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 network, focusing on roles in Canada and the USA.
“There’s no question that our people are the foundation of our success. In spite of some challenging times for the global economy, an incredible team effort has enabled us to sustain our business and weather the storm successfully,” said Shaun Semple, Brandt Group of Companies CEO. “Looking ahead, the growth trend for Brandt is strong, so the timing is ideal to make a major investment in our team.”
In the past 10 years, Brandt has expanded their employee base by 140 per cent to more than 3,400, with the pace of growth continuing to accelerate steadily. The newly announced hiring initiative will see the company’s workforce grow by 30 per cent overall with the largest individual gains occurring in the company’s Regina, Saskatoon and Hudson, Ill. locations. Half of these hires will occur in the company›s Saskatchewan locations with 40 per cent more spread out across Canada and the balance in the USA.
The new hires will bolster Brandt’s existing operations in industries from construction, forestry and agriculture to rail, mining and steel. The positions will include skilled trades, sales, finance, marketing, customer support, IT and more as the company expands its support team to meet the needs of a rapidly growing customer base.
“As life begins to return to normal and we look ahead to economic recovery, this is very exciting news for workers and their families,” said Scott Moe, Saskatchewan Premier. “Saskatchewan has what the world needs, and Brandt’s success is a testament to the resiliency of our province’s industries in some of the most challenging global economic times.”
Interested applicants can view a current listing of the company’s career opportunities and apply online at www.brandtjobs.com.
Focus on passing lanes saving lives in Saskatchewan
Work is progressing on a number of new passing lane projects as part of the Government of Saskatchewan’s plan to construct 30 sets of passing lanes over the next two years. This builds on the 27 sets constructed in the last four years.
Construction is currently underway on two sets of passing lanes on Highway 2 north of Prince Albert and the last of 13 sets of passing lanes on Highway 39 between Milestone and the U.S. border. All are expected to be complete by late fall of 2021.
“Safety is the primary concern of the Ministry of Highways,” said Highways Minister Fred Bradshaw. “Passing lanes have proven a reliable way to improve safety on a number of highways, with plenty more to come.”
The 2020 Fall Tender Plan and the 2021 Spring Tender Plan include passing lane projects on:
- Highway 3 west of Prince Albert;
- Highway 5 east of Saskatoon;
- Highway 7 west of Kindersley;
- Highway 12 north of Martensville;
- Highway 14 west of Saskatoon to Asquith;
- Highway 16 west of Yorkton to Springside; and
- Highway 16 east of Clavet to Highway 6 junction.
Passing lanes are typically a minimum two kilometres in length and are strategically designed to allow vehicles to safely pass slow moving vehicles and heavy trucks such as semi-trailer units. Studies have shown passing lanes can reduce collisions by as much as 25 per cent. Highway 10, the province’s first major passing lanes pilot project, has seen 75 per cent fewer fatal accidents from before the project to five years after its completion.
“The passing lanes have ensured there are far fewer vehicle accidents, fatal crashes and injuries, allowing for safer travel and reduced emotional impacts on first responders who arrive at crash scenes,” said Balgonie Volunteer Fire Department chief Dave Campbell. “Combined with the reduced travel time, the passing lanes have been a significant benefit to local residents and visitors alike.”
The Government of Saskatchewan will be improving more than 1,350 km of provincial highways this year, the second of its 10-year Growth Plan goal to build and upgrade 10,000 km of highways. With this year’s projects, the province is ahead of the pace needed to meet this target.
There will be $300 million in additional highways stimulus funds that will be invested over several years in thin-membrane surface upgrades, passing lanes and improvements to municipal roads and airports.
The Government of Saskatchewan has invested more than $10.6 billion in highways infrastructure since 2008, improving more than 17,100 km of Saskatchewan highways.
Saskatchewan opens up access to rapid antigen tests
Rapid antigen tests may now be used by Saskatchewan businesses and individuals to help screen people who do not show COVID-19 symptoms.
The province has amended The Medical Laboratory Licensing Regulations, 1995 so that a formal agreement is no longer required between those who use rapid antigen tests and the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).
“Our government is committed to improving access to health care services for people across the province, and providing the necessary tools to address the pandemic,” said Health Minister Paul Merriman. “This step means that businesses and individuals can easily procure and use these tests, helping asymptomatic people who have COVID-19 receive testing and treatment more quickly. Ultimately, the best way to protect yourself and those around you is to get vaccinated.”
Rapid antigen tests are not a diagnostic test, but are used to screen asymptomatic people for COVID-19. Health officials strongly recommend that people who receive a positive test result immediately self-isolate and call 811 for further instructions, such as scheduling a confirmatory test through a SHA testing centre.
“The SHA’s Test to Protect program is an important element of a multi-layered approach that we have added to our pandemic response along with vaccination,” said SHA testing chief Carrie Dornstauder. “The Test to Protect community rapid antigen testing program provides workplaces with early detection of COVID-19, ensuring a strong and healthy workplace and workforce through outbreak prevention.”
Large national businesses that operate in Saskatchewan and wish to use the tests can request them through the federal government’s online business portal at https://health.canada.ca/en/rapid-tests.
Small and medium-sized enterprises within Saskatchewan can apply for rapid tests from the SHA by submitting an Intake Form available at www.saskatchewan.ca/covid19 (search for Rapid Testing). Tests will be provided for workplace screening as supplies allow, however Saskatchewan’s federal allocation of rapid antigen tests will be prioritized for health care professionals and priority settings such as long-term care facilities, personal care homes, schools, group homes and shelters.
The general public will be able to purchase the tests from retailers who wish to offer them. Check first to ensure the tests are Health Canada-approved by viewing the list at www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/medical-devices/authorized/list.html.
General information on rapid antigen testing is available at www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/testing-information/rapid-testing.
New Construction Codes Act coming to Saskatchewan
The Government of Saskatchewan recently passed The Construction Codes Act (Bill 4) in the Legislative Assembly. The new Act will allow better alignment between construction codes and accessibility standards, including how they are applied to buildings, ensuring people with disabilities can better access and use buildings in Saskatchewan.
The new Construction Codes Act (CCA) repeals and replaces The Uniform Building and Accessibility Standards Act and will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, and will continue to oversee how construction standards are developed, adopted and implemented in the province. The CCA also modernizes the powers and responsibilities for building owners, local authorities, building officials and the construction industry.
“I thank those municipalities and industry stakeholders who provided input into this process resulting in this new legislation,” said Don McMorris, Government Relations Minister. “By improving the roles and responsibilities of each group, the new act will allow the Government of Saskatchewan and these groups to protect citizens from unsafe renovations and construction practices, promote building accessibility and ensure consistent application of construction codes across our province.”
Key changes in the CCA that will impact stakeholders include:
Local authorities can register an interest on a building title for unresolved building official orders. This will allow potential purchasers to make an informed decision about a building before buying it.
Local authorities have the choice to develop their own building bylaws or use a default building bylaw to be prescribed in regulation.
Allows for regional co-operation between local authorities to administer and enforce construction standards across multiple jurisdictions.
Local authorities can request the Ministry of Government Relations to assist them during a province-wide or local emergency by appointing officials, issuing building permits and authorizing building renovations as necessary to support the emergency response.
The Minister of Government Relations can make binding interpretations on construction codes to address Saskatchewan-specific concerns.
This new legislation also supports the reduction of government red tape, as identified in Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan.
“The CCA allows Saskatchewan’s Construction Standards Appeal Board to make binding pre-rulings to individual buildings when the code is being interpreted differently between the building owner, local authority, designer and contractor,” said McMorris. “This will help designers and builders obtain design decisions in a timely manner and ensure they are in compliance with Saskatchewan’s legislative requirements.”
For information about Saskatchewan’s construction standards and codes, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/btstandards.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic launches online Indigenous Leadership Skills Applied Certificate
Saskatchewan Polytechnic continues to demonstrate leadership in providing culturally inclusive learning environments and opportunities. The Indigenous Leadership Skills Applied Certificate will share valuable Indigenous leadership approaches towards maintaining resiliency and building leadership capacity.
Situated on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 territories, and homeland of the Métis people, Saskatchewan Polytechnic is acting on its strategic plan for 2020–2025, Leading the Rise, by holistically integrating Indigenous ways of knowing, being, teaching and learning throughout all institutional practices, procedures and services. The launch of the Indigenous Leadership Skills applied certificate is part of this work.
“To prepare learners for success in the communities and economies of today and in the future, the new Indigenous Leadership Skills program builds business leadership skills based on Indigenous ways of knowing. This specialized, unique program examines historical and contemporary models of Indigenous business, entrepreneurship and economic development,” said Dr. Larry Rosia, Saskatchewan Polytechnic president and CEO.
“At the Aboriginal Apprenticeship Board of Ontario, we see the Indigenous Leadership Skills program as a vital piece in the efforts to engage Indigenous people into careers in the skilled trades. A sense of understanding of our own Indigenous history, culture, stories and resilience is crucial to empowering the individual in their career journey,” said Danny Deleary, Aboriginal Apprenticeship Board of Ontario, community engagement coordinator.
Indigenous Leadership Skills is an applied certificate designed to be leveraged by industry to broaden specialized, culturally relevant leadership skills within their workforce or by individuals preparing for their next career move or entrepreneurial venture.
Using real life case studies focused on exceptional Indigenous leaders, in an interactive format with fellow learners and instructors, the applied certificate is entirely online to maximize accessibility and flexibility for industry and learners. The program includes eight courses that will take about 240 hours to complete. Six of the courses explore standard leadership skills, while two delve deeper into traditional Indigenous leadership and approaches to business-building. Course materials and teaching methods align with Indigenous values, providing a safe, culturally relevant environment for learning.
“Customized programs, like the Indigenous Leadership Skills program, allow for increased participation through workplaces as professional development opportunities. They also provide opportunity for lifelong learning through relevant curriculum which can be successfully completed in a shorter period of time,” said Paul Carter, dean for the School of Continuing Education.
Slow down to keep Saskatchewan highways safe
With construction season in full swing, the Government of Saskatchewan is reminding motorists to keep an eye out for construction zones on provincial highways.
“We view everything through the lens of safety at the Ministry of Highways, making sure that our work crews and contractors have a plan in place to keep every job site as safe as possible,” said Highways Minister Fred Bradshaw. “We need drivers to remember they have a role to play as well: plan your route ahead of time, pay close attention and slow down for everyone’s safety.”
Drivers must obey all signs and flag persons in work zones and slow to 60 km/hr. In some cases, work zones have temporary speed reductions left in place when workers are not present. This is often due to potential hazards present, such as lane closures, loose gravel, fresh oil and sharp pavement drop-offs.
“When the pandemic hit, our members continued to work safely building the province’s vital transportation corridors and also stimulating the local economy of many small towns that lost their tourism revenues,” said Shantel Lipp, president of the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association. “Now that the province is reopening, we ask drivers to respect those mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers while they resume their summer.
Our members work to keep you safe while you travel to your next destination, so please obey the signs, don’t speed and pay attention to your surroundings while inside our workplace.”
Speed fines are tripled in Saskatchewan when workers are present. Fines start at $210 and increase by $3 for every km/hr over the speed limit, up to a speed of 90 km/hr, and $6 for every km/hr over 90. A driver who speeds through a work zone at 100 km/hr will be issued a fine of $450, plus a victim surcharge of $80, for a total of $530.