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 21 of its member sponsors, including our province’s pipeline and utility companies, make this the unofficial start to our digging season for the year.
The events educate the frontline workers, safety managers, emergency personnel and the general public about the importance of digging safely around underground and overhead infrastructure.
An anchor of the program is the locally made and produced safety videos where a number of digging awareness topics are covered, such as:
- Costs to you, your family and your community when you contact underground facilities
- What to look for before you dig
- Proper pressures when day lighting
- Safe excavation practices and tolerance zone
- A powerful story of a man who sets himself on fire when he inadvertently pushes a pipe up into an overhead power line
The 2021 Contractor Dig Safe Breakfast program will look a little different due to the ongoing global pandemic. There will be no face-to-face sessions but there will be a chance for those frontline workers to win breakfast when our made-in-Saskatchewan safety video is watched.
Additional stimulus dollars will improve rural roads and bridges while contributing to economic recovery
Earlier in March, Premier Scott Moe announced that the province will advance $11.2 million in economic stimulus funds for the Rural Integrated Roads for Growth (RIRG) program. The funds will give RIRG a head start on getting projects approved for the 2021 construction season.
RIRG will continue to assist RMs with the cost of construction and upgrading municipal roads, bridges and culverts to support growth. With the additional dollars, government is contributing more than $39 million to the program in 2020–21.
“Rural municipalities play a significant role in our plan to build a Strong Saskatchewan,” said Moe. “This funding will ensure projects will be ready for this construction season to help build rural infrastructure while protecting and growing jobs across our province.”
RIRG is an important component of the province’s plan to rebuild 100 roads over the next three years and 100 bridges over the next four years. Through the first two phases of funding, 89 road projects and 45 bridge projects have been provincially approved, receiving nearly $38 million in support. Several of the bridge projects are still going through the federal approval process.
“Our rural municipalities greatly value this continued financial support through this time of economic recovery,” said Ray Orb, president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities. “Well maintained rural infrastructure is critical to the sustainability and growth of Saskatchewan’s economy and the rural-based industries using it daily.”
The Government of Saskatchewan is meeting its target of improving more than 1,000 km of provincial highways this year, the first of its 10-year Growth Plan goal to build and upgrade 10,000 km of highways. Another $300 million in highways stimulus funds is being invested over two years in thin-membrane surface upgrades, passing lanes and improvements to municipal roads and airports.
The Government of Saskatchewan has invested more than $9.8 billion in highways infrastructure since 2008, improving more than 15,800 km of Saskatchewan highways.
Canadian Construction Association welcomes its new Board of Directors for 2021–22 with Ray Bassett at the helm as chair
The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is pleased to announce that Ray Bassett is the chair of the 2021–22 Board of Directors. CCA sincerely thanks outgoing chair, Joe Wrobel, for his dedicated leadership.
Bassett is the vice president and chief underwriting officer at Travelers Insurance Company of Canada, where he manages client relationships with national and larger regional construction companies, leads strategic initiatives in product development and technology and guides the business strategy of the Construction Services Group for Travelers in North America.
A 37-year veteran of the construction surety industry, Bassett has led both claims and underwriting practices for leading national surety companies in Canada and is focused on improving collaboration and value among stakeholders in the construction industry, including public and private project owners, the construction and project finance lending community, financial ratings agencies, consultants, the construction law bar and the surety industry.
Bassett joined the CCA Board of Directors in 2010, has chaired the Manufacturers, Suppliers & Services Council, as well as an executive committee focused on federal prompt payment, which was instrumental in having industry concerns and recommendations addressed in the Federal Prompt Payment for Construction Work Act.
In his address to members at the annual general meeting, Bassett articulated one of CCA’s advocacy focuses for the association over the next year.
“(We need) a long-term federal infrastructure plan, that is evidence-based and is better aligned with the needs and priorities of provincial and municipal governments, and has a clear and uncluttered funding mechanism – this will bring more public and private projects to the market in a more predictable flow,” he said. “This is good for our industry and good for Canada.”
Joining Bassett on CCA’s 2021–22 Board of Directors are:
- Jean François Arbour, President, Groupe SCV
- Andrew Arnill, Operations Manager, West-Can Seal Coating Asphalt Products
- David Bowcott, Global Director, Growth, Innovation & Insight, AON
- Rob Carvell, Chief Operating Officer, Trane
- Charles Caza, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Bird Construction
- Nicole Chabot, Vice President, L. Chabot Enterprises Ltd.
- Leslie Doka, Director of Construction, Wright Construction
- Trevor Doucette, Vice-President Stakeholder Management, Graham Construction & Engineering
- Wayne Ferguson, Senior Vice President, EllisDon Corporation
- John Flemming, President, Ocean Contractors
- Nadine Fullarton, President, CANB, Moncton Northeast
- Eric Gaulin, President & CEO, Telecon
- Quentin Huillery, Chief Operating Officer, Ledcor
- Russ Kerr, Branch General Manager, Vipond
- Branden Kotyk, Division Manager, Western Canada, Victaulic
- Patrick Lafrenière, Director of Projects, Atlantic, JCB Construction Canada
- John Mollenhauer, President & CEO, Toronto Construction Association
- Brendan Nobes, Director Major Projects, Rcs
- Francis Roy, President, Groupe Humaco
CCA thanks these leaders for their generous commitment to the industry and to advance our united vision to Build a better Canada.
New SHCA affinity partner: Shamii
A new partner to the SHCA affinity program is Shamii, a pickup/drop-off full service for your vehicles. By using Shamii, SHCA members can avoid lineups, wait times, arranging pickups, drop-offs or awkward courtesy car rides with strangers. Shamii chauffeurs pick up your vehicle from wherever you are, detail your car with the package you choose and then deliver it back to you.
SHCA members, use the promo code “SHCA21” and receive a 10 per cent discount on all packages.
Changes to the WCB’s Employer Initial Report of Injury (E1) form
To continuously improve its customer service, the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) has made changes to the online E1 form.
The new features of the online E1 form include:
- A document upload feature – Employers will be able to attach documentation with the E1 form submission. This could include pictures related to the worker’s injury, incident reports or medical notes.
- Fewer required fields – This will allow users to get the E1 form submitted to the WCB faster so injured workers can get the support they need sooner.
- Fewer questions – Based on the feedback from users, the E1 form was redesigned so the WCB is not asking questions that did not provide value for an injured worker to receive support.
- An enhanced dashboard that gives the users a better view of what E1s are submitted and saved.
When you submit your E1 form online, the form is automatically entered into the WCB system, which eliminates delays that can occur if mailed.
Government announces increased funding for channel clearing
Premier Scott Moe recently announced $2 million over two years in funding to expand channel clearing for rural municipalities across Saskatchewan.
“As we work through economic recovery, investments in our communities will help build our future,” said Moe. “Increased funding for water management in rural communities will not only help protect essential infrastructure but also help our producers grow Saskatchewan’s economy.”
The Water Security Agency originally budgeted $600,000 over two years for channel clearing. This increase in funding will allow for the program to grow to $500,000 for the 2020–21 fiscal year. In 2021–22, funding will increase again to $1.5 million for a total investment of $2 million over two years. This is an additional $1.4 million over two years to support RMs with channel clearing activities.
Channel clearing involves removing beaver dams, debris, trees and shrubs, and the removal of silt and blow dirt from and along natural channels, lessening the possibilities of blockages that can cause flooding and damage to infrastructure.
Obstructed creeks and channels cause flooding and erosion problems to many RMs and local landowners. This program supports RMs in the removal of these obstructions.
“Our members welcome the news of this timely additional support for a needed program, especially as we enter the spring season,” said Ray Orb, president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities. “Our communities are concerned not only about proactively dealing with situations like flooding, but also practicing good water management that protects our ratepayers’ investments.”
Clearing dense vegetation can also reduce unwanted nutrients from water bodies and is an essential component of any long-term water management plan.
Melfort STARS heliport project
Redhead Equipment is pleased to announce that it was named the Mission Lead Pilot Donor of the Melfort Heliport Fundraising Campaign with a contribution of $100,000.
“Since acquiring the dealership in Melfort, we have strived to support our customer’s needs and to give back to Melfort and its surrounding communities. The health and safety of our customers, staff and community is of great importance to Redhead Equipment, and we hope this $100,000 donation reflects our commitment to the people of northeastern Saskatchewan,” said Gary Redhead.
The Melfort Hospital serves approximately 12,200 people and previously did not have a heliport. All patient transfers occurred by ground EMS directly or through the Melfort Airport via fixed wing air ambulance or STARS service. The City of Melfort proposed developing a heliport beside the Melfort Hospital. The landing area would be a certified area used by STARS for the transport of patients from the emergency department at the hospital.
The heliport is an important service for the growing community of Melfort and area. The greatest risk for patients being transported is during handover. With STARS service, the care team can come right to the patient, get a report from the team providing care and transfer directly to tertiary care in Saskatoon.
A heliport will save STARS critical time, in some cases up to 50 minutes from Melfort to Saskatoon’s hospitals.
“When I reached out to Gary Redhead about supporting the Heliport Project in Melfort, there was no hesitation,” said Heliport Fundraising Committee member, Rod Gantefoer. “Redhead Equipment is a proud, active member of all the communities they serve throughout Saskatchewan and is committed to supporting charities and community organizations across the province, through sponsorship, donations and participation.”
Thanks to the support of businesses and families in the Melfort area, the campaign has raised more than $750,000.
Peggy George, chairman of the North Central Health Care Foundation stated, “Raising funds during a pandemic had its own special challenge, but with the support of all our donors, we have been able to exceed our fundraising goal by over $100,000. Excess funds from this campaign will further the work of the foundation. The foundation plays an important role in supporting our local healthcare professionals by providing funding for equipment in the facilities throughout the district.”
As of Dec. 1, 2020, the helipad was completed and certified by Transport Canada, making it operational. Redhead Equipment is happy to know that every time STARS lands in Melfort, their team helped make it happen.
Municipalities of Saskatchewan elects new president
Municipalities of Saskatchewan delegates recently elected Naicam Mayor Rodger Hayward as their newest president.
“It is an honour to be elected Municipalities of Saskatchewan president,” said Hayward. “I look forward to continuing to work with Municipalities of Saskatchewan’s Board of Directors as president, and our member municipalities, to ensure our hometowns have the resources we need. We are stronger when we work together.”
Hayward has served as Municipalities of Saskatchewan’s vice-president of towns since 2012. He was first elected to the Board of Directors in 2010 as northeast regional director. Hayward has represented the community of Naicam since 1996, and has served six terms as mayor.
Municipalities of Saskatchewan’s towns and villages, resort villages and northern municipal sectors also elected their sector representatives. Nipawin Mayor Rennie Harper will serve as the new vice-president of towns, and incumbent Mike Strachan, Mayor of Torquay, will continue to serve as vice-president of villages, resort villages and northern municipalities.
SGI scam warning
SGI warns the public that scammers could be targeting SGI customers by sending them an email posing as their bank and asking them to provide a photo or scan of their driver’s licence.
If you come across a similar request in your inbox, take steps to verify that the email is coming from a trusted source before providing any personal information. Be sure to use publicly listed contact information, not a phone number or email address included in the suspect email.
If you have provided this information to someone who shouldn’t have it, you should contact the police and take steps suggested by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, such as gathering information about the fraudulent activity and contacting your financial institutions and reporting the incident.
SGI asks that customers who suspect they’ve fallen victim to a fraud to please notify SGI of the potential issue. You can have your SGI information password protected – in order to do so, customers will have to go to any SGI motor licence issuing office.