Construction Sector Grew 1% in May

Stats Canada has released the numbers for GDP growth and overall Canada is doing well

Real GDP in Canada increased 0.2 per cent in May following growth of 0.3 per cent the previous month and 0.5 per cent in March. In May, there were gains in 13 of the 20 industrial sectors.  Goods-producing industries were up for a third consecutive month with a 0.6 per cent increase after a steady decline from Q3 2018. Service-producing industries were up 0.1 per cent. Compared to May 2018, the Canadian economy is 1.4 per cent larger with an annualized value of $1,965 billion (chained 2012 dollars) in May 2019.


Breakdown by Industry:

Manufacturing activity expanded 1.2 per cent to fully offset the decline in April and continue the patterns of alternating months of decline and growth. Durable manufacturing was up 2.3 per cent with transportation equipment rising as motor vehicle production returned to normal levels following temporary shutdowns in some plants in April. Non-durable manufacturing was down 0.1 per cent with gains in chemical, plastic and rubber, food manufacturing offset by decreases in beverage and tobacco, paper and printing.

After declining during the second half of 2018, the construction sector was up 0.9 per cent in May and has grown in four of the five months of 2019. Residential construction (+2.2%) led growth with its strongest month in more than a year as double, row and other multi-unit construction expanded and home alterations and improvements moved up. Engineering and other construction and repair construction also moved up while non-residential construction edged down after five months of growth. Home resale activity increased in most urban markets, so activity at office of real estate agents and brokers was up 4.8 per cent in May.

Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction declined 0.8 per cent after a strong increase last month. Oil sands extraction was down after facilities scaled up production last month to take advantage of eased production restrictions. Mining was up for third consecutive month with growth in metal ore mining and non-metallic mineral mining. Coal mining was up after three months of decline on higher exports of metallurgical coal to oversea markets.

Transportation and warehousing sector was up 1.0 per cent in May led by rail transportation of energy, chemical, metal, mineral, automotive products. Track transportation also gained while pipeline transportation was down.

With a decline of 0.4 per cent, retail trade had its first consecutive monthly decline since June and July 2018. Retail subsectors were evenly split with a decline in food and beverage stores and less favourable weather conditions slowing sales in clothing and general merchandise stores. Gasoline stations posted a 2.6 per cent increase in activity.

Wholesale trade declined 1.4 per cent after four consecutive monthly gains as all subsectors except building material and supplies contracted in the month. Notable declines were for wholesalers of motor vehicles and parts, machinery, equipment and supplies, and agricultural/miscellaneous.

Public sector GDP was up 0.3 per cent with increases in education, health care and public administration.

Comparing the size of the Canadian economy in January-May 2019 with January-May 2018, there has been a 1.4 per cent increase due to higher service sector output (+2.3 per cent) while the goods-producing sector declined by 1.0 per cent. Higher levels of activity in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, utilities and manufacturing only partially offset the lower levels of activity in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction and construction. Service sector output is higher across all subsectors with the largest increases in professional, scientific and technical services, administration and support services, and accommodations and food services subsectors.

Source: Statistics Canada.

Table  36-10-0434-01   Gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices, by industry, monthly (x 1,000,000)

CCI Updates: working to better meet the needs of members. 

Canadian Construction Innovations (CCI) is working to realign its service offering to better meet the needs of its members.

CCI is committed to helping you adopt innovation within your own firms. In keeping with this commitment, CCI has made strides in the last couple of months, from launching the expanded CONtact Innovator Mentorship program to a funding proposal put before the federal government providing for the placement of nearly 2000 STEM students in the Construction industry.

Some of CCI’s recent accomplishments:
  • Launch of the expanded CONtact Innovator Mentorship program to spark innovation by matching emerging entrepreneurs and innovators with industry experts to fine-tune product offerings whilst providing members with the opportunity to learn about upcoming innovations. For more visit:
  • Currently evaluating competitive proposals to offer Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit service to our members.
  • The revised proposal for funding the placement of 1,700 students (from STEM and multi-disciplinary functions) in the industry has been submitted to the government with funding announcement expected in the fall.
  • A new CCI identity with a new logo was revealed, and a brand-new website is also in the works.
  • Revised an agreement for the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) to provide their services in administrative operations, enabling CCI to focus on leading the innovation agenda and delivering membership value.
CCI continues to work hard for its members. Keep an eye out for more, forthcoming initiatives. In the meantime, for more information on CCI, visit their website:

NSBI Accepting Applications for Innovation Rebate Program

Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) is currently accepting applications for its Innovation Rebate Program.

The Innovation Rebate Program supports Nova Scotia businesses looking to increase their global competitiveness. The program provides financial incentives on projects that enable a company to increase innovation capacity through private-sector capital investments or adoption of new technologies and business processes.

To find out more and/or apply for this program, visit:

Please review the Guidelines and FAQ before submitting your application.

WCB – Changing to Serve You Better

What you need to know during WCB Nova Scotia’s system upgrade

As part of the launch of WCB Nova Scotia’s new core operating systems, MyAccount will be offline from 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 30 until Thursday, June 6.

Here’s what you need to know:

Save your Statements of Account. Past statements of account will no longer be available on MyAccount after June 6. You can currently view and download Statements of Account for the past two years, so be sure to print or download what you need ahead of time.

Save all drafts. Anything that has not yet been saved (an injury report, for example) will be lost when systems go offline.

Secure message history will migrate overto the new system, along with your current account information.

After 4:30 p.m. May 30, fax your injury reports, or wait until the system is back online June 6. Late reporting fines will not apply during this time.

If you need information, callus at 1-800-870-3331.

After June 6, MyAccount users will have access to faster digital processes, anywhere, anytime. WCB has shared videos highlighting some of the new features coming to MyAccount. These include information about clearancepayroll reporting, and claims data management.

WCB’s business transformation, supported by new systems, will provide users with better tools and approaches, faster processes, and will enable more online services for workers and employers. It’s reducing red tape and moving away from some time-consuming paper-based service processes.

If you’d like more support following the launch, WCB is offering an online tutorial on June 19, which will walk through some of the main business tools in the new MyAccount.

This change will help foster a new and improved WCB Nova Scotia. To learn more about how these changes will impact you, visit

Keep in touch:



Safe + Secure E-Newsletter


For more information, please contact:

Nicole Halloran
Communications Advisor, WCB Nova Scotia
P: 902-491-8102 or C: 902-223-8901

Construction employers must adapt to millennial workforce needs

True to the stereotypes, workplace millennials want to be respected, included in decisions, sit in on important meetings before they’ve earned it and need to think their work is relevant, says David Coletto, Abacus Data CEO.

Click HERE to read more.

Feds provide progress report on Investing in Canada infrastructure plan

OTTAWA — Building a Better Canada: Progress Report on the Investing in Canada Plan 2016-2019, a new report issued by the federal government, provides an update on the progress in renewing the nation’s public infrastructure through the over $180-billion plan.

Click HERE to read more

Construction labour market snaps four-month losing streak as employment surges in April

The Canadian construction industry put several months of labour decline behind it in April as employers hired tens of thousands of workers.

Click HERE to read more.

CANS Annual Renewal

It’s CANS Membership renewal time!  We are very pleased to report that through hard work and successful planning, for a second year in a row we will not be increasing Membership Dues for the upcoming year.

If your renewal payment is received prior to June 15th, 2019, your company will be automatically entered into our 2019 WIN YOUR MEMBERSHIP prize contest, including draws for one FREE Membership (up to $1620 value), multiple CANS Print credits ($100 each), CANS Events Tickets, Industry Education & Training Bucks, and more! 

Click HERE to pay online**

2019 CANS Toromont Cat and Battlefield Equipment De-Icer re-cap

2019 CANS Toromont Cat and Battlefield Equipment De-Icer
Cunard Centre, Halifax, NS

On Friday April 26, 2019 the CANS Toromont Cat and Battlefield Equipment De-Icer brought out almost 1,800 individuals for an exceptional evening of fine dining, entertainment and networking. Our largest De-Icer crowd to-date, this was the perfect kickoff to the construction season! Held at the Cunard Centre in Halifax, the De-Icer is Nova Scotia’s largest construction networking event.

Guests enjoyed a meal of lobster, a quarter chicken dinner with half rack of ribs, or portobello mushroom as well as sweets, mussels, appetizers and refreshments, while being entertained by musical duo Rowdy Dow. De-Icer attendees also enjoyed shuttle-bus service which transported guests to the Marriott Harbourfront hotel, Barrington Street in downtown Halifax, and the Westin hotel at the end of the evening.

This year’s VIP Reception was also an overwhelming success; a special thank-you and welcome to all new CANS Members!

If you attended and/or sponsored the 2019 CANS Toromont Cat and Battlefield Equipment De-Icer and would like to provide feedback on the event, please visit these survey links:

All feedback is welcome and encouraged; help us improve the event for future years!

A sincere thank-you is extended to all our sponsors who stepped up and helped us out with their generosity! The following sponsors helped make the CANS 2019 Toromont Cat and Battlefield Equipment De-Icer an incredible success.

TITLE SPONSOR: Toromont Cat and Battlefield Equipment

BEER SPONSOR: Miller High Life



AW Leil Cranes and Equipment

Conrad Brothers



Dexter Construction and REgroup

DP Murphy Hotels

G & R Kelly


Gil-Son Construction Limited

Heritage Gas Limited and Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline


Irving Equipment

Jim Pattison Lease

Lindsay Construction


MCT Insurance

Nova Scotia Power

Pinchin Ltd.


Sea + Sky Portable Restroom

Stanhope Simpson Insurance


United Rentals



Archway Insurance

BCS Controls

Bird Stairs

Black & McDonald


GFL Environmental

Hilti (Canada) Corporation



Parts for Trucks


R&D Cranes


The Shaw Group


Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company


Arrow Construction Products Limited


Big Bang Promotional Products

BIRD Construction

Data Wiring Solutions Inc.

Kent Mobile Shelters

Marco Group

Merit Nova Scotia

New Scotland Clothing Co.

PCL Constructors Canada Inc.

Wilsons Security


WATER SPONSOR:Rogers Communications Canada


Prize Winners!

CANS is pleased to announce the following door prize winners from the De-Icer event:

  • A W Leil – Weekend at WhitePoint: Jamal Ashour
  • Archway Insurance – Google Home Mini: Darryl Johnson
  • Arrow Construction Products – Restaurant Gift Card: Nancy Dube
  • Battlefield Equipment Rentals – CAT 2000W inverter generator: Paul Rae
  • Belfor – Google Home: Alex Gale
  • Big Bang Promotions – Jacket: Jen Richardson
  • Black & McDonald – Home Depot Gift Card: Gina Smith
  • CANS Health and Wellness Plan – Cabot Links SunIce Goretex Mens Large Jacket: Mark Bowness
  • Conrad Brothers – BBQ Basket: Amy MacDow
  • P. Murphy – Complimentary Overnight: Joel DeAngelo
  • DeWalt 5 – Tool Combo Kit: Jordon Shea
  • DeWalt 5 – Tool Combo Kit: Marc Knight
  • Dig Safe – Promotion Bag: Helle Betts
  • Grant Thornton – Prize Pack: Christina Zareski
  • Hearthstone Inn – 1-night stay: Andrew Jardine
  • Hearthstone Inn – 1-night stay: Perry Kossatz
  • Hilti – RC 4/36 NEW Robust jobsite radio: Kaven Carpenter
  • Lindsay Construction – Hammerdrill & Impact Driver Combo Kit: Greg O’Brien
  • Merit Nova Scotia – Acer Iconia One 10.1″ 16GB Android 7.0 Tablet: Miranda Vawzevmeren
  • New Scotland – Hoodie, Beer Glass, and Growler w/ Free Fill: Craig Silver
  • Procore – Amazon Gift Card: Adam Wicks
  • Q104 – 4 tickets to Garrison’s Backlot Bash: Ursula Melski
  • R&D Cranes – Hoodie, Flexfit hat, t-shirt, and $100 gift card: Ashley Logic
  • RCR – Restaurant Gift Card: Logan Grant
  • RCR – Restaurant Gift Card: Sarah Smith
  • Sea + Sky – 20 Volt Dewalt cordless screwdriver: Andrew Pepper
  • Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company – Golf Polo L: Curtis Doucet
  • Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company – Golf Polo XL: Pam Wright
  • Wilsons Security – Sonos Play:1: Gabrielle Ranger

If you have not yet picked up your prize, please contact Natalie at nbobbitt@cans.ns.caor 902-468-2267 ext. 718!

On behalf of CANS, thank you to all guests, supporters and sponsors who took part in the 2018 CANS Toromont Cat and Battlefield Equipment De-Icer!

Prompt Payment legislation coming to the Nova Scotia construction industry.

 Halifax, NS – (05/01/2019) The Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) and the Nova Scotia Prompt Payment Coalition are pleased with the Province of Nova Scotia’s decision to amend the existing Builders’ Lien Act to include prompt payment legislation.

“The existing law in Nova Scotia is costly, cumbersome, and inaccessible to many small and medium-sized family-owned companies,” says Duncan Williams, President and CEO of CANS. “It addresses non-payment as opposed to delinquent payment and the lien rights of many in the industry will expire long before they realize they will not get paid.”

“Our province needs a prompt payment solution that works for everyone including employers, contractors, buyers of construction and consumers,” says Tim Houtsma, board member of the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction. “While this serious problem is being felt now in our industry, there is a risk to Nova Scotia’s competitiveness long-term if we do not take action to fix the issue.”

Over the past several years CANS has conducted membership surveys to solicit feedback on prompt payment. In 2018 most members indicated that delayed payments were occurring on almost all of their jobs, which increased the cost of doing businesses. If proper legal framework was in place to combat delinquent payments, their organizations would be in a better position to purchase equipment, increase the use of apprentices and hire more people.

On Thursday, April 11, Bill 119 passed its third reading at the Nova Scotian legislature. The bill will carry the new name of Builders’ Lien and Prompt Payment Act, and will establish a system of requirements to ensure timely payment in the construction industry. Stakeholder consultations are expected to take place over the summer.

Duncan Williams says “The Act will set out minimum payment requirements and will have a systematic approach to how money will be released with rights and responsibilities set forth for all parties to a construction project.”

Our coalition believes that these changes will improve the movement of money in our economy, increase fairness and transparency, efficiency and productivity, and lower the overall cost of construction projects.

For more information about prompt payment and the Nova Scotia Prompt Payment Coalition, visit:




For more information, contact:

Colin MacDonald

Manager, Marketing & Communications

Construction Association of Nova Scotia

Cell: 902-818-0835 Email: