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On November 18, HRAI Vice President of Government and Stakeholder Relations Martin Luymes joined representatives from three local trade associations in a first-ever “Day at the Legislature” in Victoria BC.  Building on existing alliances and recognizing the principle of “strength in numbers,” HRAI accompanied the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH-BC), the Mechanical Contractors Association of BC (MCA-BC) and the Thermal Environmental Comfort Association (TECA) for a very impactful day of meetings with key ministers in the BC government. 

The day included the following meetings:

  1. Hon. Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade, and Technology

The meeting covered a range of topics including: inter-provincial harmonization of regulations and trades training, which the Minister committed to support, and prompt payment legislation, which the Minister supported in principle and promised to follow carefully the progress on this issue in other provinces.

  1. Hon. Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Hon. George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (senior staff)

The focus of this meeting was primarily on the potential for the industry to aide in the province’s climate change strategy and the need for more frequent and extensive consultation.  Concerns were expressed about the roll-out of the “Step-Code” (benefits and potential problems with industry and consumer readiness) and the general lack of effective enforcement of building code and contractor accreditation.  Again, industry representatives stressed the need for harmonization with other provinces wherever possible.

  1. Hon. Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training

The group enjoyed a very lively and engaging discussion with Minister Mark on government policies and programs related to the need for recruiting new people into the trades.  The Minister was interested in tying these needs to the emerging green economy and to the need to find meaningful employment for young indigenous people in the province.

Understanding the need to maintain a multi-partisan approach, the industry representatives also met with members of the Liberal Caucus (MLAs Donna Barnett, Mike Bernier, Marvin Hunt, Coralee Oakes, Tom Shypitka, Ben Stewart), several of who held key portfolios in the previous government.  This group engaged in a healthy dialogue with the associations about the importance of the mechanicals industry.  As it happened, several among them had close personal experience with, or connections to, the industry, so the issues raised were well understood.  Though caucus members clearly had an interest in exposing and discussing flaws in the current government’s policies and priorities, the industry reps kept the discussion focused on positives and on the industry opportunities (and challenges) coming out of recent government directions.

For more information, contact Martin Luymes at 1-800-267-2231 ext. 235, or email mluymes@hrai.ca.