It’s an embarrassing statistic for a G7 economy.
In its annual global assessment of how long it takes to process a construction permit, the World Bank ranked Canada at #64.
We have become a country where it is simply becoming too difficult to build big infrastructure and energy projects. Too often, the rules change, the goalposts are moved, and companies seeking to invest billions of dollars and provide jobs and opportunities for Canadians are unjustly vilified in the process.
Multiple misguided activists have pushed politicians and decision-makers towards an anti-investment, anti-jobs, and anti-opportunity agenda to the detriment of Alberta and BC’s industries and relationship.
But B.C. and Alberta are more aligned with more opportunity than people realize.
The two provinces haven’t always agreed on everything, but they have more connections and shared history between our people than anywhere else in Canada.
The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) has a long history of standing up for workers in the construction and resource development industries. Founded in BC, we’ve pushed hard for projects like LNG Canada, the Coastal GasLink Pipeline, Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project, and Energy East.
Polls in BC now show a majority of British Columbians support pipeline projects, so there is a lot the provinces do agree on. ICBA’s work building public support in BC for Alberta energy has been important.
ICBA worked in Ottawa to convince federal Members of Parliament to reject Bills C-48 and C-69, and joined the Alberta Enterprise Institute and Alberta Government in challenging Bill C-69 in court.
We acted because ICBA’s members make up nearly 85% of the 250,000 women and men in BC’s construction sector and over 3,300 of its companies. We advocate for fair tendering and growing the construction industry, promote responsible resource development, and help companies invest in the very best for their workers, through our professional development and wellness programs.
Energy projects are a significant part of creating that prosperity and opportunity. Pulling the federal, Alberta and BC governments out of their debt spiral will take massive economic growth and fast. Oil and gas, infrastructure construction, and responsible resource development provide a crucial path to that goal.
Unfortunately, our energy sector is being hollowed out – and Canadian leaders have stood by and watched talent, opportunity and family-supporting jobs slip away.
The attacks on the integrity and credibility of the work from our builders, world-class engineers, tradespeople, environmental scientists, and workers across Western Canada are inconsistent with the reality of our Canadian industries. At ICBA, we believe in fighting for the future relied on by families across Alberta and BC.
As we lay the foundation for investment, jobs, and opportunity in the wake of COVID-19, it’s time to start working together now more than ever. We cannot lose sight of what it takes to attract investment, create opportunities, and compete internationally. Canada’s loss is the gain of its competitors – countries focused on fostering growth, attracting investment, and getting their natural resources to markets.
Last year, in the middle of the global pandemic, ICBA acquired a group health benefits business in Alberta – an investment in the potential of shared prosperity of Alberta and BC. More than 100,000 Canadians are already on an ICBA benefit plan, making ICBA one of western Canada’s leading third-party administrators and one of the fastest growing in the benefits industry.
Check out icbabenefits.ca/alberta to learn more about how we can help.