The Western Journal 2012 - (Page 21)

UPDATES from Manitoba T his year, MCA Manitoba is celebrating 40 years of serving the mechanical contracting industry in Manitoba, causing us to reflect on the past four decades and recall the ups and downs in the industry and in the economy, in global conflicts and peace endeavours, and in national and international politics. What we can say for sure is that there is never a dull moment. And the year in Manitoba has not been dull, either. The “unprecedented flood” of 2011 wreaked havoc with the Manitoba budget, with unplanned expenditures of hundreds of millions of dollars. That being said, the Minister of Finance is still confident that we will have a balanced budget by 2015. The Survey of Major Economic Forecasters projects that Manitoba will grow by 2.4 per cent in 2011 and by 2.5 per cent in 2012. Manitoba Bureau of Statistics show Manitoba’s real GDP expanded 2.5 per cent in 2010. Manitoba has led all provinces in average annual growth over the last five-years (2005–2010) due in a large part to the Provincial Nominee Program. Greg Selinger was re-elected as Manitoba’s Premier in October. The Jets came back to Winnipeg. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were outstanding this season. They went from “worst to first” and played in the Grey Cup game in Vancouver. The new Winnipeg Blue Bomber Stadium, newly named Investor’s Group Field, is expected to be ready for the 2012 CFL season. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights now expects to be open for business in 2014. Work continues to be done on another huge project: IKEA and the Seasons of Tuxedo are expected to be completed sometime in 2012. And Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport finally opened for business October 30, 2011, about one year past due. (There will be legal issues and lawsuits surrounding the delays for years to come. All in a day’s work, as they say.) In our Manitoba Update last year, we reported that an MCA Canada task force is working with the CCDA in analyzing Trade Qualifiers and Interprovincial Red Seal Exam statistics. According to Joe Black, former Certification Commissioner with the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade, the CCDA (Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship) “agreed to further explore the factors that could positively or negatively impact Interprovincial (IP) examination results for apprentices and trade qualifiers in the trades of plumber, steamfitter-pipefitter, sprinkler system installer, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic and welder trades.” The CCDA will be gathering data on jurisdictional exam requirements and practices that will help to clarify the factors that impact outcomes on interprovincial examinations. They will also be exploring what supports are available across the country that help trade qualifiers prepare for their IP certification exams. A future initiative involves researching jurisdictional pass rates. I believe that with this information, eventually the CCDA will be able to develop “best practices” for the Red Seal Program and IP examination process and tell us what is working and what doesn’t work. We were successful in retaining the mandatory gas component in Plumbing, Steam Fitting-Pipefitting, and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic Apprenticeship Programs. All three of these trades are now five-year trades that include the Domestic ‘B’ Gas License. But there is a cost. There have been major curriculum changes to all of these trades effective September 2011. This means a minimum four-year transition phase through which our apprentices have to manoeuvre. They and their employers must be ever vigilant to ensure that they are taking the correct curriculum stream. We’re predicting some associated chaos due to apprentices not passing a particular level or employers not being able to spare an apprentice for technical training in a particular year. In both of those cases, an apprentice who started the program prior to September 2011 may not be able to pick up where he or she left off with the old curriculum. In that case, how does the apprentice get up to speed with the new curriculum? The colleges and Apprenticeship Manitoba are going to have to derive some creative solutions. We have ongoing issues with our Department of Labour, Mechanical and Engineering. We had made some headway last year where the lines of communication had improved dramatically. But since then, there have been major jurisdictional and personnel changes that put us right back where we started. Many of our members are experiencing inspection delays, even no-shows. Beginning with meetings in December, 2011 and January, 2012, we are working with the Province and the Office of the Fire Commissioner to come up with processes that will help everyone involved. We hope that this opens the doors for continuous positive dialogue between our Contractors and the Inspections Division. In addition to MCA Manitoba’s 40th anniversary, we are also anticipating the 2013 MCAC National Conference in Winnipeg. The MCAC Conference Planning Committee has already laid on a tour of the new Canadian Museum of Human Rights and with any luck, that may still happen. Regardless, Winnipeg will be the place to be September 25–28, 2013. MCA Manitoba’s standing scholarship program, established by William J. Atkinson who retired from ABCO Supply and Services, is managed by Red River College. Students continue to benefit from Mr. Atkinson’s generosity. This past October at our Pioneer Night, Andrew Douglas (level 2 Construction Electrician), Jacob Klassen ( 2nd level Plumbing) Steven Verwey (employed by one of very own members, Cobb’s Plumbing & Heating in Portage la Prairie, completed Level 1 Refrigeration), and Romeo Lantano (level 1 Refrigeration) all walked away with cheques for $1000. As of last year, because RRC has done such a wonderful job managing the endowment, Mr. Atkinson has agreed that in addition to awarding $1000 Achievement Awards to top students in Electrical, Plumbing, Steam Fitting and Refrigeration, this fund will also allow for deserving students in the Pre-Employment programs to benefit from $500 bursary awards. Many students have been grateful to Mr. Atkinson for his commitment to quality education and to the mechanical industry. MCA Manitoba has struck a new steering committee to deal with prompt payment legislation. Harry Laarveld, (Euro-Can) is chairing this committee. You can refer to the article in this publication for an update on what is happening across Canada on this important issue. And that’s the kind of year it’s been in Manitoba… ■ MCA Manitoba Events on the Web Visit Mechanical Contractors Associations of Alberta, B.C., Manitoba & Saskatchewan 2012 21

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Western Journal 2012

MCA Canada Message
Alberta Message
British Columbia Message
Manitoba Message
Saskatchewan Message
Alberta Update
British Columbia Update
Manitoba Update
Saskatchewan Update
World Plumbing Day
Victim of Its Own Success
First of Its Kind in Canada
A New Approach: The Future of the Construction Sector Council
Protecting One’s Right to Timely Payment
Clean Energy Pays Big Dividends to Environment and Bottom Line
Index to Advertisers

The Western Journal 2012