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Friday, August 21, 2020

AT CITY COUNCIL ON MONDAY, AUGUST 24

City Council will be making a number of decisions that will be of interest to our membership.  There are:

EXHIBITION PARK REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT

On Monday, August 25, City Council will vote on Exhibition Park's ask,
which includes and $25 M grant to leverage the province's $27.8 million into the redevelopment and expansion at Exhibition Park.

Exhibition Park's Presentation to Council August 10 - Lethbridge & District Exhibition: Agri-Food Hub (Trade Centre) and full plan Exolution 
 

COMMENTARY: BILD Lethbridge Region has been a long time supporter of the redevelopment project at Exhibition Park. We recognize the importance this organization and facility plays in the economic and cultural health of our community. Further, BILD Lethbridge and Exhibition Park have been partners in the Home & Garden Show for many years. This show benefits our association financially but also the many BILD Lethbridge businesses that rely on it for sales and leads, but this project goes beyond the Home & Garden show. 
 
Highly strategic investments in infrastructure spending that stimulates the economy will be key to our recovery. Investing $25 million knowing that the redevelopment project drives the local economy, meets a long standing need with agricultural, business and community stakeholders, does not require tax supported operational funding, supports significant employment through recovery and beyond, provides the opportunity to leverage the provincial investment of $27.8 million, and with construction being possible right away – we believe now is the time for the City to invest in this project.
 * Call To Action *
Voice your support for Exhibition Park Redevelopment Project by August 23, 2020

Please email, using the buttons below, or call City Council (403-329-7327) and let them know you support their decision to invest in Exhibition Park redevelopment.
Email City Councillors
Email Mayor Spearman

TEMPORARY MANDATORY FACE COVERINGS
City Council will vote on third reading of bylaw 6239 - Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings. 

What the bylaw does:
a) You must wear a mask indoors in public.
b) You must get your child to wear a mask indoors in public.
c) You must wear a mask in all public vehicles which include transit, taxis, Uber, and school buses.
d) Require businesses to post signs;
e) Section 6 and 7 contain a broad list of exemptions.
f) Imposes a $100 fine for a violation.

What the bylaw does not:
a) Require masks in the following places: a. schools and other educational facilities;
  • b) hospitals and health care facilities;
  • c) child care facilities; and
  • d) areas exclusively accessed or used by the public place’s employees or a public vehicle operate provided that physical barriers or physical distancing practices are implemented between any person not required to wear a face covering by operation of this exception and any other person
b) Apply to the Airport as that is located outside of our legal jurisdiction and within Lethbridge County.
FIND MORE ON CITY COUNCIL'S MONDAY AGENDA HERE  AND WATCH THE PROCEEDINGS LIVE STARTING AT 1:30 pm HERE

Thank you!

AVID Ratings Webinar Homebuying Trends -  (August 18)

 

 

Thank you to Avid Ratings - Zach Buehl, Vice President of Customer Success, and Jake Scherrer Senior Director of Builder, Regional Sales, for a informative presentation on Homebuying Trends. Although the presentation is on the american market the information is applicable here. The presentation was full of valuable data on consumer behaviour and what a buyer is looking for in new construction. 

Missed the presentation? Not to worry. Here  it is...
 
Homebuying Trends (Full Presentation)

Canada Revenue Agency opens applications for enhanced Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy – Government of Canada

To ensure that Canadian workers and businesses are in a better position as our economy safely re-opens, the Government has recently implemented changes to the CEWS that broaden the reach of the program and provide more targeted support. [Yesterday], the Minister of National Revenue announced that the CRA has opened applications for Period 5 – the first period of the enhanced CEWS program. Program changes for Periods 5-9 include: …extension of the CEWS, including redesigned program details, until November 21, 2020…, increased eligibility, meaning that all eligible employers who've experienced a revenue drop can now qualify for a base subsidy… [and] employers who are especially hard-hit can qualify for a top-up of up to 25%. As the economy re-opens, the Government of Canada is encouraging employers to take another look at the CEWS program and see how it can support their workers and their operations. Read More...


COMMENTARY: The wage subsidy has been an important tool for businesses within the residential construction sector who have been able to qualify for it.  BILD welcomes the extension of the wage subsidy through the fall and expects that the new changes, including the elimination of the revenue decline threshold, will allow more (though not all) members to access the subsidy. Eligible employers can apply for period 5 of the CEWS through My Business Account or through the CRA's web form application.
 

TIP SHEETS - Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety


Each document offers health and safety tips and good practices, for both employers and workers, specific to each industry or sector. Organizations and businesses can adopt this guidance to protect their workers and prevent the spread of infections. The tip sheets cover a range of occupations and industries from construction and trucking to healthcare and daycares.

Feds unveil $37B CERB transition plan, setting up new sickness and care benefits - CTV News

The federal government is extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) into September, before transitioning the millions of people who are still claiming CERB onto a revamped Employment Insurance program starting Sept. 27. The new plan released Thursday details how most people will be transitioned onto EI, though three new temporary benefits are also being established, including a form of paid sick leave. In total, these new financial assistance plans are budgeted to cost at least $37 billion over the next year. Read More...

Commentary: CHBA will examine the proposals in more detail, particularly the proposed Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, which would offer $500 per week for two weeks for COVID-19 recovery/isolation. Residential construction is being increasingly affected by supply shortages, driven partly by production inefficiencies that are a result of a lack of available labour. It is important to help more Canadians return safely to work, and to have supply chains become more robust to support the activity returning to the sector.

COVID-19 Stokes Canadian Homebuying Intentions: MPC Report

The global pandemic may have brought the Canadian real estate sector to a near standstill this spring, but over the longer term it appears to have stoked homebuying intentions. Fourteen percent of current renters say they plan to purchase a home within the next 12 months, up from 7% reported in late 2019, according to new survey results released by Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC). The percentage of renters who say they would never purchase a house has also fallen by more than half, from 32% at year-end 2019 to 14% post-COVID.  Among current homeowners, the results show 9% plan to buy within the next year, which is also up from 7% at year-end 2019.  Study author Will Dunning, Chief Economist at MPC, admitted to being surprised by the results showing increased homebuying expectations for the near future READ MORE...

Full Report - Rapidly Evolving Expectations in the Housing Market August 2020, prepared by Will Dunning Chief Economist
 
Home project boom causing lumber shortages across Alberta – Global News

The COVID-19 pandemic seems to be the perfect time to knock off home renovations with more people staying at home… …[A] spike in demand and decreased lumber production in parts of Canada has suppliers feeling the crunch. “The prices are crazy — softwood lumber is the highest its ever been in history and it’s starting to reflect in treated (lumber).” With more Albertans staying at home to tackle home renovations and backyard projects, cedar, composite and treated lumber are flying off the shelves. The Alberta Forest Products Association says Alberta mills have actually done a very good job of weathering the storm of the pandemic… Executive Director Jason Krips said. “All of Alberta production is really strong on the lumber front and because of the demand both on the rental side as well as housing starts in the United States are actually still fairly strong. As a result, we are seeing those near record highs, which is actually really good news for the 40,000 Albertans that work in the forest sector.” READ MORE...

Commentary: This spike in renovation activity, compounded by strong and sustained home building activity  in other parts of the country, has created a growing concern that material shortages and rising input prices, such as lumber exacerbate, will damage housing affordability and affect economic recovery buy raising building costs. BILD Lethbridge met with Nathan Neudorf, MLA Lethbridge East, to flag this concern at the provincial government level. CHBA is reaching out to the federal ministers responsible for trade and industry to discuss this issue and possible solutions. In most cases, it is anticipated that production and inventory levels should normalize to a some degree over the medium term, but in the meantime, this is indeed a serious concern.

The success of our association and our industry is directly linked to the commitment and dedication of our members. Member participation is the backbone of the association's work, which helps BILD Lethbridge Region remain a vital and relevant voice of the industry. In return, the benefits to committee members are valuable and varied. 

Did You Know BILD... Lethbridge Region, in addition to the Board of Directors, has 8 active committees? There are:
  • Builder Council
  • Developer Council
  • Awards
  • Safety
  • Training & Education 
  • Technical Standards
  • Membership & Marketing
  • Government Relations
Committee Times and Mandates

If you are interested in joining a committee, please email bridget@bildlethbridge.ca for more information.
COVID-19 Resource List
 
The BILD Lethbridge website has a dedicated page that contains links to the provincial, federal and municipal programs and updates for your easy reference. You can find it HERE .
 
Other helpful main links:
 
City of Lethbridge Permit Report
Alberta Economy - Indicators at a Glance (August 14)
CMHC Housing Market Information Portal
CREA Housing Market Statistics National Price Map

QUESTIONS? CONCERNS? COMMENTS?
bridget@bildlethbridge.ca 
We are always here to assist you

BUILDING INDUSTRY & LAND DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION
14, 495 WT Hill Blvd South | Lethbridge AB |  T1J 1Y6
P: 403-328-2288  |
www.bildlethbridge.ca

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BILD Lethbridge · #14 - 495 W.T Hill Blvd. S · Lethbridge, AB T1J 1Y6 · Canada

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