B over 5 years
- Procurement Policy Review – started summer 2016. In Fall, it was extended beyond construction. Focus is on promoting 1) opportunities for Albertans, 2) environmental sustainability, 3) procuring innovation. Currently over 95% AI spending is with Alberta firms
- Report going to Minister Mason next few weeks, then to Cabinet this Spring, to be followed by additional consultations.