News

Print
PDF
26
November
2014

Canadian Home Builders’ Association Lethbridge Region and Lethbridge College: Year Three - Building our Community Together

Canadian Home Builders’ Association Lethbridge Region and Lethbridge College: Year Three - Building our Community Together

November 13, 2014 – The Canadian Home Builders’ Association Lethbridge Region (CHBA) announced to its members on November 13, 2014 at the yearly Bridge Builder Banquet who the next two builders in year two of the College Home Project will be.

The third year of this unique partnership sees Daytona Homes Master Builder and Signature Homes Ltd. proudly stepping up to lead the project for 2015. In early 2013, CHBA and Lethbridge College announced the beginning of the College Home Project where CHBA builder members will partner with trades and suppliers to build ten homes over 5 years and have the proceeds from sales donated to the Trades and Technology renewal and Innovation Project (TTRIP) at Lethbridge College.

“The support around this project from the members of CHBA is really impressive! With a combined total of 149 businesses supporting the first 2 years of the project, it’s evident how much our group values community giving. I thank Daytona and Signature for stepping up and I look forward to celebrating year 3 when they break ground in the spring.” Commented Wes Carroll, CHBA Lethbridge President.

DSC 0239

September of 2014 saw the completion of year two with two stunning homes showcased in the Parade of Homes. Details on the project, who has been involved and more can be found at: www.paradeofhomeslethbridge.com

“On behalf of Signature Homes I would like to say how thrilled our company is to be a part of the College Home Project. Watching the last 4 builders contribute to the community in such a meaningful way has really made an impact on our company and we feel that as a member of this community, we have an obligation to do whatever we can to ensure the success of our industry. This project will be a great experience for us and our trades knowing that the proceeds go directly to the TTRIP building. Signature Homes is happy to work alongside Daytona Homes on year 3 of this unique partnership and I can’t wait to see the industry reach the goal of 1 million dollars for Lethbridge College!” Commented Kristen DeMone, Office & Design Lead

Signature Homes Ltd.

Murray Dueck, General Manager Daytona Homes Lethbridge, went on to say,” I would like to express how thrilled we are to be participating in the College Home Project! We have seen the success and impact this program has had to date and with the help of our trades and suppliers, we will do our best to make the impact that much greater. Our entire industry hinges on skilled trades people to do the job safely and with the highest quality in mind so supporting the College Home Project was not a difficult decision to make and our entire team looks forward to the challenge!”

As an added incentive for new home shoppers, Lethbridge College is furthering the commitment to promote accessible post-secondary education by donating a $2,500 tuition credit to the home buyer for each of the ten homes.

“Lethbridge College is proud to continue working with the Canadian Home Builders Association and its members on this one-of-a-kind collaborative partnership,” says Lethbridge College President and CEO Dr. Paula Burns. “We also appreciate the CHBA’s commitment to trades training and to Lethbridge College’s new trades and technologies facility, which we broke ground on last spring. It will such a pleasure to see the high-quality and innovative houses Daytona Master Builder and Signature Homes will construct this next year as part of the College Home initiative.”

Daytona Homes Master Builder

Daytona Homes is proud to build in Lethbridge, the fourth largest city in Alberta. Our Lethbridge homes are designed to complement the city which is known for its windy chinook weather and beautiful natural attractions. We are very proud to be known as one of the top home builders Lethbridge has to offer as we strive for excellence in all we do. From single-family new home designs to condos to townhomes, Daytona Homes offers a broad selection of award-winning new home models to suit the various styles and tastes of the city’s residents. When you are thinking of new homes and deciding on Lethbridge home builders that are a great fit for your family and lifestyle, think Daytona Homes. No matter which Daytona community you choose, you are sure to find the perfect home to fit your lifestyle!

Signature Homes Ltd.

When it comes to turning dreams into reality, Signature Homes Ltd. of Lethbridge, Alberta stands out among home builders. Walk through one of our finely constructed show homes and you will see why the attention to detail is striking. The highest quality of workmanship creates a warm, rich and inviting atmosphere.

Canadian Home Builders’ Association

Since 1943, the Canadian Home Builders' Association has been "the voice of Canada's residential construction industry"—one of the most vital and enterprising industries in Canada. Representing more than 8,000 member firms across Canada, CHBA members come from every area of Canada's housing industry - new home builders, renovators, land developers, trade contractors, product and material manufacturers, building product suppliers, lending institutions, insurance providers, service professionals and others.

Lethbridge College

Lethbridge College opened in 1957 and is Canada’s first publicly-funded college. More than 4,000 students are enrolled in over 50 career-training programs, applied degree programs and apprenticeships, ranging from environmental science to justice studies to multimedia design to engineering. The college offers nationally-recognized and nationally-accredited programs taught by instructors with proven careers in the fields they teach. Well-established trades training and apprenticeship courses are turning out tradespeople as automotive systems specialists, electricians, welders, carpenters, heavy-duty mechanics and chefs. The college offers hands-on training, flexible learning possibilities and applied research opportunities. Students can choose from the familiar classroom-based courses, opt for online courses, or decide on a mix of classroom and online learning. Students also have the opportunity to engage in applied research, finding practical solutions to real world problems.

For more information please contact:

Angela Zuba

Executive Officer – CHBA Lethbridge

403-328-2288 ext 203

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Megan Catalano

Communications Specialist

Office: 403-320-3233 Cell: 587-220-0750

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Print
PDF
25
September
2014

Local Builders Take Awards at Provincial Awards of Excellence in Housing

September 23, Jasper,  AB –September 18 to 20 saw the 2014 Canadian Home Builders Association Alberta host the annual BUILD Conference in Jasper Alberta. While the two largest Cities in Alberta; Edmonton and Calgary picked up the majority of the awards the Lethbridge Membership was represented by a healthy number of attendees and proudly accepted 5 awards in total.

Avonlea Homes Master Builder was awarded the Provincial Safety Award for the small builder category, as well, they picked up an Award of Merit in the category of Town Home or Duplex $300,000 - $400,000 for the Genesis design. “To be recognized for our strong Safety Culture at the Provincial level is big news and extremely exciting for all of us at Avonlea! We strive for a safe work environment and in the past year have gotten creative on how to bring awareness to not only the community, but our trades partners, and our Home Owners.  We thank everyone involved for their hard work and the joint effort to keep our jobsites safe.” Commented Jennifer McCarthy – Head of Design Avonlea Homes Master Builder.

Ashcroft Master Builder was handed two awards as well. This company walked away with the award for single family design in the $310,000 - $340,000 category for Griffin design and the Lethbridge Home Builders Association is extremely proud to announce that Ashcroft Master Builder walked away with the Small Builder of the Year award! Stephen Amonson, President and General Manager of Ashcroft Homes Master Builder commented, “Builder of the year in Alberta is an extremely huge honour for us. This award is based on design, safety, homeowner feedback and volunteerism. To have achieved this in just 6 short years and to do so with competition from all over the province is simply awesome.” Amonson went on to say,“We have some of the finest craftsmen, trades and suppliers anywhere in the world. Even with an extremely tight labour market and shortage of skilled tradespeople our team continues to produce homes that we are extremely proud of.”

The CHBA would also like to congratulate 2 entries that were recognized as finalist this year, Ashcroft Master Builder with the Marpole 2 and Signature Homes with the Sedona 2. “The competition is fierce when looking across the entire province and it is a great feeling to know that Lethbridge is being so widely recognized in all styles of housing from town homes to estate homes.” Remarked Angela Zuba, Executive Officer for the Lethbridge Region.

The CHBA Lethbridge Region is also pleased to announce that Daytona Group of Companies in Edmonton, with a branch in Lethbridge won the Large Volume Safety Award and All Weather Windows Alberta, with a branch in Lethbridge was awarded the General Member Large Employer safety award!

In addition, the CHBA Lethbridge Association received the Industry Leadership Award for demonstrating innovative community partnerships, programs to enhance training and forward thinking safety initiatives. “This Award means a lot to our Association and our membership,” commented Angela Zuba, “it shows the commitment we have to improving the community and the dedication we have to success. Lethbridge may be a small City but we are accomplishing amazing things.” 

 

Media Contact:

Angela Zuba

Executive Officer

CHBA Lethbridge Region

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

403-331-7966 (cell)

 

Print
PDF
28
February
2014

CMHC Announces Premium Increase

CMHC Announces Premium Increase

Today’s announcement by CMHC increases the premiums on mortgage insurance on average by approximately 15%. Mortgage insurance is required for purchasers with less than 20% down payment. The link below to the CMHC web site also includes a backgrounder which highlights the impact on monthly mortgage payments. While borrowers with only 5% down will be the most impacted, the overall effect on monthly carrying costs is relatively modest and should not have a notable impact on the housing market. CMHC’s private sector competitors (Genworth and Canada Guaranty) have said publicly they favour an increase in premiums to bolster profitability. However, they could forgo the full increase announced by the crown agency to increase their market share. Realtors will use this announcement to create some level of urgency in the market, encouraging buyers to act before May 1st to avoid the increase in fees. This may cause a slight surge in the market during a time of year when sales traditionally begin to trend upward.

http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/corp/nero/nere/2014/2014-02-28-1100.cfm?WT.cg_n=TWT_MLI

Print
PDF
06
February
2014

Alberta’s Housing Starts Outlook – February 2014

Alberta’s Housing Starts Outlook – February 2014

Richard Goatcher, Economic Analyst, CHBA – Alberta

For Alberta’s new home builders 2013 was a very active year, with total housing starts across the province reaching 36,011 units according to CMHC, an increase of 8% over 2012 and representing the best year since 2007. Single-family starts rose by 5% to 18,431 units while multi-family (semi, row and apartment) activity ended the year up almost 11% to 17,580 units.

2014 should be another busy year for Alberta’s new home builders and renovators. Residential building permit values, according to Statistics Canada, were up by 28% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2013 to $2.5 billion. Net migration levels were at record levels during the year ending October 1st and the labour market remains strong. Resale markets were generally balanced at year end, with some locations (notably Calgary) favouring sellers. Existing (MLS) home sales in 2013 were the best since 2007 according to the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA), and this will help bolster demand for renovations going forward. As well, CMHC has reported that rental apartment vacancy rates were down in most locations across the province last fall with rents moving higher.

A sample of the CHBA - Alberta membership was polled in January on their expectations for new housing activity in 2014. The members produced a consensus forecast of 34,350 housing starts province-wide, for a decrease of almost 5% from 2013. However, activity this year will remain well above the five-year average of 28,500 total units tallied between 2009 and 2013.

Most of the pull-back in 2014 is expected in the multi-family segment, where starts are forecast to decline by 7% to 16,350 units. Some builderssurveyed in Edmonton saw last year’s multi-unit production, a 35-year high and the second best on record,leading to fewer starts in 2014 –particularly apartments. Single-detached starts this year are expected to reach 18,000 units province-wide, representing a 2% reduction from last year. The five-year average for single-detached starts during 2009 and 2013 was close to 16,660 units, so 2014 will nonetheless represent another healthy year for the industry.

While CHBA members are forecasting a modest pull back, CMHC expects activity will increase this year. The First Quarter Housing Market Outlook released February 6 predicted total housing starts in 2014 will reach 37,100 units, representing an increase of 3% from all of 2013. 

An expected slowdown in multi-family starts in the Edmonton region this year will be offset by increased multi-unit activity in Calgary. CMHC is calling for 36,400 total housing starts in Alberta during 2015, for a decrease of 2% from 2014.

 chba image feb

 

Print
PDF
06
December
2013

Thank You to CHBA Lethbridge & Members

To the members of the Canadian Home Builders Association – Lethbridge Region,

 

I want to start this off by extending a huge thank you to the CHBA – Lethbridge Region for fully supporting our government funded training program, Building Careers.  Building Careers is a program that was developed to  attract unemployed or marginally employed individuals to work in the construction industry.  Without the support from industry, we wouldn’t have been able to execute our pilot program.  A big thank you goes out to the following sponsors and partners of the program:

 

All Weather Windows – Donated windows and doors for the sheds

Avonlea Homes – Design of shed and site tours

Galko Homes – Site tour

Daytona Homes – Guest speaker

Kodiak Mountain Stone – Donated stone and facilitated the installation of their product

Logic Lumber – Donation of tools and building materials for the shed

Rona – Discount on building materials

Clean Harbours – Donation of space to host the technical training portion of the program

Roofmart – Donation of materials

The Kitchen Centre – Site tour

 

Our Government funded program, Building Careers is coming to a close and we have a group of individuals that are now looking for work.  The participants of the program have undergone training and support in many different areas.  Not only did they get practical, hands on training by building two garden sheds but they also received training in safety and essential skills.  If you have a need for additional support in your organization, please consider meeting with the Building Careers group.  We also have 2 other programs with participants looking for work and they are eager to apply their new skills to the job market.  Below you will find the job targets of our participants and if you are interested in setting up a time to meet with one of them, please connect with me.  Also note that there is no charge to hire any of our program participants.

2 positions          General Labourer / Electrical trade

2 positions          General Labourer / Plumbing

1 position            General Labourer / Carpentry / Cabinetry

2 positions          General Labourer / HVAC

1 position            Painter

12 positions        Reception / AR / AP / Payroll

4 positions          Bookkeeping

1 position            Forklift Operator (experienced)

1 position            Machinist

1 position            Construction Project Coordinator

Warm regards,

 

Tammy Thomsen, Training Manager

Teamworks Training Institute

2nd Level, Lethbridge Centre

(P) 403.382.3656

(F) 403.382.3778

 

teamworksinstitute.ca

Print
PDF
06
November
2013

Housing and the Economy

Housing and The Economy
News Brief from the CHBA’s
Economic Research Committee


On October 25, 2013, the Economic Research Committee met to hear the latest
economic news and commentary. Summaries of the presentations received are
presented for the information of members.
The Committee also discussed its mandate, composition and activities moving forward
as it enhances its value for members. Results of those discussions are provided.

Dr. Peter Andersen


 Canada’s economy will continue to be sluggish until economic activity picks up with

its two key trading partners – Europe and the United States. A lower dollar – sub 90¢
(US) – will help exports get on track, allowing the private sector to finally pick up the
slack in the economy. However, export activity won’t increase until Canada sees
increased business investment.


U.S.
The US economy is not expected to see significant improvement until late 2014.
Housing Starts are forecast to be 900,000 for 2013, and rise to 1.3-1.4 million in 2014.
Lumber costs are expected to rise due to the US housing recovery.
Manufacturing in the US is also in recovery but the States will be stuck in a sub-par
GDP growth rate of 2% through the first half of 2014.
American consumer and business confidence has been affect by the US budget/debt
ceiling crisis. Consumers and businesses will continue to be cautious into 2014. Fiscal
drag will decline by mid-year and growth will pick-up in the second half.


Europe
Unlike the US, the European economy is not seeing any increase in industrial activity.
The lack of a regular commodity cycle for 2014 in the emerging/developing economies
and in Europe means that there will be sluggish demand for Canadian exports.
Short-term activity will not be bolstered by the recently-announced Canada Europe
Trade Agreement.

Canada
Housing Starts for Canada are expected to be 185,000 for 2013, and approximately
165,000 for 2014, with the drop coming in high-rise multiples.
Following persistent weakness in domestic demand, there are reports of postponed
investment projects and shifts to smaller projects involving less risk.
Despite the comments provided by the Governor of the Bank of Canada earlier in the
week, expect that bond yields will continue to move higher in the U.S. and that this
upward rate pressure will spill-over into Canada and into the benchmark 5-year fixed
mortgage rate.


Peter Norman, Chief Economist, Altus Group Economic Consulting


 New home builders shouldn’t be too pessimistic when assessing the risk factors in

housing markets going into 2014.
Housing starts are modestly softer so far this year across the country, with the
exception of Alberta and Manitoba. Despite this, new housing is on a discernibly
upward track so far this year.
The existing home market in Canada is very stable and on track to have 469,000 sales
by the end of year. The condition of the resale market continues to be important
indicator for the health of housing, and the market has rarely seen the kind of
stability experienced over the past five years.


Housing Demand
One of the biggest issues for housing markets continues to be youth labour market
conditions – The 15-24 year old cohort has seen the weakest job performance of any
demographic coming out of the recession.
The dampening effect of mortgage insurance rule-tightening has now been absorbed.
Immigration and migration flows continue to support housing demand. Immigration
creates an instant demand for space, largely rental at first, but reaching home
ownership rates of the rest of the population within 9 years.
Consumer intentions (as measured by the Altus Economics Homebuying Intentions
Index) was dragged down in early 2013 by the constant negative commentary on
housing. However, consumers are now more optimistic about prospect of buying a
home than they were last year – especially in the West.
Despite weaker single-detached construction over the past number of years, investors
have been driving sales of high-rise multi-units. In Toronto, privately-rented condos
continue to see fast uptake.
Housing Starts for Canada are expected to be 187,000 for 2013, and pretty similar for
2014.
Residential renovation spending has been pretty consistent over last 4-5 years, and
should see 1-2% growth in 2014, to approximately $64 billion.
Factory-built housing accounts for 11% of single-family construction in Canada, with
multi-family low-rise and industrial building continuing to see growth.


William Clark, Senior Economist/Market Analyst, Economic and Housing Analysis,
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation


The various factors that contribute to housing market activity show a strong
underlying foundation for supporting housing demand moving forward:
-GDP growth remains favourable
-Employment growth will stay supportive
-Real disposable income per capita will grow
-Net migration will stay high
-Mortgage rates will remain historically low
-Growth in prices in line with household economic confidence (Household final consumption expenditure on durable and semi-durable goods compared to Index of consumer confidence)
-borrowing capacity explains growth in pricesgrowth prices

One factor that will be watched closely by the industry is first-time buyers.
As the population ages, first-time buyers, as a proportion of total of housing demand, will shrink 
Risks to domestic housing markets include inventories of completed and unabsorbed units and high levels of household debt and house prices in some urban centres making homeowners more vulnerable to economic shocks.contributions first time buyers


Mauro Di Tullio (Federated Insurance)


 There has really been no change in relation to what was indicated in the past as far as

the builders’ risk policy.


There is a concern for rates in general as we head to 2014-2015. Rate stability on
accounts with good claims experience (e.g. the last 5 – 8 years. Reinsurers and Insurers are running a bit skinny in their treasure
chests. Investment markets aren’t great and a significant volume of bonds held by
insurers are rolling over in the next 12 months with nowhere to go. Change will occur,
we just don’t know when.


This is why it is a good time to make sure that your insurer knows your business - no
one wants to be faced with surprises. Tell your provider about all the facets of your
business. Good insurance companies look at 3-5 years of business history.
In regards to a shock loss, like a large fire for example, an underwriter will ask what
could have been done differently to prevent the loss and what will be done to prevent
future loss. Underwriters will review commercial policyholders, watching for
frequency/severity and trends. This is where the lack of management practices &
higher loss ratio will catch up to the commercial policyholder who has a history of
claims.

Floods
Some insurers are split on the viability of overland flood insurance. Commercial
overland flood insurance is available, but homeowners are restricted to sewer backup
coverage.


Canada is only G-8 country without flood insurance for homeowners.


However, it is a complex question that needs to be negotiated by the parties
involved. The insurance industry needs to establish viable, affordable premiums that
are sufficient to cover losses. This may include homeowner incentives to mitigate
loss. Research is ongoing.


Economic Research Committee Self-Assessment


 After interesting and engaged discussion, ERC members determined that while the

mandate of the Committee continued to be relevant - assessing and reporting on
short, medium and long-term economic factors influencing home building – the
Committee wanted to provide more value to members by moving to highly-focused
dialogue and presentations that drive economic policy discussion by the Committee.


This would be a departure from the Committee’s previous format of being a forum for
information exchange that helped decision-making at the Board of Directors. Instead,
ERC members want to be able to provide recommendations to the Board directly.


To facilitate this objective, members agreed to revise the Committee’s composition
and meeting format:


-Representatives from government agencies and other organizations (e.g., banks)
will now be invited on an as-needed basis to speak on specific topics.
-ERC Members will take the second half of the meeting to review the information
gathered from guests and general discussion to develop policy recommendations,
regarding such topics as:
     -Underground Economy
     -Interest Rates
     -Mortgage Amortization


The Committee will shift its reporting mechanism from committee minutes to a
highlights brief to be distributed electronically to interested members throughout the
Association shortly after the meeting.


As well, ERC will provide recommendations to CHBA’s President as to selection of
Chair and Vice Chair.

Print
PDF
24
October
2013

Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Awards 2013

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Lethbridge Chamber Business of the Year Awards including our very own members; Avonlea Homes, 94.1 CJOC, and Carefree Kitchens & Lighting!

* CJOC - Business Excellence

* Grants Plants - Business Environment Connection Award

* Duane Idenbosch of Top Form Construction - Young Entrepreneur

* Chinook Arch Regional Library - Spirit of Lethbridge

* Two Guys Pizza - Small Business

* Avonlea Homes - Business Leadership

* Balog Auction - Business Legacy

* Carefree Kitchens & Lighting - Customer Service Excellence

* Isisgeomatics - Innovation in Business

* Kapow Comics & Drunken Sailor - New Venture/New Business

Print
PDF
09
October
2013

All Candidate Forum

Lethbridge All Candidate Forum Livestream.

Print
PDF
15
August
2013

Housing market "crash" fears overblown

Housing market "crash" fears overblown

Richard Goatcher, Economic Analyst
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released its quarterly forecast for housing activity across the country today. Despite another recent round of gloom and doom predictions in the media, the outlook for Alberta remains very positive.
New housing activity is forecast to remain at relatively high levels through 2014. Resale activity will also remain strong and resale home prices will rise moderately. Total net migration into the province will decrease from 2012’s record levels but remain relatively high. Apartment vacancy rates in Calgary and Edmonton are expected to remain well below the 2% level which typically produces rent increases above the general inflation rate.
So where’s the housing market “crash” that the Canadian Press strongly suggested was just around the corner in a story that played prominently on media websites last weekend?
That story leans heavily on the dramatic forecast by David Madani of Capital Economics that house prices will drop 25%. The story quotes Madani as saying “homebuilders are having a Wile E. Coyote moment” as when the perpetually ill-starred cartoon character realizes he has overshot the cliff and looks down to see nothing but air under his feet.
No other housing analyst takes such an extreme view – and that’s meant lots of media mileage for Madani.
At CHBA – Alberta we figured it was time to look at Madani’s record on the subject. Even we were surprised to realize that Madani’s prediction of a 25% price crash is getting old – as in over 30 months now and counting. That’s how long since he first issued the prediction in February 2011 that the crash would come in “the next few years” or in “several” years. Despite being wrong now for two-and-a-half years Madani is still sought out by reporters as a credible source.
It’s time for business reporters to push Madani to be more specific on when the housing crash will come and why it has not already occurred?
The reality is the Wile E. Coyotes of this story are analysts like Madani who have tried repeatedly to destroy confidence in the housing market to validate their forecasts of doom. Yet the housing market – like the Road Runner – just keeps on going.
Beep, Beep!

Print
PDF
12
August
2013

Housing Market Not Indicative of another Recession

For Immediate Release – Canadian Home Builders Association – Lethbridge Region
August 12, 2013
Current Housing Market not Indicative of another Recession


As of late, there has been an increase in media releases put out by various economists that predict a new recession, sky rocketing interest rates and a repeat of the 2000 boom and bust. In light of all this, the Canadian Home Builder Association would like to assure Southern Albertan’s that doom is not looming just over head at least not for Lethbridge and Area. It is true that our area saw a dip in housing starts in July but ebbs and flows are natural in the housing market and portray stability rather than erratic spikes and plummets. The local trend for building is based on analyzing history and looking at market demand to build what consumers are looking for and in July we saw a decrease of 54 starts but as compared to 2012 they are only down 11 starts over the whole year which is nothing to panic over. This doesn’t mean that the market is going to crash; this ebb is the result of experienced and controlled building in our local area.


Right now, what we are seeing are somewhat higher sales in pre-owned homes to go along with the slight dip in new home construction. Taken in itself, this could raise some flags but when you look at the bigger, cyclical picture, it doesn’t take a market analyst to decipher what is happening right in our own back yard. The bank of Canada, along with a few of the major banks have been talking about raising interest rates ever so slightly; less than 70 basis points (one basis point is 1/100th of a percent). Due to this information, along with Minister Flaherty announcing changes to mortgage insurance rules it is natural for consumers, in particular, first time home buyers to react by securing their future and getting into their first home before things become “really rough”. This surge affects the market drastically by encouraging first time buyers to take the leap and those who were thinking about upgrading are going to do it before interest rates rise higher and more restraints are put on qualifying. So naturally, the spike in re-sale is inevitable but if we wait a little while, we will see the new home market pick up again as the pre-owned homes sell and consumers upgrade to their second and third homes.


We have all seen what happened in the late 80’s when banks jacked interest rates to staggering highs topping out at 16% and the result that had. Also during the recent “boom” of the 2000’s where housing prices soared, materials were in short supply and record wages were poured out, resulting in a catastrophic bust when the market could bear it no longer. As we evolve, lessons are learned and caution is taken to ensure mistakes are not repeated. Yet since the recession hit, economists and skeptics alike are increasing the gloom and doom forecasting but a second crash is the last thing the government or big banks want to see. This is why interest rates are very slowing creeping and the government is slowly putting tighter restrictions on mortgages. As the economy recovers from the recession, it is natural for consumers to want to resume spending the way they did before which could lead to a repeat of 2008 if left out of control. As people adjust to new rules and curb living beyond their means, we are likely to see exactly what is happening; a leveling of the housing market for both new and used homes and a steady, predictable market.


So, even though economists see a decline in new housing starts and upswing in re-sale as impending pandemonium, this can also be interpreted as part of the economic housing cycle. Not everyone is able to start with a new home and every new home will eventually become a used home as consumers increase their wealth, change their tastes and embark on the next chapter in life. In short, the Southern Alberta market is not suffering; consumers should continue to feel confident in purchasing a home and should rely on their financial advisor to help determine if owning property is right for them, not generalized reports that come primarily from across the country.

We make the industry…CONNECT…AWARE…GROW…INNOVATE…SAFE
#7, 320 W.T Hill Blvd South, Lethbridge, AB. T1J 4W9
Ph: (403) 328-2288 Fax: (403) 328-2450 www.chbalethbridge.com


Media Contact
Angie Zuba
Executive Officer
Canadian Home Builders Association – LR
403.328.2288
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Print
PDF
12
August
2013

Housing Market Not Indicative of another Recession

For Immediate Release – Canadian Home Builders Association – Lethbridge Region
August 12, 2013
Current Housing Market not Indicative of another Recession


As of late, there has been an increase in media releases put out by various economists that predict a new recession, sky rocketing interest rates and a repeat of the 2000 boom and bust. In light of all this, the Canadian Home Builder Association would like to assure Southern Albertan’s that doom is not looming just over head at least not for Lethbridge and Area. It is true that our area saw a dip in housing starts in July but ebbs and flows are natural in the housing market and portray stability rather than erratic spikes and plummets. The local trend for building is based on analyzing history and looking at market demand to build what consumers are looking for and in July we saw a decrease of 54 starts but as compared to 2012 they are only down 11 starts over the whole year which is nothing to panic over. This doesn’t mean that the market is going to crash; this ebb is the result of experienced and controlled building in our local area.


Right now, what we are seeing are somewhat higher sales in pre-owned homes to go along with the slight dip in new home construction. Taken in itself, this could raise some flags but when you look at the bigger, cyclical picture, it doesn’t take a market analyst to decipher what is happening right in our own back yard. The bank of Canada, along with a few of the major banks have been talking about raising interest rates ever so slightly; less than 70 basis points (one basis point is 1/100th of a percent). Due to this information, along with Minister Flaherty announcing changes to mortgage insurance rules it is natural for consumers, in particular, first time home buyers to react by securing their future and getting into their first home before things become “really rough”. This surge affects the market drastically by encouraging first time buyers to take the leap and those who were thinking about upgrading are going to do it before interest rates rise higher and more restraints are put on qualifying. So naturally, the spike in re-sale is inevitable but if we wait a little while, we will see the new home market pick up again as the pre-owned homes sell and consumers upgrade to their second and third homes.


We have all seen what happened in the late 80’s when banks jacked interest rates to staggering highs topping out at 16% and the result that had. Also during the recent “boom” of the 2000’s where housing prices soared, materials were in short supply and record wages were poured out, resulting in a catastrophic bust when the market could bear it no longer. As we evolve, lessons are learned and caution is taken to ensure mistakes are not repeated. Yet since the recession hit, economists and skeptics alike are increasing the gloom and doom forecasting but a second crash is the last thing the government or big banks want to see. This is why interest rates are very slowing creeping and the government is slowly putting tighter restrictions on mortgages. As the economy recovers from the recession, it is natural for consumers to want to resume spending the way they did before which could lead to a repeat of 2008 if left out of control. As people adjust to new rules and curb living beyond their means, we are likely to see exactly what is happening; a leveling of the housing market for both new and used homes and a steady, predictable market.


So, even though economists see a decline in new housing starts and upswing in re-sale as impending pandemonium, this can also be interpreted as part of the economic housing cycle. Not everyone is able to start with a new home and every new home will eventually become a used home as consumers increase their wealth, change their tastes and embark on the next chapter in life. In short, the Southern Alberta market is not suffering; consumers should continue to feel confident in purchasing a home and should rely on their financial advisor to help determine if owning property is right for them, not generalized reports that come primarily from across the country.

We make the industry…CONNECT…AWARE…GROW…INNOVATE…SAFE
#7, 320 W.T Hill Blvd South, Lethbridge, AB. T1J 4W9
Ph: (403) 328-2288 Fax: (403) 328-2450 www.chbalethbridge.com


Media Contact
Angie Zuba
Executive Officer
Canadian Home Builders Association – LR
403.328.2288
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Print
PDF
25
July
2013

Desjardins Group & Western Financial Group Team Up to Pledge $200,000 to Alberta Flood Victims

desjardins western

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Desjardins Group & Western Financial Group Team Up to Pledge $200,000 to Alberta Flood Victims


High River, (AB), June 25, 2013—Desjardins Group (Desjardins) and Western Financial Group
(Western) announced today that the organizations are teaming up to donate $200,000 to
disaster relief in Alberta after severe flooding devastated several rural and urban communities
throughout the province.
In addition to the direct donation, Desjardins will also raise money for the Red Cross Alberta
Floods Fund through its caisse network in Quebec and Ontario, while Western has put plans in
place to launch an online fundraising system for employees to provide direct support to local
communities affected by the floods.
“We are deeply saddened to see how this terrible tragedy has impacted families and
communities across Alberta,” said Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President, and CEO
of Desjardins Group. “In the coming days and weeks, we encourage all Canadians to donate
whatever support they can provide to help with the recovery and rebuilding process.”
“The past few days have been a difficult time for so many Albertans and we hope this donation
can provide some much needed assistance to those who have been displaced or suffered
personal losses,” said Scott Tannas, President and CEO of Western Financial Group.
“Together, we are committed to help rebuild the communities across Alberta where we live and
work.”
As part of the $200,000 donation, Desjardins and Western will each provide $100,000 to the
Western Communities Foundation. The Foundation will in turn work with local municipalities and
charitable groups to identify opportunities that will provide direct support to the affected
communities.
“In times like these, every little bit of assistance helps,” said John Jenner, Executive Director of
the Western Communities Foundation. “We will work with our local communities and charitable
groups to ensure that this money will go to the people who truly need assistance.”
During the flooding crisis, individuals who have experienced flooding damage are encouraged to
visit the Western Financial Group claims centre in Okotoks, Alberta (207, 200 Southridge Drive).
The centre is open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. Western claims centres are also open in
Medicine Hat and Drumheller to help local residents.
To help ensure all flooding victims receive support, Western will process all flood claims – even
if the customer does not have a current insurance policy with the company.

Print
PDF
18
July
2013

Above and Beyond Expected Customer Service

If there was ever any doubt about the level of service and empathy from our members, today that doubt can be put to rest. After the quick but fierce super cell that rocked parts of Lethbridge; tearing roofs off, smashing windows and destroying property, members of the CHBA were on the scene within minutes making sure their clients were taken care of. New subdivisions in the west and south were hit hardest with the latest that mother nature had to throw our way in a series of weather anomalies and before the rivers in the streets subsided, several members such as Avonlea, Signature Homes, Melcor Development, Exteriors by Leroy & Darcy, Advantage Roofing, KB Heating and Galko Master Builders had staff on scene to assess damages to new and existing homes and provide interim assistance to those with broken windows and missing roof sections to minimize further damage.

Also, it needs to be mentioned that the fine individuals who work for the Lethbridge Fire Department responded in record time to many homes where gas lines were disrupted to control further damage and even assisted some residents in temporarily sealing torn roof tops.

A huge thank you goes out to all of our members and other trades who responded to this freak storm in an effort to keep our community safe and secure. Your compassion is admirable.  

Print
PDF
17
July
2013

Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 per cent

Ottawa -

The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.

Global economic growth remains modest, although the pace of economic activity varies significantly across the major economies. The U.S. economic expansion is proceeding at a moderate pace, with the continued strengthening in private demand being partly offset by the impact of fiscal consolidation. In Japan, fiscal and monetary policy stimulus is contributing to a rapid recovery in economic growth. In contrast, economic activity in the euro area remains weak. While stronger than in the advanced economies, real GDP growth in China and other emerging market economies has slowed, exerting downward pressure on global commodity prices and, as a consequence, the Bank has downgraded slightly its global growth forecast. The global economy is still expected to pick up in 2014 and 2015.

In Canada, economic growth is expected to be choppy in the near term, owing to unusual temporary factors, although the overall outlook is little changed from the Bank’s projection in its April Monetary Policy Report (MPR). Annual GDP growth is projected to average 1.8 per cent in 2013 and 2.7 per cent in both 2014 and 2015, supported by very accommodative financial conditions. Despite ongoing competitiveness challenges, exports are projected to gather momentum, which should boost confidence and lead to increasingly solid growth in business investment. The economy will also be supported by continued growth in consumer spending, while further modest declines in residential investment are expected. Growth in real GDP is projected to be sufficient to absorb the current material excess capacity in the economy, closing the output gap around mid-2015, as projected in the April MPR.

Inflation has been low in recent months and is expected to remain subdued in the near term. The weakness in core inflation reflects persistent material excess capacity, heightened competitive pressures on retailers, relatively subdued wage increases, and some temporary sector-specific factors. Total CPI inflation has also been restrained by declining mortgage interest costs. As the economy gradually returns to full capacity and with inflation expectations well-anchored, both core and total CPI inflation are expected to return to 2 per cent around mid-2015.

Against this backdrop, the Bank has decided to maintain the target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. As long as there is significant slack in the Canadian economy, the inflation outlook remains muted, and imbalances in the household sector continue to evolve constructively, the considerable monetary policy stimulus currently in place will remain appropriate. Over time, as the normalization of these conditions unfolds, a gradual normalization of policy interest rates can also be expected, consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target.

Information note:

The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is 4 September 2013. The next full update of the Bank’s outlook for the economy and inflation, including risks to the projection, will be published in the MPR on 23 October.

Print
PDF
15
July
2013

Westridge Cabinets Ltd. Pledges $100,000 In Cabinetry to Uninsured Flood Victims

westridge cabinets

WESTRIDGE CABINETS LTD. PLEDGES $100,000 IN CABINETRY TO AID UNINSURED FLOOD VICTIMS.
Red Deer, Alberta, July 9, 2013 – In an effort to aid families hardest hit by the recent flood disaster in Southern Alberta,
Westridge Cabinets of Red Deer, Alberta is pledging to supply $100,000 in cabinetry and services to support what could be
as many as 10-20 families who find themselves without insurance in the aftermath of the flooding.
“The need throughout the flood-affected communities within the province is overwhelming. Our goal is to be an active
participant in the rebuilding process as well as provide some relief and hope to even a few of the many families who find
themselves facing a truly difficult time.” As a company we determined that the best way to give back is to use our specific
area of expertise and utilize the resources at hand to assist in the rebuilding effort.” said Ron Goss, CEO of Westridge
Cabinets.
Paul Lantz, VP of Sales adds, “The flood affects so many families, however the first consideration will go to those who
simply do not have insurance coverage and do not have the financial means to rebuild on their own.”
Over the next weeks and months, Westridge will be considering submissions through a network of established renovation
and restoration companies, new home builders, e-mail submission ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) as
well as social media such as twitter (@YourNextKitchen) and Facebook ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).


About Westridge Cabinets
Established in 1983 and celebrating 30 years of serving the Alberta marketplace, Westridge Cabinets has grown to become
this provinces largest fully-integrated cabinet manufacturer. With a broad product range that and reputation for delivering
exceptional quality, value and selection Westridge Cabinets is known as an excellent partner to many of this provinces
most reputable new home builders and renovation companies.
Westridge Cabinets has been able to sustain the efforts and critical timelines of the construction industry with its 140,000
square foot manufacturing facility which is centrally located in Red Deer and is uniquely positioned to serve every major
market within Alberta. In addition Westridge Cabinet’s manufacturing and execution capabilities showrooms, design
centers as well as service and installation are easily accessible in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge and in
Saskatchewan, in Saskatoon. Westridge employs some 300 skilled men and women across the provinces of Alberta and
Saskatchewan.
###
For more information contact:
Paul Lantz, Vice President Sales
Tel: 403-342-6671, Ext. 129
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Print
PDF
15
July
2013

Housing Starts and Interest Rates on the Rise

July 9, 2013 – Housing starts for June have been released today and show a steady increase across the province with the only exception being Medicine Hat showing a marginal decrease over last year. Lethbridge is seeing strong numbers of 298 starts over 255 last year; a healthy 15% increase.

In addition to the steady uptake in the housing market across the province, some Canadian Banks are beginning to raise their interest rates. RBC has raised rates last month by 10, 20 and 30 basis points for a 4, 5 and 10 year fixed mortgage rates, respectively. Though it appears the trend is going up, large spikes are not in the forecast; 30 points on a 10 year fixed rate equals 3 tenths of a percent. What the rising rates do signal is a stabilizing economy which is something everyone has been seeking since the crash in 2008.

With a more stable economy come increased immigration, increased employment opportunities and more spending resulting in even stronger consumer confidence and increase consumer confidence generates greater comfort for the consumer to make the leap to home ownership. These benefits far outweigh the negatives of a slightly higher monthly mortgage payment and give consumers time to negotiate with banks to secure the best rates possible.

“When looking at a major purchase such as a home, people are always looking for the best product at the best price. We can see that starts are rising so the product is available and the fact that interest rates are also slowly creeping upward is a clear indication that we are experiencing forward momentum and the time to buy is right now when rates are still low.” Remarks Angie Zuba, Executive Officer of the Canadian Home Builders Association – Lethbridge Region.

Print
PDF
11
July
2013

Lethbridge College and the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Lethbridge Region: Building Futures Together

Click here to view CTV Lethbridge Video - Lethbridge College Home

college home logo

 Lethbridge College and the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Lethbridge Region: Building Futures Together
July 10, 2013 – The Canadian Home Builders’ Association Lethbridge Region (CHBA) and Lethbridge College announced the two builders who will be involved in creating the first houses to be sold in the innovative The College Home partnership at a ground-breaking ceremony Wednesday.

Both Galko Homes Master Builder and Ashcroft Homes Master Builder have stepped up to build the inaugural homes for the collaborative project. Early in February, CHBA and Lethbridge College announced a unique partnership. Over the next five years, CHBA builder members will partner with their suppliers and tradespeople to build two homes per year and have the proceeds from the sales of each go towards the Trades and Technology Renewal and Innovation Project (TTRIP) at Lethbridge College.
“We’re excited to kick off our five year project with Lethbridge College,” says Anita Hartman, the 2013 CHBA Lethbridge Region President. “We are proud to announce Galko and Ashcroft as this year’s builders a

nd showcase the designs of these beautiful homes.”
Both homes will be unveiled this year at the CHBA’s Parade of Homes in Lethbridge, which takes place from Sept. 21 to Oct. 6.

146 Lasalle Terr RENDERING

Ashcroft rendering - The College

Ashcroft Rendering

146 Lasalle Terr


"The College Home program is a great opportunity for the homebuilders association to partner with the college in support of the new trades facility,” says Galko President Bruce Galts. “Galko is proud to be part of this fundraising activity to help promote the best training for trades.”
Galts goes on to mention “Quality trades training is critical to quality home-building, and the career opportunities that lay ahead for those involved."
“Ashcroft is thrilled to be among the first two builders for this one-of-a-kind project,” says Ashcroft President Stephen Amonson. “We are setting the bar high for unique gifting that will result in a stronger community while improving the educational resources Lethbridge has to offer.”
Ashcroft went on to say that he “believes this project will be successful and looks forward to seeing the end result once all 10 homes are finished. The first two homes will most definitely make a statement to the extent of social responsibility businesses in Lethbridge have.”
“This project is a wonderful example of collaboration between post-secondary education and industry within the community of Lethbridge,” says Lethbridge College President and CEO Paula Burns. “So many
great corporations are coming together on this project. It’s a true testament to the value these companies place on the importance of accessible higher education.”
Lethbridge College will further its commitment to promote accessible post-secondary education by donating a $2,500 tuition credit to the home buyer for each of the ten homes.


Galko Homes Master Builder
In 1972 Marvin Galts and his siblings, along with his wife Chloe, founded the company that eventually became today’s Galko Homes. Over the years, many extended family members have been a part of this company; working in positions from labourers to leaders. Galko Homes has consistently made a solid contribution to the landscape of Lethbridge through award-winning homebuilding, longstanding business and customer relationships, and community volunteerism. Decades later, the model of family and community participation still holds true under the direction of second generation President, Bruce Galts.


Ashcroft Homes Master Builder
Ashcroft Master Builder is a residential home builder in Lethbridge and area with fresh home designs and unique concepts. Ashcroft Master Builder has been a long standing member of the Canadian Home Builders Association and a valued contributor to the community.


Canadian Home Builders’ Association
Since 1943, the Canadian Home Builders' Association has been "the voice of Canada's residential construction industry"—one of the most vital and enterprising industries in Canada. Representing more than 8,000 member firms across Canada, CHBA members come from every area of Canada's housing industry - new home builders, renovators, land developers, trade contractors, product and material manufacturers, building product suppliers, lending institutions, insurance providers, service professionals and others.


For more information, please contact:
Angie Zuba
Executive Officer
Canadian Home Builders’ Association Lethbridge Region
403-328-2288
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Gwen Wirth
Communications Specialist
Lethbridge College
403-360-5881
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Print
PDF
19
June
2013

Newcomers pump-up Alberta’s population growth

Richard Goatcher, Economic Analyst, CHBA – Alberta

For the sixth consecutive quarter, Alberta posted the largest population growth rate of all Canadian provinces. According to Statistics Canada’s quarterly population estimates released June 19, Alberta’s population grew by 0.9% or 34,000 in the first quarter of 2013 to a total of 3,965,300 as of April 1. This level of first-quarter population increase in Alberta was the largest since 1972. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/91-002-x/2013001/part-partie1-eng.htm

This growth was the result of a conjunction of record level of many demographic components. Indeed, Alberta recorded the highest numbers in immigration (+8,100), net non-permanent residents (+6,900) and net interprovincial migration (+13,400) in a first quarter since 1972. Most of the province’s net inflows in interprovincial migration came from Ontario (+6,000) and British Columbia (+2,500). The total number of newcomers for the quarter was 27,112 - up 33% over the same quarter in 2012. The balance of the population increase came from natural growth. 

We look for rental markets to remain tight across Alberta this year -- forcing rents upward. Higher rental rates will encourage both newcomers and existing Albertans to consider home ownership. Affordable mortgage rates and a strong economy will also support demand for both new and existing homes across the province.

migration chart

Print
PDF
14
June
2013

Girls and Plumbing? Oh ya..in a BIG way!

DSC 0194

June 13, 2013 held the first every Girls With Tools Bathroom Renovation Event put on in conjunction with the YWCA and Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA). This event drew over 50 women and girls aging from 5-95 years old including Councilor Bridget Mearns and MLA East Bridget Pastoor who were actively participating alongside the other women and girls.

The CHBA has been working with the YWCA Girl Space Program in an effort to challenge and empower women and girls to realize their potential. This program demonstrated and had the women learning hands on toilet, sink, sump pump, grout and silicone repair taught by local journeyman plumbers. “The knowledge these women gained by learning how to do their own home repairs is vital to self confidence and independence.” Remarked Anita Hartman, President of the CHBA and Profit Center Manager of EMCO Corporation where the event was held. “It was thrilling to see the engagement of these women and know that they left here feeling better about their ability to tackle anything.”

Executive Officer of the CHBA, Angie Zuba along with board members Jessica Joss, Jennifer McCarthy and Scott Murakami of KB Heating, the company which volunteered to instruct the sessions were in attendance to help out. “It is very encouraging to see the members of our Association really step up and get involved. Not only have these women and girls learned a skill, some of them are now looking at pursuing plumbing as a career.” Remarked Zuba “Everything we are doing here is about growing our community and getting others excited about the industry we are a part of.”

This program is also extremely vital to the YWCA in getting women and girls who rely on the services of the YWCA ready for independent living. Lindsay Brown, Girl Space Program Facilitator of the YWCA remarked, “Girls with Tools last night was a huge success, with over 50 women and girls attending our first official session open to women over 18. The training was facilitated by professionals, and this interactive evening could not have been possible without the support of our community partners. We look forward to our next session in hopes that it will be even bigger!”

The Free Girls with Tools Program runs quarterly and offers hands on experience in a variety of different topics and trades relevant to home repair. Also in attendance was Duane Pike from the Apprenticeship board. Duane was there to offer information on the trades programs and financial incentives available for entering into a trade program.

For information on how to register for the next session contact the YWCA.

DSC 0226

Print
PDF
08
May
2013

CHBA Work Experience Pilot Project Underway!

The CHBA – LR partners with Victoria Park High School to deliver the first of 3 sessions of an intense hand on work experience program.

On May 7th, the CHBA-LR launched the first of 3 sessions in a pilot work experience program with Victoria Park High School CTS Students. This program is designed to give CTS students aged 15-19 a taste of the many possibilities available when choosing a career in residential construction with real hands-on experience at a job site. The first step of this program was to orient the students in safety on the job site. Workplace Safety (Safe Worker) hosted a session to give the students an understanding of the importance of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), how to behave on a job site and the importance of respecting the equipment they are working with. For each jobsite the students will be on during this pilot program, PPE has been donated by KB Heating and the CHBA.

The first session took place at Zero Gravity Cranes & Rigging Inc., located at 332 36 Street North, Lethbridge, AB T1H3Z7 on May 7th from 8:30am to 11:30am. At this session, some of the information students will learned was centered on proper techniques for cranes, hoisting and lift calculations. Students were able to operate the equipment during this session and were thrilled to in control of equipment worth millions of dollars. After completion, students earned a certificate of work experience to use in their pursuit of career after high school. The CTS instructor for Victoria Park School, Tom Kocken said, “Zero Gravity Cranes provided a positive learning experience with a true hands on experience that allowed the students the opportunity to see this work as a viable career choice.”

“The whole purpose of this program to give high school students real exposure to career possibilities right here in the City that offer tremendous possibility for growth and success and a sense of ownership in the decisions they make for their future. “ says Angie Zuba, Executive Officer of the Canadian Home Builders Association – LR.

The second session will be later in May at Kodiak Mountain Stone and the 3rd will take place in early June at KB Heating & Air Conditioning.

Print
PDF
02
May
2013

Girls With Tools

Girls with Tools is here again and this time we have opened it up to women and girls of all ages! This program is designed to empower women and girls and teach them that they can do home repair confidently! Learn from industry professionals and be part of a great program. See the poster below for details on how to register!

GWT Bathroom Renos June 2013

Print
PDF
25
April
2013

Canada Post Forcing $200 Levy on New Home Buyers

In October, Canada Post sprang a levy of $200 to be charged to every new address in Canada beginning January 1. It pretends this is a charge paid by developers when of course it is the home buyer who will end up getting the bill eventually.

Canada Post claims the fee is needed to help pay for the cost of Community Mail Boxes (CMBs), even though when so-called super mail boxes were introduced it promised to be fully responsible for their installation and maintenance.

A look at the organization’s finances reveals the actual reason for this cash grab – it is losing money at a ferocious pace; since 2011 losses amount to 415 million, equaling six consecutive money-losing quarters.

The reasons it offers for the losses have nothing to do with the cost of new CMBs. Mail volume has dropped sharply, a trend expected to accelerate as people switch to electronic banking and other options. Labour costs and its pension deficit of $6.6 billion are concerns.

Faced with the kind of pressure that would require most ordinary businesses to look for ways to reduce costs, it’s plain to see why Canada Post wants to reach into the pocket of every new home buyer. Each year it adds another 150,000 addresses. That’s a $30 million annual windfall without providing any service above what it previously offered.

This amount still won’t be enough to put Canada Post’s financially troubled house in order. That should worry all Canadians.

The corporation delivers mail to 15 million addresses across the country. If Canada Post can impose an extra charge on new addresses, how long will it be until it looks to expand this source of funds?

Will door-to-door service be replaced by CMBs, thus lowering the quality of service and creating an opening to slap new fees on millions more Canadians forced to register to continue receiving mail? How long will it be until we see an annual “maintenance fee” for existing CMBs?

We have objected to both the fee and the way it was imposed because it erodes the affordability of homes. New home buyers make an easy target because they don’t realize they are being gouged until too late.

Canada Post is owned by the government of Canada and answers to Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. We urge Canadians to send their concerns to the minister ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and their own MP.

Print
PDF
05
April
2013

North American Occupational Safety & Health Week

NAOSH week is an annual occupational health & safety celebration led by The Canadian Society of

Safety Engineering (CSSE). We will be celebrating Safety and Health in the workplace on

Wednesday May 08, 2013 with a day full of activities and opportunity.

In support of this year’s national theme

“Are you as safe as you think?”

we have planned a day of

activities including a great learning opportunity and a time to celebrate achievements over the past

year. Our events this year will be hosted by the Lethbridge Community College. We will be hosting

a basic rigging seminar presented by Crosby Canada in the morning followed by a rigging

demonstration presented by Zero Gravity. We will end our day with an awards ceremony and

luncheon

Please CLICK HERE to view the full PDF and find out how you can become involved.

Print
PDF
27
March
2013

Construction Looking Forward

Alberta's construction industry is currently in an expansion phase, which began in 2012 and employment is rising toward the record levels achieved in 2007. Both residential and non-residential sectors have been growing and stakeholders report challenges with recruiting. Please CLICK HERE to read the full report.

Print
PDF
04
March
2013

Home & Garden 2013

CHBA Ad

Print
PDF
27
February
2013

Who Says Girls Can’t Make Home Repairs? The CHBA and YWCA are making sure they CAN!

On February 20, 2013 a group of 15 girls and women participated in a program that is run in partnership between the Canadian Home Builders Association and the YWCA Girl Space Program. This program focuses on giving girls and young women the opportunity to learn how to be independent in their home. The girls in this program learn how to do useful things such as repairing holes in drywall, installing a dead bolt, fixing a leaky toilet and even installing light fixtures safely.

“It is very important for girls and young women to know how to complete basic repairs for their home as is gives them a sense of ownership and belief that they can take care of themselves,” remarks Executive Officer of the CHBA, Angie Zuba. Zuba also added, “There is a misconception that girls are not interested in home renovation or trades but quite the opposite is true as we see more and more women entering the trades and doing their own renovations. This program is sparking that interest and delivering a powerful message.”

In order for this program to run successfully, it takes dedication and volunteer hours from the members of the CHBA to provide a home under construction to work in as well as material and instruction. The space for this session was a home under construction, provided by Greer Homes and the instruction was provided by Aaron Olfert of CADO Developments. In addition, CADO developments donated an entire tool kit to each participant of the program. Aaron remarked, “Girls with tools teaches simple skills that anyone can learn. These skills are very useful for living independently. It doesn't matter if you plan to rent or own a home learning the basics of how to take care of it is important.”

 

Print
PDF
27
February
2013

"Fine a 'Message'"

"Judge orders company to pay $275,000 to teach industry a lesson"

Please read the article below on working alone and using the proper safety equipment. Let's keep our industry safe!EB EXT ARTICLE

Print
PDF
22
February
2013

CHBA VIEWPOINT: Buying a BRAND NEW HOME Is More Realistic Than You Might Think!

All people are hearing these days are news reports full of gloom and doom. “Unstable economy,” “Rising oil prices,” “Deficit Budget,” and the list goes on and on. It’s no wonder that consumers are feeling an overwhelming sense that the sky might fall right on top of them and any hopes they have to a bright sunny future. You have to choose; are you a cup half full or a cup half empty kind of person. I am a cup half full person and I happen to be a firm believer that your future is what you make of it and if it is in your control to improve your situation, then take full advantage of whatever is going on around you to make that happen; the first place to start is at home – a brand new home.

I played the rental market for a long time, just like most people but when I see rental prices are higher than owning your very own BRAND NEW HOME I have to think to myself that there really isn’t a choice to be made here is there? Let’s look at some of the facts:

Borrowing money right now is not as difficult as the skeptics make it out to be. Sure the banks have tightened up the terms and now homebuyers can only have a 25 year mortgage versus a 30 mortgage (with less than a 20% down payment). That is not a bad thing. A shorter term means that you are more likely to purchase within your realistic budget and you will end up paying thousands less in the long term. Here is an example: If you purchased a $250,000 home which incidentally, is the average new home price right now, and mortgaged it over 30 years with a 5% down payment you would end up paying roughly $27,000 more in interest than with the 25 year amortization period*. That is the price of a new car, or a boat, or your child’s post secondary tuition.

First time home buyers

Another noteworthy piece of confidence is a recent new article published by CTVnews.ca that reported, “Low interest rates will remain the norm for longer than anticipated, the Bank of Canada signaled Wednesday as it lowered growth expectations for 2013.” The Bank of Canada also indicated that it sees household debt moderating, allowing for slower rate hikes. This is good news! This shows us that interest rates will stay low for the foreseeable future which makes it prime time to invest in that property you have been dreaming about for the last few years.

To sweeten the prospect even further, the Canadian Home Builders Association member builders have a good selection of inventory in all areas of the City that is move in ready! Just imagine walking into a show home, falling in love with it and being able to move in right away! With over 30 builders in our membership, you can rest easy knowing that each home is built with care, integrity and with your safety in mind. A list of our builder members can be found at: www.chbalethbridge.com

Lethbridge is and always has been a unique and favorable community to live in and right now all the variables for buying a new home are aligned, so, if you are tired of renting, or you want to upgrade into that dream home, the time is now...what are you waiting for? Just flip the page and see what is out there…you never know, you could be handed the keys to your new home sooner than you ever imagined.

“Owning a home is a keystone of wealth... both financial affluence and emotional security”. –Suze Orman

Print
PDF
12
February
2013

Success In Lethbridge Launch!

Today was the official Launch of the Success In Lethbridge Campaign by Economic Development Lethbridge. The Canadian Home Builders Association is proud to be a part of such a great program that will drive business to our City and that has a whole lot of positive impact for our industry. Over the next few months there will be more stories posted, more pictures and more videos of the incredible success our members have and the impact they make on our community. Click on the logo below to check out the amazingly fresh website, share it with your contacts and check back often to see what is new!

512282

Print
PDF
04
February
2013

2012 CHBA Awards Ceremony Bigger & Better than Ever!

Canadian Home Builders Association

Building the Best Awards - February 1, 2013

Announcing This Year’s Winners!

"The test of the artist does not lie in the will with which he goes to work,

but in the excellence of the work he produces." --Thomas Aquinas

The Building the Best Awards Ceremony is a long standing tradition in the Canadian Home Builders Association that is designed to showcase and celebrate the companies who have risen above the bar and delivered outstanding quality and workmanship in every aspect of their business. It is also one of the best ways for consumers to see the magnitude of professionalism, quality and craftsmanship that all of our members bring to the Home Building Industry; from the designers right down to the smallest finishing detail. The celebration on Friday was full of anticipation for the award finalists and you could hear the cheers throughout the entire hotel as the winners were announced. Make sure to go to: www.chbalethbridge.com to see all the pictures!

The CHBA is very pleased to announce this year’s winners!

AVONLEA MASTER BUILDER

Took 9 awards in the following categories:

Single family, bungalow/ Bi-level and split level/Two Storey, New Home Design 2001-2600 sq. feet and Builder of the Year!

 

 ISO4313 

GALKO HOMES MASTER BUILDER

Took 4 awards in the following categories:

Single family, Split level/Two Storey and Best Ensuite,

  ISO4325

ASHCROFT MASTER BULDER

Took one award in the category of:

Single Family split level/Two Storey

 ISO4307

 

STONEGATE DESIGN BUILD INC.

Took one award in the category of:

Single family bi-level/bungalow

  ISO4302

BEZOOYEN CONTRACTING INC.

Took 2 awards in the categories of:

Best Kitchen and New Home Design

   ISO4317

MILESTONE HOMES

Took one award in the category of:

Single family split level/Two Storey

 ISO4300 

STRANVILLE LIVING LTD.

Took two awards in the following categories:

Best multi-family individual unit and Best multi-family overall

 ISO4338 

DAYTONA HOMES LETHBRIDGE

Took two awards in the following categories:

Best multi-family individual unit and the Safety Award

  ISO4330

 

GREENER HOMES LTD.

Took the award for:

Most Energy Efficient Home

CHBA Proof Greener1

 

KB HEATING & AIRCONDITIONING

Took the award for:

Members Choice – Best Trade

 ISO4343 

CADO DEVELOPMENTS

Took the award for:

Best Renovation

 ISO4332 

KYLE LEBEAU

Took the award for:

Best New Home Sales Person

 ISO4328 

COPPERWOOD

Took the award for:

Best Development

 ISO4340 

ALL WEATHER WINDOWS

Took the award for:

Members Choice – Best Supplier

 ISO4349

 

Cedar Ridge & Greer Homes

Were presented the PHBI:

New Home Buyers Choice Awards

PHBI recognition piece 

Print
PDF
18
January
2013

CHBA Lethbridge Economic Analysis

Thursday January 17th held the CHBA Economic Analysis for 2012 and was attended very well. This session provided information relative to our local market as well as insight into what may be in store for our industry in 2013. CHBA - Alberta has welcomed to its staff a former CMHC Analyst and our local association will be working closely with CHBA - Alberta to tailor a forecasting and analysis model tailored to our industry so that you can have the most up to date and accurate statistics that will help you plan your business. We thank you all for attending and providing feedback that will help us tailor these reports.

Please view the report given by CHBA Economic Analyst Richard Goatcher.

CHBA Economic Analysis January 2013

Print
PDF
06
November
2012

Bill 6 - Administrative Penalties

Bill 6 Administrative Penalties Discussions Memo

 

Background

Bill 6, the Protection and Compliance Statutes Amendment Act, 2012 was introduced in the

Legislature this week. It contains some changes to penalties under the Safety Codes Act, as well as the enabling legislation for an administrative penalties system administrated by Alberta Occupational Health and Safety.

 

CHBA Alberta engaged in stakeholder discussions with officials on this item, including numerous meetings and exchanges of information. Despite the introduction of the legislation, there is still much work to be done. Bill 6 should be considered enabling legislation that allows the department to develop regulations and, importantly, a guide for OH&S officers that outlines the details of compliance. Meetings are scheduled for next week and again in late November to discuss the matter further including next steps. CHBA Alberta representatives will be included in consultations developing both the regulations and compliance guide.

 

A list of the changes to the impacted Acts, including a before and after can be seen on the next page.

 

Talking Points

    CHBA Alberta and its members have been working through stakeholder consultations with the government on changes related to Occupational Health and Safety as well as the Safety Codes Act.

 

    Any strategy to improve worksite safety must include both employer and worker-targeted initiatives. We support the inclusion of this in the legislation.

 

    Industry is working to improve safety by continually introducing new education and certification initiatives.

 

    Continued sharing of more information and statistical data between industry and government will both highlight successes and clearly indicate areas to focus on to improve worker safety.

 

    CHBA Alberta will continue to work through the development of the regulations and compliance guidelines stages that go along with this legislation.

 

    One concern is a provision allowing fines over multiple days that could impact sub-trades operating for a single company. Further discussions are needed about the unique challenges presented by the industry’s business model and the possible disproportionate impact on smaller businesses. A maximum penalty should be specified.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occupational Health and Safety Act

 

Before

 

After

 

To enforce compliance with OHS legislation, Officers have authority to educate and issue orders. If those measures do not achieve compliance, the remaining alternative is prosecution in   appropriate cases.

 

Provide authority for the department to levy administrative penalties against persons regulated by Albertas Occupational Health and Safety legislation (Act, regulations and code).

 

There is no requirement for persons to identify themselves to OHS   Officers.

 

Impose a duty on persons at   a work site to   identify themselves to   OHS Officers on   request, and a duty on employers to   identify their workers to   OHS Officers on   request.

 

An OHS   Officer may apply for a restraining order in cases where a person interferes with the Officer in   the performance of the Officers   duties.

 

Provide that a person shall not interfere with an Officer exercising his/her powers under the Act.

 

Section 3(1)

One of the categories of persons subject to   OHS legislation is the prime contractor. The current wording suggests that a prime contractor   is   required only if   two or more employers are involved at the work site at the same time. This language allows persons to escape their prime   contractor obligations if they schedule work so only one employer is present on the site at a time.

 

 

Clarify that a   prime contractor is required for a work site whenever there are two or   more employers whose work activities are   interrelated and/or have a health or safety impact on each other.

 

Sections 7,   16 and 17

The Act establishes the Occupational Health and Safety Council and provides that the Council shall hear all appeals for orders and suspension or cancellation of licenses.

 

The Act also sets out the procedures for appeals and the powers of the Council in hearing and deciding appeals.

 

 

Provide that the Occupational Health and Safety Council shall hear appeals of administrative penalties, and provide the   appropriate tools and procedures needed to deal with this new category of   appeals.

 

Section 40(1)

The Lieutenant Governor in   Council may make regulations under the OHS Act for matters listed in this section.

 

 

Provide regulation making authority to support the administrative penalty system.

 

Section 41.1

Where a   person is convicted of   an   offence under the Act, the Court may make an order directing the person to take steps that improve health and safety at   worksites. These are known as   creative sentences and often direct that the fines imposed by the Court for a   violation of an OHS   offence be paid to third parties to support   endeavors that improve OHS safety in Alberta.

 

 

Provide that the Government has the ability to collect amounts from creative sentences owing to third parties.

 

 

 

Section 44

The Act sets out how orders issued under the Act shall be served.

 

 

Amend this section to   address how   administrative penalties shall be served,   and provide that service on a person in apparent authority at   a work site is   acceptable service on an employer.

 

Sections 3(3), 3(4), 36, 40(1)(a)(ii),   41(1), 42(a), 44(1)

The noted sections reference the Act and the regulations”; inclusion   of the OHS Code is simply implied.

 

 

Specifically reference the OHS Code in these sections.

 

Safety Code Act

 

None. Relied on six months available under Provincial Offences

Procedures Act.

 

A three-year limitation period for   prosecution of   offences under the Act would be introduced.

 

The maximum fines are up to $15,000 for a   first offence and up to

$30,000 for a second or subsequent   offence.

 

The maximum fines would be up to

$100,000 for a first offence and up to

$500,000 for a second or subsequent   offence.

 

Source: Government of Alberta news release

Print
PDF
17
April
2012

Provincial Election Survey

CHBA Lethbridge Region surveyed candidates in the Lethbridge East, Lethbridge West, and Little Bow Constituencies. We received individual responses from Lethbridge East candidates Bridget Pastoor (PC), Rob Miyashiro (Liberal), and Tom Moffat (NDP).  The PC party and NDP party also supplied responses. 

New Home Warranty
1.    Do you believe that there should be mandatory warranty coverage for new homes?

PC Party response - Our party supports bringing in legislation that would make it mandatory for home builders to purchase warranty coverage for new homes that they build. We believe that such legislation would encourage higher quality construction. While we recognize that many homebuilders already adhere to a high standard of craftsmanship, we know that there are some who do not meet the high standards of the industry. This type of mandatory home warranty would provide them with an incentive to improve, which benefits the general reputation of the industry. This has certainly been the case in other jurisdictions where this legislation has been brought in.

Lethbridge East - PC (Bridget Pastoor) - Our party supports bringing in legislation that would make it mandatory for home builders to purchase warranty coverage for the new homes that they build. Legislation could encourage higher quality construction. Most homebuilders already adhere to a very high standard of craftsmanship. But we know that there are some who do not meet the high standards of the industry. This type of mandatory home warranty would provide them with an incentive to improve, which benefits the general reputation of the industry. This has certainly been the case in other jurisdictions where this legislation has been brought in.

Lethbridge East - Liberal (Rob Miyashiro) - Yes

NDP Party response - Yes. The NDP believes it would be in the best interests of consumers and industry to have mandatory warranty coverage for new homes, developed in a consultative way to reflect best practice.

Lethbridge East - NDP (Tom Moffatt) - Yes. The NDP believes it would be in the best interests of consumers and industry to have mandatory warranty coverage for new homes.

2.    If so, do you believe there should be any exemptions?

PC party response- We believe that builders who construct a home for their own use should be exempt from purchasing warranty coverage, since they will be the ones occupying the home. Should they choose to sell it within the mandated timeframe for warranty coverage, they would then have to purchase a warranty for the remaining time.

Lethbridge East PC (Bridget Pastoor)  - We believe that builders who construct a home for their own use should be exempt from purchasing warranty coverage, since they will be the ones occupying the home. Should they choose to sell it within the mandated timeframe for warranty coverage, they would then have to purchase a warranty for the remaining time.

Lethbridge East Liberal(Rob Miyashiro)  – No
NDP - We are concerned that exemptions would harm the interests of consumers or create an uneven playing field among builders.

Lethbridge East NDP (Tom Moffatt) - We are concerned that exemptions would harm the interests of consumers or create an uneven playing field among builders.

3.    Do you believe that renovations should be subject to mandatory warranty?

PC party response- Our party’s position is that home warranty coverage should be mandated for new homes only.
Lethbridge East (Bridget Pastoor)  - Home warranty coverage should be mandated for new homes only.
Lethbridge West (Rob Miyashiro)  – Yes
NDP - We would look at the B.C. model where homes that are substantially reconstructed require a warranty. The NDP is calling for a major program to provide interest-free loans to homeowners to support much more to be done in the areas of retrofitting and energy efficiency for tens of thousands of Alberta homes which would benefit from such renovations and this would create a significant amount of business for suppliers and contractors over the next decade.

Lethbridge East - NDP (Tom Moffatt) - We would look at the B.C. model where homes that are substantially reconstructed require a warranty.

Building Codes
4.    Do you believe that building code changes impact the cost of a home?

PC party response- It is certainly plausible that building code changes may create additional costs or lessen costs to home builders, who may have to factor that into the selling price of their homes. Our party believes in a strong working relationship with the Safety Codes Council, an institution that is unique to Alberta in this country. It is feedback from industry and concerned members of the public that shapes the safety codes in Alberta, and we wish to continue that collaborative relationship.

Lethbridge East PC (Bridget Pastoor)  - Building code changes can plausibly affect the cost of the home.  These costs would be passed on to the purchaser.  These changes are necessarily made in order to meet safety codes.  The Safety Codes Council is unique to Alberta.  The collaborative relationship with the industry shapes the Safety Codes which can work toward a reasonable balance for regulations.

Lethbridge East Liberal (Rob Miyashiro)  – Yes

NDP party response - Changes may well result in requirements that could add to initial cost. However, consideration should also be given to such things as the savings homeowners can realize though better energy efficiency or other features of construction and to a positive impact on insurance rates or maintenance and repair costs over time.

Lethbridge East NDP (Tom Moffatt) - Generally speaking, they do. However, consideration should also be given to such things as the savings homeowners can realize though better energy efficiency or other features of construction.

5.    Do you believe Alberta should follow the timelines of the detailed national code review process, which includes research and testing?

PC party response- Our party believes we need to do what is best for Albertans. If adopting the National Codes Timelines makes sense for Albertans, then we will do our best to follow their timelines.

Lethbridge East PC (Bridget Pastoor) - Our party believes we need to do what is best for Albertans. If adopting the National Codes Timelines makes sense for Albertans, then we will do our best to follow their timelines.

Lethbridge East Liberal (Rob Miyashiro)  – Yes

NDP party response - Yes, we believe taking the necessary time for consultation with industry and the public, as well as research and testing, are important steps in reviewing the code and will result in a final product that will be more certain of fully achieving its purposes. There have been too many unfortunate examples of hurried legislation that resulted in difficulties or costs further down the road.

Lethbridge East - NDP ( Tom Moffatt) - Yes, we believe the consultation with industry and the public, as well as research and testing, are important steps in reviewing the national code.

Alberta Municipal Government Act
6.    Do you believe any review of the Municipal Government Act must include accountability and transparency as central goals of any new legislation?

PC party response - The Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta is supportive of any measures to include accountability and transparency, in any piece of legislation. Our party intends to review the Municipal Government Act immediately after the election, in order to update it to the needs of Alberta municipalities in the 21st century. We recognize that this is not a simple task and will require sufficient time and careful consideration and consultation with stakeholders.

Lethbridge East PC (Bridget Pastoor)  - Yes, any measures must include accountability and transparency, in any piece of legislation. Our party intends to review the Municipal Government Act immediately after the election, in order to update it to the needs of Alberta municipalities in the 21st century. We recognize that this is not a simple task and will require sufficient time and careful consideration and consultation with stakeholders.

Lethbridge East Liberal (Rob Miyashiro)  – Yes

NDP party response - The review of the MGA should aim to maximize the accountability and transparency of municipal governments in Alberta. To ensure municipal officials are accountable to the voters in their community, it is also important that the province limit its intervention into municipal decisions. The NDP supports the autonomy of municipal governments.

Lethbridge East NDP (Tom Moffatt) - The review of the MGA should aim to maximize the accountability and transparency of municipal governments in Alberta. To ensure municipal officials are accountable to the voters in their community, it is important that the province limit its intervention into municipal decisions. The NDP supports the autonomy of municipal governments.

7.    Do you believe in the consistent interpretation of regulations and law found in this Act throughout Alberta?

PC party response - Yes, we believe in a consistent interpretation of the law. However, our party is aware that communities across the province have differences and unique needs. A revamped Municipal Governance Act will reflect the diverse nature of Alberta municipalities.

Lethbridge East PC (Bridget Pastoor) - Consistency in the enforcement of any law in Alberta is crucial to good governance for the Province.   The public cannot be expected to have confidence in a Government that does not apply    equally to all.  Communities across the province have differences and unique needs. And a revamped Municipal Governance Act will reflect the diverse nature of Alberta municipalities.

Lethbridge East Liberal (Rob Miyashiro)  – Yes

NDP party response – Consistent interpretation of laws and regulations is always a paramount consideration

Lethbridge East NDP (Tom Moffatt) - Consistent interpretation of laws and regulations is always a paramount consideration.

8.    Do you believe municipalities should be able to specifically tax citizens buying new homes prior to them having a voice with local politicians?

PC party response - n/a

Lethbridge East PC (Bridget Pastoor)  – No

Lethbridge East Liberal (Rob Miyashiro)  – Municipalities should be able to tax for anything under their jurisdictional purview, nothing more.

NDP party response - Individuals living in a municipality have a right to vote for the representatives of their choice and run for office themselves. When people first arrive in a community, they are subject to the same taxes and fees as everyone else. The same happens when people move from province to province. There are calendars that relate to the application and collection of taxes that are determined by municipalities, and there are elections called as required times and both operate in their own ways.

Lethbridge East NDP (Tom Moffatt) - Individuals living in a municipality have a right to vote for the representatives of their choice and run for office themselves. When people first arrive in a community, they are subject to the same taxes and fees as everyone else. The same happens when people move from province to province.

9.    Do you believe that growth pays for itself?

PC party response - n/a

Lethbridge East PC (Bridget Pastoor)  - An important part of Alberta’s growth and innovation are an important of the Canadian economy. It improves the lives of Canadians and all Albertans. Growth requires investment and proper management, and a Progressive Conservative Government would strike the right balance between good regulations and the need for managed growth. With an increase of 1 million people over the next ten years, I believe fast tracking the  Land Use Framework would help manage development, recreation, residential and agriculture needs in a responsibly environmentally way.

Lethbridge East Liberal (Rob Miyashiro)  – Growth should pay for itself. I have been told that it does not.

NDP party response - The NDP respects the right of municipal councils to make decisions about development within their boundaries, including how and where growth takes place. Elected municipal officials have to defend those decisions to the people they represent. Generally municipalities will make decisions related to growth based on determinations of the case for and against any particular action and will determine matters such as the timeline over which growth is paid will be measured.

Lethbridge East NDP (Tom Moffatt) - The NDP respects the right of municipal councils to make decisions about development within their boundaries, including how and where growth takes place. Elected municipal officials have to defend those decisions to the people they represent.

Labour
10.    Do you believe there is an impending labour shortage in Alberta that will create significant affordability challenges?

PC party response - Our party certainly is aware of the labour challenges that come with Alberta’s prosperity. We believe in having foresight with respect to planning for the future, and that includes the labour situation in the near future. Alberta is forecasting that 606,000 new jobs will be created in the province by 2021 and 492,000 workers will join the labour force, creating a shortage of 114,000 workers.
That is why we continue to actively lobby the federal government on immigration issues, in order to meet the particular labour needs of Alberta’s economy. As well, we support programs that entice certain demographics like women or Aboriginals to enter occupations that are traditionally not well represented by those groups. Our strategy is to make the most of the workforce we have, helping Albertans get jobs or the training they need and working with groups such as Aboriginal people, youth and mature workers.

Lethbridge East PC (Bridget Pastoor)  - Labour challenges have come with Albert’s prosperity. Having the foresight with respect to planning for the long term includes the labor situation in the near future. Alberta is forecasting that 606,000 new jobs will be created in the province by 2021 and 492,000 workers will join the labor force, creating a shortage of 114,000 workers. A PC Government would continue to actively lobby the federal government on immigration issues, in order to meet the particular labour needs of Alberta’s economy. Programs would be supported that entice certain demographics like women and Aboriginals to enter occupations that are traditionally not well represented by those groups.

Lethbridge East Liberal (Rob Miyashiro) - Yes

NDP party response - Yes. We are concerned we will see a repeat of the kinds of pressures that made life difficult for many Albertans and for municipal governments in the last boom. Affordability issues are only one of the challenges that may arise from rapid growth.

Lethbridge East NDP (Tom Moffatt) - Yes. We are concerned we will see a repeat of the kinds of pressures that made life difficult for so many Albertans in the last boom.

11.    Are you willing to work with the home building industry to convince the federal government to provide more flexibility in attracting workers to Alberta?

PC party response- Yes. As stated above, we look forward to an active and collaborative relationship both with industry and the federal government. Industry input is crucial, so that the provincial government can accurately represent the priorities and challenges of Alberta companies.

Lethbridge East PC (Bridget Pastoor)  - Yes. As stated above an active and collaborative relationship both with industry and the federal government is necessary. Industry input is crucial, so that the provincial government can accurately represent the priorities and challenges of Alberta companies.

Lethbridge East Liberal (Rob Miyashiro)  – Yes

NDP party response - The NDP would be pleased to work with the home building industry to persuade the federal government to improve immigration policies to enable more people to move to Alberta as a home, from other parts of the world. There are useful changes that can be made in the way immigrants are selected and the Alberta NDP would work with the federal NDP in bringing such suggestions forward, including what skills and education is considered in the provision of points for this aspect of eligibility (for example, to give trades more status in relation to professions). We believe that Alberta would be better served by such an improved immigration process than by the current temporary foreign workers program. Immigrants make homes and fully participate in community life and the economy in a way that temporary workers do not. We would also work with trade unions to increase apprenticeship training and we would seek to increase the participation of older Albertans and people with disabilities in ways that are beneficial to them and to the larger community. The NDP commitment to create more day care spaces and better costs for those needing day care will also enable many to be active in the labour market who are not currently. National standards regarding many certified trades already have made it more accessible for people from other parts of Canada with qualifications to be able to work quickly and without significant extra requirements in Alberta.

Lethbridge East NDP (Tom Moffatt) - The NDP would push the federal government to improve immigration policies to enable more people to move to Alberta as a home, from other parts of the world. There are useful changes that can be made in the way immigrants are selected and the Alberta NDP would work with the federal NDP in bringing such suggestions forward, including what skills and education is considered in the provision of points for this aspect of eligibility (for example, to give trades more status in relation to professions).  We believe that Alberta would be better served by such an improved immigration process than by the current temporary foreign workers program. Immigrants make homes and fully participate in community life and the economy in a way that temporary workers do not. We would also work with trade unions to increase apprenticeship training and we would seek to increase the participation of older Albertans and people with disabilities in ways that are beneficial to them and to the larger community. The NDP commitment to create more day care spaces and better costs for those needing day care will also enable many to be active in the labour market who are not currently. National standards regarding many certified trades already have made it more accessible for people from other parts of Canada with qualifications to be able to work quickly and without significant extra requirements in Alberta.

12.    Do you believe immigration is an important and necessary part of growing and building Alberta?

PC party response - Immigration and promoting Alberta as an immigration destination is a key policy for our party when it comes to growing and building the province. We know that immigration will be essential if we are to meet labour and economic growth in the future. We embrace both interprovincial and international immigration to Alberta. However, we also believe in a balanced approach that employs different strategies for addressing growth issues in the province. For example, we will continue to implement programs that leverage and encourage segments of our present population to get involved in industries where they are traditionally not well represented.

Lethbridge East PC (Bridget Pastoor)  - Immigration and promoting Alberta as an immigration destination is a key policy for the PC party when it comes to managed growth and a stable economy. Immigration will be essential if we are to meet labour and economic growth in the future.  Interprovincial and international immigration to Alberta, should have a balanced approach that employs different strategies. For example, the implantation of programs must be continued that will leverage and encourage segments of our present population to get involved in industries where they have traditionally not been represented.

Lethbridge East Liberal (Rob Miyashiro)  – Yes…but immigration alone will not make up for the impending shortage.
NDP party response - Yes, and that is why we want to see federal policies that allow more immigrants to make Alberta their home. Until very recently Alberta has made little effort to attract and retain immigrants over the long term. Current underfunding of appropriate settlement services continues to create challenges that may cause some who move to Alberta not to stay and make homes. In particular more planning needs to be done to determine what is needed so more new immigrants can choose and enjoy living outside a few major population centres.

Lethbridge East NDP (Tom Moffatt) - Yes, and that is why we want to see federal policies that allow more immigrants to make Alberta their home. Until very recently Alberta has made little effort to attract and retain immigrants. Current underfunding of appropriate settlement services continues to create challenges that may cause some who move to Alberta not to stay and make homes.

Safety
13.    Do you believe that individual workers should be fined/ticketed for safety violations?

PC party response - Our party’s position on worker safety is that we will undertake cost-effective programs and enforcement methods that promote better worker safety. Currently, under the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act, or the Employment Standards Code, a company or an individual may be charged with a violation.

Lethbridge East PC (Bridget Pastoor)  - Yes. There must be individual responsibilities in the work place, in conjunction with employer’s implementation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Proper balance must be adhered to achieve the intent of the Act. i.e.; no safety violations, leading to injuries or deaths.

Lethbridge East Liberal (Rob Miyashiro)  – Yes

NDP party response  - Employers are overall responsible for ensuring a safe worksite. Workers may be disciplined for unsafe practices in particular situations. The NDP would allow inspectors to issue fines for unsafe practices during on-site inspections and make joint workplace health and safety committees mandatory. We would also greatly increase and improve worksite inspections and post workplace safety records and reports online.

Lethbridge East NDP (Tom Moffatt) - Employers are overall responsible for ensuring a safe worksite. Workers may be disciplined for unsafe practices in particular situations. The NDP would allow inspectors to issue fines for unsafe practices during on-site inspections and make joint workplace health and safety committees mandatory. We would also greatly increase and improve worksite inspections and post workplace safety records and reports online.

14.    Do you believe in supporting education and training initiatives that increase safety performance?

PC party response - Certainly. Our party endorses cost-effective programs that bring about greater safety awareness as well as teaching workers how to better protect themselves from accidents while at the workplace. Some past and current initiatives supported by our party include WorkSafe Alberta and Partnerships in Injury Reduction.

Lethbridge East PC (Bridget Pastoor)  - Education is never wasted. The cost effective imitatives of Work Safe Alberta and Partnerships in Injury Reduction are examples of ongoing education and training programs.

Lethbridge East Liberal (Rob Miyashiro)  – Yes

NDP party response – Yes. Better education and training lead to improved safety.

Lethbridge East NDP (Tom Moffatt) - Yes. Better education and training lead to improved safety.

Seniors Housing
15.    Do you support integrating care into housing to allow seniors to age in a home-like community?

PC party response - The answer is yes. Our party supports measures that allow seniors to age gracefully and in dignity. Oftentimes, that means allowing them to age in their homes or a home-like environment. We are looking at ways to ensure any new seniors housing is built according to the needs of the senior. For example, this could mean more couples units, care options and community-like settings.

Lethbridge East PC (Bridget Pastoor)  - The long term care system was deregulated into housing into its various forms, long term care, designated assisted living, assisted living lodges etc., under the Minister of Seniors and Community Support and the medical and care portion fall under the Minister of Health. The present thinking (currently in my opinion based on 16 years of long term care experiences as a Geriatric Specialist RN at Edith Cavell Care Center) is that various housing options are provided by the building industry often as an incentive with government dollars. But the medical and physical portion can and should be provided in their original placement if they have moved out of their homes. Moving the frail and often disoriented elderly is very detrimental to their health. However, industry must be prepared for the future, residents with scooters, electric wheel chairs, IV and 02 machines etc. Scooters and wheel chairs must have room to park and recharge batteries. There will be a need for larger hallways and doorways. With more and more seniors coming on stream and living longer seniors housing will be a big part of housing. Their homes will sell to a younger generation. These homes often need renovations to reflect present day expectation of modern amenities. I think I see a lot of business for the industry in the future.  

Lethbridge East Liberal (Rob Miyashiro)  – Integrating care into housing is an exciting and progressive concept…provided that it is affordable and accessible.

NDP Party response - The NDP is committed to providing seniors with the appropriate level of care for their needs. Home-like settings are always a priority, but it is also important to ensure no seniors are suffering from a lack of care because they have not been placed in an appropriate residence. That’s why the NDP will increase funding to homecare by $100 million in order to improve services for more than 100,000 Albertans in their homes, and we will build and staff at least an additional 1,500 new long-term care beds within the next two years, so that seniors get the care they need. While “housing” and “health care” are distinct issues with regards to the needs of seniors they overlap significantly and the government has a duty to ensure as both are being satisfied that no one is negatively affected. Regardless of the housing circumstances of any person, the delivery of fully-public health care without extra charges is essential.

Lethbridge East NDP (Tom Moffatt) - The NDP is committed to providing seniors with the appropriate level of care for their needs. Home-like settings are always a priority, but it is also important to ensure no seniors are suffering from a lack of care because they have not been placed in an appropriate residence. That’s why the NDP will increase funding to homecare by $100 million in order to improve services for more than 100,000 Albertans in their homes, and we will build and staff at least an additional 1,500 new long-term care beds within the next 2 years, so that seniors get the care they need. While “housing” and “health care” are distinct issues with regards to the needs of seniors they overlap significantly and the government has a duty to ensure as both are being satisfied that no one is negatively affected. Regardless of the housing circumstances of any person, the delivery of fully-public health care without extra charges is essential.

16.    Do you support eliminating capital grants to encourage more market investment and transparency in seniors housing?

PC party response - Our party endorses more market investment and transparency in seniors housing. In order to create more seniors housing spaces, we believe in a balanced method that serves the needs of seniors. By March 2013, it is expected that more than 1,500 new affordable supportive living spaces will be opened thanks to ASLI capital grant funding in Budget 2012. This investment will increase the supply of affordable supportive living options for people to remain in their communities and close to family and friends when they can no longer live independently.
We will continue to actively listen to the feedback from the business community and other stakeholders that have valuable insights to impart. Our party will examine alternate ways of encouraging more market investment and allowing the industry a larger role in creating seniors housing that meets the needs of modern-day, Alberta seniors.

Lethbridge East PC (Bridget Pastoor)  - Market investment and transparency will be endorsed in seniors housing. By March 2013, it is expected that more than 1,500 new affordable supportive living spaces will be opened thanks to ASLI capital grant funding in Budget 2012. This investment will increase the supply of affordable supportive living options for people to remain in their communities and close to family and friends when they can no longer live independently.
We will continue to actively listen to the feedback from the business community and other stakeholders that have valuable insights to impart. Our party will examine alternate ways of encouraging more market investment and allowing the industry a larger role in creating seniors housing that meets the needs of modern-day, Alberta seniors.

Lethbridge East Liberal (Rob Miyashiro)  - Transparency is something every system needs to strive towards. Elimination of grants and caps on housing is an issue if it affects the long-term ability of the building industry to meet the needs of seniors. If seniors are only a means of delivering market value to industry, then I am opposed - there needs to be a balance.

NDP party response - The NDP will ensure affordable housing is available for seniors with low and moderate incomes. We will keep the cap on accommodation costs forseniors in continuing care facilities. Generally, research indicates that for seniors the operation of assisted living by public or not-for-profit organizations has been shown to result in a reduced likelihood of residents ending up needing emergency department or acute care treatment.

Lethbridge East NDP (Tom Moffatt) - The NDP will ensure affordable housing is available for seniors with low and moderate incomes.  We will keep the cap on accommodation costs for seniors in continuing care facilities.
Land-use Framework

17.    How will you support economic growth and development in the face of competing interests for land use?

PC party response - Land-use planning is essential in a growing province where industrial and municipal development, recreation and conservation compete for the same landscape. The Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA) created the authority for government to develop, approve and implement regional plans under the Land-use Framework. Our party strives to balance all these competing interests with a view towards reflecting Albertans’ priorities, and by respecting land owners’ rights.
As far as your particular industry is concerned, land-use within municipal boundaries is the purview of municipalities. However, whenever it is feasible and in the interests of the local community, the province has released Crown (provincial) land to municipalities in order to support their growth priorities. For example, this was recently the case with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which received Crown land in order to address some of their unique growth pressures.

Lethbridge East PC (Bridget Pastoor)  - I believe we must move faster on the Land Use Framework with the funding to ensure that the final (although some fluidity would be required) decisions will serve Alberta for at the very least next 50 years. Land-use planning is essential in a province where the population is expected to increase by 1 million over the next 10 years. Industrial and municipal development, recreation residential and conservation will share the same landscape. The Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA) created the authority for government and stakeholders to develop, approve and implement regional plans under the Land-use Framework. All these competing interests must balance towards reflecting Albertans’ priorities, and by respecting land owners’ rights.
Land-use within municipal boundaries is the purview of municipalities. However, more Crown (provincial) land will have to be released to municipalities in order to support their growth priorities. For example, this was recently the case with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which received Crown land in order to address some of their unique growth pressures.

Lethbridge East Liberal (Rob Miyashiro)  - Multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional planning bodies will help to ensure a balanced discussion regarding land-use issues. Again, a balance needs to be achieved between sustainable use and growth/development.

NDP party response- The Conservatives’ land-use planning process gives an excessive amount of power to the Provincial Cabinet. The NDP would support a process where regional stakeholders have greater influence in determining the plan. We are also concerned about the weak environmental considerations required by the current process. The NDP would require the plans to provide targets for environmental protection, and for the plans to include hard facts about how planning goals will be met. Decisions about regional planning must be free of political influence and should be developed with a longer-term perspective than often happens now when actions are responding to pressures rather than anticipating future needs.

Lethbridge East NDP (Tom Moffatt) - The Conservatives’ land-use planning process gives an excessive amount of power to the Provincial Cabinet. The NDP would support a process where regional stakeholders have greater influence in determining the plan. We are also concerned about the weak environmental considerations required by the current process. The NDP would require the plans to provide targets for environmental protection, and for the plans to include hard facts about how planning goals will be met.

Print
PDF
03
April
2012

National Marketing Award to Local Builder

Local builder Greer Homes has been recognized for the creative marketing of their new "Love Shack built by Greer".  The ad campaign took home top honours for best print ad beating out projects from Toronto and Calgary.  The award was presented at the Canadian Home Builders' Associaton national conference held in Mt. Tremblant, Quebec on March 17, 2012.

The CHBA National SAM Awards presented by Schlage and Trane is the premier competition for new homes, home renovations, community development, marketing and sales.  The awards recognize outstanding performance in new homes and renovation design, innovative technology and construction techniques, and outstanding marketing and sales activities. The competition is open to all new home builders, renovator and developer members of the CHBA. An independent panel of judges selected from across the country reviews all entries.

More details found on CHBA national website.

Print
PDF
17
February
2012

CityLine Expert coming to Home and Garden Show

Leigh-Ann webLeigh-Ann Allaire Perrault has a passion for flair and colour.  As part of the Benjamin Moore team since 2004 she has shared her residential and commercial experience with home owners across the country.  An honors graduate of the Interior Decorating program at Sheridan College, and now a faculty member at her alma mater, Leigh-Ann understands the kind of inspiration and direction homeowners seek when tackling a new decor project

Print
PDF
07
February
2012

2012-13 Board of Directors

 

On February 6, 2012, the Board of Directors for 2012-2013 were announced. Elected builder representatives were Dell Mathews of Galko Homes Master Builder and Scott Werenka of Greer Home Builders. Elected supplier/trade representatives were Shauna Gruninger of Carefree Kitchens, Anita Hartman of EMCO, and Scott Murakami of KB Heating and Air Conditioning. The Board of Directors also appointed two Directors at Large for the 2012-2013 terms, Gerry Simons and Wes Carroll.

Print
PDF
30
January
2012

Building the Best in Lethbridge

The 2011 Awards of Excellence winners were announce at the Building the Best show on January 28, 2012 at the Coast Hotel.  Twenty-six awards were given recognizing the best in residential construction.   Winners were selected by judges from across the country, professionals themselves in the home building industry.  
This year saw 13 different companies take home the hardware.  The coveted Builder of the Year went to Galko Homes Master Builder for the third year in a row.  New Home Design awards were won by Ashcroft Master Builder, Avonlea Master Builder, Bezooyen Contracting,   Daytona Homes, Dimax Developments, Galko Homes Master Builder, Premiere Custom Homes Ltd, and Van Arbor Homes Corp.  The Best Renovation award went to CADO Developments for the second year.

Print
PDF
12
December
2011

CHBA-LR 2012-13 Board Nominations

2012-2013 Board of Directors Election
On December 7, 2011, the nominating committee presented the slate of nominees for the 2012-13 Board of Directors.  As per bylaws, in even numbered years the membership will elect two builder directors and three trades and supplier directors.  Ballots will be sent out electronically and tabulated by BDO Dunwoody.  Elected directors will be announced at the AGM and Economic Forecast on February 7, 2012.
The nominees for this year are (bios below):

Builder

Wes Carroll – Empire Homes (Lethbridge) Ltd.
Dell Mathews – Galko Master Builder
Scott Werenka – Greer Homes Ltd.

Trades and suppliers

Jeremy Gook – Anako Construction
Shauna Gruninger – Carefree Kitchens
Anita Hartman – EMCO
Scott Murakami – KB Heating

Print
PDF
20
October
2011

Volunteer Recognition

Canadian Home Builders'Association-Lethbridge Region held its annual Bridge Builder Banquet on October 19, 2011 at the Coast Hotel.  This night recognized the contributions of volunteers and value of membership.  It is also a time for members to come together to network, share ideas, and build relationships. 

At this year's event, three volunteers were honored for their contributions to the Association.  The Rookie of the Year volunteer award was presented to Jeremy Gook of Anako Construction.  This award, given to someone in their first year of committee and association participation, was presented based on Jeremy's participation in the Safety Committee, Technical Standards Committee, and Government Relations Committee.  Also mentioned was Jeremy's hours volunteered to help build a playhouse at the CHBA-LR Home and Garden show, presented in partnership with Exhibition Park.  The playhouse was raffled off at the end of the Home and Garden show. 

Print
PDF
02
August
2011

ecoENERGY Retrofit helps with Green Living

The federal government recently announced the extension of the ecoENERGY Retrofit program.  This program provides grants up to $5000 to help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient and reduce the burden of high energy costs.  Along with the federal program there are a number of Alberta programs supporting the ecoENERGY Retrofit program including the Home Energy Evaluation.  The program is effective June 6, 2011 to March 31, 2012.
Eligible retrofits include heating systems, cooling systems, ventilation systems, domestic hot water equipment, insulation, air sealing, windows/doors/skylights, and water conservation measures. Visit the Natural Resources Canada website (www.nrcan.gc.ca) for more details on exactly how much you can get back for each retrofit measure.  Provincial program details can be found on the Climate Change Central website (www.climatechangecentral.com).  
The Canadian Home Builders’ Association—Lethbridge Region is hosting a GREEN LIVING EXPO August 25-27 at the Park Place Mall Atrium.  Here you will find a number of products that qualify for the program including insulation and kitchen options.  The Expo will also have new home builders, solar panel options, and energy consultants on hand to answer all your questions.  CHBA-LR President Gerrit Bezooyen states “the Green Living Expo brings professionals of the industry to the public where they can ask questions about what renovations and products are best for their home”.
“The renewal of the ecoENERGY Retrofit program shows the federal government’s commitment to improving the quality of the country’s housing stock and offers homeowners the help needed to improve their homes environmental performance” says Bezooyen, “we hope the public will take the opportunity to visit the Green Living Expo to see what options are available to them”.
Prior to this renewal, the federal government had provided more than half a million Canadians with retrofit rebates.   With the $400 million that the federal government has budgeted for this latest phase, up to 250,000 more Canadian homeowners could be reimbursed for energy efficient home improvements which will generate economic activity in Lethbridge and across the country.
Maybe it’s time for the ecoENERGY Retrofit to help with your Green Living.
Print
PDF
28
July
2011

2011 Awards of Excellence in Housing Finalists

Canadian Home Builders’ Association—Alberta (CHBA-Alberta) recently announced the finalists for the 2011 Alberta Awards of Excellence in Housing.  From the record-breaking 283 entries, eight finalists from CHBA-Lethbridge Region were announced including Ashcroft Master Builder, Avonlea Master Builder, Bezooyen Contracting, Greer Home Builders, and FOX Renovations.
The Alberta Awards of Excellence in Housing honour the top builders and renovators from across the province and are awarded September 16 at special awards ceremony.  In regards to the Awards, CHBA-Alberta CEO Jim Rivait said, “CHBA-Alberta was thrilled to see such an overwhelming number of entries this year.  We’ve shattered records which indicate there are many innovative and creative design options available to consumers.  The competition has never been so tight.  We applaud everyone for their hard work entering this year’s contest and we are excited to recognize this year’s finalists”.  
Print
PDF
23
May
2011

Grant Awarded to Victoria Park High School

As part of its mission to Make the Industry Better, Canadian Home Builders’ Association—Lethbridge Region is happy to announce it has awarded a $1000 grant to Victoria Park High School.  Victoria Park High School’s application identified they will use the grant in their Career and Technology Studies (CTS) construction programs where they offer students real life trade experiences.  Victoria Park High School is currently working on a SASHA building project and will use the grants to purchase the some of the tools necessary to complete the project.

Print
PDF
19
May
2011

CHBA Safety Initiative Supported by Minister Lukaszuk

Lethbridge (May 19, 2011) - Canadian Home Builders’ Association—Lethbridge Region (CHBA-LR) has been hammering away at safety for the past few years.  Safety is one of the CHBA-LR’s five pillars and one way the local association makes the industry better. “Our local association and its members realized several years ago that safety has to be top of mind on our jobsites.  That is why we have taken numerous steps to help ensure our workers are safe and we will continue to work towards this goal over the next few years”-Gerrit Bezooyen, CHBA-LR Board President.

700 2715

700 2719

house1

room1

house2

room2