Charbonneau commission

Extract from the inquiry report on the granting and management of public contracts in the construction industry (Charbonneau commission):

Recommendation 15 – To reduce delays in payments to construction contractors
During testimony before the Commission, several contractors have reported the problem of delays in payment of invoices submitted to public work providers (DOP). Generally, payment of accounts payable is 30 days after the invoice date, but payment delays in the construction industry are now 3 to 6 months, according to the latter.

These observations were confirmed by other witnesses involved in the public administration. According to the director of supply of the City of Montreal between 2003 and 2006, Serge Pourreaux, the Finance Department had estimated that in 2003 or 2004, 80% of invoices were paid within varying from 4 to 6 months.

During his testimony, the engineer and investigator Jeannette Gauthier Commission echoed this concern. Having met 25 of them and six suppliers of materials, she first said that the average payment period reached four months. She also said that this situation, generalized to all work providers, seemed worse with the public sector.

A study by the firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton (RCGT) also confirms this information. In Canada, the average time of collection of receivables in the construction industry exceeded 11.3 days in 2002 that of all the other industrial sectors. And in 2011, this gap has increased from 20.6 days. Worse, in the construction industry, the sectors with the highest percentage of customer accounts receivable over 120 days are those of the civil engineering and roads and the institutional setting. Customers in these areas are mainly in the public sector.

For the Commission, this situation presents three major problems. First, it gives significant power to site supervisors, since they must approve such progress payments. According to the approval rate of these, these professionals can intimidate or encourage construction contractors, thereby contributing to private corruption ploys. Second, this situation contributes to restricting competition in the industry, thus promoting the creation and maintenance of collusive agreements. Indeed, having already paid their workforce, suppliers and subcontractors, entrepreneurs must financially support these payment terms. This lack of liquidity limits the number and growth by restricting their ability to undertake new mandates. In this regard, in 2013, over three-quarters of contractors have refused to answer at least one tender, judging unfair payment terms or anticipating payment problems. In addition, late payments penalize more small and medium businesses (SMB) who do not always have easy access to credit. They are therefore more at risk of experiencing financial difficulties. This is not likely to encourage them to engage in new markets.

Third, this situation favors the infiltration of organized crime in the construction industry. Indeed, (SMB)s facing financial difficulties arising from excessive accounts might be tempted to resort to other non-traditional funding sources. In fact, this is what happens. The non-traditional financing is used by a significant proportion of construction companies because of late payments.
To these three major problems must be added a fourth, this time for the state. This situation encourages contractors to consider this financial risk in the price of the tenders submitted. In other words, these financing costs are transferred to the public work providers, and thus taxpayers.

To counter these adverse effects to the progress of the construction industry and development of the economy, several States have undertaken to supervise payment terms to their suppliers. These are the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom5 and the State of South Australia in Australia.

The Commissioners therefore recommend to the Government to adopt legislative or regulatory provisions in order to propose, as part of a prime contract and subcontracts a standard production time progressive statements and payments to reduce the grip of construction supervisors and DOP on companies working in the construction industry as well as the possible infiltration of organized crime.

CCA Election Issue: Infrastructure and Prosperity

Canada will go to the polls on October 19, 2015.

Do you know what the leaders of the major political parties think about construction-related issues? Do you know who the candidates are in your riding and whether they are up to speed on construction issues?

CCA Election Issue: Infrastructure and Prosperity

Strategic and sustainable investment in 21st Century infrastructure for Canada will be critically important to our country’s economic prosperity and social well-being.

During election 2015, it is critical that all parties make a clear, substantial and sustained commitment to infrastructure investment. Canada’s infrastructure must support the efficient transportation of goods and services to and from market, enhancing Canada`s reputation as a reliable and important global trade partner. If we succeed, our economy will continue to grow, Canadian businesses will take advantage of new global export opportunities, domestic employment will be enhanced, Canada will become more globally competitive, and therefore, a more attractive trading partner. Many economists agree, that current insufficient infrastructure capacity is already costing the Canadian economy billions of dollars in lost annual economic benefits.

To overcome these challenges, CCA recommends the adoption of six key principles to underpin a national infrastructure investment strategy:

  •     Permanent and Flexible Annual Funding
  •     Strategic and Sustained Investment Strategy
  •     Encourage Industry Innovation
  •     Embrace Partnerships with the Private Sector
  •     Accountability and Transparency

In the very near future, merely adequate infrastructure will be insufficient to allow Canada to remain globally competitive.Many of our global competitors are investing billions of dollars into their infrastructure and will soon surpass our capacity to deliver Canadian goods and services to global markets competitively and reliably.

Canada clearly needs to do more to keep pace with the infrastructure investments of our international competitors. To achieve this goal, we need to ensure that strategic and adequate investments are made to support the modernization of our trade infrastructure and that these investments provide Canadian business with the competitive edge required to access and succeed when pursuing new global trade opportunities.

Read more about this topic on CCA’s Election Portal

CCA ELECTION PORTAL

The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) has gathered some tools for you on its election portal. Visit cca-acc.com/en/information/election-2015 today!
 

We encourage you to share this information with your coworkers to ensure they are informed for Election Day on the issues facing the industry.
Additional Election 2015 Information:

CCA Election Portal

Do you know what the leaders of the major political parties think about construction-related issues? Do you know who the candidates are in your riding and whether they are up to speed on construction issues?

The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) has gathered some tools for you on its election portal. Visit cca-acc.com/en/information/election-2015 today!


We encourage you to share this information with your employees to ensure they are informed for Election Day on the issues facing their industry.


Additional Election 2015 Information:

Check out this week’s must-read Industry News!

Dalhousie students develop chemical-based heating system
A space heater that works like a hand warmer. That’s the principle behind a new type of thermal energy storage being developed by a pair of graduate engineering students at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Louis Desgrosseilliers and Moe Kabbara recently formed NeoThermal Energy Storage, which is working on technology for use in home heating. Read more.

WCB Releases Strategic Plan
The Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia has released its Strategic Plan which will help guide the organzation for the next five years. Download the Plan here.

Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward Nova Scotia 2015-2024 Report
While total construction investment and employment fluctuate in a narrow band over the 2015–2024 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward scenario for Nova Scotia, important demographic challenges and shifts across markets tighten labour market conditions for several trades and occupations between 2019 and 2022. From 2008 to 2013, the province’s construction industry was sustained at record levels, as work shifted from residential peaks in 2011 and 2012 to engineering peaks in 2013. The record employment level reached in 2013 will act like a ceiling across the scenario period, as work ebbs and flows close to, but below, that level. Read the full report.

CCA President on the Canadian Construction Industry
Few Canadians know that Canada’s construction industry contributes close to seven percent of Canada’s GDP, that it employs over 1.3 million Canadians, (1 in every 14 working Canadians), or that it is in fact the fifth largest construction market in the world. Read more.

The Construction Industry’s Financial Future
The word “fascinating” could best describe a comparison of Canadian put-in-place investments versus trends statistics when it comes to construction’s investment forecast. Read more.

Canada Must Do More to Keep Cities Moving, Executives Say
Strong municipal infrastructure is critical to attracting people to our economic hubs, improving the quality of life for our work force and remaining globally competitive. However, according to this quarter’s C-Suite survey, Canada is only partly succeeding in addressing these needs, despite a growing focus by all levels of government on this backbone of our economy. Read more

Infrastructure Grapples with Climate Change
With groundbreaking research now supporting climate change, sustainable leaders in the industry have been encouraging municipalities and building owners to grapple with potential risk and protect the value of assets. Read more.

Canada’s Top Construction Firms Evolve, Adapt to Change
It is interesting to compare the Top Contractors list of 25 years ago with the one in this issue. There have been changes, but a surprising number of the companies that were on the list then, still dominate it. It is not as if the industry has not changed – the companies that have survived and thrived at the top have had to adapt to very challenging circumstances. Read more.

Developing Great Leaders in the Construction Industry
Leaders in the industry today deal with many challenges on a daily basis—finding and winning work, managing large and complex projects, meeting deadlines, satisfying clients, addressing near-continuous obstacles and much, much more. In the midst of the daily whirlwind, it can be easy to overlook one of the most critical aspects of leadership—developing others. Read more.

The Construction Pro’s Guide to Managing Millennials
While the economy rebounds and the projects roll in, Baby Boomers are leaving but Millennials (the generation born between 1980ish and 2000ish) aren’t taking their place. Read more.

Dexter Construction Receives an Award for Refugee Initiatives
Dexter Construction will receive Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Refugee Employment Award for its leadership role in improving the employment outcomes of refugees in Halifax Regional Municipality. Read more.

Raising Health and Safety Awareness in the Construction Sector
Working in construction involves dealing with ever-changing hazards: new technologies, newly developed work practices, and projects that are constantly evolving. Read more.

Homes in Future Will Feed Us
Rachel Armstrong, medical doctor and architect, tells Toronto conference that buildings in the future will be less inert artifacts than organic structures designed to incorporate natural processes. Read more.

CANS is hiring!

CANS is currently seeking a qualified individual to fill the position of Industry Education and Training Lead.

Scope and summary:

This position is responsible for the day to day planning, promotion, delivery and administration of CANS educational programs. This position works with various program advisory committees to design an annual education and general information program in response to membership needs, as well as liaises with industry organizations to assist in the development and delivery of appropriate programming.

This position provides continuing educational support and opportunities in a variety of formats for individuals currently employed in the construction trades in order to improve general business skills, personal performance, attain industry recognized certifications and address shifting client requirements.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Meeting budget requirements while continually developing the program by meeting the needs of industry.
  • Promotion of IET program, including private and customized training, to industry stakeholders.
  • Work with various stakeholders, appropriate CANS staff and committees to implement and assess an industry education strategy on an annual basis.
  • Identify potential trainers and training partners, and monitor the performance and delivery of programs for the membership.
  • Participate in the delivery of training programs as appropriate.
  • Develop, distribute, collect and evaluate surveys and other methods of obtaining feedback on training needs from the membership.
  • Maintain records including creation of a database of individuals participating in training and other education events to assist in supporting applications to various certification bodies.

Requirements:

  • Post-secondary degree/diploma in Business or related field.
  • Demonstrated success in program development and relationship building.
  • Experience in marketing, communications, business development and sales would be an asset.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the principles of adult education.
  • Knowledge of the structure and organization of the non-residential construction industry.
  • Strong computer skills. Competent in the use of Microsoft Office Suite. Knowledge of MS Project would be an asset.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Minimum 3 years experience in a similar role.

Salary and benefits commensurate with experience and education.

Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Closing date: 10 July 2015

About CANS

The Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) is an industry trade association representing the interests of contractors, suppliers and service providers throughout Atlantic Canada and across the country. We represent more than 750 large and small companies that build, renovate and restore non-residential buildings, roads, bridges and other engineering projects.

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency Update Event

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency invites you to attend an Update Event. This event will be an opportunity for you to network with your colleagues, enjoy a warm meal, hear about our progress and help us identify how to better engage employers in the Apprenticeship and Trades Certification System.

Apprenticeship Agency Update Events are being held at Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) campuses across the province between October 20th and 29th, 2014. Below, please find a list of the session locations, dates and times. As meeting times vary by location, please make sure to register online for the session that is most convenient for you!

DATES:

October 20th
– Kentville, NSCC Kingstec Campus, 7:30 am – 9:30 am
– Bridgewater, NSCC Lunenburg Campus, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
October 23rd
– Yarmouth, NSCC Burridge Campus, 7:30 am – 9:30 am
October 27th
– Dartmouth, NSCC Waterfront Campus, 7:30 am – 9:30 am
October 28th
– Sydney, NSCC Marconi Campus, 7:30 am – 9:30 am
– Port Hawkesbury, NSCC Strait Area Campus, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
October 29th
– Stellarton, NSCC Pictou Campus, 7:30 am – 9:30 am
– Truro, NSCC Truro Campus, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

152nd Annual General Meeting

The CANS 152nd Annual General Meeting was held October 3rd-5th, 2014 at Rodd Brudenell River Resort in PEI. Over 130 CANS members attended the weekend-long event and enjoyed networking, keynote speakers, and Strategic Priority Area Committee Reports at the CANS AGM Business Session.

Read more.

Administrative Penalties

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