WCA is consistently advocating on behalf of the ICI construction industry with all three levels of government. Have an issue you’d like more information on, or are you concerned about something going on in the industry? Get in touch with us here.
Here are just a few of the files we’re currently working on:
Prompt Payment Legislation for Manitoba
Bill 38: The Builders’ Liens Amendment Act (Prompt Payment) was passed in 2023 (The Builders’ Liens Amendment Act (Prompt Payment) (gov.mb.ca)), but there are still regulations needed to be completed and an adjudication system needing to be established. The establishment of an adjudication system that works for the industry will be a high priority.
The purpose of the legislation will be to ensure that Owners are required to pay contractors in 28 days and the Prime Contractor will be required to pay its sub-contractors within 7 days after that.
The bulk of the work remaining is to develop clarity on the adjudication process that will be employed in the case of disputes. And in this area, there is much to be determined and agreed upon in the industry. Some of the issues that are yet to be determined are:
- Who do we see as adjudicators?
- What is the appropriate level of training for adjudicators?
- Who will provide the training?
- Who will provide the administrative organization for the adjudication?
- What is the estimated caseload for adjudicators; and how do we develop a system that is financially self-sustaining?
Construction Industry Wages Act
The construction industry has several minimum standards that are different from other industries. Employees performing construction work and their employers need to know the different rules for termination and general holidays. The Construction Industry Wages Act (CIWA) also sets the minimum wages in the industry for tradespersons and other construction workers in the Industrial, Commercial, Institutional sector (ICI) and the Heavy Construction sector.
CIWA has updated minimum wages as of September 1, 2022. The minimum wages will also increase on April 1, 2023 and April 1, 2024.
WCA will be advocating for a working group to be established in Spring of 2024 to update the schedule for the next 3 years.
Maintaining a 2:1 Ratio in Apprenticeships:
The WCA recognizes the pivotal role apprenticeships play in ensuring a skilled and qualified workforce. We are committed to maintaining a 2:1 ratio in apprenticeships along with the other flexibilities added to the system regarding fourth year apprentices.
During the pre-election period in 2023, the NDP party indicated a desire to return back to a 1:1 ratio for apprenticeships. It will be our goal to ensure the government understands the benefits of the current system which includes better training and safety environments, added flexibility for the industry and a widening door for entry into the trades. We need more people in the industry and the current system is working well!
Increasing Budget resources for Permits and Inspections:
Adequate resources for permits and inspections are essential for the industry’s smooth operation. The WCA is advocating for increased financial resources allocated to the Permit and Planning department to ensure this part of the construction process isn’t adding unnecessary costs or time added to projects.
In July 13 2023, the City of Winnipeg council adopted a report from the Planning and Development Department to increase the staff resources available to the department and to make changes to the Permit Reserve fund. This means those recommendations will be a part of the three-year budget process in 2024.
WCA will be working with the City of Winnipeg staff and elected officials to help make the adoption of these recommendations possible.