The Western Journal 2013 - (Page 17)

UPDATES from Alberta A ccording to Brad Diggens, president of MJS Mechanical Ltd., 2012 was “defi nitely an improvement” over 2011, but “only marginally so.” In Calgary, many projects were slow to start and others were tendered only to determine pricing. Looking at 2013, Diggens expresses a cautious optimism based on recent increased activity. In Edmonton and area, 2012 began with hopes that the much-discussed arena and tower complex, a $2 billion project, would generate construction jobs on many levels. However, as of December, the projects were being re-planned to include office, condo and hotel space. Though developers are hopeful for a spring 2013 ground-breaking, others are doubtful that work will begin that soon. Despite his original optimism, Doug Hill of HVC Canada Construction Ltd. viewed 2012 as a slow year, as the University of Alberta curbed some of its spending and other announced projects have, as yet, not materialized. “Things will pick up as these larger projects come on line; we just don’t know when that will happen,” says Hill. In the meantime, contractors like Hill are completing smaller projects. Rural areas of the province also experienced 2012 as a slow year for construction. Though some areas felt the relief of government infrastructure spending, the south-east corner of the province had to rely on the spill-over from work opportunities further east in Saskatchewan in the active Weyburn-Estevan area where there were labour shortages. Fort Macleod was hit hard when the $120.7 million Alberta Public Security and Law Enforcement Centre project was cancelled in the fall of 2012 even though the construction contract had already been awarded. (Officials agreed that the facility would be underused.) Construction companies struggled through 2012 and were forced to reduce staff. Tim Padfield, President of Pad-Car Mechanical Ltd., in Medicine Hat saw 2012 as a transition year and, though activity is still slow, he feels that “some confidence is returning.” Oil-field related companies and services are now going ahead with large renovation projects and breaking ground in April, 2013 for new construction that had previously been put on hold. Two new schools in Brooks and Medicine Hat are scheduled for ground-breaking this summer, the jobs to be completed by 2014. Another indicator of returning confidence is the $225 million hospital expansion in Medicine Hat, a project that had been put on hold, then downsized from the original $480 million plan. Though the sub-contractor jobs have yet to be tendered, foundation construction began in October, 2012. Padfield is optimistic, but cautious, “We are moving forward on a positive note,” he says, “but there are still some shaky underpinnings.” Neil Tidsbury, president of Construction Labour Relations - Alberta, also has strong expectations for continued growth in Alberta, not only for 2013, but through to 2017. 2012 saw an 18 per cent increase in hours worked through unionized PROMPT PAYMENT LEGISLATION WATCH National Trade Contractors Coalition of Canada (NTCCC) is keeping all provincial construction associations informed of developments concerning proposed Prompt Payment Legislation. Brad Diggens states: “The Mechanical Contractors Association of Alberta, as well as other construction-related trade associations within the province, are all closely watching the progress being made by the industry in Ontario as it relates to proposed Prompt Payment Legislation. We understand that progress is being made among various industry partners within that province on this proposed legislation, including both the Trade and General Contractors, which if successful should produce an industry wide consensus on the wording of Prompt Payment Legislation to be introduced to the Ontario legislature hopefully in the Spring of 2013. Our expectations would be that once this consensus is reached within Ontario, we will move forward on the same issue in Alberta keeping the interests of trade contractors in mind at all times.” contractors. The new bargaining process (2011) has resulted in 83 per cent of collective agreements being settled a month before they were due to expire. “This is precedent setting; no one in Canada has accomplished this,” says Tidsbury, who believes the process is providing the stability it promised. Although the first year of the process began with a wage freeze, years 2–4 introduce formulae that consider economic adjustments. As drivers of the upswing, Tidsbury points to investment in gas and gas exports, several major industrial projects, as well as urban development, especially new towers in Calgary and retail space development in Edmonton and Calgary. Another indicator of growth in the industry is the increase in apprenticeship enrollment. Construction Labour Relations is also focussed on alcohol and drug and safety programs as the industry anticipates an upcoming Supreme Court decision. ■ Mechanical Contractors Associations of Alberta, B.C., Manitoba & Saskatchewan 2013 MCA Alberta on the Web Visit www.mcaab.com 17 http://www.mca-ab.com http://www.naylornetwork.com/mab-nxt

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Western Journal 2013

MCA Canada
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Inspiring Innovation with Current and Future Students
Balancing Industry Growth with Environmental Concerns
An Even Greener British Columbia
Saskatchewan Immigration and the Mechanical Contracting Industry
MSCC : Discover Your Service-Specific Association
Helping To Shape the Talent of Tomorrow
A Living Breathing Building: VIDOInterVac
Index to Advertisers

The Western Journal 2013

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