CHBA - Lethbridge Region
The CHBA – LR partners with Victoria Park High School to deliver the first of 3 sessions of an intense hand on work experience program.
On May 7th, the CHBA-LR launched the first of 3 sessions in a pilot work experience program with Victoria Park High School CTS Students. This program is designed to give CTS students aged 15-19 a taste of the many possibilities available when choosing a career in residential construction with real hands-on experience at a job site. The first step of this program was to orient the students in safety on the job site. Workplace Safety (Safe Worker) hosted a session to give the students an understanding of the importance of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), how to behave on a job site and the importance of respecting the equipment they are working with. For each jobsite the students will be on during this pilot program, PPE has been donated by KB Heating and the CHBA.
The first session took place at Zero Gravity Cranes & Rigging Inc., located at 332 36 Street North, Lethbridge, AB T1H3Z7 on May 7th from 8:30am to 11:30am. At this session, some of the information students will learned was centered on proper techniques for cranes, hoisting and lift calculations. Students were able to operate the equipment during this session and were thrilled to in control of equipment worth millions of dollars. After completion, students earned a certificate of work experience to use in their pursuit of career after high school. The CTS instructor for Victoria Park School, Tom Kocken said, “Zero Gravity Cranes provided a positive learning experience with a true hands on experience that allowed the students the opportunity to see this work as a viable career choice.”
“The whole purpose of this program to give high school students real exposure to career possibilities right here in the City that offer tremendous possibility for growth and success and a sense of ownership in the decisions they make for their future. “ says Angie Zuba, Executive Officer of the Canadian Home Builders Association – LR.
The second session will be later in May at Kodiak Mountain Stone and the 3rd will take place in early June at KB Heating & Air Conditioning.
CHBA was proud to be involved in the recent Team Lethbridge Trip to Edmonton where a group of community professionals were able to offer support and discuss Lethbridge issues with our members of the Legislature. One of the main areas of support lent by the CHBA to Minister of Municipal Affairs, Doug Griffiths was the proposed mandatory new home warranty and one day after visiting the Provinces Capital, the CHBA is extremely pleased to hear that Bill 5, the New Home Buyer Protection Act was passed.
*Alberta has introduced new legislation making it mandatory for builders to provide warranties for new homes.
Under Bill 5, warranties on new homes would be one year for labour and materials; two years for defective labor or materials; five years for the exterior and 10 years for major structural components. The law will cover all new homes built in the province starting in the fall of 2013.
"It does it in a way that makes sure that builders are more accountable but that homes are still affordable," said Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths.
The government believes the warranty will raise the price of an average home by less than one per cent or about $1,700 to $2,000. Deron Bilous, the NDP critic for Municipal Affairs, welcomed the new bill. However, he believes the province should also strengthen home inspections. "This act isn't going to at least at the moment doesn't look like its dealing with home inspections," he said. "Certification of inspectors and then ensuring that province-wide that there are standards." The government plans to soon introduce legislation which would increase fines for contractors who don't meet standards.*
Minister Griffiths was also quoted to say “Albertan’s should be reassured that the single largest purchase their family makes will be protected by one of the strongest warranty programs in the country”. Purchasing a new home can be a stressful time and this will hopefully take some of the worry out of the experience.
“The passing of this bill will help make the home building industry stronger”, said Angie Zuba, Executive Officer of the CHBA Lethbridge Region. “It raises the bar and makes all home builders use the finest craftsmanship to build the most reliable homes. Our members have been in support of this bill the entire time as it reduces the likely hood of substandard building which can tarnish the reputation of the industry.” Zuba also commented.
On April 30, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenny took the stage in a Calgary conference room to speak to the residential construction industry and petroleum industry to provide an update on the growing labour shortage concerns. The problems he speaks of is how the province is going to replace an expected 34,000 retirees while accommodating a rise in demand of 37,500, for construction alone (Constructions Sector Council 2012-2020 Report).
Minister Kenney spoke of a broken immigration system, one that takes seven years to process an application. The government is revamping the process with the goal of dropping the time frame to a few months. The federal government is also looking to improve the Temporary Foreign Worker program by providing an accelerated labour market opinion in ten days or less. Appealing to the construction industry is the exempt trades list, whereby an immigrant can provide certification or licensing in an approved trade and be granted a work visa with proof of employment. Canadian Home Builders’ Association Lethbridge Region welcomes the changes to the Temporary Foreign worker program. “While our local labour pool still has the employees we need, we are seeing in northern markets, Calgary and Edmonton, that the labour pool is shrinking quickly” states Stephen Amonson, Board President. Further, “having a system that allows for reaching skilled labour pools in other countries is advantageous to both the employer and consumer.” The Minister concluded his remarks by describing the new system is designed to be user friendly to small to medium size business as well, allowing those companies without dedicated Human Resource departments and immigration lawyers on retainer to access foreign workers when needed.
Construction Sector Council of Canada predicts that by 2014 new construction and renovations employment demands will be above that of the 2006 peak. CHBA-LR is focused on working with all level of governments to insure that labour pools will be accessible to members of all sizes.
Girls with Tools is here again and this time we have opened it up to women and girls of all ages! This program is designed to empower women and girls and teach them that they can do home repair confidently! Learn from industry professionals and be part of a great program. See the poster below for details on how to register!
In October, Canada Post sprang a levy of $200 to be charged to every new address in Canada beginning January 1. It pretends this is a charge paid by developers when of course it is the home buyer who will end up getting the bill eventually.
Canada Post claims the fee is needed to help pay for the cost of Community Mail Boxes (CMBs), even though when so-called super mail boxes were introduced it promised to be fully responsible for their installation and maintenance.
A look at the organization’s finances reveals the actual reason for this cash grab – it is losing money at a ferocious pace; since 2011 losses amount to 415 million, equaling six consecutive money-losing quarters.
The reasons it offers for the losses have nothing to do with the cost of new CMBs. Mail volume has dropped sharply, a trend expected to accelerate as people switch to electronic banking and other options. Labour costs and its pension deficit of $6.6 billion are concerns.
Faced with the kind of pressure that would require most ordinary businesses to look for ways to reduce costs, it’s plain to see why Canada Post wants to reach into the pocket of every new home buyer. Each year it adds another 150,000 addresses. That’s a $30 million annual windfall without providing any service above what it previously offered.
This amount still won’t be enough to put Canada Post’s financially troubled house in order. That should worry all Canadians.
The corporation delivers mail to 15 million addresses across the country. If Canada Post can impose an extra charge on new addresses, how long will it be until it looks to expand this source of funds?
Will door-to-door service be replaced by CMBs, thus lowering the quality of service and creating an opening to slap new fees on millions more Canadians forced to register to continue receiving mail? How long will it be until we see an annual “maintenance fee” for existing CMBs?
We have objected to both the fee and the way it was imposed because it erodes the affordability of homes. New home buyers make an easy target because they don’t realize they are being gouged until too late.