Why construction inadvertently became the last frontier for tech disruption

One might assume that digital disruption has infiltrated all the industries today. But it turns out that construction has some serious catching up to do.

There is no shortage of business to be had. The construction industry, in fact, ranks as one of the fastest growing sectors globally. Statistics Canada reports investment in non-residential building construction totalled $14.1 billion the first quarter of 2018, up 3.1 per cent from the previous quarter. This was the fourth consecutive quarterly rise, leading to a 9.0 per cent year-over-year increase in construction investment. U.S. data shows similar growth rates.

Read more.

Construction industry strives to bring injured workers back to the job site

The construction industry is facing a serious labour shortage and is looking for ways to replace workers who are at the end of their careers and retiring in great numbers. One source of new — or at least renewed — blood has been receiving attention lately: injured workers who can be brought back to work relatively quickly. Read more.

Thirteen recent advances in robotic building technology

The buildings and infrastructure of the not-so-distant future might look like they were dropped here from an alien planet thanks to the complex geometries and curvaceous surfaces robotic building technologies are able to produce. Read more.

2018-2019 Federal Budget Highlights – Impact to the Construction

Apprenticeship / Women in Construction             

  • $65.9 million in targeted grants and commitments to apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs have been announced for over the next five years.
  • $19.9 million over the next 5 years has been earmarked to pilot an ‘Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women,’ resulting in increased support for women in red seal trades. Women in male-dominated Red Seal trades would receive $3,000 for each of their first two years of training. This is in addition to the existing Apprenticeship Completion Grant of $2,000. About 90 per cent of Red Seal trades would be eligible for the new grant.
  • A new ‘Pre-Apprenticeship Program’ is being funded beginning in 2018 with $46 million over the next 5 years, changing to $10 million per year after that.  The program will assist underrepresented Canadian groups in entering the trades, gaining work experience, accessing skills development opportunities, and ultimately making informed career choices.
  • The announcement of the new ‘Women in Construction Fund’ includes a committed $10 million to attract women to the trades over the next 3 years by investing in the further development of existing models designed to attract more women to the trades.


  • Short-term infrastructure spending is once again lower than expected with more budget reallocations toward departmental spending. The projected infrastructure spending lapse in this past year was $2.67 billion, with budget projections showing the lapse hitting $2.19 Billion in 2018/19.

Small Business Tax Reform

  • The budget unveiled new details on the taxation of passive investment income inside private corporations. When companies earn between $50,000 and $150,00 in a given year from passive investments, a reduced amount of their active business income will be eligible for the small business tax rate, which will be 9 per cent in 2019. (The upper limit for business income that can be taxed at the small business rate is $500,000.) The reduction will occur on a straight-line basis, with eligible income decreasing by $5 for every $1 of passive income above the $50,000 threshold.

Rental Housing Construction

  • Potential construction of affordable rental housing has received a $1.25-billion boost over the next three years. The federal government expects the extra investment will spur the construction of 14,000 new rental units across Canada.

NSAA Marketing Campaign – Casting Call

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA) is seeking your assistance in the creation of a marketing campaign to promote apprenticeship as a great career choice.

Although there are a number of aspects to the campaign, we are asking you to promote and encourage certified tradespersons and/or apprentices to apply to be part of a professional photo shoot, in which the photos will be used for various promotional materials.   Please send this notification to those in your network, or employees who you feel would be willing and prepared to represent their trade and the apprenticeship system.

We are inviting applications for tradespeople and/or apprentices in the following trades/trade sectors:

  • Truck and Transport Mechanic
  • Construction trades
  • Machinist
  • Metal Fabricator (Fitter)

You or your organization have been identified due to your involvement with the apprenticeship system in the above trades.  It is important that the trades be represented by the diversity that exists in the province.

Click HERE to see the casting call information page.  From there, under the heading “How to Apply” you can find the link that will take you to the casting application.

Please note:

  • Applications are electronic and are sent to a casting company (not the Agency)
  • The locations for the shoots will be work locations that are being reviewed
  • Applicants will be selected and those selected will receive pay
  • Applicants will be required to be at the photo shoot location for at least one full day
  • Applications are required immediately

If you have any questions please contact Erin Hennessey at hennesseycasting@gmail.com.


OHS Act Amendments Take Effect June 12, 2017

In April 2016, government introduced and passed Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act to help keep Nova Scotians safe at work. Most employers in Nova Scotia operate safe workplaces. However, there are some who repeatedly break serious health and safety rules, putting Nova Scotians at risk of serious injury or death. The amendments hold those employers more accountable, and were passed by the legislature with a commitment by the Department to work with stakeholders on next steps. That work is complete, and we’re ready to put the changes into place.

The amendments came into force on June 12, 2017.

Click HERE to review the Safety Bulletin summarizing the changes to the act.

Click HERE for a copy of the updated Act.

To review the details of the revised Act, click HERE for the link to Bill 165.


If you have any questions or concerns, please call 1-800-952-2687 or 902-424-5400, or via email at ohsdivision@novascotia.ca

Day of Mourning – April 28, 2017

On April 28, Nova Scotia joins the rest of Canada and more than 80 countries worldwide to remember those who died, were injured or became ill at work. The Day of Mourning offers employees and employers the opportunity to publicly renew their commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace.

Day of Mourning Story: Glenn Martin – 26 coal miners were tragically lost in the Westray Mine disaster of 1992. Glenn Martin, a man who loved friends, family and fishing, was one of them. Allen Martin remembers his brother 25 years later. Watch the video below.

On April 28, join other Nova Scotians in observing the Day of Mourning by remembering those who have been lost to a workplace tragedy and honouring those who have been affected. Visit the Day of Mourning website for more information.

What’s Shaking with Earthquake Resistant Technologies

An expressway off-ramp that will bend in a strong earthquake but remain standing — and usable — is under construction as part of a huge bridge/tunnel project in downtown Seattle. Read more

CANS Welcomes CCA Board of Directors and Executives

On June 15, CANS President, Duncan Williams, and Chairman, Matt Brunt, will welcome the Board of Directors and Executive of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) with a Harbour Cruise Welcome Reception aboard the Tall Ship Silva.

Thank you to our sponsors:





Dexter logo






Ocean Logo_small




CANS OFFICE CLOSURE – Tuesday, February 9th

Due to weather conditions CANS has decided to delay opening Tuesday, February 9, 2016 until 10:00am.  We apologize for any inconvenience. Stay tuned to our website for further updates.

PLEASE NOTE:All Industry Education and Training courses for the day have been rescheduled, Jessica McCall, Industry Education and Training Lead will be in touch with all those registered regarding new dates.