CANS Construction Reports

Don’t Miss Key Information  for your Business – Sign up for CANS Construction Reports

Your CANS Construction Reports – Bulletin, Bid Results/Awards and Pipeline will include information for each of the Atlantic Provinces. These reports will be sent automatically every Friday to your registered email if you were previously opted-in to receive the Bulletin and Bid Results/Awards.

If you are not receiving these weekly reports contact CANS at (902) 468-2267 or ask your company’s Profile Admin to make sure Projects Reports and Bulletin E-mail are check off on your profile.

For the most up-to-date information, please visit CANSnet regularly. (Remember to have your login details ready in order to access this members-only information!)

NS Construction up 800 jobs in the first 8 months of 2019

STATS CAN – Labour Force Survey – August 2019

*Information and raw data provided by Statistics Canada*

“While employment was little changed in all other provinces in August, the unemployment rate increased in both British Columbia and Nova Scotia. The unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage points to 5.0% in British Columbia and 0.5 percentage points to 7.9% in Nova Scotia as more people searched for work in each province.” – Statistics Canada

In Nova Scotia August 2019, (seasonally adjusted, month-over-month and year-over-year):

  • Labour force increased 0.9 per cent (4,600) from July 2019 to 503,500 and increased 1.5 per cent (7,300) over August 2018
  • Employment increased 0.3 per cent (1,500) from July 2019 to 463,700 and increased 1.9 per cent (8,500) over August 2018
  • Unemployment increased 8.4 per cent (3,100) from July 2019 to 39,800 and decreased 2.9 per cent (1,200) over August 2018
  • Unemployment Rate increased 0.5 percentage points from July 2019 to 7.9 per cent.

In Canada August 2019, (seasonally adjusted, month-over-month and year-over-year):

  • Labour force increased 0.5 per cent (91,300) from July 2019 to 20,271,600 and increased 2.2 per cent (443,800) over August 2018
  • Employment increased 0.4 per cent (81,100) from July 2019 to 19,111,500 and increased 2.5 per cent (471,300) over August 2018
  • Unemployment increased 0.9 per cent (10,200) from July 2019 to 1,160,100 and decreased 2.3 per cent (27,600) over August 2018
  • Unemployment Rate remains virtually unchanged from July 2019 at 5.7 per cent.

In Halifax August 2019, (seasonally adjusted, three-month moving average, month-over-month and year-over-year):

  • Labour force increased 0.4 per cent (1,000) from July 2019 to 258,800 and increased 3.2 per cent (8,100) over August 2018
  • Employment remains virtually unchanged from July 2019 at 244,400 and increased 4.5 per cent (10,500) over August 2018
  • Unemployment increased 7.5 per cent (1,000) from July 2019 to 14,400 and decreased 14.3 per cent (2,400) over August 2018
  • Unemployment Rate increased 0.4 percentage points from July 2019 to 5.6 per cent


Labour Market Trends – August 2019

Nova Scotia’s seasonally adjusted employment level was up 1,500 in August to 463,700.  Employment is 8,500 higher than it was last August.

Nova Scotia’s employment increase follows the previous month decrease of 6,200. Compared to July, Nova Scotia’s labour force was increased by 4,600 rising to 503,500 in August. With a larger increase in labour force than employment, the number of employed was up by 3,100 persons. The unemployment rate was up 0.5 percentage points to 7.9 per cent in August.

In August, full-time employment decreased by 400 while part-time employment was up 2,000 persons.  Note: Changes in part-time and full-time employment can include the net impacts of changing hours of work within the same position.

Monthly employment gains in August reflected a rise in private sector employment (+4,800), partially offset by declines in public sector work (-2,000) and self-employment (-1,300).  Monthly employment in August was up 2,600 in goods industries and down 1,000 in service sectors.

The year-over-year increase in employment includes a decline of 300 in full-time employment and an increase of 8,900 in part time employment. The unemployment rate was down 0.4 percentage points compared to August 2018.

Comparing the first eight months of 2019 with the same months in 2018, the labour force grew by 7,200 (1.5%) while employment was up by 11,100 (2.4%). This pushed the year-to-date average unemployment rate down from 7.7 per cent in Jan-Aug 2018 to 6.9 per cent in Jan-Aug 2019.

Sectors – Year to Date

Looking at the results by class of worker for the first eight months of 2019, employment increased for the private sector (10,400) and for the public sector (4,200) more than outweighed the decline in self-employment (-3,600). Over the first eight months of 2019, Nova Scotia averaged 292,300 private sector employees, 115,900 public sector employees, and 57,500 in self-employment.

Among goods-producing sectors, the first eight months of 2019, saw employment increases in Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas (+2,400) as well as Construction (+800) and Agriculture (+800). Manufacturing employment was mostly unchanged (+100) while utilities employment declined (-300).

Services-producing industries averaged 7,300 more jobs compared to the first eight months of 2018. The largest increases come from Health care and social assistance (+4,500), Wholesale/Retail Trade (+2,500), as well as Information, culture and recreation (+1,500). The largest declines came from Other services (-1,500 mostly personal/repair sectors), Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (-1,000), and Business, building and other support services (-700).

The Spirit of “Mr. Construction” Lives on with Memorial Scholarship

David Oulton’s memory continues to support construction industry through recently awarded NSCC scholarship.

(HALIFAX, NS — September 6, 2019) The David Oulton Memorial Scholarship was awarded for the first time to Sanchari De, at Construction Association of Nova Scotia’s office on Friday, September 6, 2019.

CANS Board Members and staff, Oulton’s surviving family, long-time colleagues and representatives from NSCC gathered Friday morning to present Ms. De with the new scholarship.

For more than half a century, the award’s namesake, David Oulton was a driving force in the construction industry, locally and abroad. Much of his life was spent working with people, trying to find a way to build their projects but also change the way construction was viewed. While his passion for construction earned him the nickname, “Mr. Construction” among friends, Oulton cared about much more than just buildings.

He spent a great deal of time volunteering in his community. “Dave’s involvement in construction wasn’t limited to fabricating and erecting the steel. He recognized that in order to grow and improve the construction industry, he needed to share his knowledge,” said CANS Vice-Chair, Tim Houtsma Friday morning.

Oulton was a man of his word, playing an active role in this community over the years. He was Chairman of CANS (1999), as well as sitting on various boards including, the Sector Council, the CCA and the NSCLR. He was a pioneer in driving positive relations with the Ironworkers Local 752, was a trustee on their Pension and Benefits plan, as well as instrumental in developing their apprenticeship program.

In 2007, Oulton spearheaded the CANS 150th Anniversary Industry Campaign. This campaign raised over $1.2 million in scholarships and bursaries for students in construction-related programs at the NSCC. “Hundreds of students have benefited from this program and will continue to benefit for decades to come:” said Duncan Williams, President and CEO of the CANS.

Despite his personal efforts to develop the industry, Oulton was a humble man. His wife, Connie said, “I don’t know that Dave would want recognition — he was the type to be an anonymous donor. He lived to work, the industry was so important to him.”

“Dave would’ve shied away from the spotlight of awarding this scholarship,” shared Houtsma, “but I know that he would be quietly proud that he is helping someone gain knowledge and benefit the construction industry.”

The award’s recipient, Sanchari De, will begin studies this September at the Ivany Campus. Despite the whirlwind of change — she arrived in Canada just 10 days before the award ceremony, De is excited to begin her studies in Nova Scotia. “It was a hard decision to leave my job and come this far from [India], but I believe that it will open various opportunities for me. I am willing to give my 100% to this course and hope to make my family proud one day.”

The newly created, David Oulton Memorial Award scholarship is given to a full-time student, enrolled in the Construction Management Technology program at NSCC, who demonstrates strong leadership abilities and a background of community involvement.


Are you ready to weather this weekend’s storm?

Hurricane Preparedness: A Checklist for Your Construction Site

When severe weather hits, will your job site be ready? 

Buildings under construction are at high risk of catastrophic damage during a hurricane. Materials and debris can become projectiles, water can easily flood the building structure and expensive equipment may be lost or damaged. 

You need to be prepared. Don’t wait for the last minute to protect your project from an approaching hurricane. Developing an inclement weather policy for your construction sites will keep your team and your work safe in the eye of the storm. 

How to Prepare a Severe Weather Management Plan for your Job Site

Take the following steps and refer to these recommendations by the Canadian Red Cross to write a severe weather plan for your construction site.

1. Prepare Before Severe Weather Strikes

It’s important to have the right gear on hand to secure equipment and cover incomplete structures before a storm comes your way. Make sure each member of your team knows where they’re stored.

Hurricane Preparation Materials and Equipment:

  • Concrete Anchors 
  • Duct Tape
  • Garbage Bags
  • Generators
  • Ground Anchors
  • Fuel
  • Misc. Hardware and Fasteners
  • Netting
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Plywood
  • Pumps
  • Rope
  • Sand Bags
  • Shoring and Bracing
  • Water
  • Wire

Consider keeping hard copies of contact lists, plans and other important documents in a safe place. These documents should include:

  • An emergency evacuation plan.
  • Emergency contact information for employees.
  • List of hurricane preparation materials, equipment and their sources.
  • A contact list of back-up personnel to call if recovery teams are unable to return to work.

2. Monitor the Weather Closely

Designate a team member to keep an eye on the weather once a Tropical Storm Watch is issued. 

  • Check sites like The Weather Network and Environment Canada for the latest severe weather alerts.
  • Invest in a weather radio powered by batteries, solar or a hand crank to receive weather information during power outages.

Environment Canada: Hurricane season runs from June to November each year.

3. Secure Structures and Equipment

Once Environment Canada issues a Hurricane Watch, it’s time to prepare your job site for the storm ahead. 

  • Use rope, sandbags, ground anchors and other items to weigh down materials that could easily fly away. 
  • Cover materials with plastic sheeting, netting or garbage bags to prevent water damage.
  • Stack loose materials together and secure them with rope or duct tape to keep them from dispersing.
  • Complete work on partially completed structures to minimize damage, if time allows.

4. Remove Materials and Equipment When Possible

If you’re able to remove loose materials or expensive equipment, do so immediately after a Hurricane Warning is announced. 

  • Have your construction dumpster picked up or cover the container with a tarp.
  • Remove or tie-down portable bathrooms.
  • Remove hazardous chemicals to prevent them from being released into the environment.
  • Remove materials, tools or equipment that can be damaged by rising water.
  • Move heavy equipment and machinery to a garage or other covered structure.
  • Tear down and store light-weight fence screens and job site signage.
  • Move any portable electronics, job site plans and other important documents from the construction trailer to a safe location offsite.
  • Turn off power to the site and make sure fuel is available for power generators.

Did you know? On average, 12 tropical storms, 6 of which become hurricanes, form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season.

5. Safeguard the Building Structure

Now that you’ve secured or removed materials and equipment, it’s time to defend the structure. Whether you’re working on a renovation or you’re constructing a new building, water can significantly damage the interior.

  • Board up door and window openings.
  • Tarp or board up any other large openings.
  • Place sandbags around the perimeter of the structure as reinforcement.  

6. Evacuate the Work Site

It’s important to have an evacuation plan in place for your construction site. To determine when you need to leave, you should be familiar with the warning terms used for hurricanes.

  • Hurricane/Tropical Storm watches mean that a hurricane or tropical storm is possible in the specified area.
  • Hurricane/Tropical Storm warnings mean that a hurricane or tropical storm is expected to reach the area, typically within 24 hours.

Stay tuned to weather alerts via radio, TV or social media and evacuate as soon as local authorities give the word. Before storm season, learn your community’s emergency plans and the location of nearby shelters so your employees have a safe place to go if they can’t make it home. 

Returning to Your Construction Site After the Storm

7. Carefully Assess Damage 

Once you get the announcement that it’s safe to return to the area, it’s time to assess the damage and start cleaning up. 

  • Be careful when walking in standing water, which may contain sharp or jagged objects.
  • Use caution when entering the building because structural elements may be weakened.
  • Rent a dumpster to safely dispose of materials that were damaged by the storm.

8. Plan to Remove Water

During a hurricane, water will inevitably flood your work site. Removing it is important for the safety of your property and neighbouring structures. Standing water can soften the ground, compromising structural stability.

  • Place pumps in excavations or basements before the storm hits.
  • Have dehumidifiers and fans available to dry out the space.
  • Discharge water to the stormwater system.
  • Have contact information on-hand for a tanker truck to haul away excess water.

Finally, the most important step is to keep your team informed about hurricane precautions. 

    • Discuss your hurricane action plan so your team knows exactly what to do when a storm hits. Ask your crew to read and sign off on the plan.
    • Establish who will take control in the event of a hurricane. This person will put the plan in motion and assign emergency responsibility roles. 
    • Designate two teams – one for hurricane response and the other for hurricane recovery. Whether this is necessary depends on the size of your crew and worksite.

Hurricane preparedness is essential for a safe construction site. We hope this list keeps you and your team out of harm’s way the next time severe weather hits.

CANS Offering FREE Courses on Inclusive Workplaces

Respectful & Inclusive Workplace – FREE Online Course

Successful construction employers in Nova Scotia know that to meet future workforce challenges, they need to recruit from traditionally underrepresented groups (women, Indigenous, newcomers), which means establishing a respectful and inclusive workplace culture that is welcoming to all.

Working in a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace looks at how a respectful and inclusive workplace can benefit everyone by eliminating discrimination and harassment, and how everyone can create respect through inclusive communication, teamwork, and mentorship. The course consists of 8 lessons, for a total duration of about 3 hours of self-paced instruction.

CANS has partnered with Buildforce Canada and the NS Apprenticeship Agency to provide this training to our members FREE of charge (typically a $100 cost).

Contact us today for your free PIN to take advantage of this free course.

Interested in this course? Contact:
Alain Lefebvre
Manager, Workforce Programs, Planning and Strategy
(902) 468-2267 ext 712

Want to maximize your CANS membership?

CANS 101 – Maximize Your Membership Information Session

Date: Sept 24, 2019
Duration: 2 hours
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Member Price: FREE (*lunch will be provided for registered attendees)

Who Should Attend: Anyone who wishes to improve their overall understanding of CANS and the many benefits of membership, from using CANSnet to accessing printing services, customizing training programs and more!

Register by September 20 to attend. For more details, or to register for a CANS 101 session, click here!

Congratulations to our 2019-2020 Long-term members!

Without our members, CANS would be nothing, so each year we take some time to honour those members who have supported CANS consistently through the decades.

Each year, CANS recognizes companies that have maintained continuous membership for more than 25 years by presenting them with the Bowman Award. This year we are honouring:

  • Able Electric 2016 Limited
  • Advanced Energy Management Ltd.
  • Asbestos Abatement Ltd.
  • Atlantic Explosives Ltd.
  • Blaine F. MacLane Excavation Ltd.
  • Fundy Electric Limited
  • G.J. Cahill & Co. (1979) Ltd.
  • John Morrison Contracting Ltd.
  • R.D.L. Construction Limited
  • Sansom Equipment Ltd.
  • Techno Hard Surfaces Limited
  • The Guarantee Company of North America
  • Waller Agencies Limited
  • Wickwire Holm
  • W. MacPhail Construction Ltd.

To see our full list all of our Bowman recipients, including previous years, visit: 

CANS Long-term Member award is presented to companies that have held a membership with the Association for 50 years or more, and honours companies who have shown their dedication, support, and commitment to the Association throughout the years and is an achievement to be proud of.
This year we are honouring the following members:

  • Englobe Corp.
  • Gallagher Canada Limited – Nova Scotia
  • South Shore Ready Mix Ltd.
  • Truefoam Limited
  • V.J. Rice Concrete Ltd.

To see a full list of our Long-term Members, visit:

2019 CANS Herc Rentals Softball Tournament Wrap-Up


It was a sunny Saturday for a fun-filled Softball Tournament in Dartmouth!  17 teams enjoyed a day of networking, great pitches, quite a few runs and plenty of fun at the 2019 CANS Herc Rentals Softball Tournament on August 24th at the Mount Edward Road Ball Fields.


A BIG thanks to all our sponsors: Herc Rentals, MacFarlands Industrial, Dexel, Turf Masters Ltd., Black & McDonald Limited, Iron Dog, MNP LLP, Q104, BELFOR, Big Bang Promotional Products, BIRD Construction, Casey Concrete Ltd., Heritage Gas, MCT Insurance a division of BrokerLink, REgroup, Sancton, and Rogers Communications Canada.

Techno Hard Surfaces Limited

Atlantica Mechanical Contractors Limited

The Fun Division Trophy went to Techno Hard Surfaces Limited, with second place going to Bird Stairs (J.W. Bird & Company Limited).  The Competitive Division Trophy went to Atlantica Mechanical Contractors Ltd., with second place going to McCarthy’s Roofing Ltd.  Congratulations to all the winners!


Kids of all ages had fun at The Game Zone this year!  In between games, players, families and spectators bounced in the inflatable fun house, played washer toss, bean bag toss, and many other games from Glow Parties!


Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2019 Softball Tournament! If you attended the tournament, we would love to hear your feedback.  Please visit the online survey:


Catch up on the fun, check out more photos of CANS softball, along with all of our events, here

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:

Early Bird Gets the Worm: Pick Your Complimentary CANS Course


Congratulations! We appreciate your timeliness and care in renewing your CANS membership early. As a special thank you, we are excited to announce that you have won one (1) complimentary seat in one (1) of CANS 2019-2020 Education and Training Development courses. Restrictions may apply, please see the list of eligible courses to choose from below.


Eligible Courses:

  • The Basics: Working in a Commercial Industrial Environment (see details)
  • Construction Estimating – The Art of Estimating (see details)
  • Blueprint Reading – Documents and Specifications (see details)
  • Excel with Excel: Fundamentals (see details)
  • Excel with Excel: Advanced (see details)
  • Using MS Outlook for Time Management (see details)
  • Construction Ethics – In Class (see details, additional dates available)
  • Responding Successfully to a Request for Proposal (RFP) (see details)
  • The Art of Getting it Done! Effective Work Planning for Foremen  (see details)
  • Project Management Fundamentals for the Construction Industry (see details)
  • Project Scheduling and Costing (see details)
  • Project Risk Management (see details)
  • MS Project: Establishing a Project Management Foundation (see details)
  • The Construction Execution Plan (see details)
  • Financial Management for Contractors Program (see details)
  • Leading on the Frontline (see details)
  • Communicating with Confidence (see details)
  • Dealing with Difficult Behaviours (see details)
  • Training and Coaching People to Perform (see details)
  • Building Personal and Team Accountability (see details)


To book your complimentary space, please contact:

Chantal Arsenault
Manager, Education & Training Development
(902) 468-2267 ext. 706


Click here for a full list of Education and Training Development courses offered through CANS.