Building Rural Manitoba Q1 - 2016

Page 1


The Official Publication of the Construction Association of Rural Manitoba

ISSUE 1, 2016



PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: The Brandon Municipal Airport Expansion

This year, Canadian construction workers

lost 1,489

lunch buckets, 43 jackhammers and 3 sets

of dentures. Talk about constructive thinking. At AQ Group Solutions, we know full well that our clients want us to take the tough administrative stuff off their plates. So we build innovative, industry specific programs from the ground up and handle all of the administration. Last year our dedicated Plan Member Advocacy Team saved our clients an average of 2 ½ weeks of reported employee work time by taking care of employee claims and queries. Saving time and money. Have we forgotten anything?

Visit us at or call 1-888-989-2006

Fortunately, 2,246

of them found

AQ Group

Solutions. Helping you mind your business




This year, Canadian construction workers Manitoba Hydro Service Centre - Ashern

lost 1,489

Hemp Oil Canada Processing Facility & Office - Ste. Agathe

lunch buckets, 43 jackhammers and 3 sets Douglas Street Apartments - Brandon

Talk about constructive thinking. At AQ Group Solutions, we know full well that our clients want us to take the tough administrative stuff off their plates. So we build innovative, industry specific programs from the ground up and handle all of the administration. year our dedicated Multi-purpose Recreation Facility -Last Virden Plan Member Advocacy Team saved our clients an average of 2 ½ weeks of reported employee work time by taking care of employee claims and queries. Saving time and money. Have we forgotten anything?

of dentures.

Ste. Anne Hospital - Ste. Anne

Fortunately, 2,246

of them found

AQ Group

Manitoba Hydro Service Centre - Neepawa


Delivering exceptional value to our clients for over 100 years.

Visit us at Helping you mind your business or call 1-888-989-2006 Call us at (204) 235-5311 to speak with one of our construction professionals about your building needs.

Providing the Tools you Need to Protect your Business

Guild Specializes in the following Products and Services:

Risk management is an essential part of every business. Construction Insurance & Bonding Specialists: Nate Andrews, CAIB, CRM Construction Insurance & Risk Management

Cheryl Schwalm, CIP, CAIB Contract Surety

• Business • Commercial • Risk Management Services • Bonding • Group Benefits • 24 HR Emergency Claims Service • Auto/Drivers Licensing

• Mobile • Life/Financial • Seasonal • Marine • Railroad • Travel • Home • Condo • Tenants

Home Office: 2830 Victoria Avenue | Brandon, MB | R7B 3X1 P. (204) 729-4949 | Toll Free:. 1-866-277-4949 | F. (204) 728-1515 Shoppers Mall Branch: 1570-18th Street | Brandon, MB | R7A 5C5 BRANDON • WAWANESA • VIRDEN • CARBERRY • SHILO

20 contents





Executive Director’s Message Moving Forward in 2016



President’s Message Industry’s Challenges are CARM’s Opportunities


CARM Membership Benefits


CARM Members


CARM Events

40 Municipalities Deserve a Fair Share – And a Fair Say AMM – and the majority of Manitobans – believe local governments need more input in how infrastructure dollars are allocated and spent


Workplace Education Know and Grow Essential Skills


Legal Counsel Builder’s Liens: 40 Days and 40 (Sleepless) Nights


Dollars and Sense Can an ESOP Cure Owner Insomnia?


Mayors’ Perspectives

46 Untapped Potential Engaging and retaining First Nations workers has its challenges and rewards


Ben Wiebe Memorial Award Winner


2016 CARM Annual General Meeting



2016 Westman Construction Expo


CCA’s 2016-17 Industry Priorities rundown of initiatives and updates coming this year A


Succession Progression usiness owners in the construction industry are B notorious for not having succession plans in place. Find out why having one is as integral to your business as you are – and how to get started.

Paying Attention to Retention xpert advice on keeping top E employees in your company

MEMBER PROFILES G.D. Newton & Associates Inc. his Brandon-based engineering firm focuses on T providing services to organizations involved in the development of public or community infrastructure

24 John’s Electric Ltd. Angus and Cathy Ford have made their business a family affair for more than 15 years


unicipal Airport Expansion Project M Taking Brandon to New Heights CARM members leading the way on renovation of transportation hub 32

Souris School Renovates for Efficiency ade-in-Manitoba products and companies M came together to complete major upgrades

ON THE COVER: Managing people is a challenging yet important part of what makes a business succeed. From hiring the right staff, to understanding the best ways to keep your employees productive, happy and at the top of their game to preparing for the best way to exit your company and leave it in the best hands, staffing matters. For tips, advice and insight on how to focus on your team, start reading on page 42. BUILDING RURAL MANITOBA  | 3



Serving Southwestern Manitoba since 1960


108 Richmond Avenue East • Brandon, MB • R7A 7G1 Phone: 204-728-3388 • Fax: 204-727-3748 •


The Official Publication of the Construction Association of Rural Manitoba

Karen Roe, Executive Director, CARM

Published for

Unit B 950 – 10th St. Brandon, MB  R7A 6B5 Toll-Free: 1-800-798-7483 Phone: 204-727-4567 Fax: 204-727-1048 Published by

701 Henry Ave. Winnipeg, MB  R3E 1T9 Phone: 204-953-2189 Fax: 204-953-2184 President & Publisher, Jeff Lester EDITORIAL Editorial Director, Jill Harris Managing Editor, Kristy Rydz Editorial Assistant, Andrew Harris ADVERTISING Sales Manager, Sharon Komoski Account Executives, Walter Lytwyn, Brian Saunders DESIGN & LAYOUT Art Director, Myles O’Reilly Designers, Crystal Carrette, Jessica Landry, John Lyttle, Gayl Punzalan DISTRIBUTION Nikki Manalo

Moving Forward in 2016


xciting and dynamic are understatements when describing the past 16 months since commencing my position with CARM. I was, and continue to be, very fortunate to have an amazing Board of Directors and two highly talented team members to work with as we learned our roles at the CARM office. It is a privilege to continually meet and work with individuals so committed to this organization and the industry. Motivation is high as we move forward to accomplish 2016 goals, set by the Board of Directors and the Standing Committees. Providing exceptional and value-added services to our CARM members is always paramount but also in 2016, we will focus heavily on developing and sustaining partnerships that enrich opportunities for CARM members, outreach to communities within rural Manitoba, education and training that is in sync with member and industry needs, as well as growing the CARM Community Project Fund to support this important Initiative. I strongly encourage members, future members and any organization that would appreciate the opportunity to voice their concerns, successes and needs within the construction industry in rural Manitoba to contact me directly. It is CARM’s goal to have a major impact on the industry through assisting those engaged as users and providers of construction services across the province. We cannot be an essential, viable organization without your input. The CARM office wants to hear from you.  n

© 2016 CARM

Statements of fact and opinion are the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of the officers or members of CARM or Lester Communications Inc. Publication Mail Agreement #40606022 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: 701 Henry Ave. Winnipeg, MB  R3E 1T9 Printed in Canada. Please recycle where facilities exist.

“ We cannot be an essential, viable organization without your input.”


All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of CARM. Direct requests for reprint permission should be made to the executive director of the Construction Association of Rural Manitoba.


Building a Foundation for Success In today’s competitive marketplace, construction companies know they need to carefully manage growth and retain the right people to be successful. Enabling employees to take an ownership interest in your enterprise not only provides a unique way to engage the experienced people you need, it has significant tax benefits. MNP’s business advisors understand the issues and challenges you face and can help you explore all your options. Working closely with you, we’ll help you to maximize the returns and reduce the overall risk exposure of your business. Contact Carla Milne, CPA, CA, at 204.727.0661 or

Make the switch to LED. Financial incentives on approved products can cover up to 100 per cent of the product cost. Ask about our financial incentives for: • LED lamps and fixtures; • LED outdoor lighting; • Occupancy sensors, lighting controls, and more. Contact us: 204-727-9222

6  |  Issue 1,  2016

*Manitoba Hydro is a licensee of the Trademark and Official Mark.


Executive Committee

Kelvin Orr, President, CARM

President Kelvin Orr

Horizon Builders Ltd.

Vice-President Jared Jacobson

Jacobson & Greiner Group of Companies

Industry’s Challenges are CARM’s Opportunities


Carla Milne MNP LLP


Chuck Judd


Jamieson-Judd Electrical Construction & Maintenance Ltd.

he Construction Association of Rural Manitoba (CARM) was established over 100 years ago in challenging times for the construction industry. It was established to bring the construction community together to try to work to overcome these challenges as a unified group. Over the last 100-plus years, we have seen many changes but one thing has remained constant – CARM’s commitment to helping their members and the construction industry as a whole. Whether it is as a representative speaking to the Construction Industry Wage Act, assuring that our members had a voice, or lobbying government on issues like working with the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) to amend their current system, CARM has been at the table. I believe that we are again in some challenging times with low prices resulting in the oil industry pulling in their horns, the low Canadian dollar and the change in government. The private sector has adopted a wait-and-see attitude, which has affected construction starts in that sector for the past year or so. With the experts saying that it will be years, not months, for the oil industry to rebound, this will put some stress on our membership in more than one way. Lower private sector construction starts and competition from out of province

Past President Chris Johnston

Directors at Large Aaron Jackson B.D.R. Services Ltd.

Brad Dodds B.G. Dodds Building & Contracting Ltd.

Daniel Burns Burns-Maendel Consulting Engineers Ltd.

Ryan Jones J&M Industries Ltd.

Chris Fortier Excel Design & Construction

Derek Cullen Meighen Haddad LLP

Mike Peters KC&B Build

Glen Newton Rob Greenwood C & R Sheetmetal Ltd.

Steve McMillan Jacobson & Greiner Group of Companies

Todd Szafron Able Eavestroughing Ltd.

Zac Penner T.L. Penner Construction Inc.


G.D. Newton and Associates Inc.



“ Over the next two years, my goal is to engage our members in the kinds of training needed for office and field staff alike and try to cater to these needs. I believe that in this ever-changing industry, knowledge is king and it will be the informed that will succeed.”

will, no doubt, impact CARM members. I see this as not only a challenge to our members, but as an opportunity for our association to again help our members in a unified effort to get through this difficult time. Over the years, CARM has had to change and adapt to the constantly evolving construction industry. I see this now more than ever with technology becoming more and more important. My challenge over the next two years will be to keep CARM a current and useful tool. This is a collective effort and we will need input from all members moving forward. As I transition into the president’s role, Chris Johnston is transitioning out. Jared Jacobson is moving into vice president, Carla Milne is taking over as treasurer and Chuck Judd will stay on as

secretary. Chris has done an exceptional job as president over the past two years and has left big shoes to fill, literally and figuratively. Over his two years he has seen a total transition in staff and a flood in the Construction Safety Association of Manitoba (CSAM) office space. The flood resulted in structural upgrades to the building and negotiations with CSAM and insurance. Needless to say, Chris has spent many hours of his own time to make sure that CARM’s interests were protected. He was also an integral part of lobbying WCB on reworking their current rate model. Chris has had a busy two years and we all owe him a big thank you for his efforts. The change in staff has brought in a great new team: Karen Roe as executive director along with Jackie De Carlo and Robyn Gibb

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CARM Board of Directors (left to right) Back Row: Chris Johnston, Derek Cullen. 2nd Row: Mike Peters, Chris Fortier, Cheryl Schwalm (outgoing), Ken Hardy (outgoing), Steve McMillan, Zac Penner, Chuck Judd, Glen Newton. Front Row: Kelvin Orr, Brad Dodds, Rob Greenwood, Jared Jacobson, Carla Milne, Aaron Jackson. Not in photo incoming members: Daniel Burns and Ryan Jones

to round out the office. With each staff member having to multi-task with planroom and administrative duties, as well as helping with the different committees and events, I’m proud of how this passionate team has stepped up to meet the challenge. The CARM office team has brought our membership numbers up and has worked on relationships with the Winnipeg Construction Association (WCA), rural municipalities and many more. This has helped to get the association’s name recognized and has shown how CARM’s work can benefit many different organizations. I believe this will be a great benefit in the coming years. CARM has also focused on education and training recently by offering many sessions on timely and beneficial topics and issues. Over the next two years, my goal is to engage our members in the kinds of training needed for office and field staff alike and try to cater to these needs. I believe that in this ever-changing industry, knowledge is king and it will be the informed that will succeed. Our team also sees the importance of working with the next generation of trades people to show them what the construction industry has to offer. I believe that CARM has achieved this goal through working with Assiniboine Community College on the Westman Construction Expo and TQ training courses, among other projects. I know we need to engage the next generation as they are all of our futures. Without qualified trades people ready to take over when we need them, our industry will face great adversity. In conclusion, I would like to thank all existing, new and past board members for their time and effort to keep CARM a relevant and meaningful tool for all of our members.  n BUILDING RURAL MANITOBA  | 9

Site Preparation and Development | Sub-divisions | Road Building | Surface Water Drainage Sewer/Water Installations and Improvements | Stabilization Pond Construction and Repairs Commercial and Residential Installations

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CARM Membership Benefits


CARM offers three levels of membership – choose the level that best suits your needs All CARM members receive the following membership benefits: • Rural Report newsletter • Biannual Building Rural Manitoba magazine • Annual listing in the CARM Membership Directory & Buyers’ Guide • Discount programs for fuel, work clothes, hotels, etc. • Discounted rated on wide-format copying and scanning • Access to industry-specific group benefits plan • Commissioner for Oaths service free-of-charge • Access to library material, education and training sessions • Interaction with peers through regularly scheduled social events such as the annual banquet, golf tournament and curling bonspiel • Representation to governments, owners and design authorities • Free job postings on the CARM website

Regular Membership Regular membership is for companies engaged in construction or those who distribute or supply to construction companies for work on jobsites. These members receive our weekly Project News email newsletter and have full access to the planroom in the CARM office for viewing or borrowing of hard copy plans.

Online Membership Online membership is for companies engaged in construction, those who distribute or supply to construction companies for work on jobsites and those who want to have 24-hour electronic access to all construction information. This includes all drawings, specifications and automated notifications through access to our online planroom. Online members receive the weekly Project News email newsletter and have full access to the planroom in the CARM office for viewing or borrowing of hard-copy plans.

Associate Membership Associate memberships are for companies that support the work of construction companies by providing products or services used on jobsites. These companies include businesses such as accountants, lawyers, engineers, banks and insurance companies. Associate members receive those benefits listed in the “All CARM Memberships” section above; however, they do not have access to the online or physical planroom at the CARM office.



Group Health: A Flexible, Service Driven Program Benefits programs are individually designed with flexibility and your unique organizational needs in mind. Extended health, dental care, life insurance, short and long term disability, critical conditions coverage, employee assistance plans, and health spending account access can all be covered under the multi-optional program. By choosing options suited to the particular firms, each CARM member company can obtain a customized program at lower cost rates then fixed, large-scale health plans. Member companies are also eligible for the powerful AQuity 360 program, ensuring rate sustainability and time-saving services.

Group Retirement Solutions


Designated to help you attract, retain and provide affordable retirement planning for your employees, the CARM group RRSP/DPSP program enables member companies of all sizes to design taxadvantaged group retirement savings programs with the flexibility your business requires.

12  |  Issue 1,  2016

Some additional features are: • Easy set-up and administration • Flexible and tailored to fit your company’s needs • Lower management fees • Immediate tax savings to employer and employee • Professional investment management • Access to individual financing counselling For more information on these programs, please call: AQ Group Solutions 220 – 226 Osborne St. N., Winnipeg, MB  R3C 1V4 Phone: 1-888-989-2006, 204-989-2006, Fax: 204-989-2009

Networking Opportunities CARM hosts several social events throughout the year which provide our member companies the opportunity to network with other members, government, design and supply representatives.  n


MEMBERS ABCO Supply & Service Ltd. Able Eavestroughing Ltd. Accent Striping & Lettering Co. Ltd. Advantage Auto and Trailer AJ’S Maintenance & Supply Ltd. All Pipe & Mechanical Ltd. All Points Electric Allen & Bolack Excavating Ltd. Alpine Drywall & Plastering (2007) Ltd. Alternative Landscaping Ltd. Aon Reed Stenhouse AQ Group Solutions Assiniboine Community College B.A. Robinson Co. Ltd. B.D.R. Services Ltd. B.G. Dodds Building and Contracting Ltd. Ballingall Brothers Ltd. Battlefield Equipment Rentals – The CAT Rental Store BDO Canada LLP Ben Wiebe Construction (1985) Ltd. Blue Hills Trailer & Fabricating Ltd. Bockstael Construction Limited Brandon Bearing Ag & Industrial Supply Ltd. Brandon Chamber of Commerce Brandon Energy Efficiency Program Brandon Heating & Plumbing (1998) Ltd. Brandon Home Hardware Building Centre Brandon University Brock White Canada Co. Burns Maendel Consulting Engineers Ltd. Business Development Bank of Canada C & C Construction Co. Ltd. C & R Sheetmetal Ltd. C.S.A. Construction Cando Rail Services Ltd. Carberry Sandhills Electric Ltd. Centec Electric & Controls Ltd. Central Manitoba Interiors Ltd. (CMI Ltd.) City of Brandon CLC Carpentry Clint Moffat & Sons Ltd. CMS Services Inc. Cobbe’s Plumbing & Heating Ltd. Collyer Construction Community Electric Ltd. Conquest Trucking Construction Safety Association of Manitoba Contractor’s Corner Crafts Men Painting Ltd. Crane Steel Structures Ltd. Creative Door Services Cutting Edge Construction D.M. Eddie Engineering Inc. Darcy Van Damme Construction Dee’s Electric Ltd. DG Konkin Construction Domtek Building Products Don Cullen Masonry & Tile

Donald Legal Services East Side Ventilation EECOL Electric Ltd. Ellwood-McRorie Ltd. Emco Waterworks Excel Design & Construction Figol Electric Ltd. Fireball Equipment Ltd. Flynn Canada Ltd. Fort Garry Industries Ltd. G.D. Newton and Associates Inc. Gaiser Construction Specialists Gill’s Plumbing & Heating Glendale Industries Ltd. Got Mats? Grace Construction Ltd. Graham Construction and Engineering Grand Valley Mechanical Guild Insurance Brokers Inc. GVC o/a Grand Valley Contracting Hamilton Iron Ltd. Hardy Electric Ltd. Hay Decorating Co. Ltd. Heritage Woodworking Hertz Equipment Rentals Hilti Canada Ltd. Horizon Builders Ltd. Hunt Miller & Co. LLP Innovative Plumbing & Heating Ltd. Irwin Flooring and Tile Ltd. J&M Industries Ltd. Jacobson & Greiner Group of Companies Jamieson Construction (6832157 MB Ltd) Jamieson-Judd Limited Electrical Construction & Maintenance Jenkins The Flooring People John’s Electric Ltd. Johnson’s Commercial and Industrial Services (JCI) KC&B Build Keller Developments Kempthorne Roofing and Construction Ltd. Ken Beatty Construction Ltd. Kennedy Floorings Kroeger Backhoe Ladel Construction Ltd. Leech Printing Ltd. Lehigh Cement Ltd. Lewis Instruments Ltd. Livingstone Landscaping Ltd. Logan Stevens Construction (2000) Ltd. LRB Electric Manitoba Construction Sector Council Manitoba Finance Manitoba Hydro Manitoba Water Services Board Mazergroup Construction Equipment McMunn & Yates Building Supplies Meighen Haddad LLP Mid-Canada Fasteners & Tools Ltd.

Millcosteel Ltd. Minish Construction Ltd. MLK Construction & Leasing Ltd. MNP LLP Modern Industrial Structures Brandon Moore Industrial Ltd., (M.I. Construction Supply) Morguard Reit – Shoppers Mall Neepawa Plumbing & Heating Nickel Electric Ltd. Noble Electric Ltd. Nodaco Building Solutions Inc. Off the Wall Signs Inc. Pinchin Ltd. Powell Construction Ltd. Power Vac Premier Commercial Builders Pyramid Steel Construction Ltd. R & M Homes Ltd. RAF Engineering Rainbow Eavestroughing Ltd. Rob Smith & Son Backhoe & Trucking Ltd. Roger Branum Construction Rosehill Woodcrafters Ltd. RTM Transport Ltd. Rural Municipality of Yellowhead Sargent Lock & Safe Ltd. Simard Industrial Inc. Snow Spruce Construction Ltd. South End Lumber (1978) Ltd. Structure Scan Inc. Sunrise Framing Ltd. T.L. Penner Construction Inc. Tasmanian Gravel Ltd. Thorpe Construction Tim-Br-Fab Industries Total Welding Services Tri-Wave Construction Ltd. True Dimensions Contracting United Rentals of Canada Inc. Universal Doors Ltd. V & R Electrical Ltd. Van Heyst Brothers Construction Vector Construction Webber Printing Wesman Salvage Western Asphalt Products Western Concrete Products Western Financial Group Westman Communications Group Westoba Credit Union Ltd. Wheat City Concrete Products Ltd. Wolseley Mechanical Group Wood Electric Workers Compensation Board Wurtz Bros. Ltd. Zenith Paving Ltd.



Maintenance & Supply Ltd. Refrigeration HVAC Plumbing RESIDENTIAL-COMMERCIAL-INDUSTRIAL P.O. Box 1, Channing, MB R0B 0C0 Phone: 306-688-3350 | Fax: 306-688-3351 | Email us at:

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Pipeline Maintenance Excavation Backfill & Compaction Hydrovac Hazardous site clean-up Demolition & Disposal Grading & Leveling Site Preparation & Development Sewer & Water Drainage Shale & Gravel Tank Foundations, Lots & Berm Construction • Landscaping and much more

DOING IT RIGHT Ph.: 204-242-2666 Box 603 Manitou, MB R0G 1G0

14  |  Issue 1,  2016


Bob Parley Honoured The late Bob Parley of Crafts Men Painting Ltd. was the 2015 Ben Wiebe Memorial Award recipient. Gord and Brian Parley accepted the award on behalf of their father at CARM’s Annual Banquet and Fundraiser for Community Projects in October. The award is presented to an individual who demonstrates commitment to the industry and their community while always going above and beyond for others – the same qualities Ben Wiebe demonstrated throughout his life. Thank you to Ben Wiebe Construction (1985) Ltd. for donating the award plaque and $200 to the charity of the Parley family’s choice.  n


2016–17 CARM Networking EVENTS 34th Annual Golf Tournament June 2, 2016 – Shilo Golf & Country Club, Shilo, Man.

103rd Annual Banquet

Oct. 21, 2016 – Royal Oak Inn, Brandon, Man.

CARM Annual General Meeting

Feb. 23, 2017 – CARM Boardroom, Brandon, Man.

For sponsorship or event information, please contact the CARM office at 204-727-4567.


into the


for all your lighting needs


Visit our state of the art showroom located at 1040 Waverley Street BUILDING RURAL MANITOBA  | 15


























2424 Hour HourSpill SpillResponse Response Trans Canada Trans Canada Bioremediation Ltd. Bioremediation Ltd. C-1561 Street 1561 ErinErin Street Winnipeg, MB R3E Winnipeg, MB R3E 2T22T2 P: 204-775-6340 P: 204-775-6340 E: E: 16  |  Issue 1,  2016

Mike Kotelniski

Senior LPT/Estimator

1561 Erin St., Unit C Winnipeg, MB R3E 2T2

O: 204-219-3723 F: 204-219-5594 C: 204-918-7974

Saving the world, one station at a time


2016 CARM Annual General Meeting


ARM held its Annual General Meeting on Feb. 25, 2016. In addition to reviewing financial statements, 2015 committee accomplishments and 2016 goals, the 2016 Board of Directors and Executive Committee were confirmed. Chris Johnston, now past president, extended a warm welcome to incoming President Kelvin Orr of Horizon Builders Ltd. CARM’s vice-president is Jared Jacobson of J&G Group of Companies and the new treasurer is Carla Milne of MNP LLP. Chuck Judd of Jamieson-Judd Electrical Construction Ltd. holds the position of secretary for the Executive Committee. Welcome to new board members, Ryan Jones of J&M Fencing Services and Daniel Burns of Burns Maendel Consulting Engineers Ltd. A big thank you to Ken Hardy for his work on the board and executive and to Cheryl Schwalm for her years of service. Your volunteer time and input has been very appreciated by the board, the CARM office and our membership. Moving forward into 2016, the board plans to focus on matters that assist current and future members and the industry in rural Manitoba. Watch the CARM website and our Facebook page for continual updates.  n

Chris Johnston, past president of the CARM Board of Directors, at the Feb. 25 meeting at the CARM office in Brandon, Man.


The Hertz Equipment Rental fleet is one of the largest and broadest in the industry. We are your source for construction, industrial, landscaping, and homeowner equipment rental needs. No matter where the job site is, we have you covered. You’ll find all types of rental and purchase programs to meet your needs. • Aerial • Climate Control • Earthmoving • Electric Tools • Energy

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• Flooring & Installation • Sporting Goods • Housewares • Giftware

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Home Owners helping homeowners BUILDING RURAL MANITOBA  | 17

Rental Power and Heating for Any Project. Aggreko and ICS have teamed together to provide you with reliable power and heaters for your construction site. With indirect, indirect hydronic, and ground thaw heaters and generators from 30kW to multi-megawatts, we offer planning, installation and distribution with 24/7service support. Contact us today to find out how cost-effective rental power and heating can support your business. Aggreko and ICS, Power and Heater Specialists in Construction. Serving all of Manitoba.

Bird Construction

1055 Erin Street Winnipeg, Manitoba P: 204-775-7141

T: 204-757-4844 E: 18  |  Issue 1,  2016

st. john’s • halifax • saint john • wabush • montreal • toronto • winnipeg • calgary • edmonton • st. albert • vancouver




he second annual Westman Construction Expo was held on March 8 & 9, 2016 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon, Man. In total, 546 students from 21 high schools in southwestern Manitoba attended the two-day event held in conjunction with the Brandon Career Symposium. The goal of the event is to introduce high school students to skilled trades in the construction industry and provide an opportunity for participants to “Try-theTrade” at each of the 11 stations offered. The Construction Safety Association of Manitoba (CSAM) provided a safety orientation to all participants as they entered the venue and SAFE Work Manitoba offered an excellent fall arrest and personal protection equipment (PPE) demonstration for students. An information booth for the high school registered apprenticeship program was available and CARM had a booth where student feedback forms were solicited and collected. Forty-two per cent of the students rated the Try-theTrade feature as five out of five, with 36 per cent rating it four out of five. When asked if the event helped with career exploration and decisions, 82 per cent of the students responded yes and 90 per cent of the respondents would recommend the expo to a friend. This fantastic feedback is a reflection of the hard work and great planning of the committee and exhibitors for another successful event. A special thank you to Community Futures for being the major sponsor for 2016. We look forward to the 2017 Westman Construction Expo and engaging more high school students to explore skilled trades careers in the construction industry.  n

Over 500 students from 21 southwestern Manitoba schools attended this year’s Westman Construction Expo

Phone: (204) 633-2567 | Fax: (204) 694-5622 P.O. Box 48, Group 200, RR#2 Winnipeg, MB R3C 2E6 BUILDING RURAL MANITOBA  | 19

G.D. NEWTON & ASSOCIATES INC. This Brandon-based engineering firm focuses on providing services to organizations involved in the development of public or community infrastructure By Lisa Kopochinski


Proper planning is vital Newton says the planning of a project is an extremely important stage as the objective needs to be consistent with the many regulations that will be encountered throughout the development process. “Guidance can be provided, which will assist in obtaining approval for the development, resulting in the timely completion of the project,” he says. Commonly, the design of a public infrastructure project, for example, includes lot grading, streets, sewer, water, drainage systems and more. This may be part of an expansion or creation of a new community or development. 20  |  Issue 1,  2016

This dike was constructed in 2011 adjacent to the wastewater treatment plant in Souris, Man. for flood protection PHOTOS COURTESY OF G.D. NEWTON & ASSOCIATES INC.

ou can take the boy out of the farm, but can you take the farm out of the boy? For Glen Newton, owner of G.D. Newton & Associates Inc., an engineering firm based in Brandon, Man., he says in many ways he still views himself as that farm kid from Neepawa, Man. “You learn to build and fix whatever is necessary to make the farm operate,” he says. “It’s really similar to being an engineer, except you learn to do it with your own hands.” After graduating from the University Manitoba with an engineering degree in 1984, Newton worked in several different capacities for a private consultant, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Brandon. “I worked in design engineering before managing operations for 50-plus provincially owned water treatment plants,” he says. “In many ways this job was the most fun of any of my jobs. It involved work in many rural towns. That brings a different perspective to life than what you normally see in a city setting. It also allows for a lot of ingenuity when working with other talented people when solving a huge array of problems.” However, in 1997, Newton decided to leave public enterprise as the manager of Public Works for the City of Brandon and set up a company called B&G Utilities Ltd., which he continues to run today. “At the time it was the first private water utility operation in Manitoba,” he says. “I was simply asked by several individuals to manage small projects on their behalf. They were looking for an engineer and there really weren’t any other private engineers in the area to do this kind of work. It was never my intention to set up a consulting business and I was, and still am, much more of an operations person.” It was his intention, though, to develop a construction company. “But simply due to the number of requests to provide project management and consulting services, the engineering business became a good opportunity to pursue,” he explains. While operating B&G Utilities Ltd., Newton also established Glen Newton Engineering, which is now called G.D. Newton & Associates Inc. Today, the company has a staff of five and focuses on providing services to organizations involved in the development of public or community infrastructure. Clients include towns, municipalities, camps, private developers and similar organizations. “We provide all the essential services to take a project from the most preliminary stage of planning to the point of project completion,” explains Newton. “We have the expertise and experience to fulfill a company’s planning, engineering, drafting, administration and project management needs.”


This land drainage sewer installation in 2015 along Kircaldy Drive in Brandon, Man. helped in flood prevention. It included concrete pipe, box culvert and PVC sewer pipe. Sizes are between 375 mm and 2,400 mm.

The watermain renewal project in September 2011 at 26th and McDonald Ave. in Brandon, Man.



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22  |  Issue 1,  2016

“All services can be tailored to meet the needs of the client,” he stresses. “Each location is somewhat unique, which may result in the need for a few specific services or all of the services we provide – project management, surveying, machine control, drainage and storm water management and water assessment.” Occasionally there are unique circumstances that require detailed expertise that G.D. Newton & Associates does not possess. “In these cases, we have a good relationship with other firms that we can subcontract with to obtain the expertise required to meet the client’s needs,” he adds. Most of the G.D. Newton & Associates’ work is concentrated in the Brandon area, although the firm’s projects in the potable water industry has allowed it to provide services throughout virtually all of southern Manitoba, from just north of Swan River, Man. to the U.S. border. “We address work with potable water treatment, land development, municipal infrastructure, project management, land drainage and construction survey services,” Newton says. “One service that we have provided to several contractors is modelling ground surfaces to compliment equipment with machine control. This certainly caters to the idea of enjoying building or fixing something physical versus just designing a project.”


G.D. Newton and Associates Inc. staff includes (from left): Marc Chapin, project manager/design technologist; Sarah Santiago, E.I.T., engineering assistant; Greg Mowat, survey and inspection; and Donna Marsh, office administrator

Memorable projects With an impressive portfolio of projects, one in particular stands out as the most rewarding and memorable, Newton says. “It was providing on-site survey and engineering services for the town of Souris, Man. during the 2011 flood. This was the largest, most complex and time-restricted project that I have ever encountered. Essentially, a dike system had to be constructed in tight residential areas of the town that was extremely large and had to be constructed in approximately seven days. It involved approximately 100 pieces of heavy equipment, several hundred soldiers from the Canadian Armed Forces, several hundred volunteers, plus staff from the Province of Manitoba and the Town of Souris.” He says other notable projects have been a combination of land development projects within the City of Brandon. “We have designed and managed projects – or both – for the vast majority of the land development in Brandon over the past 12 years,” says Newton.

CARM and the future G.D. Newton & Associates has been a member of the Construction Association of Rural Manitoba (CARM) for the past three years. “The primary benefit we receive from membership is the exposure it provides to

contractors or others involved in the construction industry,” Newton says. As for the near future, Newton remains focused on the slowdown in the housing and oil sectors in this part of Manitoba.

“We will be looking to diversify our operations,” he adds. “We will be addressing the rebuilding of rural infrastructure and examining several new markets that, I believe, are quite intriguing.”  n

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“ We have to keep up with the technology in homes and commercial buildings, everything new coming down the pipe.” – Cathy Ford, Co-Owner and Administrator, John’s Electric Ltd.

24  |  Issue 1,  2016



Angus and Cathy Ford have made their business a family affair for more than 15 years By Barb Feldman


ohn’s Electric Ltd., which has been serving the Neepawa, Man. and Westman area since 1975, does all types of electrical work for commercial, farming, industrial and residential buildings. Angus Ford, a journeyman electrician, worked for John’s Electric for many years before buying the business from the Bamlett family in 1992, says Cathy Ford, Angus’s wife, the business’s co-owner and administrator. Today, the company that started out with about 10 employees, has two locations, with a main office in Neepawa and a satellite office in Dauphin, Man. that opened a year ago and employs 27 people, including five apprentices. “We service from the TransCanada north all the way up to Swan River, so all of Westman and the Parkland region,” Cathy says. John’s Electric has always been a family business for the Fords. Angus and Cathy’s son, Ryan, now 33, started working for them at 15 during summers when he was in high school and full-time, “the day after he graduated and started his training as a Level One electrical apprentice,” recalls his mother. His brother, Kyle, 31, decided that he’d also rather be an electrician after qualifying as an early and middle-years teacher. Ryan and Kyle are now both among the company’s journeyman electricians. The Fords’ daughter, Aydra, now a sales assistant for a financial company, also used to work for the company in the summers, says Cathy. “She swears she’ll never work for the family business,” she adds, “but we’ve heard that before!”


Keeping up with the newest technologies Since 2008, John’s Electric has been COR™ certified with the Construction Safety Association of Manitoba. “We have to keep up with the technology in homes and commercial buildings, everything new coming down the pipe,” says Cathy. “We’re getting into the automation field more,” Ryan explains. “Factories have become more robotic than human. PLCs, programmable logic controllers, little things about the size of a desktop computer, can control a whole factory sometimes.” He noted that the electricians follow a factory’s wiring specifications, sometimes working out problems afterwards with the help of the program’s designer. But “we’re a couple of hours from Winnipeg, where a lot of the programmers are stationed, so it’s easier for us to do the troubleshooting,” he says, adding that suppliers often offer courses on installation and repairs for new technologies. These now include products that can control a home’s lights and electric heating through a smartphone. “If there’s ever a problem, these controllers will email right to our office to let us know there’s something wrong – if the filter’s clogged or an outside sensor isn’t working,” says Ryan. BUILDING RURAL MANITOBA  | 25


The main office of John’s Electric Ltd. in Neepawa, Man.

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“In an instance like that, we’d call to tell the homeowner, ‘We have this email from your thermostat – it’s having a problem. Would you like us to come by and take a look?’” But the biggest challenge of the business isn’t keeping up-to-date with the new technologies, says Cathy – it’s balancing the flow of jobs with 27 employees. “Work goes in extreme cycles – it used to be that in the winter it was slow and the high season was in the warmer weather, but the last four or five years really haven’t gone by the book,” she says. She noted that when she and her husband bought John’s Electric, the company was already a member of the Construction Association of Rural Manitoba (CARM) and that the association had always been an excellent business resource. “They keep us posted about projects that are out there to bid on – advising us on

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“ We’re very grateful for the local work we get and we like to give back.”

up-and-coming projects and who’s low on different projects when the bids are completed, that kind of thing,” she says.

Grateful for community support, supporting the community “We’re very grateful for the local work we get and we like to give back,” Cathy says, noting that the company is very involved in community charity events. They contribute to many of the area’s sports teams, including the Neepawa Natives Triple A hockey team and surrounding minor league teams, as well as to the Beautiful Plains Community Foundation, Siloam Mission in Winnipeg, the Helping Hands Soup Kitchen in Brandon, and to school, 4-H and municipal fundraising drives. John’s Electric has also been a strong supporter of Manitoba’s electrician apprenticeship programs. More than 20 apprentices have completed their training with them in the last 20 years, “and are all successful when they go to school,” Cathy says. When one of them, Shawn Macsymic, attained the highest mark in his final exam for his journeyman certification, Angus and Cathy Ford were invited to accompany him to an annual banquet in Winnipeg that celebrated achievements in all trade apprenticeship programs and were presented with a certificate in recognition of their contribution as employers to the program. Despite the stresses of contracting, says Cathy, “my husband and I have been working together full-time for about 15 years now and it seems to work so far – we still enjoy coming to work every day. The best part of our job is running our own business and being self-employed. We’re in control of our own destiny,” she says, laughing, “more or less.”  n


– Cathy Ford, Co-Owner and Administrator, John’s Electric Ltd.



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Municipal Airport Expansion Project Taking Brandon to New Heights CARM members leading the way on renovation of transportation hub By Candice G. Ball


he expansion of the Brandon Municipal Airport will be a major economic driver for the Westman area of Manitoba. Not only will the expanded airport result in more direct jobs, but it will also make Brandon a major provincial hub for business activities. All three levels of government support the opportunities this project will bring to the region and have invested in this infrastructure. Approved under the New Building Canada Fund’s Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component-National and Regional Projects program, the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba will each contribute up to $2,906,200 towards the project. The City of Brandon will foot the remainder of the costs and has budgeted $8,793,600 for the project. “The City of Brandon is pleased to be working with our provincial and federal counterparts to lead this much-needed terminal redevelopment at the Brandon Municipal Airport,” says Coenraad Fourie, the manager of Development & Transportation with the City of Brandon. “These improvements will finally bring Brandon into the modern era of passenger air travel and will also be absolutely integral to the continued economic growth of Brandon and the entire southwestern Manitoba region.” The scope of the passenger terminal redevelopment project entails renovating and expanding the existing terminal to three times its original size. That expanded facility will improve passenger flow, allowing for a better experience for travellers and airport personnel. It will also be able to accommodate future growth – and just in time. The Conference Board of Canada forecasts that Manitoba will be one of the top-performing provinces over the next two years. The Brandon Municipal Airport started to experience growing pains when WestJet began offering scheduled flights in 2013. Although some minor cosmetic renovations took place that year to offer WestJet customers a better experience in the airport, it was evident that the existing facility was ill equipped to accommodate the landing of a Q400 aircraft or to service the increased flow of visitors. The project got off the ground when the City of Brandon commissioned Prairie Architects Inc. and Airbiz Aviation Strategies Ltd. to conduct a feasibility study. Both firms had a history with the airport as they worked on the 2008 redevelopment study of the airport. The most recent concept designs for the redevelopment were finalized in the spring of 2014. Highlights of the redevelopment plan include the ability to accommodate a 737 aircraft, a spacious boarding lounge with state-of-the-art washroom facilities, a concession area and a seating area that will comfortably accommodate 104 people. With an additional security queuing area and improved baggage capacities, the redeveloped facility will enhance safety and security for passengers and airport personnel. The project will also boost the airport’s technological infrastructure with the installation of fibre optic cable allowing for fast and reliable broadband connectivity. 28  |  Issue 1,  2016

Top: All footings for the addition and a portion of the piles installed Right: On Nov. 23, 2015, federal and provincial funding partners and other special guests joined Mayor of Brandon Rick Chrest to celebrate the start of the Brandon Municipal Airport Expansion/Redevelopment Project. L-R: Damien Fenez, Prairie Architects Inc.; Brandon-Souris MP Larry Maguire; Drew Caldwell, former provincial Minister of Municipal Government; MaryAnn Mihychuk, federal minister of Employment, Workforce and Labour; Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest; Zac Penner, T.L. Penner Construction Inc.


“ It’s definitely a project that we are proud to be a part of given its high profile and the impact it will have on the Westman region.”


– Zac Penner, General Manager, T.L. Penner Construction Inc.



“ Both T.L. Penner and the City of Brandon were amazing to deal with on the construction and safety for the project.” – Erik Bowman, Construction and Operations Manager, Powell Construction After some refinement to the design that addressed details about the electrical, HVAC and plumbing needs, the tender package went out in summer 2015. Virden, Man.’s own T.L. Penner Construction Inc. was awarded the contract. “It’s definitely a project that we are proud to be a part of given its high profile and the impact it will have on the Westman region,” says general manager Zac Penner. As the general contractor, T.L. Penner Construction oversees the project and handles the heavy construction. The rest of the work has been subcontracted out to trades, some of which are members of Construction Association of Rural Manitoba (CARM). Brandon Heating & Plumbing, Jamieson-Judd Electrical, and Powell Construction all have major roles in the renovation and redevelopment. The team is able to draw on the strength of the longstanding relationships they have developed working on other projects. Construction began in the fall of 2015 and with the mild weather, the project got off to a good start and the team was able to work throughout the winter. Powell Construction constructed the foundation for the new addition. The main foundation has a large number of 12-foot columns with a suspended slab on top of a three-foot grade beam. It was a challenging job but it went very well. “Both T.L. Penner and the City of Brandon were amazing to deal with on the construction and safety for the project,” says Erik Bowman, the construction and operations manager with Powell. “We feel very privileged to be part of this project.”

A 3D model of the completed terminal building

The exterior walls are structural steel metal frames with steelstud infill. Another salient feature is the extensive glazing. “It will look nice and it’s a very well-designed facility,” says Penner. “It is being built to last for many years to come.” Fourie agrees the project has gone exceptionally well so far, with the first phase slated for completion in September 2016 and the remaining construction for January 2017. “The project is on time and on budget,” he says. However, the recent announcement of WestJet’s direct fight out of Brandon to Toronto that starts on June 28, 2016, will mean the team has to ensure that construction doesn’t interfere with the newly scheduled flights. Penner acknowledges that working directly adjacent to an active airfield has presented some challenges. “We have special protocol onsite when it comes to making sure there’s no debris or tarps blowing across the airfield,” he says. “That’s just something that cannot happen. We have taken great measures to contain our work areas and put safety first.” Even though the team is not seeking LEED certification, waste material will not be going to a landfill. “It’s very standard now, especially on the government-funded projects we’re working on,” says Penner. “Up to 80 per cent of the waste is diverted from the landfill.” The project is moving along at a steady pace and most trades work a 40-hour work week, but once the interior work on doors, painting and finishings begins, Penner says it will turn into a sevenday work week as they move towards completing the expansion.  n T.L. PENNER CONSTRUCTION INC.

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This phase of the 10-year, $10-million renovation project saw a 50 per cent increase in the number of windows in the school

32  |  Issue 1,  2016


Souris School Renovates for Efficiency Made-in-Manitoba products and companies came together to complete major upgrades By Jim Chilboyko


he institution known as the Souris School has come a long way in 132 years. It’s evolved from its initial woodframed building into a two-storey brick structure, followed by a larger, European-style edifice, into what it is today, a multiple-winged complex that provides vital education for over 400 Manitoban children. Undoubtedly, the people who constructed that first wooden prairie schoolhouse back in 1884 in Souris, Man. would be amazed by size and scope of the recent $2.75-million renovation of the school. “The school was a little bit on the older side, but also the division is really focused on making sure their infrastructure is in good shape and they’re keeping up with new energy-efficient technologies,” says Michael Lindenberg of Horizon Builders Ltd., the general contractor on the project. “And they’ve done many energy efficiency upgrades…already on other parts of the school, so they were looking to complete that with the work on these two wings.” Altogether, the renovation was part of a larger 10-year, $10-million project, which had already dealt with the school’s heating and ventilation systems as well as the roof. Amongst the newer improvements, this stage of work increased the amount of windows by 50 per cent and added Tyndall stone siding to the building. The work was concentrated on the early and middle years wings of the school.

“ We also had a strong contingent of local trades, including Nickel Electric, Brandon Heating and Plumbing, B.G. Dodds Contracting, Hamilton Iron, Flynn Canada, all working out of Brandon. It’s always satisfying to do projects with so many companies from the Westman area.” – Michael Lindenberg, Horizon Builders Ltd. BUILDING RURAL MANITOBA  | 33


With new steel stud wall systems, a tight air/water barrier and Tyndall stone siding, the exterior of early and middle years wings were upgraded in this stage of the renovation

While the job did bring the school into the 21st century with newer design elements and different building materials, the crew was also able to deal with and remove the asbestos found in the cement board siding. It was a varied assignment, with many different specialists called upon during the job. “The scope of the work was the removal of the building envelope of the two wings we were working on and filling it all back in with newer material. There were concrete trades, steel stud framing trades, window trades, roofing trades. The air barrier trade was a

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really important one, resealing the building envelope. There was a nice selection of different trades, structural steel trades for supporting the new masonry veneer and then obviously a mason on top of that,” says Lindenberg. “We also had a strong contingent of local trades, including Nickel Electric, Brandon Heating and Plumbing, B.G. Dodds Contracting, Hamilton Iron, Flynn Canada, all working out of Brandon. It’s always satisfying to do projects with so many companies from the Westman area.”


Numerous local trades, including concrete, steel stud framing, windows, roofing and air barrier experts, contributed to the school’s facelift

Not only were these companies made-in-Manitoba, so were some of the project’s materials. “It’s a really sharp look,” says Lindenberg, of the school’s new Tyndall stone siding. “More importantly, it’s a durable and high performance assembly. All the wall systems are steel stud, so you’re not going to be experiencing any rot issues there. The Blueskin barrier creates an extremely tight air/water barrier, which will protect the interior much better than traditional barriers. The Tyndall stone will last forever and then the metal flashing will last forever. It was

built with sustainability in mind, so it achieved what they were looking for in the design.” While some of the work was done over the summer, the project lasted into the fall during classes for the kindergarten to Grade 12 school that serves not just Souris, but the surrounding community as well. Since shutting the school down during construction wasn’t an option, five portable classrooms and a washroom were used to accommodate students during construction. Space was also was rented in a nearby church to accommodate other students.

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The school feels warmer and less drafty, due largely to the Blueskin barrier. The cost of heating the building is expected to drop.

“The main challenge during projects like this is just trying to work with an existing building,” says Lindenberg. “You’re never sure if details are going to match up precisely to what you see on drawings. [You’re] trying to work on the fly and work with the division and the consultants to try and make sure solutions can be reached quickly and to make sure they get a product that’s going to perform really well. “It was obviously an operational school, so you’re talking about having to work within bounds of ensuring classes can keep running and protecting existing finishes that are mere feet from where you’re working…certainly a challenging process, working on a renovation that is in an active school.” And because it’s a commercial project, certain aspects of the project are treated a little differently, according to Lindenberg. “It’s a stark difference in commercial construction and particularly in projects like this with a focus on the envelope,” he says. “They’ll have a specific consultant, where that’s their field, achieving envelope integrity. It’s a stark difference from what you see in

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residential construction and how they achieve such a remarkably tight building.” The Souris School renovation project, as of the spring of 2016, is nearly complete, with only some landscaping to be completed. But the reports from the renovation’s results have already been positive. “We’ve talked with the school operators since then and they’re definitely telling us that they’ve noticed a big difference, even just this winter, in terms of how warm everything feels inside and how the load on their heating systems has been reduced, not having to work as much,” says Lindenberg. While it’s too early to determine what the cost savings have been over this first winter, Guy Williams, the principal of Souris School, says the changes to the school post-renovations, are obvious. “Everything is much brighter, so much so that there are issues with it being too bright for Smartboards. It is certainly less drafty,” says Williams. “Staff are generally quite pleased. They certainly recognize the improvements to the building.”  n



CCA’s 2016–17 Industry Priorities A rundown of initiatives and updates coming this year Submitted by the Canadian Construction Association


ave you wondered what the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) and its various councils and committees are working on? The CCA Board of Directors recently approved the following priorities at its meetings March 5 & 6 in New Orleans, La. More information can be found in CCA’s quarterly newsletter, CCA National Voice, which is mailed to each member company. You can sign up for the electronic version at



Executive Committee 1. Prompt payment: • Establish a taskforce to formulate a clear policy position on payment and payment practices in the Canadian construction industry and to educate the federal government on the importance of prompt payment and cash flow on federal construction projects and work together to resolve any concerns, which may include the enactment of federal prompt payment legislation acceptable to the industry • Launch a special section on CCA website to serve as a hub or source of information on prompt payment information/legislation and best practices • Update CCA 28 – 2009: A Guide to Improving Cash Flow in the Construction Industry with a view to expanding its scope beyond simply the prime contract level to include best practices, available rights and remedies, etc. for subcontractors/suppliers


CCA 2. Standard Document Education: Continue to raise the awareness of CCDC/CCA standard documents with the industry and partner association staff

Standing Committees Business and Market Development Committee 1. Determine what program(s) CCA should undertake in the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR) 2. Monitor the progress of Mission 2030 (i.e. “zero waste”) 3. Provide seminars on topics addressed in the CCA HR Toolkit and in the CCA Drug and Alcohol Policy resource material as requested Gold Seal Committee 1. Review/Retooling of application requirements and accreditation points structure – Gold Seal Exam and Intern 2. Review of National Curriculum Standard 3. Mandatory education – beginning with implementation of Ethics 101 course 4. Development of a Student Designation 5. Implementation of online examination Industry Advocacy & Regulatory Affairs Committee 1. Promote through advocacy in Ottawa the expeditious implementation of the government’s new infrastructure commitments 2. Discourage the government from implementing its platform commitment to reintroduce a federal Fair Wage Policy, and introduce federal apprenticeship quotas for federal infrastructure projects 3. Work in partnership with other national organizations to discourage the government from repealing amendments made by the previous government to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Navigation Protection Act and the Fisheries Act 4. Participate in the federal review of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program and encourage the government to build a better pathway to permanent residency for TFWs already in Canada 5. Promote with the Department of Finance changes to current federal depreciation policy 6. Participate in the new government’s review of EI programs and promote the creation of a mobility grant for unemployed workers to seek work outside their home market

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7. CCA should explore ways and means to work with national stakeholders to promote a more proactive regulatory approach by the federal government to the approvals of projects of national significance Innovation & Technology Committee 1. Identify, assess and monitor technological and innovative developments and trends that may impact the Canadian construction industry 2. Promote and advocate industry-led research and innovation and its commercialization 3. Identify opportunities for knowledge sharing and education regarding new technologies and trends 4. Liaise with outside organizations such as the Institute for BIM in Canada and CCInnovations to promote the interests of the Canadian construction industry Standard Practices Committee 1. To address the concern of the decreasing quality of documents by conducting a series of workshops across Canada, preparing a summary report, publishing the findings and recommending/ implementing best practices 2. To develop a new CCA Guide on Changes in the Work and to submit the final draft to CCDC with a recommendation for adoption as a CCDC document 3. To develop a new CCA Cost-Plus Subcontract Form 4. To negotiate with Brookfield GIS on its procurement and contracting practices for construction contracts 5. To get the CCA policy on exclusionary bid practices in the new version of CCDC 23 and to monitor and oppose any exclusionary bid practices 6. To monitor PWGSC’s pilot use of B.C. Bid Depository

Councils Civil Infrastructure Council 1. Develop a brochure explaining the benefits of harmonization of specifications and contract language for partner association use 2. Support CCA/CCDC efforts to promote to the Transportation Association of Canada the benefits of adopting standard specifications and contract language for civil projects across Canada 3. Support the development of a mobile application on silica exposure mitigation for contractor use 4. Develop the next edition of the Canadian Infrastructure Report Card




CCA helps you keep on top of industry developments with its communications. You can subscribe to them at

General Contractors Council 1. Give guidance to owners on the roles and services of project management firms by developing a best practices guide on engaging project management firms 2. To review and provide input into new documents prepared by the CCDC and monitor CCDC activities 3. To provide input to and monitor the work of the CCA federal taskforce on prompt payment 4. To monitor the activities of LCI-C and ensure that they offer CCA members access to training and resource information relating to lean construction Manufacturers, Suppliers and Services Council 1. Collaborate with Trade Contractors Council in updating the 1986 Design Responsibility and the Trade Contractor, especially the insurance sections

2. Draft supplement to CCA’s 2010 Guide to PPP in Canada with a section focused on the perspective of SMEs and their participation in these contractual structures Trade Contractors Council 1. Update and re-publish the CCA Trade Contractors Guide & Checklist to Construction Contracts, with new content on the topic of design responsibility as approved by the CCA board in October 2015 2. Monitor initiatives to introduce prompt payment legislation across the country, including at the federal level 3. Examine the contractual treatment of trade contractors on federal projects where the design is not clear and changes are made to the design to meet code (i.e. Is the additional work required a change?)  n

Rural Manitoba.


Municipalities Deserve a



AMM – and the majority of Manitobans – believe local governments need more input on how infrastructure dollars are allocated and spent By Chris Goertzen, Association of Manitoba Municipalities



air share, fair say. No doubt you heard and saw that slogan on numerous occasions in the weeks leading up to Election Day. The Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) shared it in radio and print ads across Manitoba in an effort to generate discussion, excitement and, yes, commitments from the political parties that were vying to form the next provincial government in Manitoba. We are at a critical juncture in Manitoba. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) says that fully one-third of infrastructure across Canada is at risk of rapid deterioration, and, despite the best efforts of our municipal governments, action needs to be accelerated or costs will continue to escalate as our infrastructure even further deteriorates. Where does this pressure land? Squarely on the shoulders of local governments – namely mayors, reeves and councillors from across Manitoba. We’re responsible for building, repairing and maintaining 60 per cent of infrastructure in our communities yet we’re allowed to collect just eight cents of every tax dollar to get the job done. 40  |  Issue 1,  2016

Adding to the pressure is that we have little to no say in how the other 92 cents gets spent. This is a fact that ignores that we live and work in the communities we represent so are in the very best position to know what our communities need the most. And that is precisely where fair share – fair say comes in. So, what do we mean when we say we want a fair share? Well, at the very least, we asked for an exemption or rebate on the more than $25 million our communities pay to the province through the provincial sales tax (PST). This would allow us to redirect these funds into the most pressing infrastructure projects in our communities. Construction Association of Rural Manitoba members would certainly see a benefit to these extra projects too, as they supply much of the necessary construction supplies and services to local infrastructure projects. But that is just a first step. There are a number of options worth exploring to ensure municipalities get their fair share. Identifying new sources of growth revenue, dedicating a full one per cent of the PST to municipal infrastructure and lessening our reliance on application-based funding that comes with strings attached, to name a few.


“ But whatever long-term solutions we discuss and agree on, municipal governments know that we can’t continue to receive just eight cents of every tax dollar paid while being responsible for 60 per cent of the infrastructure in Manitoba.”

But whatever long-term solutions we discuss and agree on, municipal governments know that we can’t continue to receive just eight cents of every tax dollar paid while being responsible for 60 per cent of the infrastructure in Manitoba. And that brings us to our argument that councils must not only get a fair share of tax dollars – but also a fair say in how the other 92 cents get spent. We believe there are immense opportunities for collaboration through the establishment of a clearly defined fair say process, where we are all equal partners at decision-making tables, working for and in the best interests of Manitobans. And Manitobans are with us. Our research shows that 85 per cent of Manitobans agreed that, based on the infrastructure load carried by municipalities, we deserve both a fair share of infrastructure dollars and a fair say in how they’re spent. More importantly, of the 85 per cent who agree, nearly 60 per cent strongly agree. Yet another poll – conducted by Probe Research for CTV News and the Winnipeg Free Press from March 28 to April 4 – indicated infrastructure was the most important issue on the minds of voters.

Our next step, then, is to meet with Premier Brian Pallister – which he indicated he would do, if elected, within his first 100 days in office – and discuss the commitments his party made during the campaign. These include a commitment to give the AMM a fair say at the table when it comes to setting priorities for major capital infrastructure projects; creating a simpler process for application-based funding and transfers; full expenditure of annual infrastructure budgets; and an investment of no less than $1 billion on infrastructure. These commitments are certainly welcome. But voters have given us a clear directive. Smooth roads, stable bridges, safe drinking water, modern sewage systems and improved recreation facilities are the foundation of the daily life we enjoy in Manitoba. And the only way municipal leaders can provide those things for their citizens – and much needed work for local trades – is to continue to push for a fair share of infrastructure dollars and a fair say in how they’re spent.  n Chris Goertzen is the president of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities and the mayor of the City of Steinbach. BUILDING RURAL MANITOBA  | 41

Succession Progression Business owners in the construction industry are notorious for not having succession plans in place. Find out why having one is as integral to your business as you are – and how to get started. By Jess Campbell


eing a business owner is a tough job that not everyone is cut out for. There are long hours, not many days off (if any at all), a lot of stress and anxiety and general fatigue over managing everything all the time. But the advantages of owning a business far outweigh the disadvantages. You’re the boss and call the shots. You build your business the way you wish to build it, and can stand back and be proud of how far you’ve come since your first year. The entrepreneurial spirit is a strong one and it shines from many smart, capable, talented business owners throughout the construction industry. So why do so many owners fail to plan for the future? The ideal scenario is that you begin your succession plan on the same day you start your business. After all, it’s just as important to have a plan for getting out of business as it is to have a plan for getting into it. But succession planning is not something many business owners think about because it forces them to consider not only retirement, but also what will happen to the business when they’re not in charge anymore. Though there may be some tough conversations and a few roadblocks, it’s worth creating a succession plan in order to ensure continued success for yourself, your family and your employees.

Fail to plan, plan to fail Bob Lawrence is a CPA, CA, CBV and office managing partner for Southern Manitoba at BDO Canada LLP in Brandon, Man. He believes that a succession plan is “really about getting your business transitioned in terms of ownership, management, or both. It’s important for two reasons: to avoid any unnecessary stress or consequences from lack of planning and to put yourself and your family in the best possible position to receive and achieve desirable outcomes.”

42  |  Issue 1,  2016

“ The first step is for advisors to have a conversation with their client and talk about the elephant in the room, which is what are you doing with your business?” – Dan Trotter, Managing Partner, Southern Manitoba, MNP LLP





“ Good communication allows you to control the message with relevant facts and in a positive way.”

For Steven Beal, principal at Beal Consultants in Winnipeg, Man., there are two different types of plans to consider when thinking about the future of your business. “There’s an exit plan and a succession plan. An exit plan is a 30,000-foot overview of the business and of what you’re thinking of doing. There are a handful of ways to exit a business: pass it on to your kids, sell it to staff, sell it to an outsider or liquidate your assets,” he says. “A succession plan, then, is the plan you come up with once you’ve chosen which way you want to exit your business.” According to Dan Trotter, FCPA, FCA and managing partner, Southern Manitoba at MNP LLP in Brandon, a succession plan is about value. “If you want to get the value out of your company that you’ve spent a lifetime building, it’s important to have a succession plan,” he says. “That could be a simple tax reorganization or a full-blown analysis of the business. But the value isn’t necessarily about money. There is value in seeing your business continue on in the next generation, whether it’s with your own kids or with an outside buyer.”

A good start There’s a big difference between thinking about succession planning and actually doing it. So how do you start? According to Trotter, it’s a big part of your business advisor’s job to get you going. “The first step is for advisors to have a conversation with their client and talk about the elephant in the room, which is what are you doing with your business?” As great as it may seem to leave everything up to your advisor, the onus is not entirely on them to set up a plan. Thinking of what you’re going to do once you retire is not easy as it can bring up some difficult emotions that you need to face. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid succession planning altogether. If this sounds familiar, it might be easier to start by asking yourself a few questions and setting your mind to finding the answers. “When do I want to retire? Can I afford to retire? If I wasn’t here tomorrow, would the business be able to carry on successfully

Transport • Commercial Construction • Residential Construction • Project Design P.: 204-821-4678 | |

44  |  Issue 1,  2016

Organic Ice & Dust Control Division Box 157, Notre Dame, Manitoba | R0G 1M0 Office: 204.248.2418 | Fax: 204.248.2650


– Bob Lawrence, Office Managing Partner, Southern Manitoba, BDO Canada LLP

FEATURE without me? Many owners I know who are in the construction industry are integral to their businesses, so answering these questions honestly will have a huge impact on when you start and what you do,” says Lawrence. Beal notes that determining your goals for the next five to 10 years will help you get started with succession planning. He says that asking your lawyer and other advisors if your business is set up to be sold will also be a huge help. Thinking of these aspects and asking these questions now will give you time to make any necessary changes to your business to make it salable, whether that’s to a family member or outside party.

Talking the talk Anyone who has gone through the succession planning process knows that it is not necessarily smooth or a short. Finding issues is normal and can usually be resolved with some consideration, humility and, most importantly, communication. The most common issue in succession planning is the idea that planning for retirement (or even for your own mortality) is difficult and may cause you to want to avoid the entire process altogether. But talking about it with your advisors, your family and your team will help things seems less overwhelming. “Make sure key individuals are aware of what you want, that your family is aware and move forward from there. Good communication allows you to control the message with relevant facts and in a positive way,” says Lawrence.

Many businesses involve family so it’s understandable that issues can arise, especially when it comes to compensation or division of assets. In a family situation, Beal recommends considering fairness. “What does fairness look like to you? Do you pay what the job is worth or do you pay because the people doing the job are your sons and daughters? You can’t necessarily pay each family member the same because their roles are going to be different,” he says. One of the hardest parts of succession planning may be sitting down with your family and figuring out what works for everyone. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that your advisors are there to help with those difficult conversations, often acting as a buffer or sounding board to avoid communication – and progress – breakdowns. If you find that communicating becomes an issue in and of itself, there’s always the option of bringing in a professional succession planner to assist you in getting back on track. “Sometimes, advisors can say the difficult things that family members can’t,” says Lawrence. Another issue, according to Trotter, comes back to value. “Putting a value to the company is difficult for some people. Sometimes, it’s an eye-opener for the boss because they may think the company is valued at more than it’s worth,” he explains. Speaking with your advisors will help you to set a realistic valuation of your business so that there are no surprises for you or others involved in the plan. Your business plan is not complete without a succession plan. As much as it may seem like a bother to go through the process, your staff, your family and your legacy will thank you in the end.  n

What Are Your Insurance Goals?

Your Best Insurance is an Insurance Broker Visit to “Find a Broker” near you! BUILDING RURAL MANITOBA  | 45

Engaging and retaining First Nations workers has its challenges and rewards

A First Nations crew working on an MTS data project in Winnipeg

46  |  Issue 1,  2016


By Heather Hudson



here are a number of factors that make engaging, hiring and retaining Aboriginal employees in Manitoba complicated and Jamie Saulnier has seen them all. As the founder of Running Deer Industrial, a construction company that develops, builds and maintains mines, sawmills and other projects in Manitoba and Ontario, he’s observed his share of miscommunication, misinformation and misunderstandings when it comes to the construction industry and First Nations communities. “We recognized pretty quickly that there’s a huge barrier or missing link in terms of being able to engage Aboriginal people on a [construction] project,” he says. “You can’t just walk onto a reserve and say, ‘I’m looking to hire people.’ People don’t do that.”

A failure to communicate


One of the first things Saulnier noted was that both Aboriginal people and industry players are not prepared to communicate with one another. Most construction companies don’t have a human resources (HR) department and don’t know how to engage with Aboriginal communities, he observed. “If a contractor is looking to engage [First Nations employees], where do we go? Who do we talk to?” Saulnier says. Compounding the problem is the fact that Aboriginal communities don’t typically have a centralized list of the demographics of their population. “As we travelled around and talked to communities, we understood that one of the biggest barriers [for Aboriginal populations] is the lack of a community readiness strategy that allows them to engage. They need to understand their workforce – what their skills are, where they live – all the information an employer would need to hire people,” says Saulnier. To help address this gap, Saulnier founded Running Deer Resources and compiled a team to build a data program. Working with HR experts and members of First

“ We have a multicultural country and to be successful at that you have to make sure everyone is responsive and adaptive to all populations. This industry is committed to doing that.” – Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director, BuildForce Canada




Nations communities, they developed a Community Resource Information System that identifies a reserve’s economic development assets that companies can access if they require employees in the area. This includes an inventory of all people living on or near a reserve broken down by age, occupation and skill set. The program has evolved into Working Warriors, an IT platform that connects the Indigenous workforce to employment opportunities with industry partners. “Working Warriors is an internal system for every single First Nations, Métis and Inuit community in Canada. They can log into the website and fill out their own community information. We review it and send information to help them build a database of their people,” says Saulnier. Employers who wish to access that data can contact the National Association of Indigenous Workers, which connects them with information about potential

750 Douglas Street Brandon, MB R7A 7B2 P: 204-728-4092 F: 204-725-0740 48  |  Issue 1,  2016

employees from any of the enlisted First Nations communities. Other organizations, such as the Interprovincial Association on Native Employment (IANE), also work to make those connections. They promote Aboriginal workers with an annual job fair and employment awards. But IANE-Westman Chair Sarah Hobson says there are other measures employers can take to access Aboriginal workers. “Managers need to make the time to visit Indigenous communities … Hiring Aboriginal consultants has been the traditional response but simply provides another layer of difference between the company and its potential and real Indigenous staff. “Manitoba alone has 63 First Nations and 138 Métis locals and each is like a different country.” She recommends that employers join associations like IANE to learn from

others’ successes and failures in tapping into this rich employment market.

Education and skills training When employers and Aboriginal employees do manage to connect, another hurdle is associated with training. With fewer post-secondary education and skills training opportunities in the North, people living on reserves don’t always have the skills employers seek. Many construction projects to be undertaken in the northern Manitoba include the requirement to work in partnership with First Nations communities as part of the tender. This includes providing training for labourers who can gain skills on the job. If construction companies don’t have HR departments with employee engagement strategies, it’s unlikely they come prepared with built-in training and apprenticeship programs. On the other side, in addition to a skills deficit, many Aboriginal employees face a

PO Box 20034 Brandon, MB R7A 6Y8 P: 204-725-2294 F: 204-726-3333


“ Managers need to make the time to visit Indigenous communities…Hiring Aboriginal consultants has been the traditional response but simply provides another layer of difference between the company and its potential and real Indigenous staff.” – Sarah Hobson, Westman Chair, Interprovincial Association on Native Employment

significant culture shock when entering the workforce, which contributes to difficulties retaining them. The insulated quiet of life on a reserve is in sharp contrast with a bustling, loud and unfamiliar jobsite with hundreds of other workers. Racism often rears its ugly head as well. To help companies train and retain Aboriginal workers, Saulnier’s Running Deer Resources developed a three-day training program that walks participants through camp life and offers strategies for communicating with managers and coworkers and coping mechanisms for being away from family. “It’s built to make sure that everybody who enters the workforce is doing it with as much knowledge as they could possibly have,” says Saulnier. “It’s intended to allow a level of comfort or at least help them make the decision about whether it suits them or not.” BuildForce Canada also provides resources such as essential skills training. The organization, which carries out labour market forecasting for the construction industry, provides online industry safety and management online training, essential skills resources and promotes construction as a viable career option to all segments of the population, is a resource for both employers and employees. Running Deer also offers programs that can be tailored to specific projects, including job shadowing, so that workers can get hands-on information about the work involved in various trades and an apprenticeship program.

Cultural awareness and sensitivity Despite the good intentions of companies who genuinely want to engage with Aboriginal workers, there’s a history of unfulfilled promises of employment and financial gains for reserves as a result of nearby construction projects. “[First Nations] communities have been told over and over [by industry] that there would be jobs and opportunities. When that didn’t happen, people started to lose hope,” said Saulnier. This mistrust has often contributed to social problems on reserves, including high rates of substance abuse, suicide and poverty, which leave huge segments of a small population unprepared to join a workforce when genuine opportunities come knocking.

BuildForce Canada Executive Director Rosemary Sparks says the construction industry is keen to continue to work on Aboriginal engagement. “The industry understands the untapped potential available in those communities,” Sparks says. “We have a multicultural country and to be successful at that you have to make sure everyone is responsive and adaptive to all populations. This industry is committed to doing that.” Saulnier agrees that the opportunity and the willingness to do the right thing are in place. He encourages construction companies to make the effort to reach out to Indigenous populations and apply cultural sensitivity to create mutually satisfying partnerships. “There is a changing perception. People are buying in as they see results on both sides of fence.”  n


Paying Attention to Retention

“ Opportunities for training, participating on employee councils and mentoring, or being mentored, are keys in retention.” – Karen Milani, Vice-President of Human Resources Consulting, People First HR 50  |  Issue 1,  2016


Expert advice on keeping top employees in your company By Sarah B. Hood



o sector in Manitoba has seen more employment growth lately than construction. With continuing stimulus from provincial and federal infrastructure plans, Statistics Canada’s January 2016 Labour Market Bulletin showed that “construction industry employment was up over the month (+400) and the year (+1,000).” Between 2004 and 2013, construction showed the largest percentage growth in Manitoba, at 62.2 per cent, followed rather distantly by health care and social assistance (21 per cent), accommodation and food services (20.1 per cent) and forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas (20 per cent), according to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey. This enormous demand for new workers puts a strain on companies trying to build the best possible employee teams, nowhere more than in rural and remote locations. In this climate, a strong retention strategy is key. Here’s what the experts are saying about the best ways to hold onto top workers. Compared to businesses in many other sectors, construction companies tend to start at a disadvantage when it comes to managing their workers, says Carol Paul, executive director of the Manitoba Construction Sector Council, because most don’t have a dedicated human resources department. “They are established to offer construction-related products and services, but they are not set up to offer support to people on their teams,” she says. “That is a challenge to most companies and particularly the smaller companies.” “Finding people with the skills and credentials you require certainly gets more challenging as you get into smaller communities,” says Karen Milani, vice-president of human resources consulting for People First HR. She names the cyclical, project-based nature of the business as a significant challenge for the construction industry, even in major urban centres, “but when you get into rural and northern Manitoba, those challenges are increased.” Milani notes that “major construction projects in smaller communities don’t happen every year, so the requirement [for the workers] to be mobile is becoming more and more important,” but with the increasing opportunities for workers, “there’s maybe a little more reluctance in relocating for work.” This means “companies have to get really targeted and really specific as far their employer value proposition,” she says. Identifying “the kind of employee who would love the opportunities presented by rural Manitoba: the lifestyle, the different pace of a rural environment” becomes crucial. Companies have to get very creative about presenting the values. It’s not for everybody, so you have to


FEATURE get a little bit more targeted in terms of who you’re going after and sell them on the opportunity.” Also, says Michelle Manary, president and owner of ReframeHR, “the construction season is short to begin with. We have the challenge of workers who want to get enough hours. We certainly suffer from this challenge around skilled trades, and even labourers are at a shortage. If you have less than full-time work or less than guaranteed work, that ramps up the recruitment challenge. For workers to move away from home, incur the expense and be away from their families, they want to know it’s going to be more than a threemonth or a six-month project.” Another challenge is competition from other sources for similar projects, according to Manary. “Oil has slowed down a bit,” she notes. “That’s been a challenge for us – workers are very attracted to higher-paying jobs like that. You have to be competitive in pay and sometimes you have to be better.” But “money is only one part of the value proposition and it’s becoming less and less of a significant portion of it,” says Milani. “A lot of it goes back to the basics: engaging employees in the project, involving them and communicating with them,” she says. “It all comes down to understanding the work, tracking it and celebrating the successes. If you finish a project ahead of time or under budget, all that goes towards how people feel about the work.” In remote areas, day-to-day living conditions are also an important consideration. Manary stresses the importance, “particularly in rural Manitoba, [of] finding suitable accommodations that has enough entertainment; in some of the places where people work, there’s not a lot to do in the evenings.” The local community may have a lot to offer, she says, suggesting contacting the local economic development office to find out about hidden opportunities. “What festivals and special events they have, what local teams are playing? Can you partner with rec centres and restaurants? Are there any other businesses that you can partner with? There are opportunities for employers to be creative,” Manary says. Milani recommends any activities that promote team bonding and camaraderie. “It may be putting together a baseball team, barbecues, or something they can bond over together outside the workplace. All of those little things are about building that sense of team and giving them a social outlet,” she says. The next piece is addressing workers’ separation from their families.

“That matters a lot, especially if it’s longer term,” says Manary. “In my experience, social media works with the remote locations. As the employer, make sure there’s a Wi-Fi hotspot, giving workers the ability to have connectivity. When you’re asking people to leave their families and work remotely, they need to be connected all day.” In fact, she says, any efforts that encourage family connection can be helpful. “If there’s any way for the employer to pay for families to come out to the workplace, that helps settle families down and it helps settle workers down. Workers want to see their families; they’d love to have them come out and see where they’re living and working.” Another thing that keeps people engaged in their current job is the feeling that it offers opportunities for growth and career development. “Opportunities for training, participating on employee councils and mentoring, or being mentored, are keys in retention,” Milani says. Also, it may seem obvious, but “safety is a huge issue and it’s something that employers take very seriously,” Manary says. “Having good training, making sure that the work is safe for employees and making sure that the equipment they’re using is new and current and safe.” But even before these steps, retention starts with recruitment, Paul points out. “Construction companies have to be able to identify their needs and their skill shortages and look towards local indigenous people and to highly skilled immigrants for project management positions and also construction labourers,” she says. Job readiness preparation is available, says Paul. “The Manitoba Construction Sector Council works across the province to transition indigenous people into construction; we’re helping individuals understand the culture of construction and how they fit into it. We also work with managers to help them be good mentors,” she says. Good orientation and training “can save a lot of money,” Paul says. When companies have a training plan for new employees, “being sure we set them up for success, we really set the tone and make sure people succeed.” Ultimately, the mindset of investing, not just financially, in the well-being of staff members is the true key to long-term retention. “People stay within companies because they feel that they’re recognized for their achievements and supported in how they want to grow,” says Paul. “Otherwise, they will go somewhere else. People don’t stick around for the money. Money helps, but it sure doesn’t keep people there.”  n

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52  |  Issue 1,  2016


Know and Grow Essential Skills Help your workers get the foundation they need to excel

f you’re an employer in Manitoba it probably comes as no surprise to hear that nearly 55 per cent of company officials contacted for a 2015 Business Climate Survey of Brandon and surrounding areas said they’d had difficulty finding new employees with the right skills in the past year. For years, employers across the province have been telling Workplace Education Manitoba that workers’ non-technical skills – their essential skills – are often an issue when recruiting and retaining entry-level or skilled workers. What makes this a critical issue for both employers and workers is that essential skills are the transferrable abilities everyone needs to perform successfully on the job. For example, we need to listen to instructions and ask questions if we don’t understand. We need skills for learning new things and adapting to change. We need to fill out forms, solve problems, make calculations, work on teams, estimate time and resources and we all have to stay safe at work. These all fall under the set of skills called the nine essential skills: • Thinking Skills • Working With Others • Document Use • Continuous Learning • Writing, Oral Communication • Reading • Numeracy • Digital Technology

Why should you care? Why should you care about essential skills? Because when workers have the skills they need to do their jobs, employers report enhanced communication and teamwork, reduced error rates, improved health and safety records, higher worker motivation and engagement, healthier growth potential, faster reaction times when managing change, a more skilled and adaptable workforce and increased efficiency and productivity. Need more convincing? A project sponsored by Buildforce Canada (formerly the Construction Sector Council) reported a significant return on investment in essential skills upskilling. Employers who made an investment of $132.90 for each newly engaged apprentice experienced a return of $26.34 for each dollar invested. (Results vary depending on the number of apprentices who complete their work periods.)

What can you do? The most effective strategy we can recommend (and it doesn’t cost a cent) is to start viewing everything through an essential skills lens. By this we mean you should view each task according to the skills required to perform it. Or, if there’s a performance issue to be solved, which essential skills might be involved and would need to be addressed? And don’t forget that when a person changes jobs in a company, or when there’s a change in processes or technology, the essential skills required will also change. BUILDING RURAL MANITOBA  | 53



By Jonathan Coté, Workplace Education Manitoba

WORKPLACE EDUCATION How to make essential skills a part of your workplace

after your explanation. Reinforce what people have learned by providing opportunities for practice, reflection and feedback. For example, your workers are expected to monitor work situations, anticipate potential problems and act proactively to stay safe at work. Illustrate this for them by identifying a number of typical workplace problems to be solved – easy, moderately difficult and more challenging. Think out loud to model and explain the thinking you would follow and the questions you would ask yourself in order to solve these problems.

Start with the end in mind: paint a clear picture of the required performance Communicate your expectations for what you want your workers to do. People need to be able to “see” what makes up a successful end result to be able to work towards what you’re asking them to do. Include practical examples, show correct as well as incorrect options, and always use examples that fit the actual conditions of your workplace or jobsites.


“ What makes this a critical issue for both employers and workers is that essential skills are the transferrable abilities everyone needs to perform successfully on the job.” For example, your workers are expected to listen to instructions and explanations and ask for clarification if needed, communicate with others to coordinate work tasks, share information and discuss issues and participate in team meetings. So talk about what clear, complete and concise looks like. Share stories, give concrete examples of workers communicating effectively; you can also describe the consequences of ineffective communication. Let workers know that it’s appropriate to ask questions – you might even develop a list of questions you’d want to be asked on key topics. Use the language of essential skills Essential skills language provides clear and concrete terms that will help everyone in your workplace understand the required performance. Help others to learn by modelling and explaining the thinking that you would use while performing a workplace task – not only the what and the how, but also the why Talk through the steps that should be followed and the impact of not following these steps correctly. Encourage questions and comments

commercial residential

204-725-3691 54  |  Issue 1,  2016

• Design Build • Construction Management • HVAC • General Contractor

Don’t make assumptions about why someone can’t do something There’s nothing common about common sense. What people mean when they talk about common sense are actually processes and information understood by those already doing the work. Use essential skills as the starting point to building a solid foundation for new hires learning what they need to learn. The first step is ensuring they have the knowledge and skills to be able to do that. Consider the person or group you’re speaking to and the work they’re doing It’s important to customize your message to your audience and use actual workplace documents and examples. Be aware that some individuals need more or different information to fill in missing pieces. On a jobsite or at the office, your workers are often expected to record numbers and fill in information needed for checklists, forms, log books, etc. When orienting a new hire, be sure to use real examples of the workplace documentation to be filled in. Explain the purpose and structure of the document, the technical language used and how it should be filled in. It also helps to describe the bigger picture – where a document comes from and where it goes so that a person can see where they fit into the process. Support ongoing learning Consider creating job aids such as visual steps, flow charts and checklists that workers can use on the job. For more information about essential skills or to learn more about Workplace Education Manitoba, go to  n Jonathan Coté is the communications coordinator for Workplace Education Manitoba. For more information on this article or to learn how your company can benefit, contact Robyne Frederiksen, regional coordinator, Westman Region at 204-573-9570 or

GRACE CONSTRUCTION LTD. 1925 34th Street Brandon, MB 204-724-4987



Builder’s Liens:

What contractors need to know about the four most commonly used concepts associated with the legislation By Derek Cullen, B.A. LLB., Meighen Haddad LLP


he construction business is simple in concept: owners and developers want things built and contractors and their trades want to get paid. Often, the contract to build a deck, or do a bathroom renovation is nothing more than a handshake and the mutual promise that, “I build, you pay.” The builder’s lien, however, is the dark cloud that looms over that sunny start. Occasionally, there is difference of opinion as to exactly what was to be built, when it was to be completed and when or how much was to be paid. Certain owners will refuse to pay anything until the whole project is complete to their (sometimes unreasonable) standards. Contractors lay awake at night worrying that they will not get paid, giving rise to the threat of the dreaded builder’s lien.

What is it? A builder’s lien is generally a bundle of rights and obligations that have been formalized by legislation under The Builder’s Liens Act of Manitoba (the act). A lien is commonly thought of as



40 Days and 40 (Sleepless) Nights



“ Lien rights arise the minute more than $300 worth of work is commenced or materials supplied.” a claim on someone’s land title, but it is much more. For example, under the act, a lien claimant has a statutory right to know how much is advanced (and how much is left to advance) under the owner’s mortgage and how those funds were spent by the contractor. A lien claimant may have a priority right to mortgage advances or to insurance proceeds. Their ultimate remedy is to force sale of the land to get paid. The act is cumbersome, but four of the most common concepts and catchphrases are the lien, the 40 days, the holdback and trust funds.

The lien When a lien is filed in the Land Titles Office, it is the formal notice of non-payment registered on an owner’s land title. If it is proven, it creates an actual legal and equitable ownership of a portion of the owner’s land. Owners and bankers hate them because it gives another party an equity stake in their asset and it ties up cash flow. It is a more powerful tool than any other in the contractor’s toolbox.

The 40 days Forty days is talked about with biblical reverence since a contractor or supplier has 40 days to file a lien. It generally applies to anyone who does work on or delivers materials to a jobsite. This means actual materials or actual work, but can include, for example, fuel for machines or certain rentals delivered to the site. As well, architects, engineers and consultants are not covered – the concept being that their work, while valuable, did not necessarily result in an improvement to the actual land as never-built drawings or discarded advice does not provide benefits. Lien rights arise the minute more than $300 worth of work is commenced or materials supplied. The 40-day clock generally starts after the earlier of the last day on site or materials were supplied or after “substantial performance” of the contract. Substantial performance is specifically defined in the act but generally means that the structure or a substantial part thereof is ready for use or is being used for the purpose intended and the work remaining to be done under the contract is capable of completion at marginal cost relative to the whole contract. Builders beware: this means that the

40-day clock may have started to run (or has run out) before the final touches on a contract are completed.

The holdback The act establishes obligations on owners and contractors to maintain a 7.5 per cent “holdback” of all funds paid out on a project for 40 days after substantial performance, completion or abandonment of the project. This pot of money provides a measure of protection for unpaid sub-trades and material suppliers and protects the owner from certain claims of unpaid sub-trades, if they have maintained that holdback.

Trust funds If an owner receives a draw on their construction mortgage or a contractor receives a progress draw, then those funds, together with the holdback, are called “trust funds” for the benefit of material suppliers and unpaid trades. It is actually a provincial offence to use them for another purpose. This is a little known part of the act, but trust funds can be traced and claimed by those who they were intended for. For example, if a contractor uses a progress draw to pay off his wife’s boat instead of paying his painter, then the painter can go after the boat if he can show that is where the money went. Frustratingly, an owner cannot set off his deficiencies from these funds. The concept is that there may be an innocent sub-trade who has done his work perfectly, who is waiting for these funds, so an owner can’t leverage those trust funds in a broader dispute with his general contractor. Those funds have to flow and they can sue each other later for deficiencies. Practically speaking, all of the above are about leverage. A contractor has all of these tools in his arsenal to compel payment from an owner, who may be overly particular, poorly capitalized, or broke. During or after the 40 days, both owners and contractors have certain rights and obligations. If you find yourself on either side of the lien situation, you should consult your lawyer for help.  n Derek Cullen is a partner at Meighen Haddad LLP in Brandon, Man. Cullen works with owners and contractors in all aspects of real estate development, construction, purchase and sale. He also works with these parties in acquisition or sales of these businesses.

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56  |  Issue 1,  2016

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Can an ESOP Cure Owner Insomnia?

Sharing the risks and rewards of company ownership with your employees

By Craig Law, CPA, CMA, MNP



o questions about your business keep you up at night, staring at the ceiling and wondering what to do? It’s probably not very comforting to know that you have lots of company, but it seems most business owners share common concerns that regularly give them insomnia. These days, the questions that top the list for late night contemplation include: • How do I keep my good people from leaving for the competition? • Is it time for me to pass on the business? • If so, how do I leave a legacy for my team and my family? If these concerns sound familiar, perhaps an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP) will provide you with some answers – and some rest. An ESOP is a program that allows employees to acquire an ownership interest in the company that they work for. It can take a variety of forms, but the basic premise is that some or all of the employees share in the risks and rewards associated with owning the company. ESOPs can and do work for companies of all sizes and industries and in both private and publicly-traded companies. For public companies, an ESOP is simply a different form of bonus or pension compensation. In the private sector, sharing ownership is usually more interesting


DOLLARS AND SENSE because the employees are more closely involved and able to contribute to the success of the company. In Canada, ESOPs are growing in popularity in numerous companies and various industries. In particular, companies in the construction and technology industries are interested in ESOPs because otherwise a highly competitive labour market threatens to deny them the talented people they need to be successful. Business owners typically cite a number of the following reasons for implementing an ESOP: • Attract and retain key employees • Motivate employees to improve productivity and efficiency • Reward employees for their commitment and contributions • Foster a culture of teamwork through alignment of corporate and individual goals • Increase business value with a committed and stable work force • Provide an incentive or pension program while retaining cash in the company • Develop business knowledge and acumen in potential future leaders

• Facilitate an ownership transition that continues the owners’ legacy • Encourage employees to think and act like owners Business owners are also encouraged by studies that consistently show ESOP companies outperform non-ESOP companies in virtually every important measure. From the employees’ perspective, the benefits of an ESOP include: • Clear alignment between company and personal goals • Ability to contribute to company and personal growth and success • Recognition for commitment and contributions • Potential to improve long-term personal wealth • A teamwork atmosphere • A fun place to work In addition to the organizational benefits, there are significant tax implications that can make an ESOP even more attractive for both owners and employees. The following are some of the key tax treatments that can apply, depending on whether Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) conditions are met:

• Capital gains tax treatment for growth in value of shares • Ability for owners and employees to apply their Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption • Deferral of tax on private company stock option compensation until the shares are sold • Potential deductions for one half of the stock option benefit • Provincial government ESOP incentive programs In 2014, the Manitoba government passed legislation creating the Manitoba Employee Share Purchase Tax Credit. This legislation states: “The purposes of the employee share purchase tax credit provided for in section 11.20 are (a) to assist and facilitate succession planning for family businesses in Manitoba; (b) to assist and facilitate employee buyouts and takeovers designed to create or maintain employment in Manitoba; (c) to foster the growth of worker cooperatives in Manitoba; and (d) to facilitate and promote employee participation in business successes in Manitoba.”

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58  |  Issue 1,  2016

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“ An ESOP could be an invaluable method for a company to attract, retain and motivate key employees by engaging them as owners.” For eligible corporations and individuals, the program offers a tax credit of up to $202,500 if the ESOP is to facilitate a family ownership transition or an employee buy-out and up to $27,000 for any other registered ESOP. This government program is just getting underway but it appears to have the potential for huge financial benefits for employees and owners looking to transition ownership of their business to family or employees. An ESOP is created when the business or the owner issues or sells equity shares, shares options or stock appreciation rights (also known as phantom stock), either to employees or to an ESOP holding company. There are numerous options and characteristics that can be defined to create the ESOP to fit the unique needs of the company. Owners and employees are consulted and various other factors are considered in developing the design. Implementation of the program involves translation of the design into legal documents, valuation of the company to determine the appropriate

Brock White - Winnipeg 879 Keewatin St, MB R2X 2S7 204-694-3600

price for the shares and informed decisions by employees regarding their level of participation. The company then has the ongoing obligation to administer it in accordance with the legal documents and in the spirit of the design. This might sound simple and straightforward, but ESOPs typically don’t happen without a few challenges. Mostly, there is apprehension because owners, employees, or both, have trust issues. Owners fear employees will interfere with their decision-making. Employees fear the owner will take advantage of them or they could lose their investment. It is the job of the ESOP designer to ensure all areas of concern are addressed and properly explained to both owners and employees. An ESOP could be an invaluable method for a company to attract, retain and motivate key employees by engaging them as owners. It can also help develop new leaders and, when the time comes, facilitate an ownership transition that

retains the vision, the values and the legacy of the departing owner. If it’s done properly, these programs will increase company growth and profitability while providing both old and new owners with greater personal financial success and a far more interesting and enjoyable workplace. If an ESOP brought those benefits to your company, wouldn’t that help you sleep a little easier? Note that there is some speculation that both federal and provincial legislation impacting ESOPs could be changing in the near future. Before engaging in an ESOP, owners and employees are encouraged to get independent legal, tax and investment advice on how the proposed plan would impact them personally.  n If you have any questions, please contact Carla Milne, CPA, CA, MNP Small Business Services at 204-571-7660 or or Craig Law, CPA, CMA, MNP Consulting Services at 204-788-6079 or

343 Park Avenue East, Brandon, MB R7A 7A6

Tel: (204) 571-3470 Fax: (204) 728-1141 Toll Free: 1-866-623-6202 BUILDING RURAL MANITOBA  | 59


Q: “ What is your municipal government’s greatest challenge with current construction projects and those on your wish list?”

“The City of Thompson is the regional service centre for Northern Manitoba and it is critical to our region that our city has the capacity to meet the growing demands we are experiencing. This requires support from federal and provincial governments to ensure that the economic opportunities in our region are sustainable and remain viable. Our immediate priorities are focused on the repair, maintenance, renewal and replacement of critical infrastructure, such as our Waste Water Treatment Plant and Watermain Renewal Project, as identified in the Thompson Economic Diversification Working Group (TEDWG) Regulatory Framework and Action Plans. Provincial and federal programs need to be flexible so they address the needs and priorities of smaller communities, especially those that service areas beyond their city limits.” – Dennis Fenske, Mayor, City of Thompson

“I’m sure Brandon’s greatest challenges will mirror those of most municipalities in Manitoba. However, I will highlight two: funding and weather. There would be no town, municipality or city in Canada that could claim it has funding sources adequate to even come close to keeping up with the need to replace and upgrade its assets and infrastructure. Keeping up with new growth is in itself a major challenge, but replacing older infrastructure and buildings, some of which may be one-hundredyears old, is almost impossible to catch up to. Manitoba winters add another more unique challenge to the construction industry. When you consider our winter conditions may commence six weeks earlier than some Canadian locales and may end six weeks later; we have three months less weather-conducive construction time to work with. This, in my view, significantly impacts logistics, scheduling and costs and must challenge the construction industry in numerous factors.” – Rick Chrest, Mayor, City of Brandon


“Municipalities receive eight cents out of every dollar in tax that is collected. However, municipalities are responsible for building and maintaining 60 per cent of our country’s infrastructure. Like every city in our nation, Portage la Prairie faces the challenge of aging infrastructure that affects our maintenance costs, productivity and quality of life. Spending on infrastructure is an investment in our city’s future and our nation’s future. I am optimistic that we will be able to agree on a new deal with our federal and provincial partners. When we do, we will move forward together to meet these challenges.” – Irvine Ferris, Mayor, City of Portage la Prairie

60  |  Issue 1,  2016


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