Stronger Together: Registration is Open!

The Western Canada Roadbuilders & Heavy Construction Association (WCR&HCA) will be hosting an unforgettable event in Waikiki, Hawaii, from Feb. 5–9, 2023. This must-attend conference offers industry speakers, education and an array of networking opportunities in one of the world’s most beautiful locations. For more information, flip to page 15 and head to the event website to register:

PCL Receives United Way National Award 

In September, PCL Construction received the National Community Champion Award from United Way Canada. This esteemed recognition showcases relationships throughout Canada that are fundamental to successfully achieving United Way’s mission.

Those who receive this award demonstrate exemplary commitment to improving their communities through excellence in fundraising, engagement, advocacy or development of the non-profit and charitable sector in Canada.

“To say that receiving this award is an honour would be a massive understatement,” said PCL president and CEO, Dave Filipchuk. “It’s very special to be recognized for the annual campaigns across our districts that all of us at PCL take pride in. Thank you to United Way for acknowledging our efforts and thank you to our PCL family for continuing to show commitment to our communities with ongoing generosity and a long-running relationship with United Way.”

Last year, PCL collectively raised $5.1 million for United Way.

Canada and Saskatchewan Invest in Northern Airport Infrastructure

On Aug. 31, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, and Jim Lemaigre, MLA for Athabasca, on behalf of the Honourable Jeremy Cockrill, Saskatchewan’s Minister of Highways, announced $2.9 million in joint funding for upgrades to six northern airports.

The airports in La Loche, Île-à-la-Crosse, Sandy Bay, Cumberland House and Pinehouse Lake will benefit from $1.25 million in combined federal and provincial funding to install All Weather Observation Systems (AWOS). The AWOS provides accurate, uninterrupted, real-time information and reports on airport weather conditions.

“The projects announced today are vital to ensuring safe, secure and efficient travel for visitors and residents of Northern Saskatchewan. These investments, made possible through collaboration with the Government of Saskatchewan, will foster community growth for years to come,” Federal Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities Dominic LeBlanc said.

“Saskatchewan’s northern airports connect communities to vital public services like air ambulance, law enforcement and fire suppression. These investments will ensure northern airports can provide safe, timely and reliable service,” Jim Lemaigre, Saskatchewan MLA for Athabasca, said on behalf of Saskatchewan’s Minister of Highways Jeremy Cockrill.

In addition, the airports in La Loche, Île-à-la-Crosse, Pinehouse Lake and Patuanak will see upgrades to airfield lighting that will improve safety and reliability. The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are each investing $825,000 in these projects for a combined $1.65 million investment.

“People across northern Saskatchewan rely on community airports to connect them to friends, family and medical services. These improvements will help to keep those connections strong,” said Pinehouse Mayor Mike Natomagan.

The Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan are each investing $1.45 million dollars into these projects.

Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce in Favour of the Government of Saskatchewan’s Four-point Affordability Plan

The Government of Saskatchewan’s four-point affordability plan, released on Aug. 23, will support Saskatchewan businesses as they continue to persevere through the current COVID-19 recovery phase.

“We continue to navigate the impacts of the pandemic, such as labour market challenges, supply chain disruptions and inflation,” said Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SCC) CEO Prabha Ramaswamy. “Many of our members have voiced that they are still facing significant challenges in sustaining their business – specifically with escalating costs. Therefore, we welcome the provincial government’s announcement of a four-point affordability plan.”

In particular, the SCC commends the extension of the small business tax rate reduction to 2024 to help mitigate the economic impacts that the Saskatchewan business community is experiencing.

“This will assist small businesses in saving costs during this time of inflation and supply chain disruptions,” said Ramaswamy.

The SCC also applauds the government’s decision to retire up to $1 billion in operating debt, resulting in significant savings on the cost to service the debt.

“Right now, businesses value a fiscally prudent government that pays down debt and also invests in its people and in the future of the province,” said Ramaswamy.

While the SCC is pleased to see the removal of fitness and gym memberships and some recreational activities for those under 18 from the planned October PST expansion announced as part of the 2022–23 budget, it encourages the provincial government to consider expanding the PST exemption to other sectors and demographics.

“We look forward to further consultations and discussions with the Government of Saskatchewan on how the projected surplus can be invested to support business,” said Ramaswamy.

Saskatchewan Research Council Achieves Significant Milestone in Advancing Canada’s Rare Earth Element Supply Chain

In August, Minister Jeremy Harrison was presented with the first metal ingots ever produced in Canada. The ingots were processed by the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) during a successful test run of the metals smelting unit at its under-construction Rare Earth Processing Facility.

Metal ingots, a rare earth metal, are the key ingredient used to manufacture permanent magnets, which are used in electric vehicles, wind turbines, electronics, etc.

In June 2022, an additional $20 million in funding for the facility was announced by the Government of Saskatchewan to expand its capabilities and move further down the rare earth element (REE) value chain with the addition of a metals smelting unit that will produce these ingots.

“This milestone shows the incredible progress that SRC is making towards a key element of our Government’s 2030 Growth Plan and in fact, now actually exceeds that original objective,” Minister Responsible for SRC Jeremy Harrison said. “Our investments into this facility are already starting to show impacts that will be highly valuable over the coming decades.”

“SRC is proud to be a world leader in REE processing and separation technologies and now to be able to add metal processing to that list, is an incredible accomplishment,” SRC president and CEO Mike Crabtree said. “The production of rare earth metal is a very important, strategic step for the facility, for Saskatchewan and in establishing a rare earth supply chain in Canada.”

The fully integrated, three-stage Rare Earth Processing Facility will be the first-of-its-kind in North America and will be producing REE products for sale in the international market in 2024, including individual rare earth oxides and didymium metals.

SRC is Canada’s second largest research and technology organization. With 350 employees, $275 million in annual revenue and 75 years of experience, SRC provides services and products to its 1,400 clients in 25 countries around the world.

Brandt to Create up to 200 Jobs with New Moose Jaw Trailer Factory

The Brandt Group of Companies is pleased to be opening a new utility trailer manufacturing facility in Moose Jaw with production expected to start in 2022. Brandt plans to create up to 200 positions over the next three years including assemblers, welders, material handlers, engineers and supervisors.

“Brandt is excited to become an active member of the Moose Jaw business community and we will be hiring local contractors to prepare the facility for production,” said Murray Yeager, Brandt vice president, Manufacturing. “Later, when the upgrades are complete, we will employ local vendors for everything from supplies and janitorial services to maintenance and snow removal.”

Moose Jaw was considered an ideal location, with its strong workforce and history as a centre for trailer production. The move is being made to free up space at Brandt’s North Regina Works campus to expand production for other product lines.

“Brandt is excited to become an active member of the Moose Jaw business community and we will be hiring local contractors to prepare the facility for production.”

– Murray Yeager, Brandt

Brandt also has long-term plans for additional expansion to the plant to produce utility trailers for North America-wide distribution.

The 64,000 square foot facility was originally home to General Cable and was purchased by Brandt in 2012.