Update on Budget 2021, COVID-19 Supports, Elections & Cancellations from Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU)

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A message from CBTU:

Budget 2021, COVID-19 Supports, Elections and Cancellations  

2021 is shaping up to be a busy year in Ottawa, with the Federal Government undergoing pre-budget consultations ahead of the expected Budget release in March. CBTU has outlined our Budget priorities here and the Canadian Executive Board will be busy over the coming weeks, meeting with Cabinet Ministers to ensure our priorities are heard and considered.


COVID-19, the slow roll out of vaccines and daily case counts continue to dominate the news cycle. Early on, the construction industry was deemed essential. This put the pressure on our local unions to work with employers and the government to address health and safety. Thankfully, the Building Trades continues to keep our members safe with very low case counts spread through the industry as outlined in our CBTU database here.

This week, with rapid testing being rolled out across the country, we understand the concern felt by members about having to miss work due to COVID-19. In response, the CBTU has outlined the various government supports that employees may access should they miss work due to COVID-19 illness or even COVID-19 layoffs due to construction site closures. We urge you to share this information and these infographics, with your members. 


The other item that has been dominating the news lately is Enbridge’s Line 5. CBTU participated in Enbridge’s recent letter campaign, urging the Canadian government to engage with their American counterparts to ensure Line 5 is not shut down by the State of Michigan. Line 5 is not only important to providing roughly half the oil in Ontario and Quebec, but the estimated number of spinoff jobs in these two provinces is over 20,000. CBTU is working closely with provincial and state building trades councils to coordinate our efforts on Line 5 and will continue to keep you updated. 


NABTU’s Tradeswomen’s Committee and Apprenticeship and Training Committee created a new initiative – the Tradeswomen Heroes Award – to honour the dedicated tradeswomen within NABTU’s 14 affiliate unions. Local Union leaders can learn more about how to nominate a tradeswomen, here. 


Those starting out in the trade not only are learning their craft, but many are managing household budgets while trying to complete their training. Understanding the financial challenges that have only heightened with the pandemic, the CBTU has compiled a report listing the grants and financial supports available for apprentices on our website here. The Grants and Financial Support Available for Apprentices report includes both Federal and Provincial programs and credits. We encourage you to share this with your local unions, training centres and various committees. These provisions will help keep apprentices in training programs and aid them during a tough post-COVID recovery.
Stay safe,

Budget 2021, aides en temps de pandémie, élections et annulations

L’année 2021 s’annonce chargée à Ottawa. Le gouvernement fédéral a commencé ses consultations prébudgétaires en vue de la publication de son budget prévue pour mars. Les SMCC ont fait connaître leurs priorités à cet égard (que anglais) et les prochaines semaines s’annoncent occupées pour le Conseil exécutif puisqu’il rencontrera les ministres du Cabinet pour s’assurer que nos priorités seront bien entendues et prises en compte.


La COVID-19, le lent déploiement de la campagne de vaccination et le compte quotidien de nouveaux cas continuent de faire les grands titres. Dès le début, l’industrie de la construction a été jugée essentielle, ce qui a forcé nos syndicats locaux à collaborer avec les employeurs et le gouvernement sur les questions de santé et de sûreté pour nos travailleurs et travailleuses. Heureusement, le compte des cas dans notre industrie est très bas et nos membres restent en sûreté, comme l’indique notre base de données (que anglais). 
Les tests rapides sont utilisés à partir de cette semaine partout au pays et nous savons que nos membres sont préoccupés par le fait qu’ils pourraient devoir s’absenter du travail à cause de la COVID-19. Pour répondre à cette préoccupation, les SMCC ont exposé les différents programmes d’aide gouvernementale  auxquels les employé(e)s pourraient avoir accès s’ils ou elles devaient s’absenter du travail à cause de la COVID‑19 ou être licencié(e)s pour cause de fermeture de chantiers. Nous vous encourageons à communiquer cette information de même que l’infographie à vos membres. 


L’autre sujet qui a fait les manchettes dernièrement est Enbridge Line 5. Les SMCC ont participé à la récente campagne épistolaire https://www.enbridge.com/keepline5open visant à  demander au gouvernement du Canada de s’engager avec ses homologues des États‑Unis à ce que la Line 5 ne soit pas fermée par l’État du Michigan. Le projet de Line 5 est important non seulement parce qu’il assurerait la moitié de l’approvisionnement en pétrole de l’Ontario et du Québec, mais également en raison des 20 000 emplois qui en découleraient dans ces provinces. Les SMCC travaillent étroitement avec les conseils des métiers de la construction des États et des provinces dans le but de coordonner les efforts à cet égard, et nous vous tiendrons au courant des développements.


Le comité des femmes de métier et le comité de l’apprentissage et de la formation des NABTU ont lancé une initiative : le « Tradeswomen Heroes Award » (trad. : Prix des héroïnes des métiers non traditionnels) pour honorer les femmes de métier engagées au sein des 14 syndicats affiliés des NABTU. Les dirigeant(e)s des syndicats locaux trouveront de l’information sur la manière de présenter la candidature d’une femme de métier ici 


Ceux et celles qui commencent dans un métier ne font pas qu’en apprendre les rudiments; nombre d’entre eux ou d’entre elles ont un budget familial à gérer tout en suivant leur formation. Conscients des défis financiers qui se sont multipliés avec la pandémie, les SMCC ont compilé la liste des subventions et des aides financières offertes aux apprenti(e)s sur leur site Web. Cette liste comprend les programmes et les crédits offerts par les gouvernements fédéral et provinciaux.
Nous vous invitons à communiquer cette information à vos syndicats locaux, centres de formation et comités. Ces dispositions contribueront à maintenir les apprenti(e)s en formation et les soutiendront pendant la difficile reprise économique qui suivra la COVID‑19.
Veillez à votre sécurité,

Mentorship Matters: Developing the Skills Necessary to Become a Good Mentee

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Week 3 of our Mentorship series is all about what makes a great mentee!

We are proud of the education our apprentices receive at the FTI of BC.  Our instructors are construction professionals who dedicate their time to passing on their years of experience and knowledge to the next generation of journeypersons.  They work hard every day to make sure that our apprentices are skilled and ready for the jobsite, including being ready to learn from a mentor.  Apprentices are eager to begin work and need good mentors to guide them.  This is why we have decided to rededicate ourselves to the ideals of good mentorship through the “Mentorship Matters” program.

The FTI of BC’s progressive approach to mentoring trains both journeyworkers and apprentices, with the “Mentorship Matters” program.  Developed by SkillPlan, in partnership with the IBEW’s Electrical Joint Training Committee, this forward-thinking collaboration aims to prepare journeyworkers to become effective mentors, and apprentices to develop the skills necessary to become good mentees.

During training at the FTI of BC, apprentices are taught the “Six Skills for Apprentices” and given video examples of what each skill may look like on the job.  Goal-setting, active listening, and engaging with your mentor will help you find success in achieving your Red Seal.  Every qualified journeyperson owes their trade skills to the experienced journeypersons who have mentored them along the way, and you are no different.  One day, you will be the mentor and will train a new apprentice.  You are an active part of the mentor/mentee partnership and your willingness to learn and take direction will help you build confidence and learn to work safely and efficiently on the tools. 

A good mentor is respected for their skill and knowledge in their chosen craft and is a great benefit to an apprentice.  They are committed to taking the time to work with you to instill their values of a job-well-done and to help you graduate with a solid foundation in your trade.  The short video below features some of our hardworking apprentices describing the essential skills necessary to be a good mentee.  Mentors want to help you reach your highest potential and to encourage you to take ownership of your learning and apprenticeship. We believe in you!    

We will be sharing video clips and information over the next couple of weeks, to show the value of the work that mentors do and the ways in which a mentee can benefit from on the job instruction.

For more information on “Mentorship Matters” or how you can participate in training, contact the FTI of BC.

Mentorship Matters: What Makes a Good Mentor? You!

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We at DC 38 believe that good mentors are essential to an apprentice’s successful transition to journeyperson, and the “Mentorship Matters” training program run by the FTI of BC is a great way for you to learn efficient methods for passing on your chosen trade and instilling your work values in your apprentice.

We need good, effective mentors on our jobsites now more than ever.  Hundreds of thousands of skilled tradespeople from Canada’s construction industry are getting ready to retire, and their extensive knowledge about their craft is going to retire with them.  Being chosen as a mentor is an honour, and journeypersons should be proud to be recognized as an expert and a leader in their field.  Your skills are required and we need you to pass on your dedication to a job-well-done.  This is why we have decided to rededicate ourselves to the ideals of good mentorship through the “Mentorship Matters” program.

The FTI of BC’s progressive approach to mentoring trains both journeyworkers and apprentices, with the “Mentorship Matters” program.  Developed by SkillPlan, in partnership with the IBEW’s Electrical Joint Training Committee, this forward-thinking collaboration aims to prepare journeyworkers to become effective mentors, and apprentices to develop the skills necessary to become good mentees. 

During training at the FTI of BC, mentors are taught the “Six Steps to Mentoring” and given video examples of what each step may look like on the job.  Journeypersons have the opportunity to be a leader with every interaction on the jobsite, and these steps help to build confidence in their ability to train the next generation of apprentices while reinforcing their duty to give back. Every qualified journeyperson owes their trade skills to the experienced journeypersons who have mentored them along the way.

Apprentices need you to help them build their confidence and learn to work safely and efficiently on the tools.  A good mentor is open to communicating with their apprentice, encouraging questions and taking time to reinforce quality work.  The video below features some of our successful, respected mentors reiterating some of the values necessary to making a good mentor.  We know that you, too, can make a positive impact in the life of an apprentice or new employee.

We will be sharing video clips and information over the next couple of weeks, to show the value of the work that mentors do and the ways in which a mentee can benefit from on the job instruction.

For more information on “Mentorship Matters” or how you can participate in training, contact the FTI of BC.


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IUPAT DC38 Local 163 Rep Kevin Weston and President & Director of Training Paddy Byrne presented the Be More Than A Bystander training to the Level 1 and 2 Painting & Decorating class at the FTI BC on Friday, January 31.

This training is essential to creating an inclusive workspace free from gender-based violence and harassment and our team are proud to be a part of moving forward together.

Local 163 Rep Kevin Weston (second from the left) with the class
President & Director of Training Paddy Byrne


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February 3, 2020

The BC Building trades welcomes today’s BC Supreme Court ruling refusing to hear a charter challenge of B.C.’s Community Benefits Agreement construction framework. 

“What happened today is the BC Supreme Court has, for the second time, told the Christian Labour Association, the Independent Contractors’ and Businesses Association and others that their criticisms of CBAs do not rise to the level of issues heard by the Court,” said Andrew Mercier, executive director of the BC Building Trades. 

The challenge was put forward by the ICBA, the Progressive Contractors Association, CLAC and others. 

The court ruled that the applicants’ submissions with respect to union membership requirements under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms did not belong before the court. 

In fact, charter arguments in the case had already been struck from the application last July. The court ruled at that time that the BC Labour Relations Board was the proper forum for charter arguments. 

While today’s ruling marks the second time a charter challenge of this province’s CBA framework has been struck by the judicial system, higher courts have repeatedly dismissed charter challenges to similar labour agreements in place across Canada. 

The Merit Contractors Association, which is affiliated to the ICBA through Merit Canada, challenged Manitoba Hydro’s union membership policy in 2012. The case was dismissed by the Queen’s Bench of Manitoba and again on appeal.

FTI BC featured in JOY TV’s Fraser Focus Trades Expo 2019 Video

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JOY TV’s Fraser Focus was at Trades Expo 2019 at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds in Surrey, BC on October 23/24 and spoke with FTI BC about the finishing trades and our hands-on activities.   

Fraser Focus stated that the BC Construction Association have reported a large shortage of skilled tradespeople entering into the industry.  2/3 of the current workforce are over 45 and looking to retire.  When they do, they will take all of their knowledge and skills with them.  Seeing the need to foster and build a new workforce, Trades Expo was created. 

Trades Expo features highly skilled tradespeople who want to train youth, pass on their knowledge, and encourage trades as a career path.  The youth love the practical, hands-on demonstrations and the opportunity to try-out several trades options in one space.  Our Virtual Reality Painting Simulator, Virtual Reality Boom Lift Simulator, and Glazing Crane were popular and are featured in the video.  Please take a minute to watch our FTI BC educators and reps in action!

Surrey Christmas Bureau

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IUPAT District Council 38 heard about the theft of Teen gifts and gift cards from the Surrey Christmas Bureau and wanted to help. 

On behalf of DC38 and FTI BC, Local 163 Rep Kevin Weston dropped off a cheque this morning for $500 to help make Christmas merry and bright for local families.  The Surrey Christmas Bureau was very happy to accept the donation and said that Unions are always supportive of them and the community.

Local 163 Rep Kevin Weston presenting a cheque to Lisa Werring, Executive Director of the Surrey Christmas Bureau

DC38 member’s son wins prestigious A. L. “Mike” Monroe/Ralph D. Williams, III Sports Scholarship Award

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Left to Right: Adrian Horsburgh, DC38 Business Representative; Keith Hand, Father of the recipient and member of Local 138; Dan Jajic, DC38 Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer

DC38 would like to congratulate Trevor Funk, son of Local 138 member Keith Hand, on receiving the A. L. “Mike” Monroe/Ralph D. Williams, III Sports Scholarship Award.  The $5000 scholarship is awarded to accomplished student athletes, giving them the opportunity to pursue their athletic ambitions while earning an advanced educational degree at the academic institution of their choosing.

Trevor has been playing Lacrosse since he was 4, and his skill and determination were frequently recognized and sought out. In 2017, he was selected for Team BC and played in both the Nationals in Toronto, Ontario and the North American Indigenous Games.  Trevor was drafted 8th overall in the 2018 BC Jr draft to Coquitlam where he played for the Coquitlam Jr A team, and most recently was invited to tryout for Canada’s National Jr Tier 1 team.

Through his hard work and dedication, Trevor is well on his way to realizing his life-long dream of becoming a professional Lacrosse player.  Trevor has committed his life to the pursuit of his dream and is proud to have been given the opportunity to attend Lewis University in Illinois, where he is currently studying Criminal Justice and playing Lacrosse for the Lewis University Flyers.  Trevor plans to use the $5000 scholarship on tuition, books, and travel costs.

On behalf of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, DC38  is proud to have been able to present Trevor with his scholarship and we wish him the best of luck on his academic endeavors. 

Construction Trades Job Fair

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The Construction Trades Job Fair is coming up on October 5th from 9am – 3pm!

Come try out our new VirtualPaint virtual reality spray painting simulator and learn about job opportunities for in demand trades, as well as sponsored apprenticeships with subsidized tuition!

There will be live demos and prizes. Parking for the event is free.

Saturday October 5th 9am – 3pm. 4333 Ledger Ave, Burnaby BC.

For more information, email TradesOpportunityGroup@gmail.com

Finishing Trades Institute of BC First IUPAT Training Centre in Canada to Receive NACE NIICAP AS-3 ITO Accreditation

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District Council 38 (DC38) Finishing Trades Institute of BC (FTI BC) recently became the first training centre in Canada to receive Nace Industrial Institute Contractor Accreditation Program (NIICAP) Accreditation in accordance with AS-3 ITO requirements.

To receive accreditation, an Independent Training Organization (ITO) audit must show:

  • Very thorough review of the management, technical infrastructure, training and qualification of the instructor(s), training plans, lesson plans, testing content, and security of an organization’s independent training program and its facilities
  • [Verification] that the training program content, program management, methods of delivery, testing practices, and objectivity of the testing protocol meets the NIICAP requirements at the time of the audit and during bi-annual maintenance audits.

This accreditation opens the doors to DC38 Industrial Painting Contractors to achieving the highest level of contractor certification NIICAP offers. Third party certifications attained through NACE, SSPC and the Interprovincial Red Seal prove that DC38 members and contractors are steadfast in providing the safest workforce while delivering the best quality product in the industries we represent.

The audit letter, attached below, details the commitment and spirit of FTI BC personnel, and the overall impression that FTI BC is a modern, well-run, very robust and professional training facility that provides significant training needs at the local level.

For more information on NIICAP, please see http://www.niicap.net/about

If you have difficulty accessing the full letter, you can find it here