JOC ARCHIVES

December 30, 2013

A quick month by month look at 2013

January

The federal government unveiled its new Skilled Trades Program to allow more than 3,000 skilled tradesmen to enter Canada.

A Vancouver-based company, HD Mining International, was under scrutiny and was challenged by unions after receiving permits to allow 200 Chinese miners to enter Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to work at a mine near Tumbler Ridge, B.C.

Despite receiving 300 applications, no Canadians were hired for the work.

February

An $889 million contract was awarded to EGRT Construction for the Evergreen Line.

The contract for the consortium, which was led by SNC-Lavalin was to design, build and finance the massive rapid transit project in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

The battle over the hiring of Chinese nationals to work for HD Mining at a mine in northeastern continued as two construction unions filed a legal challenge in federal court to stop the company from hiring foreign workers.

March

A multi-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility near Kitimat B.C. inched closer to construction after a group of companies, led by Shell, were granted a long-term federal export licence.

LNG Canada received a 25 year licence.

The 2013 Federal Budget introduced a new initiative for skills training, the Canada Job Grant, as well as a new Building Canada Plan for the construction of infrastructure. The plan will provide about $53 billion over 10 years.

A number of workers, who were working illegally in Canada, were arrested in a dramatic jobsite raid in Vancouver.

The raid was filmed for a reality television series and the workers were deported.

April

The Conservative government committed to reforming the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program, at the same time that two construction unions launch a judicial review in Federal Court into the hiring of Chinese nationals at a proposed coal mine in northeastern B.C.

Suncor and its joint venture partner, Total E&P Canada Ltd., announced that they are not proceeding with the construction of the multi-billion dollar Voyageur upgrader near Fort McMurray Alberta, as a result of an economic review of the project.

The PST was re-implemented in B.C. on April 1.

May

The construction industry and the rest of the province of B.C. were shocked to learn the B.C. Liberals had won a majority government in the province’s general election.

Clark led the Liberals to a stunning come-from-behind victory, but lost her seat in Vancouver-Point Grey. She later won a byelection in Westside Kelowna.

HD Mining upheld its right to import hundreds of foreign workers for the construction of a proposed coal mine in northeastern B.C. after a legal challenge by two unions to block this process was dismissed by a federal court judge.

June

Kinder Morgan Canada moved forward with the federal regulatory process for the twinning of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. A group of construction industry leaders from across the country have rescued the Construction Sector Council (CSC) by forming a new national organization called BuildForce Canada, in response to federal government cutbacks.

Severe flooding ravaged southern Alberta and parts of B.C. Estimates pegged the damage at about $3 billion to $5 billion.

July

High River and Calgary, Alberta were two of the communities hit hardest by June flooding and were looking to restore vital infrastructure in July.

The province built temporary neighbourhoods to house people displaced by the floods and started reconstruction.

Saskatchewan moved forward with its first public-private partnership, a long-term care facility in Swift Current.

August

The $7.9 billion Site C Dam project in Northeastern B.C. entered the joint review panel stage.

The Industrial Training Authority in B.C. replaced it’s chief executive officer and the organization announced its mandate was being reviewed by the provincial government.

Alberta flood reconstruction continued.

September

The Alberta government continued to build short-term accommodations for residents of High River and Calgary displaced by flooding.

B.C. premier Christy Clark invited building trade unions to join a committee to facilitate the supply of skilled labour for the construction of a liquefied natural gas industry.

The B.C. Government also announced plans to replace the Massey Tunnel with a bridge.

October

Seaspan Marine Corporation was awarded another multi-billion dollar shipbuilding contract by the federal government, which would require at least 1,000 more skilled workers for the construction of 10 new non-combat ships for the Canadian Coast Guard.

Steel, concrete and other Canadian building material associations held their first meeting to promote dialogue and advocate for fair procurement practices in light of expanding Wood First policies and legislation.

The first ever Converge Conference was held in Vancouver.

About 200 traffic flaggers from across the Lower Mainland gathered over the weekend for a candlelight vigil to remember a female colleague, who died after being run over by a dump truck at a construction site in Duncan, B.C.

Maggie Feeley, 29, was the fourth flagger in B.C. to be killed on the job in the last few years.

November

The Government of Alberta introduced legislation to limit development in floodways and also undertook flood mitigation measures.

Construction started on two multi-billion oilsands facilities in Alberta.

The Fort Hills oilsands mining project and the Carmon Creek oilsands project both entered the building phase.

Kinder Morgan prepared to file an application with the National Energy Board for its $5.4 billion Trans Mountain Pipeline twinning project.

December

The Alberta government signed an agreement with the Tsuu T’ina Nation, which lays the foundation for the construction of the final section of Calgary’s ring road.

The Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) released new standard contracts for design-build projects. The committee released CCDC 14 and 15.

Taseko Mines Ltd. applied for a judicial review of a federal panel’s findings regarding a proposed gold mine near Williams Lake, B.C.

A joint review panel approved the Northern Gateway pipeline project, but attached 209 conditions. It’s now up to the federal government to decide the fate of the project.

For more on these stories, check out the archives at www.journalofcommerce.com.

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