Off the Clock?

Dealing with employees’ off-duty conduct By Danny Alcom, Miller Thomson LLP The rise of social media and access to the Internet has enabled people to connect and share information, opinions and beliefs with one another in an unprecedented manner. Individuals can document activities and post content virtually instantly. In many ways, this enhanced connectivity is […]

Community Engagement

A vital role in successful projects By Ian Wilson Saskatchewan Research Projects For companies operating in the construction, mining and energy sectors, community engagement is an important component of many projects and sites, from exploration through operation to remediation. A key to success is the integration of local knowledge into operational and closure plans. However, […]

Renewing Rural Infrastructure is Key to Canada’s Recovery

By Joanne Venderheyden, Federation of Canadian Municipalities After everything Canadians have been through in the last few years, they deserve a recovery they can see and feel in their daily lives. Rural communities have a key role to play in that. With a strong and united municipal voice, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is […]

Fatigue Management for Construction Professionals

A shared responsibility between the employer and employee By Lisa Kopochinski Long hours and hard, physical work are the norm for many working in Canada’s construction industry. However, if not properly managed, these conditions can lead to worker fatigue, resulting in unsafe working conditions. This is why companies need to take stronger measures to prevent […]

Values-Driven Leadership

Leading authentically By Brett Elmgren, CPHR, Axom Leadership, Inc. For the past decade, I have worked internally with leaders from some of Saskatchewan’s largest organizations and engaged in countless discussions on the topic of leadership. Each conversation has been fulfilling and unique and left me increasingly curious about how we can continue to develop our […]

Working Together to Unite, Evolve, Lead The Industry

Canadians are relying on construction to build back better By Mary Van Buren, President, Canadian Construction Association Representing more than 20,000 member firms, the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is proud of our mission to inspire a progressive, innovative and sustainable construction industry. The key to our success is working with our valued partner associations like […]

Funding Infrastructure to Support Trade

Calling for a federally financed investment program for trade gateways and corridors in Western Canada By Martin Charlton Communications Valuing the importance of trade to Canada’s economic success will contribute to this country’s ability to develop a resilient economy.  Appropriately funding the infrastructure that supports trade will be critical for Canada’s economy to be able […]

Walk the Talk

SHCA reacts to the 2022–23 provincial budget By Martin Charlton Communications There is little to nothing to be excited about in the provincial budget for 2022–23 when it comes to highways.  Members hoping the budget would reveal more capital funding for highway projects were disappointed to learn that virtually all the work it contains has […]

News From The Field

Sharing news that SHCA members need to know New board members on the Saskatchewan WCB The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) is pleased to welcome two additional part-time board members, Judy Henley and Jack Brodsky, in 2022. They join the WCB’s current full-time board members – chair Gord Dobrowolsky, worker representative Garry Hamblin and employer […]

A Disappointing Budget

As you can imagine, I get excited for the release of the spring tender schedule each year, but when I saw what was contained in the schedule this spring, my enthusiasm cratered. But as tough as I am finding it to believe there are basically no new projects, I can’t imagine the devastation being felt […]

In the Grip of a Boom

SaskaBoom 2.0 is just a bit more evident now that we’ve seen the mid-year accounting of the provincial government’s income and expenditure. The big story emerging from the Q2 summary is on the revenue side. Tax revenues – income and sales levies – rose sharply, more than $600 million ahead of the budgeted estimate only […]

Saskatchewan WCB Committee of Review Set for Early 2022

Interested individuals are invited to register to observe public hearings Have you ever had a Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) claim go sideways and upon inquiry, you were told it was adjudicated with reference to specific legislation, policy and/or procedure? Are you frustrated with the Saskatchewan WCB policies and/or legislation? Injury Solutions Canada helps employers […]

Values-Driven Leadership

Explore common themes that define the foundation of leadership For the past decade, I have worked internally with leaders from some of Saskatchewan’s largest organizations and engaged in countless discussions on the topic of leadership. Each conversation has been fulfilling and unique and left me increasingly curious about how we can continue to develop our […]

Please Pay ASAP

Saskatchewan’s prompt payment legislation will be in force in March 2022 Introduction The Government of Saskatchewan has announced that the Builders’ Lien (Prompt Payment) Amendment Act, 2019 (the “Act”) will be proclaimed in force on March 1, 2022. The Act received Royal Assent in 2019, but was not immediately proclaimed in force due to logistical […]

The Intelligent Contractor

What heavy construction operators need to know about owner-controlled insurance programs Although owner-controlled insurance programs (OCIP) have been around for decades they have not been used very often in Saskatchewan, despite their many benefits. “When structured properly, an OCIP best protects the interests of everyone on the project,” said Greg van Ginkel, a managing partner […]

SCGA Offers Free Material for Your Next Safety Meeting

Construction activity in Saskatchewan has remained at historically high levels, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. There were 151,282 requests for line locates in 2020, a close to seven per cent increase from the previous year, and about 700 contacts with underground facilities. The Saskatchewan Common Ground Alliance (SCGA) and its 95 members – which include […]

Indigenous Student Success at Sask Polytech

Indigenous students are an important part of Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s community Saskatchewan Polytechnic is committed to the renewal of relationships — miyo wahkohtowin — with our Indigenous communities. Since 2013, Sask Polytech has celebrated Indigenous student success every month by sharing a role model story on its annual calendar, on saskpolytech.ca and through social media. Over […]

SATCC Launches MyATC

New self-serve system delivers quicker, more efficient service to apprentices, tradespeople and employers In response to requests from apprentices and employers, the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) has launched a new online self-serve system. MyATC went live on Jan. 10, 2022, delivering faster and more efficient services for apprentices, tradespeople and employers across […]

Industry Focused on Building for the Future

CCA priorities include strategic investment in infrastructure, workforce development and changes to procurement There is no debate. The infrastructure we design, build and maintain must anticipate a rapidly changing world, where future climate, technologies and social needs will be very different from today. But to achieve this, we need a considered and co-ordinated plan backed […]

Proven Strategies for Indigenous Engagement

Shared wisdom to help your company successfully recruit and retain a culturally diverse workforce  Employers are beginning to hire more Indigenous employees. More Indigenous people are obtaining post-secondary education and training. This combination would suggest an expanding middle class of Indigenous people with disposable income. This fast-growing demographic presents businesses with a new market to […]

Heavy Construction Sector Collaborates for Safety

CEO of Heavy Construction Safety Association of Saskatchewan counts ongoing industry support as key to organization’s success Thomas Archer has no words when asked to describe the industry support he receives for advancing road construction safety. Archer has been the CEO of the Heavy Construction Safety Association of Saskatchewan (HCSAS) since July. Since then, he […]

Growing the Saskatchewan Workforce

With an economic ‘super cycle’ on the horizon, the proposed Saskatchewan Workforce Retention Program could help address the provincial labour shortage Jobs are going unfilled in Saskatchewan and a solution is being proposed to help relieve the strain on employers, as major projects move ahead in the province and workplaces adapt through a pandemic. Saskatchewan […]

SHCA Member Q&A: Kelly Rann, EMSCO

In this issue of Think BIG, we are featuring Kelly Rann, Saskatoon Branch Manager and Corporate Sales Manager at EMSCO, a provider of heavy equipment rentals, sales, parts and service. The company has extensive experience in the heavy construction, pipeline and road building industries.  A native of North Battleford, Rann got his start in heavy […]

News from the Field

Sharing news that SHCA members need to know New Legislation Will Protect Contractors From Payment Delays On March 1, 2022, The Builders’ Lien (Prompt Payment) Amendment Act, 2019 will be proclaimed into force in Saskatchewan. “This government is committed to supporting the construction industry,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said. “These changes will […]

Building Western Potential

With the 44th Parliament officially underway, I am excited about the opportunities that I and my Conservative colleagues have before us. Much of my optimism stems from the hard-working people of the Prairies and the developments that are being made across the West.  As the Conservative Shadow Minister for Prairie Economic Development and Inter-provincial Trade, […]

Focusing on Economic Priorities

The last election has been called “the Seinfeld election” – the election about nothing. There was no valid reason to call a vote, especially in the midst of a pandemic, except for a failed bid by Justin Trudeau to win a majority government. The aftermath of the election is that, effectively, nothing changed in the […]

Connecting with Government

Thank you to everyone who came out to the MLA reception hosted by the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association (SHCA) at the Legislative Building on Nov. 1. We had a solid turn-out of members and MLAs from both the Saskatchewan Party and the NDP. Everywhere you looked in the room, you could see people talking to […]

Employers and Employees: A New Arrangement?

When the job vacancy numbers for the end of Q2 were released, they really weren’t all that surprising. Anyone delivering construction projects this summer could have offered the same insights: vacancies were up and prospective workers were as scarce as hens’ teeth.  For Saskatchewan, the number of jobs going unfilled at the end of June […]

The Seasonal Layoff Injury

A strong, well-documented return to work program will limit an employer’s financial liability and reduce days lost to workplace injury Happy fall to one and all. As we rush to complete current projects before Old Man Winter arrives, there is one interesting phenomenon that always comes along at this time of year: seasonal layoff injuries! […]

Saskatchewan and the Rural Integrated Roads for Growth

Stimulus funding enables crucial maintenance and upgrades to rural roads and bridges The days are getting shorter, the leaves are turning colour and you can find a pumpkin spice latte anyplace! As fall slowly arrives, there is a lot of beauty to be seen on the rural roads. There’s nothing better than packing a lunch, […]

Community Engagement Plays a Vital Role in Successful Projects

Building trust through community presence and open communication is easy to say and very hard to do – but it’s worth the effort For companies operating in the mining and energy sectors, community engagement is an important component of many projects and sites – from exploration through operation to remediation. A key to success is […]

Ontario Court Underlines the Evidence and Analysis Required to Establish Critical Path Delays

Who is responsible for delays in multi-party projects? What happens when there are multiple independent causes of delay in the same time period? How do courts determine if a delay impacts the critical path of the project schedule? The Ontario Superior Court of Justice was faced with these issues in the recent case Schindler Elevator […]

The Evolution of Risk Management

Taking advantage of risk management will allow heavy construction operators to take advantage of opportunities Much has changed in the heavy construction industry in the last few decades, including new technology, improved work practices and the advent of social media. Although these changes are readily acknowledged, there is less focus on another changing aspect of […]

New Ground Disturbance Safety Training Targets Young Workers

Free online training course aims to reduce underground utility strikes and dangers due to soil collapse “Youth is our future.” Is this just another tired cliché? Or is it something that many people take to heart? For the Saskatchewan Safety Council (SSC), the Saskatchewan Common Ground Alliance (SCGA) and the Heavy Construction Safety Association of […]

Trades and Tech Summer Camps Promote Girl Power

Women in Trades and Technology encourages and celebrates women’s empowerment, independence, confidence and strength For many of us, summer brings back fond memories of camp. Learning to paddle a canoe, roasting marshmallows over a campfire, slapping mosquitoes on endless walks through the woods, and for some… learning to use power tools. Of course, camp these […]

SATCC Prepares to Launch Self-Service

In 2022, clients will be able to access apprenticeship services any time, anywhere The Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) is excited to announce that in 2022 it will launch MyATC – a new online self-service system that will provide faster and more efficient service for apprentices, tradespeople and employers across the province.  “MyATC […]

Built on Trust

CCA secures significant wins for the industry Representing 20,000-plus member firms, the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is proud of its mission to inspire a progressive, innovative and sustainable construction industry. The key to our success is you, our members – and the trust you place in CCA as your partner, adviser and champion. CCA has […]

Connecting Communities

Regina-based NIS Contractors has a reputation for excellence when it comes to the installation and repair of residential sewer and water lines. NIS Contractors Ltd. has been in the business of connecting Saskatchewan communities to vital services since 1975. The Regina-based company specializes in water and sewer infrastructure installation and repair, both locally and across […]

Encouraging Strategic Investment in Trade Infrastructure

Nation-building projects that elevate Canada’s trade competitiveness are foundational to economic recovery and sustainable future growth Canadians have been asked what we want for the future of our country and to decide who should lead efforts towards fulfilling that interest. This decision comes at a time when each of us is considering how we fared […]

SHCA Welcome Back Golf Tournament

August 20, 2021Wascana Golf & Country Club, Regina Thanks to everyone who came out for our golf tournament in August. It was a sell-out! The cool, rainy weather held until the last part of the day, but that did not dampen the spirits of SHCA members celebrating being back together again. The course was in […]

SHCA MEMBER Q&A:

Jeff Foster, SMS Equipment Inc. Business owners and representatives make difficult decisions every day about where to invest company dollars. In this section of Think BIG, current SHCA members sound off about the benefits of association membership. Jeff Foster is the Saskatchewan operations manager for SMS Equipment Inc., an international dealer of construction, foresting, mining […]

News from the Field

Sharing news that SHCA members need to know Fall Tender Plan Includes $157 Million in Highways Projects The Government of Saskatchewan is looking to build and protect more of our provincial highway system with $157.3 million in new highway projects included in the 2021 Fall Tender Plan. These projects will continue the Ministry of Highways’ […]

Working Together to Build a Better Future

As I write this, Canada is still in the middle of a federal election, so I have my fingers crossed that I’m  not jinxing myself by assuming I will still be your MP. Prior to the election, I had the honour to serve on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. […]

Opportunities to Connect

Together, we are better. Now that we are able to host and attend events, we have a few coming up that offer all our members great opportunities to advance their interests. Mark your calendars with a couple of events this November! The first is the MLA Reception that the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association (SHCA) is […]

A New Heavy Equipment Operator Course in Saskatchewan

Road building depends on heavy equipment being run by competent operators, so making sure more people are choosing to become qualified operators is essential if the industry is to stay strong.

News from the Field – July 2021

Sharing news that SHCA members need to know Brandt announces plan to create 1,000-plus new jobs The Brandt Group of Companies recently announced plans to make a major investment in staffing and will hire more than 1,000 new employees by the end of 2021. The new positions will span the Regina-based company’s 100+ location international […]

The Landscape of Return to Work

Thanks to COVID-19, the landscape of work has forever changed. Unfortunately, employers had to make a quick decision regarding how to keep their employees working throughout the pandemic. What was once thought impossible for many employers became a reality and it changed how we view the traditional sense of the working environment.

Clarity on the Duty to Exercise Contractual Discretion in Good Faith

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) released its decision in Wastech Services Ltd. v. Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District (“Wastech Decision”) on Feb. 5, 2021.

Why it’s Important to Report Workplace Hazards

Many aspects of safety management have evolved over the past few decades, but one of the things that has remained at the forefront is safety reporting. Safety professionals today still struggle to get the point across to the workforce that it is important to report hazards, unsafe acts and conditions.

Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship Program Wraps Up Unprecedented Year

Staff at the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) continued to promote the Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship (SYA) program, apprenticeship and careers in the skilled trades throughout 2020–21.

Protecting Canadian Businesses

Although the start of a pandemic is probably not the best time to begin a new business, that didn’t stop David Richards and Andy Bates. They knew the risks when they began EQUA Specialty Risk Partners Corporation (EQUA), an insurance brokerage that specializes in managing construction risks that leads to improved coverage and competitive pricing for its clients.

Harassment in the Workplace

It is a good feeling spending your workday being productive alongside people that make you feel welcome and valued. So, too, is going home knowing what you did and how you spoke throughout the workday was helpful, not harmful. Not every day or every workplace is like that, but there are tools to guide employers, supervisors and employees towards maintaining that type of work environment.

Inaugural Meeting of the Women in Construction TEC Group

Meeting with a group that is open to advice and generous with their insights is an empowering experience that helps to develop one another. A group like that came together recently to create that experience for women in construction. We met as the Women in Construction – TEC Group for its inaugural meeting. This introductory […]

Resurrecting Old Injuries

When an employee injures themselves at work, recovers and re-injures themselves off the job When an employee gets injured at work, and the Workers’ Compensation Board in that jurisdiction accepts that injury, it accepts that injury for life…or does it? It does not seem to be a clear yes or no answer, from our experience. […]

Competitive Bidding Processes

Competition Bureau’s updated guidelines for procurement processes On Feb. 5, 2021, the Competition Bureau of Canada (the “Competition Bureau”) released “Competitive bidding processes in the public sector: Procuring good value for taxpayer money” (“Competitive Bidding Processes”). Competitive Bidding Processes represents the Competition Bureau’s most recent publication in the Competition Advocate in some time. Competitive Bidding […]

Why Two-factor Identification is a Good Idea and How it Works

Advice for business owners As the digital age continues to expand and our everyday tasks (e.g., emailing, banking, online storage) continue moving to the cloud, there seems to be never-ending requests for new login usernames and passwords. For cloud service providers (those that offer free email, banks, credit card companies, business sites) and your workplace, […]

Building Rewarding Careers for Women in Trades

The Saskatchewan Polytechnic Women in Trades & Technology program has been helping women access careers in the trades for more than three decades For more than 30 years, the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Women in Trades & Technology (WITT) program has encouraged women to think about non-traditional career options and addressed barriers that may limit their participation […]

“Constructing” Civility

People treatment as a continuous improvement strategy in construction environments According to constructible.com, the demand for construction is growing much faster than the number of skilled workers, and the industry is facing a skills shortage like never before. Specifically, The Bureau of Labour Statistics suggests that overall employment of construction labourers and helpers is projected […]

Making the Transition

GCL makes the switch from construction to sales, rental and repair No one knows the ups and downs of the Saskatchewan economy better than Treverr Poole. When the oil and gas industry was booming and potash was thriving from 2008–13, his company, Garry’s Construction Ltd. (GCL) was thriving with 50 employees and upwards of 70 […]

Stimulating the Economy

“Banner year” for road construction in 2020 Few sectors can admit it has been business as usual over the past 12 months. A global pandemic transformed life as we knew it. Mandatory lockdowns, limited capacity for restaurants and retail outlets, working and learning remotely all wreaked havoc on local, provincial and national economies. Amidst the […]

Opening EYES to STEM opportunities

More than 30,000 kids each year experience engineering and science camps through the University of Regina Little did a group of University of Regina engineering students realize that when they developed a summer camp for kids more than 25 years ago, they were laying the foundation for a program that would engage more than 30,000 […]

Saskatchewan Outdoor Classroom

Milestone School may take on a new look by the end of this school year, thanks to a community initiative spurred by students. For the past several months, Rebecca Carson’s Grade 4 class has been drawing, designing, fundraising and pitching their plans for an outdoor classroom to school board officials, local businesses and community groups. […]

News from the Field – April 2021

Sharing news that SHCA members need to know April is Dig Safe month April is Dig Safe month, as proclaimed by the province of Saskatchewan. And for more than 30 years, the Annual Contractor Dig Safe Awareness Breakfast program is held across dozens of communities around the province. The Saskatchewan Common Ground Alliance (SCGA) and […]

Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan

Saskatchewan’s economy has demonstrated incredible resiliency over the past year. Our province was not immune to the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, but we have implemented a number of strategies and programs to ensure economic and labour market recovery. As part of our government’s commitment to stimulate economic recovery, we launched the Re-Open Saskatchewan […]

Ottawa Report

I’m pleased to have this opportunity to report “behind the headlines” Ottawa updates to the members of the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association. Although all Saskatchewan MPs have a role to play in promoting construction in Saskatchewan, I have the duty and privilege to play a particular role. I sit on the House of Commons Standing […]

WCB Claims and Seasonal Layoffs

What to do when an injured worker is due to be laid off I often get asked what an employer should do if they are laying off a worker and they are currently are on a Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) claim. The reality is that the heavy construction industry, for the most part, is a […]

Chandos Construction v. Deloitte Restructuring

How to draft construction contracts to avoid the anti-deprivation rule In Chandos Construction Ltd v. Deloitte Restructuring Inc1 [“Chandos”], the majority of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) reaffirmed the common law anti-deprivation rule in Canada. The anti-deprivation rule voids contractual terms that apply upon a party’s insolvency and bankruptcy where the clause removes value […]

One Way to Retain and Take Care of Your Employees

How to boost your employees’ retirement fund without additional company costs If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that amazing and resilient employees are the backbone of great companies and it’s important to retain them. So how can you acknowledge that and help enable the retirement that your employees deserve, without breaking the bank? Now […]

Saskatchewan Apprenticeship Launching New IT System This Spring

The Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) is getting ready to launch a new, client-facing IT system that will provide Saskatchewan apprentices and employers with faster, more efficient service. It will transform the way we serve our clients and we’re excited to launch it. It’s called MyATC. Apprentices will be able to self-register for […]

New Rare Earth Processing Facility in Saskatchewan to Secure North American Supply Chain

New facility scheduled for completion in 2022 In the coming decade, the need for rare earth elements (REEs) will increase many-fold due to their importance in high-growth technology areas such as wind turbines and electric cars. Canadian rock formations hold 12 per cent of the world’s REE measured resources. But currently, no REEs are being […]

Engineering Our Nation

After entering the Saskatchewan market in 1953, Associated Engineering has become a fixture at major infrastructure projects Plenty has changed in the world over the last 70 years, but one thing that has remained constant is the stable existence of consulting firm Associated Engineering. Founded in Edmonton, Alta., following the Second World War, Associated Engineering […]

Partnering with Indigenous Peoples

Aecon believes building inclusive and collaborative relationships with Indigenous communities is not only good business but also a way to address a looming labour deficit in the construction industry One of the challenges facing construction companies in Canada is a potential labour shortage in the coming years. According to a national report from BuildForce Canada, […]

Considering Municipal Assets

SHCA presents at a program hosted by the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School for Public Policy What’s the most expensive thing you own? Answers are likely as varied as the people you ask. You might hear about cosmetic items like an evening gown or a three-piece suit. Perhaps designer shoes or bags or jewelry are tucked […]

SHCA Breaking Ground on New Initiative

The association is looking to boost women in heavy construction leadership roles There are pilot projects and then there are ground-breaking initiatives like the one Shantel Lipp is about to establish. TEC Canada is nothing new to the business world. It’s a development program for high-ranking business professionals, ideally suited for senior executives or CEOs. […]

Q&A with the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board

WCB CEO Phil Germain responds to questions from SHCA members WorkSafe Saskatchewan believes that all injuries are preventable, but unfortunately workplace injuries still occur. In some instances, employees must recuperate and make plans with their employer to safely return to work. The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) is typically involved in these situations and helps […]

SHCA 2020 Industry Awards

On Dec. 11, SHCA held its 2020 Industry Awards program, which serves to acknowledge the outstanding work of SHCA members throughout the province. We are very proud of the work all our members do, but here are a few projects that stood out in 2020. Congratulations to the award recipients! 

News from the Field – February 2021

Sharing news that SHCA members need to know WCB holds 2021 average premium rate at 2020 rate The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) announced earlier this week that it will hold this year’s average employer premium rate at the 2020 rate of $1.17 and will cap industry level rates at 10 per cent. This board […]