Business Intelligence
June 8, 2017 - Concurrent with National Environment Week, Built Green Canada issued its fourth annual challenge to municipalities across the country to encourage sustainable building policies. The challenge is marked by a growing number of municipalities who have proclaimed June 7 as Built Green Canada Day. This includes over 20: Campbell River, Comox, Courtenay, Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Kelowna, Langford, Moose Jaw, Nanaimo, North Vancouver, Penticton, Port Coquitlam, Prince Albert, Regina, Saanich, Saskatoon, Strathcona County, St. Albert, Squamish, Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria, and Collingwood. Yorkton acknowledged the day; Okotoks is in support of the day, Lethbridge will mark the day by lighting up City Hall through green LEDs on June 9 and June 10, while others are endorsing third-party certified programs, including Built Green Canada’s.
May 26, 2017 - Housing starts are trending higher at 213,768 units in April 2017, compared to 210,702 units in March 2017, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.
May 11, 2017 - The value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities fell 5.8% to $7.0 billion in March, marking a second consecutive monthly decrease. Nationally, the decline was mainly the result of lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings, particularly in British Columbia and Ontario. All provinces and territories, except Ontario and Quebec, registered decreases in the total value of building permits in March.
Organizations are planning their activities and programs for North American Occupational Health and Safety (NAOSH) Week that runs from May 7 to 13. As part of their NAOSH program, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) will be hosting a free, live webinar that provides a practical approach to addressing mental health in the workplace. 
In response to skyrocketing housing prices in the Greater Toronto Area, the Ontario government has announced plans for a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers and to bring back rent control, capping residential rent increases at the rate of inflation. Critics are warning that these measures may have the opposite of the desired effect as price controls and increased red tape cause landlords to leave the business and builders to avoid rental projects.
April 13, 2017 - Following a relatively weak 2016, residential construction activity in Canada is poised to see a modest decrease in 2017 as the number of housing starts is expected to decline to this year, according to The Conference of Canada's latest outlook for the industry. On the other hand, non-residential construction is expected to return to growth in 2017, thanks to government infrastructure spending.
April 12, 2017 -  Canadian municipalities issued $7.5 billion worth of building permits in February, down 2.5% from January. Ontario and Alberta led the five provinces that reported declines in February. The national decrease was mainly the result of lower construction intentions for single-family dwellings and institutional structures.
As spring arrives, the National Safety Council's Window Safety Task Force encourages everyone to recognize the importance of practicing window safety during Window Safety Week, being observed in 2017 from April 2-8. However, open windows any time of year can be dangerous for young children who are not properly supervised. While the number of falls from windows is generally very small compared with other recorded child injuries, a window incident can result in serious injury or possibly even death.
Mar. 16, 2017 -  The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has launched the Gender, Work and Health web portal to help bridge the gap between gender, sex, and health, and their impact on the workplace.
They call B.C. the Wild West. Where else would your competitor roll up on your job site and offer your crew a few bucks more an hour and a 40-pounder of Crown Royal to sweeten the deal? It’s no secret, there has been a skilled labour shortage for a long time. The competition is fierce to find good people. It’s a crisis across the continent. With the skill gap that we have today, you need to hire ahead of the game, not with the game. Otherwise, you are going to be poaching or others are going to be poaching from you.
Back in my university days, I took up a filthy habit. Those of you who know me will be asking “Which one?” so I better be more specific. I got interested in politics and ended up minoring in political science. Twenty-five years later, the Americans elected Donald Trump president, pretty much proving that everything I thought I’d learned was wrong. Oh, well. There hadn’t been much application for that knowledge anyway.
Feb. 16, 2017 - Municipalities issued $7.2 billion worth of building permits in December, down 6.6% from November. Lower construction intentions were recorded for all components, led by commercial buildings and multi-family dwellings. In the residential sector, eight provinces posted declines while Ontario reported a record high.
Feb. 1, 2017 - After two years of decline, construction activity in Canada is expected to edge slightly higher this year. Growth overall will be slower and uneven across the provinces, with the anticipated start and finish of major projects and downturn in residential building. One of the biggest challenges across the entire industry this decade is offsetting the rapid retirement of an estimated 21 percent of the country's construction workforce, according to the latest labour market forecast released today by BuildForce Canada.
Jan. 19, 2017 - Municipalities issued $7.8 billion worth of building permits in November, down 0.1% from the previous month. The decline was largely the result of lower construction intentions in Alberta, following a spike the previous month due to impending changes to the Alberta Building Code.
I read with interest the article on the skilled trades workers protesting Bill 70 of the provincial government. The fight against this government initiative appears to be relying on hyperbole and scare tactics. Yet the initiative was required in part due to actions brought on by many skilled tradespersons. When the government set up the College of Trades, it turned over to the industry much of the power that the government had previously exercised itself in its attempt to do what was best for all Ontarians. Unfortunately, experience has proven that when one turns power over to a specific group, that group may choose to exercise that power to further its own best interests rather than the best interests of society as a whole.
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