Non-Residential Construction Investment 2nd Quarter 2014

Revised data from Statistics Canada made only small changes to non-residential construction activity for the first half of the year. Nova Scotia’s non-residential construction investment was revised to $175.2 million in the second quarter from the initial estimate of $173.5 million.
In the second quarter of 2014, non-residential building construction in Nova Scotia declined 5.4 per cent from the previous quarter to $175.2 million (seasonally adjusted). Compared with the same quarter in 2013, non-residential building construction is down 7.0 per cent. This decline appears to be more pronounced in Halifax non-residential construction, which declined by 9.6 per cent compared to Q1 2014 and 19.5 per cent compared to Q2 2013 .  Read more.

Report says universities must invest in aging infrastructure

A new report from the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) says that Canadian universities face approximately $8.4 B in deferred facilities maintenance, but still have an opportunity to address the backlog before it becomes a critical problem. According to the report, the deferred maintenance costs faced by participating universities have more than doubled since 2000. The report warns PSE leaders that without a significant investment, more than 60% of the space studied in the report will have gone 25 years since its last renewal, and 25% will have gone 50 years. Many of these facilities are described in the report as “mission-critical,” including core research facilities; failing to maintain this vital infrastructure, the report says, could negatively affect teaching and research activities. Fewer than 20% of Canadian universities are on-track to meet necessary stewardship targets. Read more.

 

 

Without Offsets, New Foreign Worker Regulations Will Impede Economic Growth

Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program were intended to make it more difficult for companies across the country to hire foreign workers. However, as John Clinkard writes, these restrictions would appear to be at odds with the recent observations that “many employers … are already experiencing shortages of certain types of workers.” Moreover, these shortages will likely become more acute due to an aging population and an accompanying shrinkage of the labour force. Faced with this more restrictive hiring climate and an expanding global economy, firms in “footloose” industries now have an increased incentive to move offshore, Clinkard notes. Read more.

Government of Canada Helps More Skilled Newcomers Get Jobs in Their Fields Faster

The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, and the Honourable Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, announced that the Government of Canada, in partnership with the provinces and territories, will improve foreign credential recognition for 10 additional priority occupations including the skilled trades and healthcare. They made the announcement today at separate events in Vancouver and Toronto. The 10 new priority occupations are: geoscientists, carpenters, electricians, heavy duty equipment technicians, heavy equipment operators, welders, audiologists and speech language pathologists, midwives, psychologists, and lawyers. Read more.

No Seal, No Deal

A few years ago, CCA created some documentation regarding the proper use of CCA/CCDC documents. There has been a recent resurgence in interest in this material, so we wanted to remind everyone that it is still available for your use.  Read more.

 

Sheet Metal Worker trade becomes compulsory certified

As of May 20, 2014, the Sheet Metal Worker trade became compulsory certified with new trade regulations were passed for both the Sheet Metal Worker and Sprinkler System Installer trades.  The Premier made the announcement on May 23 in Antigonish regarding the Sheet Metal Worker trade.

Regarding the SMW trade, the Industry Committee conducted a thorough consultation in 2012 with an 88% agreement that the trade needed to be compulsory.   We will be informing industry through a mail out next week and I have attached both letters for your information. Please feel free to share this information.

The SMW trade has a new regulation.  The following are some highlights of the regulation:

  •       provide updated standardized language, and eliminate duplication with the language of the General Regulations;
  •       create a new definition of the trade that provides clarity to the work performed by Sheet Metal Workers and specify that a certificate to practice in the trade is a minimal requirement for practice. (Such trades are referred to as “compulsory certified trades”);
  •       state that the trade is a compulsory certified trade;
  •       provide for circumstances in which a person other than a sheet metal worker may perform work which is within the scope of the sheet metal worker trade;
  •       require payment of wages to a sheet metal worker apprentice at no less than the minimum wage;
  •       include a transitional clause recognizing as apprentices persons who were apprentices under the previous trade regulations;
  •       amend the term of apprenticeship to 8000 hours (instead of years) and to define those hours as consisting of both on the job learning and technical training. This is only a difference in reporting, not in training time;
  •       ensure that the regulations are current with industry practice and standards.

Also, as of May 20, 2014, a new regulation was passed for the Sprinkler System Installer trade.  The following are some highlights of the regulation:

  •       provide updated standardized language, and eliminate duplication with the language of the General Regulations;
  •       create a new definition of the trade and specify that a certificate to practice in the trade is a minimal requirement for practice. (Such trades are referred to as “compulsory certified trades”);
  •       provide for circumstances in which a person other than a sprinkler system installer may perform work which is within the scope of the sprinkler system installer trade;
  •       require payment of wages to a sprinkler system installer apprentice at no less than the minimum wage;
  •       provide for the issuance of a certificate through trade qualification based on a designated number of hours of employment in the trade rather than years of practical experience or years plus completion of a vocational training course, as previously required;
  •       include a transitional clause recognizing as apprentices persons who were apprentices under the previous trade regulations;
  •       amend the term of apprenticeship to 8000 hours (instead of years) and to define those hours as consisting of both on the job learning and technical training. This is only a difference in reporting, not in training time.

The new regulations have not been posted on the Department of Justice website yet. 

When they are the address is: http://www.novascotia.ca/just/regulations/rxaa-l.htm#atq.

NS Daily Stats: Community Profile – Oxford

Nova Scotia Community Counts provides users with the ability to view data relating to their Community. Not only can data be viewed in a tabular format, but also within a profile format which displays data using a combination of text and graphs. Below is a sample of the Oxford Community Profile provided on the Community Counts website. To view the complete profile, click here.

Population
Based on the 2011 Census of Population, Oxford has a population of 2,115 which is 11.3% lower than in 2001. In 2011, 20.9% of the population was under the age of 20 and 20.3% was 65 years or older.
In comparison, Nova Scotia has a population of 921,725 which is 1.5% higher than in 2001. 21.2% of the population was under the age of 20 and 16.6% was 65 years or older.

Median and Average Income
In 2011, the median income for individuals in Oxford was $23,191 a year, compared with the median of $27,570 for Nova Scotia. Families in Oxford had a median income of $59,013, compared with the median of $68,102 for Nova Scotia.

In 2011, the average income for individuals in Oxford was $28,980 a year, compared with the average of $35,478 for Nova Scotia. Families in Oxford had a average income of $63,496, compared with the average of $79,838 for Nova Scotia.

Employment
In 2011, the employment rate for Oxford residents aged 15 and over was 43.6%, and the unemployment rate for Oxford was 11.2%.
In Nova Scotia, the employment rate for residents aged 15 and over was 56.8%, and the unemployment rate was 10%.

Thiel Group sues over Nova Centre planning exemption

The development of the $500-million Nova Centre complex under construction in downtown Halifax has taken a new litigious twist.

The Thiel Family Group of Companies, owners of the Bank of Montreal Building, the TD Centre and the downtown block of buildings proposed to be redeveloped as 22nd Commerce Square, has launched a Nova Scotia Supreme Court action, alleging that the provincial government broke its own laws by granting Argyle Developments Inc., owner and developer of Nova Centre, an exemption from municipal planning rules.

Read more.