Executive Director Report – Summer 2011


Summertime brings with it the familiarity and promise of a season where we take time to relax; perhaps play a little golf, enjoy some time at the lake, or putter around the yard.

Or so we say.

This quaint image of slowing down for an idyllic summer may be an appealing idea — and hopefully for many of us, an actual reality for a week or two — but from my vantage point, there’s a whole lot of hard working going on out there.

For some contractors, it’s the constant pressure to maintain a niche and keep enough projects flowing to balance the books and create a backlog. For others, its a sense of abundant opportunity dampened by a worry over sufficiency of resources.  For all of us, there is a sense of urgency to eliminate obstacles and capitalize on opportunities.

Canada is in a peculiar spot these days.  As we climb out of a world-wide recession, we see hints of domestic strength (see later in this newsletter reference to the Pan Am Games in Ontario, and take note of the obvious and significant re-investment in the oil sands and mining sectors). However, our neighbour to the south still has the look of someone walking through deep snow.  On the political front, we see many of the provinces in our federation moving into the unsettling times of election season.

When you throw a pinch of uncertainty and a dash of opportunity into a bowl and stir, you get an unpredictable mix.

PCAC is working hard to help you manage that unpredictability, and to provide assistance in navigating the challenges in the marketplace.  Our political advocacy continues to grow in strength, focus, and reputation. We have achieved a notable and effective voice in the broader construction industry while continually exploring the most effective and productive ways to strengthen the union-management relationship.

As the PCAC tackles these important objectives, we also are taking care to ensure that we have the most effective platform on which to deliver these services. In order to strengthen PCAC’s national infrastructure, we are undertaking a number of key initiatives.

The first is our continued efforts at growing our association. We are seeing new members recognize the value that PCAC brings to their work as contractors and this has resulted in significant growth across the country – we are on pace for almost 100% growth in Ontario and sustained growth elswhere as well.

This growth enables PCAC to undertake a number of new initiatives which will increase the value we bring to our members.

 With a goal of maximizing the efficiency of our day-to-day management, PCAC has created the new position of “Manager of Operations”. This addition allows PCAC to leverage the highest level of productivity from our lean management team. 

Another important project is that of undertaking a re-branding of the association. For the last decade, the PCAC has maintained a fairly static public face; an updated brand will ensure that our image and messages are current, consistent, and tightly focussed. This process will be accompanied by a revitalised and dynamic website.

Finally, in order to strengthen PCAC’s national public policy vision for fair and open construction in every jurisdiction in which we operate, we are developing a comprehensive national policy framework.

With this framework in place, PCAC will more effectively navigate the variety of issues and opportunities we encounter as we work on your behalf.

PCAC’s fall AGM is a natural venue for us to introduce you to our new Operations Manager, to launch our new brand and website, and to review freshly minted national policy framework. We encourage all of our members from across the country to join us – it’s an excellent opportunity to strengthen our association and to meet new members.  Stay tuned for more details in the weeks to come.

Enjoy the rest of your summer, whether at work or at play — and we will see you at the AGM on October 27 in Edmonton, AB!


Paul de Jong, Executive Director, Progressive Contractors Association of Canada