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CGA Newsletter – February 2007

May 9, 2008  By CGA

The Canadian Glass Association brings news to the industry from coast-to-coast.

Barrie Eon, manager for the Architectural Glass & Metal Contractors Association (AGMCA), reports that: “The Architectural Glass and Metal Contractors Association held its Annual General Meeting in December 2006. A presentation by AGMCA president, Dennis Haatvedt reported that 2006 proved to be another relatively busy year for most contractors. Through 2006 and 2007, the Ontario economy is expected to adjust to the strong Canadian dollar and higher energy costs. A consensus of the Banks, Ministry of Finance and the Construction Sector Council has estimated a slight decrease in Ontario’s real gross domestic product (GDP) for 2006 and 2007. The Ontario Construction Secretariat works with the Construction Sector Council to develop annual economic construction outlooks at the general level for Ontario. It reports that Ontario’s construction industry has enjoyed sustained exceptional growth over the past several years, especially in the residential sector.

The AGMCA current board of directors from left: Ted Clegg, past-president; Dennis Haatvedt, president; Al Jones, treasurer; Richard House; Kline Holland, director of labour relations; René Vlahovic; George Scullion; Joe Buck, vice-president; Shawn McHale and Tony Menecola.

“Data for the first quarter of 2006 showed that the value of total construction permits issued was down 8.2 percent compared with the same period in 2005, while the second quarter was 5.7 percent stronger than 2005. Overall, for the first half, just over four billion permits were issued, a slight decrease of 0.6 percent. Institutional construction has been the driving force for the ICI sector for the past several years due to strong government spending on hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools, colleges and universities. The forecast for 2007 looks like it will be comparable and the association is optimistic for the commercial sector of the building industry.

“Haatvedt echoed similar comments made last year at the association’s Annual General Meeting that many AGMCA contractors who are sub-contractors in the construction chain are straddled with the bulk of the responsibility and costs associated with the construction project. They all face similar problems and day-to-day challenges coming from suppliers, manufacturers, general contractors, consultants, skilled trade shortages, financial institutions, government regulations and red tape.”


Working together
“The AGMCA continues to benefit from relationships with other associations that represent trade, provincial and national bodies. Of great value to AGMCA has been its relationship and involvement in the Provincial Lobby effort, the Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA). Together and in concert with some 30 plus other Ontario industry stakeholders, the association has provided a valuable representation for their common concerns.

“Some of these include Workers’ Compensation, Occupational Health and Safety, Taxation, Labour Law, Construction Liens, Underground Economy and Apprenticeship/Trades Training to name a few.
“Workers’ Compensation costs continue to be a major concern for the glass and glazing sector. Premium Rates for 2007 (Rate 751) are $8.90 for every $100 of payroll. Premium Rates are calculated based on the performance of its industry sector in addition to its short and long-term commitments resulting from claims. Also included is the Collective Construction Industry’s Unfunded Liability, which is made up of accumulated costs from decades of claims from thousands of firms, a number of which are no longer in existence.

“Ontario’s Workers’ Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is pushing the construction industry to eliminate its $2 billion dollar Unfunded Liability by 2014. This is a very ambitious and expensive task for all sectors and a course that is largely responsible for higher and increasing premiums. For AGMCA and most other Ontario glazing contractors, Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Health and Safety are important concerns. A poor performance can affect a company’s financial well being and competitiveness. As an industry, we have a collective interest in making sure all those performing work in our industry pay their fair share into the Workers’ Compensation pot. Those who work in the industry should be expected to contribute. Industry premiums would most certainly be reduced if all were to fund the system on an equal and fair basis.”

Glazing Systems Specifications Manual
“Also reported by Haatvedt was the association’s participation in a joint Ontario industry initiative to put in place a Glazing Systems Specifications Manual for use in Ontario.

“The manual will mirror similar guides now in use in British Columbia and Alberta. The Glazing Contractors Association of British Columbia had spent much money and volunteer time instituting such a manual for their province. Shortly after, Alberta contractors signed an agreement to adopt the British Columbia document and adjust it to the Alberta market.

“AGMCA recognized what the value of a similar effort would be for Ontario and subsequently teamed up with the Ontario Glass and Metal Association (OGMA) and the National Capital Glass Association (NCGA) to put in place a Glazing Systems Specifications Manual for use in Ontario.

“The manual will be directed to several audiences. To architects and specifiers, it is offered as an aid in understanding and specifying the kinds of products supplied and installed by Ontario contractors who may be principally engaged in serving a part of this market. It will serve as a reference guide to issues that affect their suppliers or customers. To all, it will provide an overview of the issues that affect the architectural aluminum and glass product industries in Ontario. It will include a number of specific sections for: entrances, storefronts and curtainwall; louvres and vents; roof windows and skylights; structural glazing/special applications; glazing; architectural glazing systems sealants and joint guide.” -end-

A view through the windshield
Mike Summers, director of the autoglass division of the Canadian Glass Association (CGA) and president of the Independent Professional Glass Association (IPGA), gives members an update of activities throughout 2006. He reports that:

Mike Summers

“The IPGA is a member of the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada and a number of meetings have been held through 2006. Last year, the IPGA became a founding member of the AIA Automotive Service Provider Association Council. Participation by others is welcome and IPGA glass shops can obtain the services and benefits offered by the AIA. The IPGA is also a member of the US National Glass Association (NGA) and the Canadian Glass Association. Benefits and services of the NGA are available at member costs. Both memberships are due for 2007.

“In my last column, I hinted at an industry improvement which may allow independent glass shops a greater piece of the insurance pie. There are more details about this ‘Network’ highlighting the improvements and opportunities being offered to independent shop owners in the cover story of this issue of Glass Canada. I have had some discussion with Vi-Maxco and there is room for IPGA and members to participate pending further discussion.

“IPGA also participates as a seat on the Ontario Safety Services Association (OSSA), an advisory group supporting the Workers Safety Insurance Board (WSIB). All businesses should be registered with the WSIB and of course this is not without cost. As a participant in the OSSA, it is a chance to have a voice in forming WSIB policy and advocating recognition of the great number of small retail shops in the industry and perhaps getting more for our money.

“As an objective for 2007, I will be sending all IPGA members of record a letter and request for membership funding. Benefits and activities available to IPGA members include:

• Right to Repair lobbying,
• The AIA supports freedom of choice for automotive aftermarket consumers,
• Shortage of skilled workers,
• AIA Scholarships,
• Be Car Care Aware,
• High Fives for Kids,
• Young Executive Society (YES) Leadership conference.

• Training and industry information,
• CASPA (consumer awareness) information.'
“I believe that only through active participation of all can the industry improve. If anyone wishes to be more involved in the industry or learn about the benefits of becoming an IPGA member contact: (613) 925-2517 or visit” -end-

Michael Czernick from the Glass Trades Association of Northern Alberta (GTA) reports that:
“On November 5, 2006 the Glass Trades Association of Northern Alberta held its annual apprenticeship award night. The purpose is to recognize the achievements of the apprentices from the past year. The criteria include the fact that the apprentices are employed by members of the Glass Trades Association of Northern Alberta and the awards are not necessarily based entirely on marks, but also on attitude towards the trade, willingness to learn and attitude toward the instructors.

“List of winning participants’ is: 1st year, Joe Bailey All Glass & Mirror 2003 Ltd.; 2nd year, Nicole Jones, Capilano Glass 2000 Ltd.; 3rd year, Terry Wells, Bahry’s Glass (1983) Ltd.; 4th year, Nathan Wady, All Glass Parts Ltd.

“Also Terry Wells was the winner of the annual Bill Blakney award to the outstanding third year apprentice of northern Alberta.” -end-

Retiring GCA director, Jim Beers (l) of Advanced Glazing is congratulated by current GCA president, Todd Domstad of Nu Glass Projects.

Victoria Schifferns, from the Glazing Contractors Association of British Columbia (GCA-BC) reports that: “On November 30 at the GCA-BC’s Annual General Meeting a new slate of directors was voted in. They include: president, Todd Domstad of Nu Glass Projects; vice-president, Otto Ward of Antamex; past-president, Boris Sawicky of Prestige Glass; secretary, Tom Fee of Semiahmoo Glass; treasurer, Marty Nixon of National Glass. Retiring directors include David Husson of DH Solutions and Jim Beers of Advanced Glazing who are retiring after many years of involvement with GCA-BC. The association presented them with engraved Inukshuks to communicate that their involvement has made a ‘mark’ on the province’s glazing industry.

“A ‘State of the Industry’ assessment, conducted by Keith Sashaw of VRCA, focussed on continued growth in the industry and future labour issues that we will have to contend with. The GCA-BC board will continue to work on a long-term strategy for the association that will respond to the continuing growth of the British Columbia glazing industry and its needs.”

“Blair Melvin of Vision West Aluminum Products received the Trade Contractors President’s Silver Award for the company’s work on the River Rock Casino at the annual VRCA Awards of Excellence. Patrick Dennett of Landmark Glass and Aluminum received the prestigious Life Member Award from VRCA for his dedication to the construction industry and his work on various committees and boards.”

Apprenticeship program
“The Glazing Industry and Training Committee continues to work towards providing British Columbia with an updated and comprehensive apprenticeship program that will respond to current industry needs. Twenty eight apprentices have now completed the Module A pilot for the new apprenticeship program. All of the students were hired within days of graduating. Additional pilots for the new curriculum will begin at British Columbia Institute of Technology in April 2007 and waiting lists are being formed.”

Seminar calendar for 2007:
• February 1 – Building Code, What’s New?
• March 22 – Fuel/Energy Surcharge Explained.
• April 26 – Structural Issues and Letter ‘S’.
• June 22 – Annual Golf Tournament.
• September 20 – Energy Star Windows.
• October 18 – Legal Issues, Contracts and Claims.
• November 15 – Annual General Meeting and State of the Industry Report.

Proposed new Tax Credit encourages skills training“
British Columbia plans to introduce new tax credits to support trades training and improve completion rates. Effective January 1, 2007, subject to legislative approval, the British Columbia. Training Tax Credit Program will offer tax credits to individuals and employers based on the type of apprenticeship program and the level of training completed.”

What’s new?
“Glazier e-news is a monthly e-newsletter distributed throughout the British Columbia glass industry.

“Glazier Connections is a quarterly newsletter focussing on current industry information and news for glazing contractors, consultants and suppliers.

“A new GCA-BC web site is under construction that will allow members access to the Technical Library Catalogue; up-to-date apprenticeship information; glazier job centre; Help Desk FAQs and a committee discussion area/blog to allow members outside of the Lower Mainland to be involved.

“2006 Glazing Industry Wage Survey: The GCA has identified a specific need for our member companies to have access to accurate, current and comprehensive compensation information. We have entered into a partnership with ICBA to provide an annual wage survey to glazing companies located throughout the province. All participating companies will receive a complimentary copy of the results.

“As part of the association’s mandate for 2007, we will be working to provide our members with new programs and services. In January, the GCA-BC announced an ‘Employee Benefits’ program that is open to any company.” -end-

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