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2023 conference “it’s a wrap!” recap
     – WCRHCA Stronger Together

Lindsey Hoemsen photo

The WCR&HCA Board of Directors held a series of meetings Friday, Feb. 10, to review the conference and take care of important Board business.

First up – congrats and welcome to the new Board members

  • Joe Kabarchuk, ARHCA
  • Jonathan Hamilton, ARHCA
  • Nicole Chabot, MHCA
  • Dennis Cruise, MHCA

And our new officers for 2023-2025 are

  • Chair, Carmen Duncan, Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association
  • Vice-Chair, Joe Kabarchuk, Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association
  • Sec-Treasurer, Dennis Cruise, Manitoba Heavy Construction Association

To see your full WCR&HCA Board click here.

And a huge thank you to retiring board members

  • Greg Orbanski, now immediate Past Chair of WCR&HCA, (MHCA)
  • Jack Meseyton, now past Sec-Treasurer of WCR&HCA, (MHCA)
  • Gary Zeitner, now former Board member of WCR&HCA, (ARHCA)
  • Andrew Arnill, now former Board member of the WCR&HCA (ARHCA)

Advocacy priorities

The advocacy priorities – pressing for a National Plan for Trade Corridor Infrastructure (NPTCI); engaging at the federal level; and, to learn from the WCR&HCA Stronger Together Conference 2023 – were all discussed and approved, for the ‘way forward’ in 2023.

The Trade panel discussion moderated by Chris Lorenc, President & CEO of the WCR&HCA featuring: Perrin Beatty, President & CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; Hon. Brad Wall, former Premier, Province of Saskatchewan; Hon. Gary Mar K.C., President & CEO of the Canada West Foundation; and Mary Van Buren, President & CEO of the Canadian Construction Association was noted for its relevancy and content.

On that note, CCA representatives – Chair Brendan Nobes, President & CEO Mary Van Buren and VP Procurement Rod Gilbert – told the Board at the meeting the national association was very much behind the need for Canada to adopt a sustained, long-term trade infrastructure investment strategy.

Van Buren and Nobes noted that the priorities of the federal government focus on the green and social programs, but the message has to be delivered that it is trade, and investment in trade transportation infrastructure, that fuels Canada’s economy and therefore, generates the revenues to governments that pay for those social and green programs.

The Board also welcomed the participation of the Hon. Brad Wall, former Premier of the province of Saskatchewan and the Hon. Gary Mar, KC, President & CEO of the Canada West Foundation. Each contributed to the discussion related to the importance of succeeding with the NPTCI initiative. Each advanced the proposition that it was in the nation’s economic welfare and security interests to ensure a growing, robust economy achieved in part by harnessing investment in trade.

Review of WCR&HCA Stronger Together Conference

The Board separately met and heard from event organizer eVoque Event Management and a number of conference sponsors about “what worked, what needs work.” In particular, the Board noted – highlights only – that from the sponsor perspectives

  • The conference was generally well-organized; great to be back person-to-person again
  • Advocacy and business sessions were very good
    • Innovation Alley was a highlight, with its short presentations from supplier should be a standard feature of future conferences.
    • Advocacy engagement underscores the value of the WCR&HCA to all connected to the industry.
  • Format of conference every second year is a good idea.
  • Strike a better balance of supplier/contractor registrants.

Next steps

The WCR&HCA Stronger Together Conference Committee is beginning its considerations for the 2025 conference now. It will take back all suggestions and discuss to ensure the 2025 conference program and venue hit the ‘sweet spot’ for all.

This will be enabled by a post-conference survey circulated to the delegates and to the sponsors, seeking feedback on the elements, including: program, communications, location, venue, events, business sessions and amenities.

THANK YOU to our sponsors – your support made this conference possible

The WCR&HCA Board of Directors wishes once again to thank all 2023 conference sponsors. Without their financial support such conferences would not be possible.

A short survey will be emailed soon to all delegates and to all sponsors. Please take the 10 minutes to fill it out and return your thoughts.

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