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Toronto, December 12, 2017 – The combination of a growing economy and a dearth of skilled workers has created a labour shortage of approximately 361,700 jobs—the highest number of unfilled private sector jobs ever recorded in Canada—according to the Q3 2017 Help Wanted report, released today by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). 

The corresponding vacancy rate—the proportion of unfilled jobs relative to all jobs available in the private sector—jumped up to 2.8 per cent, its highest point since before the 2008 recession.

“Labour shortages are again becoming a major hindrance to businesses across the country, especially small firms,” said Ted Mallett, Chief Economist at CFIB. “We need government to take action, to find solutions for chronic shortages that inhibit a small business’ ability to take on new contracts, expand and innovate.”

Regional vacancy rates

Businesses in Canada’s three most populous provinces have the most difficult time finding suitable employees. British Columbia has the highest vacancy rate (3.4 per cent) followed by Quebec (3.1 per cent) and Ontario (3.0 per cent). All three provinces experienced rising vacancy rates in Q3 2017, as did Alberta and Saskatchewan.

  Vacancy rate Unfilled jobs
British Columbia 3.4% 60,000
Quebec 3.1% 85,000
Ontario 3.0% 149,600
New Brunswick 2.5% 5,700
Saskatchewan 2.4% 8,200
Alberta 2.2% 33,900
Manitoba 2.1% 9,400
Nova Scotia 2.1% 6,100
Newfoundland and Labrador 1.9% 2,800
Prince Edward Island 1.9% 900

Industry groupings

Among broad industry groupings, eight of 12 sectors experienced rising vacancy rates in Q3. In terms of unfilled positions, the retail (50,000 jobs), hospitality (45,900 jobs) and construction (38,000 jobs) industries are experiencing the biggest labour shortages. 

For detailed tables on vacancy rates by province and by industry see the Q3 2017 job vacancy report.


PLAINFIELD,IL, DECEMBER 8, 2017 -- Punch lists are a part of a construction contract that helps to meet and ensure the quality of the project. Throughout each phase of the construction process, a checklist is maintained by the contractor that details any unfinished and/or unacceptable work. Items that are found to not meet quality standards or do not conform to the scope as outlined in the contract documents are to be corrected by the contractor in a timely fashion and typically prior to receiving final payment on the project.

A common practice in the construction industry is that contracts are written in such a way that allows ownership to withhold retainage from the contractor until the punch list items are completed to meet the contract specifications or that some other mutually agreed upon resolution is attained.

Depending on the size of a renovation project, the punch process may consist of two phases, “substantial completion” and “final completion”. The substantial completion process allows the usage of the renovated space by the owner, but at the same time outlines any issues or items remaining to be completed. While during the final completion process, all outstanding issues or items have been remedied.

What is the contractor’s responsibility? 
Even before a punch list has been developed, the contractor should be providing daily reports to update ownership and the project team on any discoveries as well as the progression of the project. These daily reports provide ownership with a good understanding of what work has taken place as well as what work is left to be completed.

As a representative of the owner, the contractor must possess considerable knowledge of the project, be detail oriented, walking through and taking notes during each phase of the project. Once this list is developed, it is important that the contractor along with tradesmen walk through with ownership and any other owner representative including the architect and/or designer, pointing out the deficiencies and developing strategies for correcting any unsatisfactory or unfinished work.

What is ownership’s responsibility? 
So that ownership is prepared for the walk through, it’s critical that daily reports are studied in order to have a good understanding of the work that has been completed as well as what’s remaining to be done. Visiting the job site prior to the walk through also helps prepare the owners to ask good questions and communicate to the contractor any remaining expectations.

As this is a very important aspect of the construction process, ownership should always take the time to attend the walk through to ensure project specifications and expectations are met. Ownership should not be reluctant to participate and/or sign off on this process. Signing off doesn’t mean that if ownership finds a problem relating to workmanship down the road that the contractor is relieved of any responsibility in amending these issues. Sign off simply signals that the project area is ready for use and moves any potential future issues to the warranty phase. 

Understanding the Architect/Designer Roles of the Punch Process 
The role of the architect and/or designer during the punch process is to assure that the construction performed meets with the specified drawings.

In some projects, certain design elements may have to be foregone, at times due to the request of ownership or in other instances due to possible unattainable engineering elements. In these situations both the architect and designer need to come to terms and sign off on any of these changes.

The punch process is a critical part of any construction project. This process is considered the final task as it lays the path to completing a successful project. Providing timely input by the entire project team is crucial. It’s at this juncture that the contractor along with key members of the project’s team including ownership, architect/designer, subcontractors and tradesmen are able to address and correct those items on the punch list that serve to ensure project specifications are met and that the project is delivered on time and on budget.


ROSEMONT, IL, DECEMBER 5, 2017 -- Even in warmer climates, tile, stone, marble and laminate floors can feel uncomfortably cold. Emerson EasyHeat Warm Tiles™ floor warming products remove the chill with a gentle, continuous warmth.

Emerson EasyHeat Warm Tiles electric floor warming cables and prefabricated warming mats have been keeping ceramic, stone and engineered wood flooring comfortable for over 40 years. These low-profile systems can be easily installed over plywood, concrete or cement backerboard subflooring, plus can be embedded in thinset or self-leveling underlayment, making the systems ideal for both new construction and remodeling projects. Whether installed in a basement, bathroom or any other room in a home, Warm Tiles provide unlimited design configurations for even the most difficult shaped room. 

Best of all, Warm Tiles comfort costs less than a penny per square foot per day and operates on ordinary electric current. Once it's up and running, a Warm Tiles system can achieve up to 30 percent more efficiency than forced-air heating, depending on how well insulated a house is. And there's no comparison when it comes to comfort. 

The first signs of Fall should serve as a reminder that time is running out to prepare for the plummeting temperatures and icy conditions that lie ahead. To learn more, visit


COLUMBIA STATION, Ohio (December 5, 2017) — Measurement Canada has officially approved Superior Energy Systems’ line of propane autogas dispensers for retail sale throughout Canada. The certification verifies that the company’s dispensers are legal for trade and custody transfer in commercial and retail applications. Superior Energy Systems becomes the second company worldwide, and first U.S.-based company, to earn Measurement Canada approval on propane autogas dispensers.

Measurement Canada is an agency similar to the United States Weights and Measures Division. It is responsible for ensuring accuracy in the selling of measured goods; developing and enforcing the laws related to measurement accuracy; approving and inspecting measuring devices; and investigating complaints of suspected inaccurate measurement in Canada.

“Our engineering and product development team continues to go above and beyond to ensure that our autogas dispenser line achieves the highest certification standards in North America,” said Don Fernald, President and CEO of Superior Energy Systems. "The Canadian propane autogas market is substantial and this approval signifies our commitment to that customer base.”

In addition, Superior Energy Systems’ retail dispenser line, including the PRO-Vend 1000; the web-based, customizable PRO-Vend 2000; and the PRO-Vend dual hose units are National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) certified by the National Conference of Weights and Measures. They are also certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) to Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 495 requirements. The units also comply with all applicable National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.

Rigorous performance testing of these propane autogas dispensers was conducted over the last six months and approval was issued by Measurement Canada on November 14, 2017.


CALGARY, AB (November 30, 2017) - The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) applauds events held in Vancouver by Resource Works on November 29th and the Vancouver Board of Trade on November 30th raising awareness of Canada’s natural resources industry in terms of its innovation and technology, environmental performance and the benefits to all Canadians.

Resource Works held its event ‘Naturally Resourceful, Accessing Global Value Chains in the Natural Resource Economy’ to bring attention to the fact that high tech and oil and gas development are not mutually exclusive.  Said Stewart Muir of Resource Works, “Relentless innovation is the hallmark of the Canadian oil and gas industry, and PSAC members are central players in this story. Telling others about the high-tech journey is a way to build support for the responsible further development of the industry.”

The Vancouver Board of Trade event ‘Access, Partnerships and Responsible Energy Development: Navigating the Way Forward’ began the morning with keynote NRCan Minister James Carr who in speaking about the government’s climate change policies and approval of the TransMountain pipeline, made the federal government’s view clear, that the need to get Canada’s oil and natural gas to tidewater is in the national interest.  Minister Carr highlighted the lengthy and robust process through which this decision was made, saying “[this] is why we took the time to get this decision right, based on the best science and the widest possible consultation.”

Luncheon keynote, Premier Rachel Notley, continuing on her cross-country speaking tour, received a standing ovation following her remarks highlighting the hundreds of thousands of jobs across not only Alberta, but also BC and the whole of Canada that are based on the oil and natural gas industry, the revenues that are generated for governments across the country directly and through transfer payments that help fund schools and hospitals and the continued innovation and technology that will lead us to a low-carbon future.  “Alberta cannot fund the transition to a greener, lower carbon future if our economy is held hostage by our geography,” said Notley.

With Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline nine months behind schedule delaying much needed jobs and economic opportunities for Indigenous peoples, as well as creating uncertainty that is undermining investment in Canada, Mark Salkeld, PSAC President said “PSAC appreciates the efforts that the Governments of Canada and Alberta are making to help Canadians understand the immense benefits that the oil and natural gas industry bring to all Canadians.”

PSAC has been advocating for a Canadian brand for energy that includes oil and gas, illustrating Canadian jobs across the country in the energy supply chain, Canada’s world leading regulatory regime, success in protecting the environment, improving efficiency and investments to reduce our GHG emissions through innovation and technology development. Canadians can be proud of their energy industry and support access to tide water for exports in order to maximize the social and economic benefits of our vast natural resources for all Canadians.  There are 640,000 well-paying jobs across Canada from coast-to-coast in the service, supply and manufacturing sectors including in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.               

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) is the national trade association representing the service, supply and manufacturing sectors of the upstream oil and gas industry.  As the voice of the sector, PSAC advocates for its members to enable the continued innovation, technological advancement and in-the-field expertise provided to Canada’s energy explorers and producers (E&Ps) helping to increase efficiency, improve safety and protect the environment.


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