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Peace River: progress, diversity, and development

Peace Country embraces a boom in the middle of a boom

The Peace River Construction Association bids farewell




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Published by DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg, Manitoba R3L 0G5


In this issue...

President David Langstaff

Message from the PRCA Past President, Reid Glenn


Publisher Jason Stefanik

Message from the Mayor of Peace River, Tom Tarpey


Editor Shayna Wiwierski

Message from the MLA of Peace River, Frank Oberle


Sales Manager Dayna Oulion

Update from the Alberta Construction Association


Advertising Sales Gary Barrington Cheryl Ezinicki Michelle Raike Gary Seamans

Progress on several fronts: CCA 2013 priorities and accomplishments


Continued growth and excellence for Gold Seal Certification


Peace River: progress, diversity and development


Athabasca Hall - The next 75 years


Peace of mind: Peace Country embraces a boom in the middle of a boom


Highway to hell: Hell ’N’ Back Welding Ltd.


Index to advertisers


Contributing Writers Reid Glenn Scott Matheson Jillian Mitchell Susan Thompson Production services provided by: S. G. Bennett Marketing Services Art Director / Design Kathy Cable Advertising Art Dana Jensen Caitlyn Haier © Copyright 2014. DEL Publications Inc. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of the publisher. Publications mail agreement #40934510 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg, MB R3L 0G5 Email: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in and the reliability of the source, the publisher in no way guarantees nor warrants the information and is not responsible for errors, omissions or statements made by advertisers. Opinions and recommendations made by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily­those of the publisher­, its directors, officers or employees.


Communications Inc.


Peace River Construction Association 2014



Message from the PRCA Past-President

Reid Glenn, P.Eng Prairie Fire Power Inc.

Peace River Construction Association bids farewell The Peace River Construction Association (PRCA) was founded

ongoing public construction work and use the local construc-

in 1966 with six members.

tion associations (CA) to distribute their requirements for con-

The purpose of this volunteer organization was to promote

struction tender document management. In the early days of

the interests of the construction industry in the Peace River

the organization, this was accomplished by the provision of a

area, ahead of both their own companies and that of the PRCA,

plansroom, where hard copies of requests for proposals, pre-

through education, leadership, and support of its members

qualification, construction and consultant services, as well as

and the larger community with regards to the business of for-

expressions of interest, were stored so that the members of

profit construction. The area served by the PRCA extended

the local CA could examine the specifications and then deter-

from Plamondon in the south, northwards to Wood Buffalo

mine their cost to complete the construction at hand.

Park, and westward along the south shore of Lesser Slave Lake

The plansroom was part of the CA’s responsibility and was

over to Fairview and then to the British Columbia border. Join-

an important opportunity for social contact with your com-

ing the PRCA automatically made your company a member of

petitors, as well as a requirement to gain future work. Also

the Alberta Construction Association, as well as the Canadian

note that the association’s office moved to the office of who-

Construction Association.

ever was the president at that time. In 1972 for example, when

Please also note that our municipal, provincial, and federal

Al Robideau (of North Peace Refrigeration) became president

governments support competitive bidding for new, as well as

of the PRCA, his office was in the back of the Modern Paint

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and Home Furnishings building on Main Street in Peace River

Over the last several years, the PRCA has been financially

where the bank of Nova Scotia is now situated. There were

successful and has increased its membership. The PRCA has

numerous other local people who featured large in the history

annually honoured graduates from high schools in Peace

of the PRCA, such as Fred Wagner who was secretary/manager

River with scholarships for trades training and continues to

for 12 years beginning in 1983 (as well as the original owner

support volunteer organizations such as the Gymnastics Club

of Fred’s Heating), Gary Friedel, Ted and his son Hayden Gust, in addition to Moira Miller who was secretary for the PRCA for a number of years beginning in 1998. These are only a few of the many distinguished builders of our community who have supported the PRCA. As technology developed, the physical plansroom concept has been replaced by an electronic construction project in-

in their recent building of a dedicated gymnasium. However, the leadership of the PRCA has found it difficult to encourage its members to commit some of their spare time to the philanthropic work of building the social network back into the fibre of the organization. We also found it difficult to retain parttime assistants for the secretarial work of the organization.

formation resource, known as the Construction Opportuni-

Late last year, the leadership decided that we would dis-

ties On-Line Network or COOLNet. This system has been well

solve the PRCA and recommend that the members take ad-

proven in service over the last number of years as the plan-

vantage of membership in the significantly larger construc-

sroom has been replaced by the computer on your desk at

tion association in Grande Prairie. We are currently planning

home or at work.

to have a formal dissolution party in the fall of this year. p





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Peace River Construction Association 2014



Message from the Mayor of Peace River

Tom Tarpey This is going to be a very busy year for the construction in-

see a major railway spur to be put in to permit the loading

dustry in and around the Town of Peace River and surround-

of grain for markets. Another railway spur is anticipated in

ing regions! I am not making that prediction solely on Royal

the County of Northern Lights just to the north of our town

Dutch Shell’s recent announcement that they are proceed-

to service the forestry, as well as the oil and gas industry.

ing with their Carmon Creek Project just to the northeast of

Within the Town of Peace River, there will be a new EMS

us in the County of Northern Sunrise. Of course, this proj-

dispatch centre constructed. This centre will be the home

ect by itself will, in addition to the construction of thermal

base of operations for 27 full-time employees and house a

oil sands facilities, require the construction of oil services

fleet of ambulances. These are some of the more glamorous

shops, garages and warehouses, but there is a lot more.

projects for 2014, but I expect this year will be the start of

A major grain terminal is slated to be built in the MD of

a serious push to rejuvenate our municipal infrastructure –

Peace just to the east of the Town of Peace River. This will

roads, water and sewer lines, lift stations and the like; proj-

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ects that are often forgotten, but important on keeping a town on-the-move moving. Over the course of the next four years, I envision a new medical centre being constructed in Peace River to serve area residents; a replacement arena to replace our wellloved, but well-worn arena, the Baytex Energy Centre; and a refurbished or new cultural centre. The target dates for the new Baytex Energy Centre and the new Athabasca Hall are 2017 for the arena to commemorate Canada’s 150 th anniversary, and 2019 for the cultural centre to celebrate Peace River’s 100 th birthday. The future is indeed bright. p

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Message from the MLA of Peace River

Frank Oberle As the MLA for Peace River, I appreciate

Peace River and our entire province.

has been allocated for 21 projects in the

this opportunity to connect with the

We are doing this by building the new

area. Meanwhile, our government is also

members of the Peace River Construc-

roads, schools, and health facilities

investing another $15 billion in essential

tion Association. With Alberta’s strong

needed, and strengthening programs

infrastructure projects across the prov-

economy, we are fortunate to have a

that support children, families, seniors,

ince over the next few years, a big boost

dedicated group of construction ex-

and vulnerable Albertans.

to your construction industry.

For you, the builders of Alberta’s north,

Building Alberta’s second element—

this means funding for the Municipal

living within our means —is about

I want to take this opportunity to talk

Sustainability Initiative was maintained

challenging every dollar government

about the Building Alberta Plan, our

at nearly $900 million in our last bud-

spends, investing wisely and saving for

government’s blueprint for creating an

get, so municipalities can continue to

the future. We’re doing this so we can

even more sustainable, prosperous fu-

meet the local infrastructure priorities

ture for all of us. The Building Alberta

of their communities. For our region, this

Plan focuses on three key areas—in-

means about $17.9 million for the Town

vesting in families and communities,

of Peace River, of which about $10.2

living within our means, and opening

million has already been committed by

new markets for Alberta’s resources.

our local council to 28 projects. It also

perts like all of you to help our community build and grow.

Investing in families and communi-

means about $7.6 million for the Munici-

ties is fundamental to the success of

pal District of Peace, $3 million of which

keep taxes low and attract business and investment to our province. Finally, our Building Alberta Plan focuses on opening new markets for Alberta’s resources. New markets are critical to sustaining the economic wellbeing of this province and all Albertans. Our success is driven by our global exports, and we’re well known for our oil and gas, beef, agricultural crops and lumber. Relying only on American markets puts our economy at risk, so we need to find more places to sell our products. In support of this, former premier Alison Redford opened a new trade office in India to help us market our products in one of Asia’s fastestgrowing economies. Our government is working hard to build the Alberta people like you have told us you want to live in. We look forward to continuing to build Alberta alongside builders like you, who support thriving industries and construct 8 Peace River Construction Association 2014

much-needed infrastructure that keeps our province moving forward.p

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Update from the Alberta Construction Association

Scott Matheson

Chairman, Alberta Construction Association The highlight of 2013 was the re-joining of the Edmonton Con-

cial and municipal investment in infrastructure. ACA Fall

struction Association (ECA). This is a great step for Alberta’s

2013 submission to government emphasized the importance

construction industry. The ECA is a highly respected and pro-

of infrastructure, the costs of inadequate investment, and steps

fessional organization whose board, membership, and staff add tremendous expertise to help address the many challenges and opportunities facing our industry. A united industry provides certainty for our clients and strength to our advocacy.

industry takes to provide value for the taxpayer. • Keeping training clear of labour relations issues. The ACA continues to monitor. • The ACA is opposed to public funding of apprenticeship training by third parties. Providing input to consideration by the Alberta Government should they require contractors to

Government advocacy

utilize apprentices in order to bid government work. The ACA

• Maintaining predictable, consistent, and adequate provin-

and partner associations have submitted a proposal to gather data to identify where action is needed. Government has requested a follow-up meeting to discuss. • Continued advocacy for sensible immigration programs. The ACA is pleased that Federal Minister Kenney has raised the possibility of new pilot programs to better address employer needs. • Strengthened partnerships with school boards, post-sec-

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ondary’s, and with other construction associations for policies and programs to support the development of a skilled domestic construction workforce. The ACA is involved in industry partnerships in both Calgary and Edmonton and is looking to share practices with other Alberta communities. • Educational best practice seminars for public procurers of design and construction services. Piloting of seminars underway. •C  ollaborate to provide industry advice to Alberta Infrastructure. The ACA partners with the Consulting Engineers of Alberta and Consulting Architects of Alberta on several initiatives. Safety/ WCB • Input to Occupational Health and Safety’s Worksafe Alberta strategy. ACA Safety / WCB Chair Brian Freemark has been appointed to the WorkSafe committee. •C  ontinued input to implementation of occupational health and safety administrative penalties and worksite tickets. The

10 Peace River Construction Association 2014

ACA will monitor the implementation of admin fines and work-

Research and technology

site ticketing. The ACA also provided industry input to Employer

• Service partnerships with Productivity Alberta. The ACA

Review Phase 2. •D  ialogue with the WCB concerning interpretation of Refusal of Modified Duties policy. The ACA is requesting WCB review its policies, particularly the application of no-fault to post-incident employment actions. •M  anaging exposure to silica dust. The ACA is gathering information on industry best practices. Standard practices •R  ecommendations for two changes to the Alberta’s Builders’ Lien Act (BLA): mandatory annual progressive release of holdback, and Crown bound to BLA. ACA advocacy with Service Alberta is ongoing to proceed with industry consultations regarding mandatory progressive release. •A  dvocacy with Alberta Health Services and other owners for adoption of industry standard practices. The ACA advocacy concerning adoption of industry best practices continues.

is providing input to Productivity Alberta and Alberta Infrastructure regarding a pilot project for Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). • Initiatives with aceBIM (Alberta Centre for Excellence for Building Information Modeling). The ACA serves on the aceBIM Board. • Partnerships to showcase the applied research capabilities of Alberta colleges and technical institutes. The Federal NSERC (National Science Engineering Research Council) is funding Technology Access Centres (TACs) to connect tech institutes and college and business to speed technology development and adoption. To date, the ACA has written letters of support for SAIT’s application for their Green Building Centre and for Red Deer College’s Innovation in Manufacturing Centre. The ACA’s effectiveness in serving industry has always

• T he ACA has struck an ad hoc committee to review Ontario’s

relied on the generous contributions of expertise from its

Prompt Payment Bill 69. The Ontario legislation is intended to

volunteers, drawn from the membership. The ACA contin-

complement liens legislation.

ues to work at improving connections with the grassroots

•U  pdating of Trade Definitions. A comprehensive review and

to better understand your needs and work to your benefit.

update is nearing completion and the ACA anticipates release

With your continued support, we will share continued suc-

in early 2014.

cess and meet the uncertainties of tomorrow. p

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Peace River Construction Association 2014



Progress on several fronts: Your national association’s 2013 priorities and accomplishments In 2013 the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) made

directed training that speaks to labour market demands, it

progress on several fronts.

encourages both the federal and provincial governments to collectively negotiate a national program that allows for

Infrastructure investment

flexibility and that will permit the retention of programs that

The CCA was involved in the lobby that led to the announce-

address industry needs.

ment in federal budget 2013 of the new 10-year $53.5-billion Building Canada Plan to succeed the current seven-year

Federal tendering and contracting practices

$33-billion plan that expired March 31, 2014. A key improve-

• Apprenticeship promotion: The CCA wants to ensure that any

ment was the indexation of the annual $2-billion Gas Tax Fund.

measures implemented in federal construction contracts to

One of the CCA’s current priorities is to work with the federal

promote apprenticeship are not mandated quotas or con-

and provincial governments to ensure the smooth/seamless

tract compliance measures. Assurances have been obtained

implementation and transition to the new plan.

from the minister’s office that these measures will not include contract compliance conditions or quotas.

Labour supply and training

• Next RP1 Contract: The CCA successfully influenced the pro-

• Immigration Reform: The CCA has been active in lobbying for

curement process for the next federal Real Property-1 (RP1)

reforms to Canada’s temporary foreign worker and perma-

contract to ensure the successful proponent is required to uti-

nent immigration programs to facilitate the entry of foreign-

lize standard industry contracts and practices.

trained construction workers and supervisory personnel.

• Industrial security clearances: The CCA continues to press for

The CCA will continue to monitor and provide input into the

streamlined industrial security clearance procedures on fed-

new Federal Skilled Trades Program and the new Expression

eral construction projects with uniform and reciprocal treat-

of Interest system expected in 2014-15. A further priority

ment by all federal departments and agencies. Last year the

is to seek the lifting of the temporary suspension of the ac-

CCA brought this matter to the prime minister’s attention.

celerated Labor Market Opinion (LMO) process under the

• DCC moving to full eProcurement: With Defence Construc-

Temporary Foreign Worker Program, or the introduction of

tion Canada (DCC) announcing that it intends to move to

an equivalent, timely process.

full electronic procurement for its construction contracts by

• Canada Job Grant: While the CCA supports the principles of the proposed Canada Job Grant that calls for employer-

2014/15, the CCA is closely consulting with DCC to ensure industry input.

Mechanical Contractors


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Public sector self-performance and competition

supplementary conditions to CCDC 2, particularly those

The CCA Civil Infrastructure Council has developed materi-

used in multiple projects. The next steps will be to review

als to assist CCA partner associations in combating the spread

and summarize these supplementary conditions and, if nec-

of public entity competition against the private sector in the

essary, interview some owners to discuss these changes. The

pursuit of publicly funding construction projects and to en-

ultimate goal is to minimize supplementary conditions to

sure any “make-or-buy” comparisons contain all pertinent

CCDC 2 by making appropriate changes to the new version,


dealing with certain topics in Specifications Division 1 General Requirements rather than in the General Conditions and

Maintaining a level playing field

countering the rationale for changes that seek to upset the

The CCA was successful in ensuring that changes to the

balance of risks and responsibilities between the parties.

regulations governing the domestic application and use of

• Subcontract bidding: The CCA has a joint taskforce examining

Export Development Canada’s financial assistance measures

how best to ensure integrity and fairness in the subcontract

would not hamper the availability of its Performance Secu-

bidding process, including the naming of subcontractors.

rity Guarantee program on P3 projects in Canada. Letters of

• New standard documents: The new CCDC design-build con-

credit have become the norm for performance security re-

tract forms CCDC 14 and CCDC 15 have been released. CCDC

quirements on P3 projects. Many Canadian-based construc-

29 – A Guide to Pre-qualification, and a new version of CCDC

tion firms use EDC’s PSG program to allow them to obtain the

21 – A Guide to Construction Insurance are expected shortly.

necessary letters of credit to participate on P3 construction

Priorities this year also include an updated version of CCDC

projects in Canada.

3 - Cost Plus Contract.

Standard documents and practices

New technologies/methodologies

• Poor quality of design documents: The CCA has developed a

The CCA continues to support the initiatives of the Institute

draft discussion paper reviewing the causes, problems and

for BIM in Canada and to promote awareness of new technolo-

issues associated with incomplete design documents. A task-

gies and methodologies through such means as last year’s in-

force was established to develop a checklist of documents

tegrated project delivery (IPD) conference in Toronto. The CCA

that contractors require in performing construction work. The

is also participating in the development of contract language

CCA’s plan is to finalize this discussion paper and recommend

and documentation to support the use of IPD.

solutions at the annual conference in March 2014. •R  eview of CCDC 2: As part of a planned review of CCDC 2,

Drug and alcohol programs

the Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) is

The CCA has established a taskforce to develop basic edu-

conducting an analysis of the common changes made to the

cational resources for construction employers and to examine

provisions of CCDC 2 by users. The CCDC has completed the

a potential role for the national association in the area of drug

first step, which was to solicit examples of commonly used

and alcohol workplace policies and programs. p

GROWTH. DEVELOPMENT. COMMUNITY. Thanks to all those who have helped the Town of Peace River grow into the community it is today.

Peace River’s location, size and servicing capacity help to make the Town of Peace River an important service centre for northwest Alberta.

Visit us at Peace River Construction Association 2014


Continued growth and excellence for Gold Seal Certification Interest in Gold Seal Certification remained strong over the last year The Gold Seal Certification program— the industry’s most highly respected certification program related to the management of construction – continued to grow in 2013, with more than 700 construction professionals from across Canada submitting applications to pursue Gold Seal Certification. In total, more than 8,000 individuals have received their certification in the Canadian construction industry, and the certification program continues to be recognized for its promotion of excellence in the management of construction. “We have continued to see interest in Gold Seal Certification, not just from construction professionals, but from owners of construction projects across

Gold Seal project in Quebec City.

Canada,” said Barry Brown, chair of the National Gold Seal Committee. “It is a certification that showcases ongoing professional development, as well as an established competency that is welcomed on any construction project. Those who have achieved certification understand the inherent value that Gold Seal Certification brings.” In addition to the number of applications received, there was also an increased interest in registering Gold Seal Projects. A Gold Seal Project is a joint effort from the project owner, the construction firm, and the local construction association to promote Gold Seal Certification and certify those working on the project. It also provides added visibility to the project through the dis14 Peace River Construction Association 2014

Gold Seal project in St. Catharines.


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tribution of marketing materials, as well as events to celebrate those being certified. “Gold Seal Projects are another means through which we have seen increased interest in the Gold Seal Certification program,” Brown added. “Those construction firms that have included Gold Seal as part of their human resource strategy and their employees can proudly pursue certification in a very team-oriented environment. At the same time, the added exposure at the completion of a project helps to


further showcase the professionalism of Gold Seal Certified individuals.” The past year also saw increased marketing efforts to ensure the program remains a relevant and engaging program. These new efforts included the distribution of posters and literature across Canada, ongoing improvements to the website, and the release of testimonial videos on the Gold Seal Certification YouTube Channel ( “The testimonial videos provided a great means to speak to Gold Seal Certified professionals across Canada, and get a very real understanding of their feelings about the program,” Brown added. “In all cases, the sentiment was the same: Gold Seal Certification has helped distinguish them in their careers, and it is highly respected across the industry spectrum.” While the past year saw growth for Gold Seal Certification, 2014 has so far continued those same trends. Increased interest in the program is being demonstrated through applications and inquiries from across Canada, as Gold Seal Certification remains the gold standard in certification for the management of construction.

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16 Peace River Construction Association 2014

the hit Let ionals s! b s s fe hum pro eir t th

• Alberta New Home Warranty Member • Past President of The Peace River Construction Association mac Eddy ction u r Const

Eddymac Construction Ltd. Box 6295, Peace River, AB T8S 1S2 Phone: 780-624-2863 Fax: 780-624-2880 Email:

Thanks to neighbours like you, the coffee’s always on. We wouldn’t be here without the support of our neighbours. That’s why your local Tim Hortons in Peace River would like to thank you for your patronage and salute you for 90 years of success. Keep up the great work.

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Peace River:

progress, diversity and development To facilitate ongoing development in the community, the Town of Peace River spearheaded a major upgrade to the Shaftesbury Water Treatment Plant this past September. The completion of the $22.5 million project confirms the Town’s commitment to future development and quality of life. In addition to the treatment processes already in place, the plant was upgraded to include additional clarification, sedimentation, filtration, chlorination, and fluoridation measures. This “Specializing in Structural Architectural & Utility Precast Products”

investment will help ensure that Peace River residents continue to receive safe, clean drinking water for future

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developments. The upgrade preceded Shell’s announcement in October that it will proceed with its Carmon Creek project, and as a result of this significant enterprise, development is expected to continue at a high rate in Peace River. Up to 80,000 barrels of oil per day will be produced at Carmon Creek and Shell expects to employ more than 1,200 contractors and trades during peak construction periods, which they predict will occur in 2016. This announcement augurs well for Peace River and development is al-

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Please recycle this publication after you have read and shared it.

ready taking place to accommodate an

residential uses from low density, to

opments and all indications are that,

expected increase in traffic. To date, this

medium and high density to manufac-

on the back of the Carmon Creek an-

is seen through tangible development,

tured homes. The light industrial com-

nouncement, Peace River will become

such as a new Ford and Chrysler dealer-

ponent of the plan also provides for a

a major focal point for development in

ship, which broke ground on the West

new industrial park on the west side of

northwest Alberta.

Hill, and the development of a 65-unit, four-storey apartment building, also on the West Hill. Major subdivisions are also ready for development, with Peace Ridge and Citadel Park both expected to break ground at some stage in 2014. In late 2013, a Citadel Park representative ad-

For a wide range of reasons, Peace

74th street. Two new hotels are also under construction, significantly increasing Peace

River has a varied and rich year of development in store. The Town anticipates much develop-

River’s bed capacity. The Town of Peace River has already received




regard to other residential lot devel-

dressed community stakeholders with

ment throughout 2014 and looks forward to ensuring a vibrant, diverse community for future generations. p

Serving Western Canada and the Northwest Territories.

regard to the make-up of the subdivision and explained that the 35 acres purchased for the subdivision will allow innovative housing in the area. The subdivision has been planned specifically to handle a range of housing types and prices, and because of its unique location at the base of the popular ski hill Misery Mountain, it will have the feeling of an alpine village. With the ability to accommodate 350 units that will house


in the region of 750 people, Peace Ridge

• Street Beautification • Sidewalks • Commercial Curb & Gutter • Concrete Paving & White Topping • Jersey & “F” Shape Barriers

is just one of the several exciting ways Peace River is planning to increase its capacity to accommodate an influx of individuals and families into the community. In tandem with Citadel Park, Peace Ridge will provide Peace River with a long-term development plan for close

Phone: 1-800-859-5541 Fax: (403) 347-4980

to 250 acres of privately owned land in the northwest corner of town. The development will provide for a mix of

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Peace River Construction Association 2014


Athabasca Hall - The next 75 years By Reid Glenn, P.Eng - Prairie Fire Power Inc.

1938 was the year that Athabasca Hall was opened. It was 3,300 square feet in size and was built as a dance hall and recreation facility, along with the St. James Cathedral complex. It had a small stage at the south end and was built in the same Tudor-style as the rest of the complex. One outstanding feature of the building was the large dance floor that was extremely popular to the population at the time. Another noteworthy characteristic is that it was built from local lumber that was milled at the construction site. Finally, the unmistakeable acoustics of the building’s shape and wood construction crown it as a jewel in Peace River’s built environment. External architectural trim.

Building standards at that time were determined by the architect and the chief carpenter, and they built it as a quality structure for their time, which is an enduring asset to our community. Please note, however, that the roof’s load capacity over the main hall is 60 per cent less than required by the current building code. In addition, the foundations of the original building were built of concrete that probably was not reinforced with iron bars. Differential settlement of the building has occurred and among other defects, allows water penetration through and into the building envelope. The original building was built in the age of wood-burning radiant heating systems. As a result, the building envelope is very open (no vapour barriers), and the existing four natural gas/forced air furnaces marginally keep the building close to human comfort conditions. The windows and doors also are

Main Entrance to hall. Note the deterioration of external wood fascia due to weathering and lichen growth. See also the spalling of paint on the concrete foundation below. The west exposure is the one in which the knife is engaged. The other side faces north. Jackknife legs are four inches in length.

20 Peace River Construction Association 2014

of similarly low quality. We are currently confronted with a cold and drafty publicly owned building that is plagued with a distinctive mildew odour due to moisture penetration and

PRAIRIE FIRE POWER INC. Prairie Fire Power Inc. is licensed as a professional engineering organization in Alberta by APEGA. The principal, Reid Glenn, P.Eng. has been a resident of Peace River since 1989 and is an active participant in our community. He has been employed at Daishowa Marubeni Inc as well as by Shell Canada Peace River Complex until starting his private practise in mechanical engineering in 2010. During the recent AER Inquiry proceedings into Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand here in Peace River, Reid was a vocal participant in the proceedings. He advocated that industry must improve their performance through the use of modern process safety management tools from the initial design through commissioning, operation and remediation of this important industry from the wellhead through to the pipeline or railcar. A focus on safety is my passion in any work that I undertake. I offer 35 years of progressive project management experience in building construction throughout Canada and right here in Peace River.


Buildings are built to house people and the processes that employ them. Experience has taught me that the people are the most important part of this equation and when the building does not support the people in their activities the whole operation suffers. Resolving concerns such as: Why is this area always drafty?

Does it always smell musty in here? Where is this water coming from?

Is this concrete block wall shrinking in thickness (or is it actually growing)? Is the building moving?

In your environment is where I can add considerable value to your organization.

I look forward to discussing your concerns and applying scientific principles to your construction needs. W. Reid Glenn, P.Eng. Member of APEGA, ASHRAE and ASME

#4 Grenier Ave. (Box 1248) St. Isidore, AB T0H 3B0 Ph 780 624 8449 | Cell 780 625 2116 |





the subsequent microbial deterioration

ly to the south of the building (about

under the raised floor for the seating

4,800 square feet). The basement of the

owned by the Peace Players). These his-

original structure was renovated, and

toric remnants could be used as promi-

at the same time, it appears a cramped

nent features in the new structure. The

control room for operating the lighting

larger beams of the Tudor architecture

was added on the outside of the original

can probably be easily recovered along

hall (above the foyer). The sound system

with many of the original roof purlins.

is not built in, but rented as required.

Getting these reusable materials out

This addition was built on concrete

of the building safely poses a risk to

My assessment is that the original

block walls. Forty years later we can see

the workers due to their contamination,

building is weak (roof trusses are below

that the foundation is continuing to set-

height, size, and awkward access. It is

code requirement) and sick (the mildew

tle into the river silt upon which it was

also a significant risk to the construction

odour) and poses a significant risk to all

built. In addition, there are signs that

budget. During demolition, the building

who use this public occupancy building.

water vapour is permeating from the in-

should be thoroughly documented for

When it should be closed down (and

terior through the concrete blocks and

its history.

what to replace it with) is a requirement

causing deterioration on the outside of

for all of the public to raise to their gov-

the addition’s walls.

of the building envelope.

In order to upgrade the building into a profitable enterprise, I suggest that

ernment for these evident safety con-

The double-loading doors in the

part of the new expanded basement

cerns. Please note, the building should

basement do not provide easy access

could include a district heating, cool-

have sprinklers, but the rafters are al-

to the stage or the rest of the building.

ing, and power generation plant for the

ready overstressed and cannot safely

These additions were completed well

adjacent and renovated St. James cathe-

accept any further loads.

before the WAC Bennett dam was built

dral and a number of local businesses

The 1972 addition to the building

at Hudson’s Hope. During the 1999

nearby (for example, the Town’s office

installed an entrance foyer, additional

downtown flood, those doors allowed

is three blocks away and could be eas-

washrooms and a large extension main-

the rising water to directly enter the

ily accessed underground by directional

building basement. Please also note

drilling technology).

the existing wood and plaster fascia of

The options are limited only by our

the building has not been adequately

capacity to see the existing problem

maintained by the Town’s maintenance

as an opportunity to build our commu-

budget (as compared to the adjacent ca-

nity’s future in a sustainable, safe, and

thedral properties).

compliant manner. I look forward to the discussion we need to be part of about

The next 75 years

shaping our built environment.

Peace River has a choice to make – do we want to continue to support the

“Divide each difficulty into as many

performing arts in our community and

parts as is feasible and necessary to re-

provide a safe, comfortable, and wel-

solve it.”

coming environment for these public

- Rene Descartes

performances? How do we balance the

22 Peace River Construction Association 2014

sometimes-competing perspectives of

The editorial content is that of the au-

historical preservation/public health/

thor and based upon a thorough review

cost/safety, while building an environ-

of the November 2010 Building Infra-

mentally sound basis for future growth

structure Review – Athabasca Hall (Proj-

in our community?

ect 020100739), performed by the Focus

My perspective is to reuse the exist-

Corporation for the Town of Peace River.

ing site, but first recover as much origi-

My recommendation is for you to get your

nal material from the 1938-era struc-

own copy from the Town and read it for

ture as is safe (an example being the

yourself. I look forward to your questions,

original dance floor cleverly preserved

comments and suggestions. p

Peace of Mind

Peace Country embraces a boom in the middle of a boom By Jillian Mitchell

Situated along the banks of Peace River, the little town with

Among the new housing developments is a 65-unit apart-

the same name is bursting at the seams, in a good way of

ment building on West Hill (yet to be named). Future projects


like the Citadel Park, a new area structure plan adjacent to

Bordering the Alberta Oil Sands invariably comes with its perks. With the continuous oil and gas boom and a rich forest-

Misery Mountain, which will also host a variety of housing options—up to 350 units housing an estimated 750 people.

ry and agriculture industry to boot, Peace River has evolved

On 99th Street, the $11.5-million Points West Living Facil-

into a progressive urban centre of 6,744—and growing. Need-

ity is one of the town’s newest supportive living facilities

less to say, Cultureville 2011 continues to be on the rise. And

for seniors, with 42 dependent suites and 11 independent.

construction teams are up to the task to render Peace River

Likewise, the Westview Housing Development offers equally

the prettiest place on the planet.

affordable living options for seniors; the $11-million facility on West Hill includes 63 apartments for independent seniors.

Home is where the Peace is

Both facilities officially opened fall 2013.

Such a population surge brings with it much responsibil-

Peace River will also welcome two new hotels in the near

ity—and invariably, the need for additional housing. As a re-

future, the Chateau Nova (a 119-unit hotel on West Hill) and

sult, members of the construction sector are hard at work ad-

a Best Western, each presenting a home away from home for

dressing the region’s housing and infrastructure needs.

many of Peace River’s working population.

Townhouses, apartments and hotels are popping up left, right and centre to alleviate the shortage. A new town bylaw also allows all two-storey commercial units to include residential space on the top floor.

The road to Peace Perhaps the most publicized event in Peace Country was the loss of Highway 744, locally known as Judah Hill. After the Peace River Construction Association 2014


wet spring season of 2013, the 200-metre-long section failed and dropped approximately four metres in mid-May, rendering the highway impassable to the travelling public looking to enter Peace River. Construction on the $9.9-million replacement project started mid-December 2013, while completion is scheduled for mid-August 2014 (though the road was recently opened to one-lane traffic). As Alberta Transportation reports, the repair consists of the installation of 108 drilled, cast in-place reinforced concrete piles, which are 1.2 metres in diameter and The Baytex Energy Centre

20-metres deep, along with two rows of ground anchors (one being 40 metres in length at a 25-degree angle and the other at 35 metres in length at a 35-degree angle). Once the anchors

Congratulations from Wayne Drysdale, Minister of Transportation

are all installed, a 130-metre reinforced concrete waler will be constructed. Once this work is completed, the roadway is poised to be reconstructed utilizing three rows by 14 rows of expanded polystyrene (EPS) geo-foam as lightweight fill (1,780 blocks)

There is some truly innovative work going on in the

and the surface of the newly constructed roadway will be tri-

Peace Country.

axial geo-grid reinforced granular base course material.

I’d like to congratulate the Village of Berwyn for trying

In other news, the town has newly refurbished 10 per cent

a new, innovative road-stabilizing chemical that has the

of its road systems and necessary subsurface through proj-

ability to create road surface similar to pavement. The

ects like the 2013 Road Overlay Rehabilitation Project, the

Town of Peace River should also be acknowledged for its

Bridge Culvert Installation Project at Highway 682, and the

aggressive paving program that saw many kilometres of

Pat’s Creek Culvert Project in downtown Peace River.

road paved in 2013. These initiatives, through our munic-

Last year’s $2-million road rehabilitation project was ap-

ipal grants program, are a great example of the provincial

proved by town council in the 2013 capital budget. Com-

government and local municipalities working together to

mencing June 2013 and wrapping in September, the project

meet local needs.

tendered to Ruel Brothers Contracting (Div. of E-Construction)

Continued repairs to culverts in this area, such as Pat’s

involved road and water-main replacements.

Creek, are crucial to local infrastructure and flood mitiga-

Commencing November 2013, the $1.3-million bridge cul-

tion. These projects are a priority and repairs are ongo-

vert installation on Highway 682 involved a part-augured/

ing. Construction continues at Highway 744 on Judah Hill

part-open-cut culvert installation with three elbows (vertical

and I commend our crews who have been able to provide

and horizontal bends). Edmonton-based In-Line Contracting

residents with temporary access to this road once again.

Partnership was contracted for road construction and main-

We will continue to support projects in this region. We

tenance on the project is scheduled for completion in mid-

are investing in Alberta’s road network today to provide you with better roads for years to come.

October 2014. Additionally, Glen Armstrong Construction Ltd. recently

Alberta Transportation will invest more than $9 billion

completed Phase 1 of the Pat’s Creek Rehabilitation Project

between 2013 and 2016 in capital projects, and highway

downtown. The project involved repair to a collapsed portion

and bridge maintenance and preservation. We are fo-

of the culvert near the Peace River roundabout after signifi-

cusing investment on expanding market access through

cant flood damage. As such, the collapsed portion has been

work on core infrastructure and key corridors.

replaced by a custom structure with a sheet pile/soldier pile

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is


investing in families and communities, living within our

Phase 2 of the project is currently underway, involving in-

means, and opening new markets for Alberta’s resources

stallation of a concrete floor and metal roof structure, as well

to ensure we’re able to fund the services Albertans told

as final site grading. The two-phase project encompassed a

us matter the most to them.

stabilization phase, the installation of piles and sheet piles, followed by the return of the site to its original condition with

24 Peace River Construction Association 2014

Judah Hill repair.

the installation of concrete floor and panels, as well as backfilling, top-soiling and seeding.

“As an architect on a project like this, basically I’m responsible for making it work. The aesthetic design is determined by the manufacturers’ guidelines,” says Eugene Silva of E3 Ar-

Establishing Peace The Town of Peace River’s $22.5-million Shaftesbury Water Treatment Upgrade Project has officially wrapped, as of the

chitecture. “If you go from one city to the next, the Ford dealership is going to look the same. Everything has to have the same look.”

September 2013 grand opening, however, final completion and commissioning continued until the end of March 2014.

Peace Country

Designed to 2036 population projections, the water treat-

Of course, Peace River’s surrounding area has experienced

ment facility now offers the capacity to provide potable wa-

its fair share of development. Projects of note include the

ter to Peace River and the neighbouring County of Northern

new Canadian Tire in High Level, the $4-million St. Isidore

Lights, who partnered in this project, as it will also supply the

Cultural Centre renovation, a new Petro Canada truck stop in

southern end of the county, including the Weberville, War-

Northern Sunrise County near Highway 2 and Highway 688,

rensville and Dixonville areas.

Shell Canada’s Carmon Creek expansion project, and Husky

Sure-Form Contracting began onsite in September 2013 to

Energy’s plans to double their Rainbow Lake plant in the next

construct the plant’s additional clarification, sedimentation,

four years. But perhaps most striking is the Village of Berwyn’s

filtration, chlorination, and fluoridation features. Funding for

paving project, involving a product called “Rhino Snot.”

the project was provided by the provincial Water For Life Pro-

The Village of Berwyn recently paved 3.8 kilometres of their

gram ($16,804,616), the Town of Peace River ($4,950,496),

gravel roads with the innovative Envirotac II product typically

and the federal Gas Tax Fund ($747,079).

used as both a paving alternative and a means to combat dust.

At the intersection of Highway 743 and Highway 2, two new

By opting for Rhino Snot, the town was able to cut the initial

dealerships are being constructed. Situated side by side, the

$520,000 paving budget by one-half—and extend the initial

new Ford and Chrysler dealerships fill an entire town block.

three-block paving project to the total 3.8 kilometres.

Plans for the existing dealerships (circa 1970)—Ford a few

“The reason it’s named Rhino Snot is that it’s tough and

blocks to the west; Chrysler across the river—are yet to be

when it’s wet, it’s slimy,” says Councillor John Bak of Berwyn.


“It’s a lot cheaper than paving, and it’s all environmentally

Edmonton-based OML Construction Services Ltd. was

friendly—it’s even potable.”

contracted to simultaneously build the two-storey all-white

As Bak explains, he received an email from a colleague in

Ford facility (21,567 square feet) and the single-storey, EIFS-

Manitoba about the environmentally sound product. For Bak,

exterior Chrysler building (28,621 square feet), both of which

the email was a call to action and the trial-road resurfacing

are scheduled for completion in spring 2015. Sustainable ele-

project was promptly initiated. The Berwyn paving project will

ments of each facility include LED lighting, the use of natural

be observed and evaluated by Alberta Transportation.

light, state-of-the-art insulation, to name a few. Edmonton-based E3 Architecture was responsible for executing the proprietary designs of each dealerships.

“We would absolutely use it again,” Bak confirms. “It’s been used all over Montana, Manitoba and Iran. It’s more economical than anything.” p Peace River Construction Association 2014


Highway to hell By Susan Thompson

In a world where truly hand-made,

thriving business in the Peace region

Hell ‘N’ Back Welding Ltd. was found-

built-to-last items are all but extinct,

around the old-school values of per-

ed in 2004 by journeyman “B” pressure


sonalized customer service and excel-

welder Doug Thompson and his wife.

lent craftsmanship.

After working for years managing other



Hell ‘N’ Back Welding Ltd. is building a

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people’s shops everywhere from Calgary to Peace River, Thompson decided it was time to strike out on his own. The flagship portable welding truck for the company was a Dodge painted flat black with the company’s cheeky pinup logo on the side. Eye-catching hot rod flames on the grill and hood were hand pin-striped onto the truck by Thompson himself. Thompson has since updated his trucks but not his style, and there is no question the distinctive por-

26 Peace River Construction Association 2014

HELL ‘N’ BACK WELDING LTD. 780-322-6666

O T O G L L ’ E W K C A B ’ N ‘ L HEL B O J E H T TO GET ! T H G I R E DON


Linked in

table rigs run by Hell ‘N’ Back stick out in the crowd of plain white trucks being run by the competitors. Thompson is able

Ruel Brothers Contracting Ruel Brothers Contracting RuelDivision Brothers Contracting of E Construction Ltd. P.O. Box 6987 Ltd. Division ofEEConstruction Construction Ltd. Division of PeaceP.O. River, T8S 1S7 Box 6987 P.O. BoxAB 6987 Peace PeaceRiver, River,AB ABT8S T8S1S7 1S7

to back up this memorable branding with years of knowledge and experience, and as result, the company’s reputation has grown rapidly. Hell ‘N’ Back Welding Ltd. soon expanded to include a fabrication shop and began producing steel products. In 2011, the Thompsons took on a partner and expanded into manufacturing. However, after two years they decid-


PEACE RIVER PEACE RIVER780-624-1753 780-624-1753 PEACE RIVER 780-624-1753 FALHER 780-837-2201 FALHER 780-837-2201 FALHER 780-837-2201 FAX 780-624-5225 FAX 780-624-5225 FAX 780-624-5225

ed to buck the trend towards outsourcing in the manufacturing industry and return their focus to specialized welding services, such as aluminum repairs and custom fabrication. “For a small company of 10 employees or less, there is simply no way to compete against cheap mass manufacturing in countries like China, so we decided we’d stop trying,” Thompson explains. “We found the best margins actually weren’t in mass producing items, but in custom fabricating individual products and fixing steel products made by others.” In late 2013, Hell ‘N’ Back also obtained CWB certification to CSA Standard W47.1, meaning the company is now fully certified in structural-steel welding and construction, from stairs and railings to metal buildings.

28 Peace River Construction Association 2014

“We specialize in structural rather than piping because

Hell ‘N’ Back Welding Ltd.’s knowledgeable crew is ready

there are very few companies in our area who are willing to

for whatever needs to be done, whether it’s lugging a Cat-

focus on structural steel, and even fewer who are certified

erpillar to prepare for the winter season, building a set of

to do it,” he says. Thompson, who calls himself a “welder by trade and blacksmith by passion”, even incorporates centuries-old

architectural stairs to both a client’s desired specifications and to code, or prototyping a patent-pending design.

blacksmithing techniques into the day-to-day projects in

“We’re known as the welders who can build anything,”

the shop, from forging end caps for a beavertail on a truck

Thompson says. “If we build or fix it, you’re guaranteed to

trailer to making decorative steel roses for Valentine’s Day.

get a work of steel art on time and on budget.” p




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Peace River Construction Association 2014


Index to advertisers AGS Mechanical Contractors Ltd............................................... 12

Northern Air..............................................................................................16

Alberta Blue Cross.................................................................... 4 & IBC

Northern Lakes College...................................................................... 7

Alberta Construction Safety Association..............................17

Overhead Door.......................................................................................17

Alberta One Call...................................................................................... 8

Peace River Heating (1971) Ltd....................................................19

AWG Northern Industries Inc....................................................... 18

Prairie Fire Power Inc..........................................................................21

Boyer Truss Ltd...................................................................................... 22

Proform Concrete Services Inc.....................................................19

Eddymac Construction Ltd.............................................................17

Quintel Communications Ltd........................................................17

EMCO Corporation...............................................................................11

Reynold’s Plumbing............................................................................ 29

Finning....................................................................................................... IFC

Risley Steel.................................................................................................. 5

Fox National Building Systems Inc............................................ 15

Roma Insulators Ltd.............................................................................26

GreatWest Kenworth..........................................................................19

Ruel Bros. Contracting...................................................................... 28

Hell ‘n’ Back Welding Ltd.................................................................27

T.H. Gust Builders Ltd........................................................................... 9

Inland Concrete......................................................................................10

Tim Horton’s.............................................................................................17

J.R. Paine & Associates Ltd............................................................... 9

TOG Systems........................................................................................OBC

Kemp Concrete Products................................................................ 18

Total Engine Services........................................................................... 6

Kenry Electric Ltd.................................................................................... 9

Total Flooring & Finishes.................................................................... 5

Knelsen Sand & Gravel Ltd............................................................... 9

Town of Peace River........................................................................... 13

Laprairie Group Contractors............................................................ 6

Trans Peace Construction Ltd......................................................... 9

Nor-Tech Systems LP.......................................................................... 29

Tri-S Contracting...................................................................................... 4

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Peace River Construction Association magazine 2014