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MHCA engaging with Springfield on zoning bylaw changes

The MHCA is reviewing changes to the RM of Springfield zoning bylaw and intends to participate in the municipality’s virtual ‘open house’ on it and two draft secondary plans in May.

“The industry is very engaged and interested in the zoning bylaw updates and changes, as they can influence the development of aggregate operations,” MHCA President Chris Lorenc told the association’s Executive Committee at its meeting April 28. The MHCA has been reviewing Springfield’s proposed aggregate bylaw as well, Lorenc noted.

“We’re there to show that we are a willing partner in the need for clear and workable rules around development,” he said. “Pit and quarry operations are good neighbours within the communities where they are located, operating within provincial regulations and municipal rules.”

The Executive Committee also chose members to sit on a City of Winnipeg working group to help establish principles and objectives for a proposed social procurement policy, and on a panel appointed by the provincial government for review of the Construction Industry Wages Act.

Lorenc told the committee the MHCA continues to work with Manitoba Infrastructure on the move toward release of an annual and five-year highways capital program, an annual review by MI and industry of the program, as well as discussing program balance to ensure the various elements of the industry are active and bidding on project tenders.

MHCA also announced this week it has appointed Jackie Jones to take on an expanded role relating to industry workforce diversification. Jones, to now MHCA’s Education and Training Advisor, takes on the new title of Education and Diversity Programs Advisor.

“This formalizes Jackie’s responsibilities and also places greater priority on the numerous programs and initiatives our industry has worked on for a number of years to draw in more individuals from under-represented groups in the community,” Lorenc explained. See story here.

Don Hurst, Director of MHCA WORKSAFELY™ Education and Training, noted the recent Introduction to Heavy Construction course the association presented with River East Transcona School Division and the Manitoba Construction Sector Council saw 10 young women complete the program. These individuals are now looking for work in the industry, Hurst said.

Further, WORKSAFELY™ is preparing a high-school credit course with Seven Oaks School Division for heavy construction introduction. The Manitoba Metis Federation is interested in similar training, Hurst added.

Other items discussed at the Committee meeting included:

  • MHCA continues to discuss with provincial offices progress on the approval of projects under the federal Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan; a list of projects has been submitted to Ottawa and some remain under negotiation between the City of Winnipeg and the province
  • The province announced on April 20 the 2021 intake for applications under the Quarry Rehabilitation Program; the program makes available this year some $5.8 million for pit and quarry rehabilitation projects
  • MHCA and the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region are to meet with senior provincial department officials to discuss a broad recycling policy framework for municipalities that would include the recycling of construction, renovation and demolition waste
  • WORKSAFELY™ is continuing to work with the utilities to address wait times for locates