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It is membership renewal time and I hope you continue to find value in your relationship with HRAI. The renewal season this year has been delayed since the impact of COVID-19 has required people to focus their efforts on staying safe, caring for loved ones and figuring out what a new normal might look like.

Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to speak with a number of members and while business has definitely been disrupted, many members are finding sales volumes returning to a more normalized level. I have even spoken to a couple of members who had record sales levels in June. 

Business at HRAI has been impacted as well,  we have cancelled the 2020 CMPX show, reduced staff, cancelled the Annual Business Meeting scheduled for August 2020 in Victoria and have reconfigured most of our training programs to be digitally oriented. While we have fewer people and lower costs we have not have not reduced our focus on Government Relations. We continue to maintain a very active relations agenda. Our team continues to work tirelessly on behalf of our members at all levels of government.

Over the past three months we have posted over 20 stories and articles on our efforts and their impact on the industry. HRAI was instrumental in ensuring this sector could function at least partially during the shutdown and we also pushed aggressively to ensure we would be one of the first sectors to open once the restrictions were lifted.

HRAI remains committed to its investments in government affairs, stakeholder relations, sector training and the dissemination of information that our members require.   We have been active at the national level on codes and standards files, with a focus on harmonization and ensuring that proposed building code amendments are favourable to the industry.  We have been engaged with federal leaders responsible for energy efficiency and climate change mitigation policies who now envision tying these policies to Canada’s economic recovery plans.

To improve communications we moved our newsletter to a weekly edition, increased our social media efforts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and created a landing page dedicated to COVID-19 news updates and information resources for the HVACR industry.

On the education front, HRAI is ramping up for the fall training schedule.  A conscious decision was made early on in the pandemic to re-focus the first six months of the fiscal year on a virtual training delivery plan.  We have had much praise over the past two months for pivoting to this new delivery method.  We still don’t know what impacts the COVID-19 situation will have on future gatherings of people but when regions begin to re-open and activity levels return to some version of the past, HRAI will be in a position to provide needed training through a variety of delivery methods.

In addition, through the efforts of HRAI’s government relations team, we have been able to work with partners Fortis BC and Gord Cooke to develop new training to help contractors get their businesses back on track.  This training will focus on bringing confidence to contractors, their staff, and their customers to re-engage under new protocols that minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.  This program will launch in B.C. and will be made available in other regions in the coming weeks.

Renewal notices were sent out earlier this week. We do hope you are able to renew your membership this year. HRAI supports your financial well-being and we know that some of you may still be dealing with financial instability during this unusual time. For those of you who are able to renew your membership now, we encourage you to complete your renewal at your earliest convenience. We remain grateful for your support – it allows us to keep working to support you and the HVACR industry.

For those of you that need more time, take it, your membership will remain active. Once your business returns to a more normal level, renewal can be handled then.

If you do have questions or concerns that I should hear about, you can reach me via email at smacleod@hrai.ca, I look forward to hearing from you.

Sandy MacLeod

President & CEO