FILE – Contract employees build soil conveyor for Site C dam in northeast B.C., spring 2019. (B.C. Hydro)

B.C. government policies ‘threaten’ construction industry, contractor survey suggests

ICBA survey found 53 per cent of contractors think government is on wrong track

Less than half of B.C.’s construction contractors are expecting more work in 2020, according to a survey released by the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association Wednesday.

The survey found that 40 per cent of the companies in the survey are expecting more work this year, compared to 51 per cent last year. This year represents a five-year low, according to the ICBA, which surveyed 1,000 construction companies.

When broken down by region, the ICBA survey found that 42 per cent of contractors in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Whistler expected an increase in work, 40 per cent in the province’s Interior, 38 per cent in northern B.C. and 24 per cent on Vancouver Island.

In the report, ICBA president Chris Gardner said the dip represented a “notable drop in confidence.”

Gardner said the reasoning behind that could be because 53 per cent of contractors think government “is on the wrong track when dealing with their businesses.” Just eight per cent said government was on the right track while 39 per cent said they didn’t know.

“This reflects government policy that has been hostile to job creators on many fronts ranging from its stances on major project development, to freezing out 85 per cent of construction workers from the tendering of public construction projects, to adding more red tape and regulation,” Gardner said. The 85 per cent figure is the ICBA’s shot at the NDP’s building trades union-only hiring model for taxpayer-funded construction projects.That 2018 agreement allowed only only 19 unions to bid on provincial megaprojects.

However, the survey did report some good news. The shortage of skilled trade workers in the industry dropped compared to the previous year. In 2020, 35 per cent of companies said they are looking to hire more people this year, compared to 45 per cent the year prior. The most sought-after skilled trades workers were masons, with all companies surveyed saying they needed more.

Black Press Media has requested comment from the province.

READ MORE: B.C. building groups ask court to axe public construction deal

READ MORE: B.C. union construction dispute directed to Labour Relations Board

READ MORE: Skilled worker shortage hangs over B.C. industrial growth


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Construction

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Racist incidents on the rise in the Okanagan as coronavirus spreads

UBCO professor not surprised by recent incidents

Pecha Kucha speaker series returns to Cannery Brewing

The speakers will share character building experiences to begin Pecha Kucha’s sixth year in Penticton

Penticton Vees forward O’Brien named first team BCHL all-star

O’Brien finished the season tied for fourth in leauge scoring with 66 points in 46 games.

Man accused of attacking Penticton doctor has charges dropped by Crown

Charges against Gregory Nield for alleged attack on a psychiatrist at PRH stayed by Crown

RCMP and Upper Dek Vees tie in community hockey rematch

$1,175 for the Upper Dek Vees and Penticton Alzheimer Society was raised at the game.

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Fire crews battle large blaze in West Kelowna

Reports of multiple structures on fire in the Colleen Road area

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Kelowna man charged after naked driver leads RCMP on hit-and-run spree

A Kelowna man has been charged with numerous offences

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Most Read