B.C. announces funding for 3,500 new affordable homes

Key Takeaways:

  • The CHF is a $3.3-billion investment to build more than 20,000 affordable rental homes for people with moderate and low incomes by 2031-32.
  • Proposals for the CHF are managed by BC Housing and will be accepted until mid-November 2023.
  • Projects will be prioritized based on several criteria, including prioritized populations and the effect the project would have in addressing the community’s affordable rental housing need.

The Whole Story:

B.C. announced it will fund thousands of new homes through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund (CHF).

“We are in a housing crisis, and this new round of CHF funding will ensure more people have access to an affordable place to live by creating approximately 3,500 homes,” said Ravi Kahlon, minister of housing. “This is a significant step toward our goal of 20,000 CHF-funded homes by 2032, as our province increases its housing stock faster than ever so people have the homes they need now and into the future. Together, with our many partners, we’re making progress, but we know there’s much more work to be done.”

Proposals for the CHF are managed by BC Housing and will be accepted until mid-November 2023. The project proposals will be evaluated and projects totalling approximately 3,500 units are expected to be announced in early 2024.

Non-profit organizations, housing co-operatives, municipalities, First Nations and Indigenous-led societies are encouraged to submit their housing proposals and apply for funding.

“We welcome this response to the desperate and growing need for more safe, secure, affordable housing for British Columbians,” said Thom Armstrong, CEO, Co-operative Housing Federation of British Columbia. “Help is on the way for 3,500 more households that are struggling to make ends meet in this overheated housing market. This government continues to lead the way in Canada by making new affordable housing supply a priority.”

Projects will be prioritized based on several criteria, including prioritized populations and the effect the project would have in addressing the community’s affordable rental housing need. Project-development funding will also be available for projects that require further development to prepare them for the next CHF funding call.

“The City of Vancouver is focused on delivering more affordable housing and will continue to do what it takes to lead the region in new housing approval and secure attainable housing in the city,” said Ken Sim, mayor of Vancouver. “We appreciate our partners in the provincial government who understand that we need more housing for the people who call this city home. We will continue to work hand in hand to build the housing Vancouverites need.”

The CHF is a $3.3-billion investment to build more than 20,000 affordable rental homes for people with moderate and low incomes by 2031-32. Approximately 9,000 of these homes are open or underway throughout the province. Additional CHF proposal calls will be issued during the next four years to allocate funding for the remaining units.

“With rents rising faster in B.C. than anywhere else in the country, the homes funded through the Community Housing Fund could not come at a more critical time,” said Jill Atkey, CEO, BC Non-Profit Housing Association. “Non-profit housing providers have been eagerly anticipating this call, and the affordable developments they bring forward will impact the lives of thousands of individuals and families for decades to come.”

Key Takeaways:

  • The second year of Ontario’s skilled trades career fairs will have twice as many dates.
  • New cities with career fairs this year are Hamilton, Windsor, Sault Ste. Marie, Oshawa and Dryden.
  • Level Up! is a series of multi-day career fairs highlighting the 144 skilled trades, from electricians to boilermakers.

The Whole Story:

The Ontario government is expanding its skilled trades career fairs, now in its second year, to even more cities with more exhibitors and twice as many participating students. The new cities with career fairs this year are Hamilton, Windsor, Sault Ste. Marie, Oshawa and Dryden.

“Last year’s career fairs were a phenomenal success, giving thousands of students and their families exposure to the many career opportunities in the skilled trades,” said Premier Doug Ford. “As we make historic investments to build roads, transit, hospitals, schools and other critical infrastructure, these expanded fairs will help us attract more young people into the trades and develop the skilled workforce our growing province needs.”

Level Up! is a series of multi-day career fairs highlighting the 144 skilled trades, from electricians to boilermakers. Over 25,000 students in grades 7 to 12, as well as parents and jobseekers, will have the opportunity to learn about these trades through interactive exhibitions and hands-on activities while hearing directly from tradespeople and local employers. The first fair kicks off Sept. 19 and 20 in Thunder Bay and will continue with fairs in communities across the province.

“For far too long, parents and students have been told the only way to succeed in life is by going to university – this is simply not true,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “There are lucrative and purpose-driven careers waiting in the skilled trades where you can help build our province. Under Premier Doug Ford, we are giving more students the opportunity to learn about the life-changing careers in skilled trades that come with defined pensions and benefits.”

“In an ever-changing global economy, we are seizing the opportunity to inspire students with hands-on learning in the skilled trades and increasing pathways to apprenticeship that better connect students to good-paying jobs,” said Stephen Lecce, minister of education. “Our priority is to keep students in stable and normal classrooms, benefiting from a focus on strengthening foundational skills on reading, writing, math. This is supported by expanded career fairs and a new mandatory requirement that all students take at least one technological education course starting next year, so that students graduate into fulfilling careers of the jobs of tomorrow.”

Additionally, Ontario is investing $24 million for 2023-24 through the Apprenticeship Capital Grant program, helping 66 training institutions across Ontario upgrade their training equipment and existing facilities that support hands-on learning for students and apprentices.

Last month, the government announced apprenticeship registration increased by 24 per cent in the last year – from 21,971 to 27,319 – as more people joined the skilled trades, playing a role in building Ontario. This follows more than $1 billion investment in the skilled trades over three years, along with the launch of Skilled Trades Ontario, as part of its strategy to attract more people into the trades.


You’re never too young to give heavy equipment a try. Kiewit employees in Western Canada celebrate Family Day by checking out some of the company’s machinery fleet.

Wildstone Construction Group

This project is a blast from the blast on the banks of the Yukon River. Crews are hard at work restoring the Canadian Bank of Commerce which was originally built in 1901.

Corry Anderson-Fennell / LiUNA Local 1611

Patrick Smalls, 18, practices cement work as part of LiUNA Local 1611’s Training PLUS (Professional Labourers’ Union School) program. After 120 hours of classroom and practical experience, students wrote a final exam and were then dispatched to B&B Contracting.

West Metric JV

Crews install culverts at the Kitselas housing development in B.C.

Gordie Howe International Bridge

Demon is a black lab who patrols the Gordie Howe International Bridge construction site to prevent birds and other wildlife from nesting where they might be impacted by work. Great work, Demon!

Jacob Bros Construction

This month the Musqueam Gathering Place was unveiled at YVR featuring Jacob Bros‘ Musqueam YVR Canoe Build project. The project team collaborated with a team of eight Musqueam Indian Band members, including two artisan carvers, to carve a traditional Musqueam Journey Canoe out of a 35ft section of red cedar.

Pointblank Installations / Fort Modular

Pointblank Installations’ drivers got a terrifying view after arriving at Fort Modular’s Okanagan location just outside of Barrière in Louis Creek, B.C.

Urban One Builders

Indigenous elders mark the start of construction at the Ho’-kee-melh Kloshe Lum project in Vancouver. The name means “to gather, good spirits”.  The facility will include 143 low-to-moderate-income rentals, 25 supportive housing units and 80 shelter beds. 

Double Black Construction / John Lohan

Crews prepare the steel bones of the new 25,000 square foot Waywayseecappo’s Community Centre. Located 30 kilometers east of Russell, Manitoba, Waywayseecappo First Nation Reserve is a community of slightly more than 3,100 people close to Stony Lake.

Graham Construction

Crews working under a blue and orange sky at the Portage la Prairie Bypass project in Manitoba.

Skills Ontario

Youth learn construction skills at Durham College as part of Skills Ontario’s summer camp program.


The Sam Ibrahaim Building project team sign the last steel beam before it is hoisted into place at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

Par Six Golf

Next time you get a hole in one, thank this bulldozer. Crews carry out work at the Edmonton Country Club.

Does this count as topping off? Faber Construction’s team celebrates reaching the peak of Mount Baker. From top to bottom, the active volcano a 3,288 metre climb.

The Shot of the Month goes to:


Finning celebrates International Dog Day with some furry friends and Caterpillar machinery.

Key Takeaways:

  • The sites include Highway 97 at Cottonwood Hill north of Quesnel and Blackwater Road at Knickerbocker Road.
  • Crews at both sites are completing geotechnical investigations and environmental investigations to inform the ultimate project design.
  • Construction is scheduled to begin next year. 

The Whole Story:

B.C. has approved $538 million worth of road improvement projects for the Cariboo.

Officials say the projects will improve highway safety and reliability with two restoration projects that will stabilize roads located on historic landslide sites. 

“Restoring safe and reliable highways and roads in the Cariboo supports vital services and connections for people in the region,” said Rob Fleming, minister of transportation and infrastructure. “With weather patterns changing as part of our new climate reality, building infrastructure that withstands extreme weather in the long term will keep people safe and maintain critical goods movement corridors across the province.”

On Highway 97 at Cottonwood Hill north of Quesnel, a segment of highway affected by a significant slow-moving landslide will be stabilized. Highway 97 is a north-south artery that provides crucial access between communities in the region and is vital to the province’s economy.

On Blackwater Road at Knickerbocker Road, a road segment affected by landslides will undergo realignment and reinforcement, as well as measures to help prevent future slides in the project area.

Crews at both sites are completing work, such as geotechnical investigations, which includes collecting soil and water samples to inform the project designs, and environmental investigations. Construction is scheduled to begin next year. 

These are the first two projects within the Cariboo Road Recovery Projects program to move to construction. Both are being designed with a focus on resilience to changing weather patterns while addressing stability issues and building infrastructure for the long term.

The province has approved $538 million in funding for these projects. This includes $334.6 million for the Highway 97 at Cottonwood Hill project and $203.4 million for the Blackwater Road at Knickerbocker Road project.

Key Takeaways:

  • The extra funding aims to help get at least 100,000 workers free training.
  • The funding will prioritize programs that propose innovative training solutions to help people on social assistance and with prior criminal records.
  • It will target critical industries like healthcare, auto-manufacturing, information technology, hospitality and the skilled trades.
  • The announcement brings Ontario’s total investment in the Skills Development Fund Training Stream to over $860 million.

The Whole Story:

The Ontario government wants to make sure those with a criminal record can get a second chance at life with a career in the skilled trades. 

Officials announced plans to invest an additional $160 million in the Skills Development Fund (SDF) to tackle the labour shortage and help at least 100,000 workers get free training. The funding will prioritize programs that propose innovative training solutions to help people on social assistance and with prior criminal records find meaningful employment in critical industries like healthcare, auto-manufacturing, information technology, hospitality and the skilled trades.

“For too long, too many in our community have been forgotten and treated as second class in their own province. In the middle of a historic labour shortage, we need all hands on deck,” said Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, immigration, training and skills development. “That is why our government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure we give anyone who wants a job and a paycheque they can be proud of a shot at the Ontario dream. Whether you’ve been on social assistance for 10 months or 10 years, we’ll help you.”

The province noted that roughly 300,000 jobs in Ontario are going unfilled every day, which threatens to hurt the economy and stall the government’s infrastructure plans, including building at least 1.5 million homes by 2031. At the same time, more than 800,000 people in Ontario rely on social assistance when the majority are willing, able and eager to work. This includes hundreds of thousands of people with a criminal record and have not reoffended – almost half of whom are on social assistance even 15 years after release from prison.

In response, the fourth round of the Skills Development Fund Training Stream will support programs that help them find meaningful work and tackle the labour shortage.

The announcement was made in Dresden, where the government announced a $465,000 investment through a previous round of the Skills Development Fund Training Stream to prepare 24 young people for well-paying careers in construction and the skilled trades in Chatham-Kent. SkillShift will provide a free six-week introductory course that teaches participants essential skills for construction, such as blueprint reading, scissor lift certifications, as well as financial literacy and soft skills, with mentors, networking opportunities and $1,125 for equipment and transportation. Participants will also receive a paid two-week job placement with a local employer.

“Through this transformative $465,000 investment, the Government of Ontario is shaping brighter futures for 24 youth in Chatham-Kent while invigorating our local construction industry,” said Phillip Mock, executive director at Vision Us. “Vision Us is excited to be leading this investment in our community with our partners.”

Through its first three rounds, the Skills Development Fund has supported 596 projects in a variety of sectors, helping half a million people take the next step in their careers, including people with disabilities, auto workers, firefighters and construction workers.

“This $465,000 investment in our youth through the Skills Development Fund is a transformative step,” says Trevor Jones, MPP for Chatham-Kent-Leamington. “Empowering youth for rewarding careers in construction and skilled trades not only secures their future but also fuels the growth of Chatham-Kent-Leamington as a thriving community.”

The announcement brings Ontario’s total investment in the Skills Development Fund Training Stream to over $860 million.

If you are looking to build your all-star team, try posting your role on the job board or connect with our specialized recruitment experts to find industry-leading talent for your business.

And if you are seeking a job, check out the full list of available positions.

Jeannine Martin is the new Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) president. The group stated that with over twenty-five years of industry experience in private construction and engineering, and leadership on local industry boards, the British Columbia Construction Roundtable (BCCR) and the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – British Columbia (ACEC-BC), Martin understands the challenges and opportunities facing B.C.’s construction industry.

In her first 100 days with the association, Martin will focus on: 

  • Building connections with VRCA members, stakeholders, and staff
  • Operationalizing VRCA’s Strategic Plan
  • Working with the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) to advance Prompt Payment legislation and other topline issues including the shortage of skilled trades
  • Continuing to develop VRCA’s Reconciliation Action Plan

Maddison Sharples has joined the Fengate Asset Management team as director of marketing and communications for its infrastructure business. Previously, Sharples worked as senior manager of marketing and communications for ACCIONA North America.

Aubrey Tucker has announced his return to the architecture, engineering, construction, owner, operator (AECOO) industry with the launch of Tucker Technology Consulting. The firm will help clients deliver BIM projects, make Digital Twins, transform project delivery and find new digital strategies. 

Marcia Braundy has been presented with a Lifetime Achievement award by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum for her outstanding dedication to advancing women in the trades. The group stated that Braundy’s trailblazing efforts in advancing women in trades serve as a remarkable example of the power and impact of women. Braundy was one of the first women in B.C. to become a Red Seal carpenter despite facing severe harassment. Since then she’s spent decades researching, promoting and improving trades careers for women.

Marcia Braundy practices roof framing while attending school in the 1980s. – BCIT Archives

Darryl Conroy is the new president of Professional Excavators & Construction Inc. The company provides earthworks services, site services, concrete flatworks, and asphalt paving for civil and commercial projects within the City of Calgary and throughout the Province of Alberta. Conroy’s previous position was manager of underground construction at Standard General Calgary.

Marco Bolk has been promoted by Burns & McDonnell lead the engineering, architecture and construction firm’s Canadian Construction Group, with Bolk based in Calgary. The firm’s Canadian operations offers full-service engineering, construction and consulting solutions in a variety of sectors. Prior to coming to Burns & McDonnell, Bolk managed regional offices in both Ontario and Western Canada, focusing on turnkey engineer-procure-construct (EPC) solutions.

Daljit Thind, founder and CEO of Thind Properties, has been awarded the Order of British Columbia. It is the highest form of recognition the province can bestow upon a citizen. Thind came to Canada in the 1990s and worked laying tile. He was inspired to build homes for other immigrants and has now created more than $4 billion worth of developments. He has also donated millions to charity.  

“His impact on B.C. is seen in many ways: he transforms neglected areas into prosperous ones. He helps thousands of people build their own prosperity; and he focuses on building community instead of only erecting buildings.”

The Province of B.C. on Daljit Thind

Mohamed Adel has been promoted to digital construction director-buildings at Bird Construction. Adel called the position “a dream come true” as he has always been passionate about digital transformation and innovation in the construction industry. Adel joined Bird four years ago as a BIM manager for the Atlantic Region, and since then he has been working on a transformative program to implement true digital construction at the company.

Guido Wimmers has been appointed dean of the British Columbia Institute of Technology‘s School of Construction and the Environment. Prior to moving to Canada in 2007, Wimmers collaborated with multi-disciplinary teams across Austria, Germany, and Italy, focusing on energy-efficient and sustainable building projects. In B.C., he played an instrumental role in the implementation of the International Passive House Standards in the province and across Canada. Wimmers will take over the position from Wayne Hand, who is set to retire in September.

Wayne Hand (pictured) is retiring from his position as dean of the BCIT School of Construction and the Environment. – BCIT

Kirk Fisher has been appointed CEO of Lark Group of Companies. Lark noted that Fisher has been instrumental in shaping the company’s trajectory for decades. His journey began at the King George Mobile Home Park and continued as he played a pivotal role in establishing the Health and Technology District and the HealthTech Connex Inc. group of companies.

Walid Abou-Hamde has been named executive director of the Ontario Road Builders’ Association (ORBA). Abou-Hamde, who holds an Honours Bachelor of Applied Science in chemical engineering, has worked with the provincial government in the Infrastructure and Labour portfolios, as well as Skilled Trades Ontario.

“We are convinced that Walid will be able to leverage the strengths that he has achieved over the past seven years to benefit ORBA and Ontario Asphalt Pavement Council (OAPC) members. ORBA/OAPC priorities over the next several years will focus on contract and risk management, workforce development and sustainability.” 

Mario Villeneuve – ORBA President

The first steps have been taken on an ambitious journey to help all industries within  health and safety use cutting edge technology to evolve the audit process saving you time and money.

SALUS, a digital health and safety management platform created for the construction sector, is working with software companies and associations in Alberta as part of a new approach to build a more collaborative community to service all industries.

Rather than a typical quid pro quo approach to generate fast revenue or get access to new customer leads, SALUS’ goal is simple: make health and safety in construction and all industries better, together. 

They believe that if they can demonstrate their commitment to this goal, it could start a transformation that spreads across all industries and improve it for everybody. 

“We have an opportunity to be the catalyst for helping the health and safety industry to evolve to the next level.”

Gabe Guetta – SALUS Founder and CEO

“For us, the industry is what matters — pulling relationships together, creating networks, and creating efficiencies for your customers. If they are happy, we are happy and everybody wins,” said Gabe Guetta, SALUS CEO and founder. “Software companies breaking into the construction industry need to stop focusing on the money. They need to focus on the relationships and the bigger picture of how their products help change the industry.  Money comes in the end when those primary objectives have been accomplished.”

Guetta explained that some industries such as the construction industry can be incredibly fragmented. For a project, you often have a general contractor work with dozens of subcontractors. Many are using completely different software systems for health and safety that don’t integrate with each other. Some aren’t using software at all. 

“We want to start a process where we can bring things together. This could be the first step towards that,” said Guetta. “We want businesses to partner with us because it makes them better.

There is value that comes from the partnership. They grow better with us compared to going at it alone.” 

Partnering with AuditSoft

To kick this process off, SALUS’ team announced a partnership with AuditSoft, which was founded in Alberta. The company’s award-winning software enables best practice safety and compliance auditing at scale, and was launched to make Certificate of Recognition (COR) auditing more efficient and impactful.

AuditSoft’s solution suite drives standardization and inter-auditor consistency, then deconstructs audit scores to analyze the data comparatively.

“We want to aggregate that auditing data to see areas of improvement, drive training and awareness, and see how the industry is moving toward compliance,” explained AuditSoft founder Ben Snyman. “These insights enable data-driven decision-making at both Association and membership level and fuel continuous improvement.”

The collaboration will integrate SALUS with AuditSoft’s Open API, allowing users to access and embed critical safety documents, submitted forms, and worker certificates directly into their audit reports with a click of a button. This enhanced functionality alleviates the burden of manual data transfer and optimizes audit workflows.  

“We are all part of the ecosystem of data and don’t really need to compete. This adds value to all the stakeholders,” said Snyman. “We have a long term view. We believe in what SALUS is doing and believe over time the value will be reciprocal.”

Working with Certifying Partners 

But SALUS hasn’t stopped there. Their team is also working with the Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP), one of Alberta’s largest official certifiers for the COR program, to streamline access for members. AASP CEO Ray Gaetz explained that the association was an early AuditSoft adopter and he is excited to see it integrated into other software that can be made available to all members in all industries.

“If you don’t have a good management system with a good dashboard that can help you manage details at your fingertips, it’s like herding cats,” he said. “Any company that is growing their health and safety program wants to save time, money and ensure that they can follow up on things in a timely fashion. You can’t afford not to have it.”

The integration comes at an auspicious time for the province. Ray explained that the COR certifying partners and government officials have been holding meetings on how to harmonize efforts and improve health and safety for everyone. 

“We are now working towards the possibility of accepting other province’s COR certifications,” he said. “If we can do that across Canada that will be a huge win.” 

Part of this effort has been AASP’s input on AuditSoft and pushing to make it available to every certifying partner. But after spending two decades working in human resources and overseeing COR certifications, Gaetz is cautious about what he recommends for members. He believes that AuditSoft and SALUS can help the industry achieve its safety goals for years to come. 

“They knew who we were, how we operated, and shared the same values. And that is what I see in SALUS: a very customer service focused, cutting edge technology, and a quality product that they support,” he said. “They say they are in it for the long haul and that’s very important to us, having someone that won’t just disappear. Collaborating with companies like that is very important.”

Guetta explained that its collaborative approach in Alberta is just the beginning. SALUS plans to approach each major construction market in a bespoke way to try and bring its health and safety stakeholders together. 

One of the big challenges is getting direct competitors to work together. Guetta believes that over time SALUS can knock down those walls with their actions. 

“We have an opportunity to be the catalyst for helping the health and safety industry to evolve to the next level,” he said. “We can help power that change. And you have to look at that as the value, not the money. If you can help bring everyone together and create this community and bring change, that is powerful.”

There are still some weeks of summer left and we want you to make the most of it. Check out some upcoming events for construction professionals all across Canada.

ICBA Construction Innovation Summit / Oct. 30-31 / Vancouver, B.C.

The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association is hosting a massive, two-day event for construction leaders who want to push the industry forward. The Construction Innovation Summit will feature North American Industry thought leaders, executive leadership panels, and construction-specific leadership topics from field leadership to pre-construction. It includes more than 20 keynotes and panels, dozens of innovation exhibitors and tons of networking opportunities. One of our panel picks is “Rising to the Challenge – Building a Thriving Workforce in the Midst of the Labour Shortage”.

CCA Annual Conference / March 12-15 / Dominican Republic

The 2024 Canadian Construction Association (CCA) Annual Conference is taking place in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. In addition to many panels, speeches, awards and networking opportunities, the Group’s National Advisory Council (NAC) meetings and Annual General Meeting (AGM) will also take place at the same location.

VRCA Awards of Excellence Gala / Oct. 17 / Vancouver, B.C.

The Vancouver Regional Construction Association’s Awards of Excellence Gala is returning to the Vancouver Convention Centre West on Tuesday, October 17th, 2023. The event will recognize individual and company achievements in the local construction industry. It is one of the premier awards shows for B.C.’s construction sector.

OGCA AGM & Conference / Sept. 28 – Oct. 1 / Halifax, N.S.

Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) members will head to Halifax next month for the group’s Annual General Meeting & Conference. The conference aims to bring together professionals from various fields to exchange ideas, explore new trends, and foster collaboration. Organizers say attendees will have the opportunity to gain valuable insights, learn from industry leaders, and enhance their professional network. It will include a pub crawl, legal workshops and more.

Interdisciplinary Symposium on Smart & Sustainable Infrastructures (ISSSI)

Sept. 4-8 / Vancouver, B.C.

The primary objective of ISSSI 2023 is to create an environment of mutual cooperation between experts in materials and structures and provide a forum for active dialogue. The organizers believe that it is only through a multi-disciplinary approach that significant cross-fertilization of ideas can occur and innovative solutions to infrastructural inadequacies can be found. One special part of ISSSI 2023 is the presence of industry and government on a common platform with the academia. Topics include high carbon emissions from the construction industry, sensors, robotics and AI.

Toronto Mass Timber Conference / Sept. 7-8 / Toronto, Ont.

This two-day live event is all about exploring mass timber design and construction methods, learning about the latest mass timber developments, and networking with like-minded professionals and over 18 guest speakers. The conference, co-organized by Rothoblaas and the Brookfield Sustainability Institute (BSI), will feature presentations, discussions, and plenty of networking opportunities.

Tunnelling Association of Canada Conference / Sept. 24-26 / Toronto, Ont.

The theme for the association’s 2023 conference is “Smart Solutions, Future Growth”. Organizers say this theme be highlighted throughout the event through keynote speakers, plenary presentations, technical sessions, networking, and a trade exhibition to showcase tunnelling and trenchless technology throughout Canada and around the world.

Housing Supply Summit / Oct. 12 / Virtual

The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) plans to virtually hold its third Housing Supply Summit on Oct. 12. The theme of this year’s virtual conference is “Driving Solutions to the Crisis”. Topices include a residential market update, government taxes, development approvals, modernization and digitization, construction innovation and technology.

BC Construction Health & Safety Conference / Oct. 19-20 / Vancouver, B.C.

The BC Construction Safety Alliance has finalized the 2023 BC Construction Health & Safety Conference speaker roster. The conference will take place Oct. 19-20 at the Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel in Vancouver. Presented by the Offsite Construction Network, the Offsite Construction Expo will be live in Toronto, Ontario, in June to offer all attendees a focused presentation of the abilities of offsite construction across all markets.

ConEX The Builders Expo / Sept. 28 / Saskatoon, Sask.

ConEX is the first-ever Saskatchewan construction trade show and conference. It will feature more than 100 booths to showcase the newest and most innovative products and services. It also includes networking opportunities, and presentations from public and private sector owners about their upcoming projects.

BUILDEX Alberta / Oct. 18-19 / Calgary, Alta.

Join industry peers from Architecture, Interior Design, Construction, Engineering, Property Management and Homebuilding & Renovation professions at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre for two days of networking, learning and finding new solutions. BUILDEX Alberta is a major opportunity for architecture, design, construction, and property management professionals to do business-to-business networking.

Trades Expo / Oct. 18-19 / Surrey, B.C.

The largest interactive trades even in the B.C., Trades Expo is for anyone interested in the trades. Youth, Women, Men, newcomers, and career changers, Trades Expo aims to provide a path to a sustainable career.

The Canadian Steel Conference / Sept. 26-27 / Toronto, Ont.

Modelling the best practices of the steel construction industry, the Canadian Steel Conference offers the opportunity for all participants to meet, exchange, collaborate and network with industry leaders and stakeholders. This CISC Conference also offers a comprehensive program of multiple business development, educational, and networking activities.

BUILDEX Vancouver / Feb. 14-15 2024 / Vancouver, B.C.

Planning is well underway for BUILDEX Vancouver. Organizers are looking to finalize their speaker line up by the end of August. The even will explore the future of design, construction, architecture, engineering, homebuilding & renovation, and property management. The show will offer a comprehensive educational program with skills building seminars, workshops, panel discussions, and engaging keynotes to enable you to compete in today’s evolving market.

Beyond the BILD Conference / Sept. 14-17 / Banff, Alta.

This fall industry members will gather in one of the Alberta’s most picturesque locations to celebrate, network and learn at BILD Alberta’s annual conference event. The multi-day event will feature learning sessions, a trade show, a golf tournament and more. You can be a part of the event by becoming a sponsor or exhibiting in the trade show. But this is not an event to wait on. Hotel rooms at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel are currently sold out. A waiting list and instructions will be provided upon registration along with alternative hotel options.

The Canadian Leadership Institute / Oct. 2-5 / Kananaskis, Alta.

The Canadian Leadership Institute features three intensive days of simulations, instructional time, assessments, and one-on-one coaching. For more than 20 years, FMI Corporation has been presenting Leadership Institutes to the American construction market. Now that training is available in Alberta thanks to a partnership with the Edmonton Construction Association.

The Buildings Show / Nov. 29-Dec. 1 / Toronto, Ont.

For 35 years, The Buildings Show features seminars, informative panels and thought-provoking roundtables. This year’s show will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre Nov. 29 – Dec. 1. Last year’s show saw more than 13,000 visitors, 270 speakers and 478 exhibitors.

Road Builders Fall Business Conference / Sept. 17-18 / Kelowna, B.C.

Hit the road to mix and mingle with BC Road builders and Heavy Construction Association members at the association’s annual Fall Business Conference taking place Sept. 17-19 at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort in Kelowna, B.C.

Meet the GC / Sept 13. / Ottawa, Ont.

Meet the GC is a new event designed to support meaningful connections between the Ottawa Construction Association’s general contractor members and its trade contractors, manufacturer and suppliers, and Industry service providers. This event will be part of a series that focuses on networking and connections. Each general contractor will be invited to the stage to give a brief summary of their firm, current and upcoming projects, and expectations for business in the year ahead. This will be followed by a networking opportunities. These events will be hosted multiple times across the calendar year.

Manitoba Building Expo / Oct. 17 / Winnipeg, Man.

Officials are getting ready for the ninth annual Manitoba Building Conference & Expo – a full day event dedicated entirely to designing, building, and managing commercial and institutional buildings. This Expo combines a tradeshow/product expo, educational seminars and a keynote luncheon. The event is a joint effort of the Winnipeg Construction Association (WCA) and the Building Owners and Managers Association of Manitoba (BOMA).

*Editor’s Note: know of an event you think Canada’s builders should attend? Send an email to hello@readsitenews.com so we can add it to this list.

Key Takeaways:

  • A portion will go to single and lower tier municipalities that have not been assigned a housing target, including small, rural and northern communities. 
  • The fund will provide $400 million in new annual funding for three years to municipalities that are on target to meet provincial housing targets by 2031.
  • The province is also expanding strong mayor powers to municipalities projected to have populations of 50,000 or larger by 2031 that commit to meeting their provincial targets.

The Whole Story:

Municipalities that are hitting homebuilding targets are set to receive millions in Ontario. 

To encourage home construction, the Ontario government is launching the Building Faster Fund, a new three-year, $1.2 billion program that provides new funding to municipalities based on performance against provincial housing targets. 

To ensure more municipalities have the tools needed to build homes and to expand eligibility for the Building Faster Fund, the province is also expanding strong mayor powers to municipalities projected to have populations of 50,000 or larger by 2031 that commit to meeting their provincial targets.

“With these new measures, we’re supporting municipalities and giving them the tools they need to build more homes faster to tackle the affordability crisis that’s pricing too many people, especially young families and newcomers, out of the dream of home ownership,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We have two choices: We can sit back and ignore the crisis, or we can build more homes. Our government is choosing to build homes.”

The fund will provide $400 million in new annual funding for three years to municipalities that are on target to meet provincial housing targets by 2031. Municipalities that reach 80% of their annual target each year will become eligible for funding based on their share of the overall goal of 1.5 million homes. Municipalities that exceed their target will receive a bonus on top of their allocation.

Funding from the Building Faster Fund can be directed toward housing-enabling infrastructure and other related costs that support community growth. Eligible expenses will be determined following consultations between the province, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the City of Toronto and the Housing Supply Action Plan Implementation Team. 

A portion of the overall funding will also be allocated to single and lower tier municipalities that have not been assigned a housing target, including small, rural and northern communities, in order to address their unique needs, following municipal consultations.

Ontario is also expanding strong mayor powers to 21 more municipalities that are projected to have populations of 50,000 by 2031 and whose heads of council are committed to a provincially assigned housing target. The expansion of strong mayor powers will take effect on October 31, 2023. The expansion is in addition to the 28 municipalities that already have strong mayor powers, having committed to targets through municipal housing pledges. Once a housing pledge is received from the head of council, these municipalities will also become eligible for and will have access to the Building Faster Fund.

“There is an urgent need to get more homes built quickly across Ontario,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark. “By providing additional financial resources to our municipal partners as well as strong mayor powers to help speed up the approvals process, our government is acting decisively to tackle Ontario’s housing supply crisis and build the homes our residents need and deserve.”

Heidelberg Materials has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Green Drop Rock Products located in Cochrane, Alta. Green Drop Rock Products is an independent producer of aggregates with a high-capacity plant that is well positioned to supply the Calgary market.

Heidelberg stated that the acquisition of the Green Drop Rock Products business will further strengthen the company’s aggregates reserves in the Greater Calgary area and reinforce its integrated footprint in the market. They added that the assets of Green Drop Rock Products complement their existing operations in the area. 

The province of Alberta is also home to Heidelberg Materials’ Edmonton plant, where the cement industry’s first global full-scale carbon capture and storage facility is being built. The new facility is scheduled to be operational by late 2026 and will capture more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 annually. 

The transaction is expected to close in early September 2023. This acquisition reflects Heidelberg Materials’ strategic plan to optimise its portfolio in core markets and strengthen its existing businesses through bolt-on acquisitions.

Heidelberg Materials is one of the world’s largest integrated manufacturers of building materials and solutions with leading market positions in cement, aggregates, and ready-mixed concrete. They are represented in more than 50 countries with around 51,000 employees at almost 3,000 locations.

The federal government announced that $500 million in low-interest, repayable loans will help deliver more than 1,100 purpose-built rental homes in Vancouver. These loans were made possible by the Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFi).

“We must increase the supply of housing,” said Sean Fraser, minister of housing. “Doing so requires an all-hands-on-deck commitment from all levels of government. The federal government will continue to make strategic investments through programs like the RCFi and the Housing Accelerator Fund, while also working with our provincial and municipal partners so that all Canadians have a safe place that they are proud to call home.”

The loans were announced by Fraser at 5728 Gray Avenue, a project that will be providing residential housing to faculty, staff, and other campus community members of the University of British Columbia (UBC). There will be 150 residential homes within this six-storey building, offering a mix of studio, 1,2,3, and 4-bedroom units.

The project will also have easy access to public transit, car and bike share systems within the neighbourhood. In addition, a minimum of 10% of the project’s units will be prioritized for occupancy by the elderly, youths, students, individuals in need of assistance, or individuals whose eligibility is dependent on them being members of UBC’s faculty or staff.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ottawa has announced $74 million to support small modular reactor projects in Saskatchewan. 
  • Officials believe these reactors can play an important role in decarbonizing provincial electricity grids and heavy-emitting industries.
  •  SaskPower anticipates construction of its first SMR could begin as early as 2030, with a targeted in-service date of 2034. Additional facilities could begin construction as early as 2034.

The Whole Story:

The Government of Canada has approved up to $74 million in federal funding for small modular reactor (SMR) development in Saskatchewan, led by SaskPower.

The funding will support pre-engineering work and technical studies, environmental assessments, regulatory studies and community and Indigenous engagement to help advance projects. SaskPower has selected the GE-Hitachi BWRX-300 for potential deployment in Saskatchewan in the mid-2030s, subject to a decision to build that is expected in 2029.

Government officials noted that SMRs, a non-emitting form of energy, can play an important role in decarbonizing provincial electricity grids and heavy-emitting industries and can help remote communities reduce their reliance on costly and high-polluting diesel power. As an example, a 300-megawatt SMR can supply enough non-emitting power for an estimated 300,000 homes.

Officials noted that more than 75,000 Canadians are employed across the nuclear supply chain and have decades of experience in this area. They added that Canada’s nuclear industry is well positioned to leverage its science and technology innovation to continue to be among the leaders in the development and deployment of SMR technology.

Advancing new non-emitting electricity infrastructure projects is part of the government’s comprehensive approach to bringing clean, affordable and reliable power to every region of Canada, as outlined in Powering Canada Forward and in the draft Clean Electricity Regulations. The Government of Canada has committed over $40 billion in new federal measures to help provinces and has announced over $500 million to date in support of a variety of projects that are helping to build a clean, affordable and reliable grid in Saskatchewan specifically.

“Delivering clean, reliable and affordable electricity will look different in every region of Canada,” said Johnathan Wilkinson, minister of energy and natural resources. “That is why the Government of Canada is committing up to $74 million to explore the potential for small modular reactors in Saskatchewan to provide abundant non-emitting power, drive economic growth and create good jobs throughout Saskatchewan.” 

Up to $50 million for this project has been committed to SaskPower from NRCan’s Electricity Predevelopment Program — a $250-million program to support pre-development activities of clean electricity projects of national significance, such as inter-provincial electricity transmission projects and small modular reactors. The funding announced is conditional on the finalization of a Contribution Agreement between NRCan and SaskPower, which is currently underway.

Additionally, over $24 million for this project has been committed to the Government of Saskatchewan from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Future Electricity Fund. This program returns pollution pricing proceeds to support clean energy projects, energy-efficient technologies and other initiatives that will help Canada meet its climate goals and achieve a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050. The fund is intended to help spur innovation and encourage the adoption of cleaner technologies and fuels in Canada.

SaskPower anticipates construction of its first SMR could begin as early as 2030, with a targeted in-service date of 2034. Additional facilities could begin construction as early as 2034.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Construction has begun on the 280,000 square-meter site and will include a six-floor building that will house approximately 345 new jobs.
  • The plant is part of Ford’s strategy to localize key battery raw material processing in regions where it produces EVs.
  • SNC-Lavalin has been awarded an initial works contract for the facility worth $141 million.

The Whole Story

SK On, EcoProBM and Ford will invest $1.2 billion to build a cathode manufacturing facility in Quebec. The facility will provide materials that ultimately supply batteries for Ford’s future electric vehicles.

Once production begins in the first half of 2026, the site will have the capacity to produce up to 45,000 tonnes of cathode active material (CAM) per year.

This new facility – Ford’s first investment in the province – is part of the automaker’s plan to localize key battery raw material processing in regions where it produces EVs.

“Ford has been serving customers in Canada for 119 years, longer than any other automaker, and we’re excited to invest in this new facility to create a vertically integrated, closed-loop battery manufacturing supply chain in North America designed to help make electric vehicles more accessible for millions of people over time,” said Bev Goodman, president and CEO, Ford of Canada. “We’re excited for the opportunity for our first-ever investment in Québec with a new facility that will help shape the EV ecosystem there.”

SNC-Lavalin has been award the initial works contract for the facility worth approximately $141 million. It represents SNC-Lavalin’s first major mandate in the EV battery market in Canada.

EcoPro CAM Canada LP will manufacture cathode active materials and, more precisely, high quality Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NCM) for rechargeable batteries that are targeting greater performance levels and improved EV range compared to existing products, thanks in part to EcoPro’s core shell gradient (CSG) technology.

Construction has begun on the 280,000 square-meter site and will include a six-floor building that will house approximately 345 new jobs – from engineers and sales and service professionals to co-op positions for students from local universities and colleges in Québec. EcoPro CAM Canada LP also will pursue research and development activities aiming at increasing battery safety and performance as well as increasing productivity and minimizing the environmental footprint of its manufacturing process.

EcoProBM established EcoPro CAM Canada LP in February. SK On and Ford will become investors once the deal is closed; the joint venture is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals. EcoProBM will oversee the day-to-day operations of the facility.

The project team noted that support from both the federal and provincial governments was vital to securing the joint investment .

“This investment once again shows that Canada is the green strategic partner of choice for world leaders in the automobile industry,” said The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry. “Today, we are helping to further position Quebec as a key hub in the electric vehicle supply chain, as we continue to build our battery ecosystem. This investment is good for the environment and for the economy, and it will ensure well-paying jobs for years to come.”

Key Takeaways:

  • July saw a healthy number of actual housings starts from a historical perspective, said experts.
  • The housing starts trendline increased for the second consecutive month.
  • Toronto and Vancouver have been performing well this year compared to last.

The Whole Story:

Canada’s home builders may not yet be feeling the effect of the most recent interest rate hikes.

Bob Dugan, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) chief economist explained that the latest data on housing starts show historically positive activity, but these projects were not financed under current conditions. 

“Despite a decrease in the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of housing starts relative to last month, July saw a healthy number of actual housings starts from a historical perspective,” said Dugan. “This pushed the trend of housing starts upward for the second consecutive month. Market intelligence suggests multi-unit projects started in June and July were likely financed a few months prior, so, the effect of the most recent interest rate hikes on housing starts remains to be seen,”

According to CMHC, the housing starts trendline increased for the second consecutive month due to a healthy number of actual housing starts in July. The trend was 242,525 units, up 2.8% from 235,819 units in June, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly SAAR of total housing starts for all areas in Canada.

The standalone monthly SAAR of total housing starts for all areas in Canada decreased 10% in July (254,966 units) compared to June (283,498 units), which was the strongest month so far this year. Despite the monthly drop, total SAAR housing starts for all areas in Canada was 7.4% above the 5-year average.


The monthly SAAR of total urban starts (centres 10,000 population and over) decreased by 11%, with 234,857 units recorded in July. Multi-unit urban starts decreased 12% to 193,446 units, while single-detached urban starts decreased 4% to 41,411 units.

The Vancouver and Toronto CMAs saw decreases in total SAAR housing starts in July, with Vancouver down 23%, and Toronto down 29%. In contrast, the Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton CMAs recorded respective increases of 12%, 33%, and 67% in total SAAR housing starts.

CMHC noted that Toronto and Vancouver have been performing well this year compared to last. Actual 2023 year-to-date housing starts were 35% and 49% higher than the same period in 2022 in Toronto and Vancouver respectively.

Key Takeaways:

  • Carbon Engineering will be acquired by a subsidiary of international energy company Occidental.
  • Carbon Engineering’s research and development activities and Innovation Center will remain in Squamish, B.C.
  • Occidental’s subsidiaries are currently building the world’s largest direct air capture plant in Texas. It is expected to be commercially operational in mid-2025.

The Whole Story:

Squamish-based green technology company Carbon Engineering has been purchased for $1.48 billion. 

International energy company Occidental announced that a wholly owned subsidiary has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire all the outstanding equity of Carbon Engineering Ltd. for total cash consideration of approximately $1.48 billion.

The purchase will be made in three approximately equivalent annual payments, with the first at closing. This transaction is expected to close before the end of 2023, subject to Canadian court reviews, Canadian and U.S. regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Occidental has been working with Carbon Engineering on direct air capture (DAC) deployment since 2019. 

Acquiring Carbon Engineering aligns with Occidental’s integrated net-zero strategy and provides Occidental, through its 1PointFive subsidiary, the opportunity to rapidly advance DAC technology breakthroughs and accelerate deployment of DAC as a large-scale, cost effective, global carbon removal solution. Carbon Engineering’s DAC-based climate solutions utilize standardized processes and proven industrial equipment.

“We expect the acquisition of Carbon Engineering to deliver our shareholders value through an improved drive for technology innovation and accelerated DAC cost reductions,” said Occidental president and CEO Vicki Hollub. “The technology partnership also adds new revenue streams in the form of technology licensing and royalties. Importantly, the acquisition enables Occidental to catalyze broader development partnerships for DAC deployment in the most capital efficient and valuable way.” 

Upon closing, Carbon Engineering would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Oxy Low Carbon Ventures. Carbon Engineering’s personnel will continue to drive ongoing DAC technology development efforts and work closely with the Occidental and 1PointFive teams to bring DAC solutions to market. Carbon Engineering’s research and development activities and Innovation Center will remain in Squamish, B.C.

A rendering shows the design of Stratos, a direct air capture facility under construction in Texas. – 1PointFive

“We have always believed that global partnerships and cross-industry collaboration would be required to deploy DAC infrastructure at the scale required to make a climate-relevant impact. Carbon Engineering and Occidental have been working increasingly close together for the past five years to address the CO2 problem, making Occidental a trusted and committed partner for this next chapter in Carbon Engineering’s journey,” said Carbon Engineering CEO Daniel Friedmann. “At the core of this deeper relationship is the commitment to invest in the development of our technology here in Canada, and the global reach to accelerate implementation of DAC-based climate solutions in the U.S. and around the world.”

1PointFive is currently building Stratos, the world’s largest DAC plant, which is expected to be commercially operational in mid-2025, in Ector County, Texas. Occidental and Carbon Engineering are also adapting Stratos’ front-end engineering and design study for a DAC plant to be built at King Ranch in Kleberg County, which is part of the South Texas DAC Hub that was selected to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations.

When you’re hunting for a mortgage to buy a house, finding the best rates is as easy as checking out bank ads online. But for growing construction businesses seeking financing, understanding the ins and outs of rates and terms can feel like cracking a code.

“Most business owners aren’t finance experts,” explained former banker Brad Kiendl. “They’ve got a team for that, maybe a controller or CFO. However, dealing with financing often ends up on the back burner as they focus on more pressing needs within the company. Bank agreements are lengthy, confusing and don’t seemingly have a lot of wiggle room and thus clients simply end up taking the first deal presented to them.”

Inside Knowledge

Kiendl knows this better than most. He spent years at big banks, fighting to get the best deals for commercial clients. But he felt he could do more to guide them through the maze of commercial financing.

“Every business had a different deal,” he said. “Rates, fees, structures – they all varied. I saw how much a bank’s account manager could influence the final financing deal.”

Wanting to bridge this gap, Kiendl started Ashdown Capital. They help businesses get more working capital, buy equipment, start new projects, or invest in real estate.

“I wanted experts who truly get financing, who understand how different banks and lenders think,” said Kiendl. “With our inside knowledge, we uncover better pricing, more appropriate structures, and help navigate the unique risk factors that construction companies present. I wanted to show what’s possible.”

Six years later, Ashdown has a team of 27 people who mostly work with clients in British Columbia and are moving into Alberta. Why B.C.? It’s a hotspot for construction and development.

“Construction companies, developers, contractors – they all need financing and lots of working capital,” Kiendl noted.

But the construction world has its own challenges. Payments can drag, and even when they arrive, there are holdbacks. Banks get cautious when it comes to construction financing. “Construction is a roller coaster,” Kiendl said. “There are long gaps between spending and getting paid. Plus, builders’ liens take priority over bank financing, so banks can be wary. It’s tough.”

Navigating the Money Maze

Despite the hurdles, BC’s construction scene is booming.

“We see fantastic businesses growing like crazy, struggling to match their growth with enough working capital. It’s a real challenge,” said Kiendl.

Most construction companies fund their day-to-day with credit lines. Banks typically do something called “margining,” using their receivables and inventory to secure financing. But it looks back, not forward and often the banks just offer their standard formula.

“We see companies in a bind. They’re booming, tackling big projects, winning great business, but they’re not getting the financing they need,” said Kiendl. “The banks give them the financing they needed last month or quarter, not what they need to accomplish future work”

“Getting financing in construction is no cakewalk, no matter the size. Unless you’re swimming in cash, it can be tough to get and even tougher to know if you’re actually getting a good deal.”

Brad Kiendl – Principal, Ashdown Capital

The real pinch is felt by small-to-medium-sized businesses aiming to expand, looking for loans from $50,000 to a million.

“Getting financing for this space is tough. Most banks treat it like a personal loan,” Kiendl explained. “Walk into a bank with a growing business, doing millions in sales, with new projects in the pipeline. If you ask for a credit line, they’ll often want your house as security.”

Lately, Ashdown has been turning this around, getting true financing packages. Kiendl tells of a recent construction client doing $3 million in sales, offered a $42,000 credit line by a bank. Ashdown was able to secure them $500,000 by taking them to the right bank and then showing the bank the full picture and how the deal could be structured in a way that works for everyone.

Larger clients aren’t exempt from banking challenges, and Ashdown also works with companies with revenues over $100 Million and everything in between.

“Getting financing in construction is no cakewalk, no matter the size. Unless you’re swimming in cash, it can be tough to get and even tougher to know if you’re actually getting a good deal. Often larger businesses are overlooked by the banks and sometimes taken for granted.” Kiendl acknowledged. “For the big players, we help by negotiating better structures and ensuring they have forward looking capital that is priced and structured to their benefit.”

Trends and Challenges in Financing

Beyond the complexities, financing in construction is wrestling with other big issues, from rising inflation to labor shortages. But the standout challenge is interest rates.

“Banks are pickier now due to higher rates,” Kiendl noted. “We’re seeing more projects, from land loans to full-on construction, going the alternative financing route. That drives up costs, and those get passed on to developers and ultimately the end consumer.”

This has led to projects stalling as teams wait for better conditions.

Consolidation is another theme. As construction companies grow, they’re snapping up rivals or similar businesses. But this presents a puzzle, as these deals often lack sufficient assets to back the loans.

“Imagine a client buying a $10 million business, but their assets – equipment, receivables, inventory – are only worth a few million. The bulk of the loan is unsecured,” clarified Kiendl. “It’s a head-scratcher for banks. But it’s a road we’re travelling a lot lately, helping to get the banks comfortable with cash flow lending for acquisitions.

He added that nobody wants financing to become the deal-breaker – but, it’s always been the trickiest part in the acquisition space. It’s the area where Ashdown can help companies the most.

While acquisitions come with their own set of challenges, Kiendl and his team find satisfaction in aiding in acquisitions and management buyouts, where senior leaders and employees buy out owners.

“They’re some of the best stories,” Kiendl enthused. “These businesses often thrive after and it’s a win-win for all parties. Financing them can be tough, but we relish the challenge.”

In the complex world of construction financing, Kiendl’s advice boils down to this: Don’t wait for trouble to start seeking financing.

“If times are good and you don’t need money, that’s when you should secure financing. That’s when you’ll secure a credit line and the most favourable terms,” he advised. “There might be a small setup or monitoring fee, but think of it as insurance. When things get tough, and your results aren’t trending in the right direction, it’s much harder, or even impossible, to secure financing at that point.”

If your construction company is on the growth path, explore the financing options Ashdown Capital offers today. They’re your partner in navigating the financial landscape of construction.

Key Takeaways:

  • Rogers Sugar plans to embark on a $200M expansion of its Montreal plant. 
  • This will increase its capacity by roughly 20%
  • Work includes adding new equipment, building a new bulk rail loading section, and expanding logistics and storage capacity. 

The Whole Story:

Quebec is about to get a lot sweeter. 

Rogers Sugar announced it will increase the production capacity of its Montreal plant by approximately 20%, or 100,000 metric tonnes. The total investment for this project is estimated at approximately $200 million, and includes investments in sugar refining technology and equipment, as well as logistical infrastructure at Lantic’s Montreal sugar refinery and in the Greater Toronto Area to serve the Ontario market. 

The Montreal component will take advantage of available space in the existing refinery buildings and site, allowing production to continue with minimal disruption. By using existing facilities, Rogers aims to minimize construction impacts to the surrounding community.

“This project is good for our customers, our shareholders and our communities, as we add

production to serve rising demand, invest in Canadian manufacturing and create jobs,” said Mike Walton, resident and CEO of Rogers Sugar and Lantic. “Our sugar volumes are steadily increasing, and these investments will enable us to serve future demand growth, support the domestic food-processing industry and improve efficiency within our operations.”

The project is made up of three key components:

  • Expansion of refining capacity with the addition of new sugar refining equipment at the Montreal plant.
  • Construction of a new bulk rail loading section in Montreal to serve increased shipments to the Ontario market.
  • Expansion of logistics and storage capacity in the GTA.

The company noted that the demand for industrial high-quality, reliable bulk sugar has steadily increased over the last few years, especially in Eastern Canada where the food-processing industry is expanding. 

The growth in demand is directly associated with an increase in the production of sugar containing products in the food manufacturing sector. Rogers stated that investment will support such growth and further position the company to serve those food-processing customers and to benefit from additional long-term demand for bulk sugar.

Over the last few years, the demand for Canada’s refined sugar has steadily increased in Eastern Canada to meet growing production of sugar-containing food products for Canadian and export markets. The company currently meets the increasing demand of the industrial market by transporting bulk sugar produced at its Vancouver plant to its eastern-based customers. By expanding refining capacity closer to its customer base, Rogers says it will reduce freight costs, drive improved margins, and leave more Western Canadian capacity available for alternative sales opportunities, including export outside of Canada.

The company expects the incremental production and logistic capacity to be in service in approximately two years. The financing plan will include funding from debt and equity or equity like instruments sources. The project is expected to receive support from the Quebec Government in the form of loans from Investissement Quebec to the Company’s operating subsidiary, Lantic, for up to $65 million.

Key Takeaways:

  • The project was made possible by a combined effort from stakeholders to raise $97M in funding.
  • It will be a mixed-use development across two concrete towers. 
  • Construction on Ho’-kee-melh Kloshe Lum is expected to be complete in late 2025.

The Whole Story:

Construction is underway on an Indigenous-led and focused development in Vancouver that will bring nearly 170 mixed-use homes and 80 shelter beds to the Downtown Eastside.

Government and industry stakeholders announced a combined investment of more than $97 million to fund the 248 new spaces.

“This expansive new development will provide a variety of housing options that will help meet the diverse needs of the Downtown Eastside community,” said Ravi Kahlon, minister of housing. “I look forward to seeing the lasting positive impacts I know these homes will have for so many residents, including families and elders. Our government will continue to work to build projects like this to provide new opportunities, security and peace of mind for British Columbians.”

Located at 1015 East Hastings St., the building is named Ho’-kee-melh Kloshe Lum, which means “to gather, good spirits.” It will be a mixed-use development across two concrete towers and will include 143 low- to moderate-income rentals, 25 supportive housing units and 80 shelter beds. All the homes and shelter spaces will be operated by VAFCS.

Officials announce that they have secured funding for a Downtown Eastside housing project. – Province of B.C.

The development will prioritize Indigenous residents and will incorporate design elements to foster culture and community. This will include larger family-oriented homes, gathering and ceremonial areas, and space allotted for Indigenous artwork and installations.

Two social enterprise spaces are being planned and will feature a café and Klatawa Bike Shop, both of which will be operated by the VAFCS. The project will also include courtyard access, a rooftop multi-purpose room with a shared kitchen and landscaped area, and a multi-level day centre with a range of services available, such as lounge areas, a library, an art studio and counselling spaces.

The project is a result of a partnership between the province, through BC Housing, the federal government, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Indigenous Services Canada, the city of Vancouver, the Aboriginal Housing Management Association, and VAFCS. Development support has also been provided by Western Canadian Properties Group and M’akola Development Services.

“I would like to thank our many project partners, including the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, the City of Vancouver and the federal government for coming together on such a diverse new building,” said Joan Phillip, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. “I look forward to seeing the doors open on these new homes so Indigenous families, elders and individuals can stay close to their community where their families and friends surround them.”

Construction on Ho’-kee-melh Kloshe Lum is expected to be complete in late 2025.