Update December 2014
The following are the latest new members of MARS:
- Arndt Motor and Pump Services – Michael Hannan
- Camp Install Construction Inc. – Troy Lupul
- Coastal Installations (Prefab) Ltd – Mike Davies
- Concept Industries – J.C. Evanson
- Modular Services Inc. – Justin Davyduke
- Talius – Jamie Turnbull
- TransCanada – Shayne Beattie
- West Oilfield – Jeremy Cheyne
Please take the time to review their web sites and familiarize yourselves with their capabilities.
The organization is pleased to have you join our fold and hope that you take an active participation in the organization.
Annual General Meeting
The 2014 AGM and related functions were the best attended ever. Close to 120 people registered for the various functions that took place.
First was the Exhibitor Showcase that was sold out with 26 exhibitors. On the day of the event, exist poles of the exhibitors indicated that the turnout out of their customers was very good and that as a group they were very pleased with the event. A more formal survey of the exhibitors will be conducted prior to year end.
Following the Showcase was the Annual General Meeting which this year dealt with the approval of a new set of by-laws, approval of the 2013 financial statements, election of directors and a series of reports some of which are provided later in this report.
A joint reception with the Modular Housing Association followed the AGM at which close to 200 delegates from both organizations met and mingled. This was a first for both associations and could provide for more interaction in the future.
MARS followed the reception with a dinner opened by guest speaker Dana Benner, Managing Director & Head of Research, at AltaCorp Capital Inc. who addressed the size, make-up and forecast for workforce housing and logistics in Canada. His address was very informative filled with extensive statistics that most of those present had not been privy to before. The demand for copies of his presentation, following his address, was so extensive that Roger Soucy offered to email it to the entire membership.
AGM Executive Director’s Report – Roger
I will cover the strategic plan and how we are faring against the plan. My intension is not to get into every detail but to address the major components of the plan.
Now remember the strategic plan is a three year plan so everything was not expected to be completed in one year. In fact the plan was not officially proclaimed until after the April general meeting when it was unveiled to the membership.
Let’s examine the high level goals. There are six (6) which take us through the three years of the plan. I will touch base on each of them to provide an update.
First is communication, and I must mention that these are not necessarily in order of priority. We began with some small steps by providing regular updates of government meetings, technical committee updates, new members and coming events sent out directly to the members and also available on the web site.
One of the directions coming out of the strategic planning process was to change the name of the organization to reflect the larger geographic area that the association represents. That was done at the AGM changing the name from MARS of Alberta to MARS of Canada. In addition to that there was be a logo change.
The web site will be completely redone and should be ready in January2015. Finally regarding communications a new comprehensive communications plan will be prepared by the end of the first quarter of next year, which is what the original strategic plan called for.
The next element is the development of codes and standards. The details of the update on these appear in another section of this report under the Technical report.
Moving to membership growth the board of directors conducted a little membership drive in the past months as well as word is getting out about what the organization is doing. To that end some 21 companies have joined MARS in the past year.
At this point I would like to announce a new association wide membership drive in the coming year. Details will be sent to the membership shortly.
On the government relations front you have already heard about our activities with the Alberta Department of Municipal affairs. That process began with a meeting with the then minister Ken Hughes and evolved in the strong relationship we have today. We have taken a small first step in British Columbia with a meeting with MLA Greg Kyllo from Salmon Arm. The next step will be to meet with Minister Rich Coleman who is responsible for natural gas development and housing. I anticipate that the meeting will take place early in the new-year. Several provinces have shown interest in Alberta’s Part 10 and want to investigate potentially introducing this standard. We will be following up with all these interested provinces as we move through our own review of Part 10.
With regards to Industry Relations the MARS Board has spent a considerable amount of time working with MBI on developing opportunities for joint action. These are now being further defined and will be fully discussed in March at the MBI World of Modular conference.
Additionally I have held meetings with my counterpart at the Modular Housing Association and are in the early stages of identifying potential joint projects. In May I attended the Modular and Offsite Construction Summit at the school of engineering at the University of Alberta. Several of our members are familiar with this event and the department head Dr. Mohamed Hussein. For me it was quite an eye opener on the potential of the modular industry and Dr. Hussein’s work.
Likewise Larry Roeske and I attended the Alberta Safety Codes conference where a number of contacts were made and we were able to introduce MARS to a number of government employees involved in the various aspects of construction standards and enforcement.
The sixth objective is the promotion of the modular industry which is targeted more towards the later stages of the strategic plan. However the gathering and development of statistics and other economic information will being this coming year. It’s a big hole that needs to be addressed and one that we share with MBI.
I hope that the members are seeing that their input into the strategic plan is bearing some fruit and that we are moving in a direction where the possible becomes probable and the probable becomes reality.
Technical Committee Update – Larry Roeske, Chairman
For some of our newer members, I provide the lead in our MARS Technical Committee and as such are also part of your board. Our Technical committee is comprised now of Andrew Warwick from ATCO – co-lead, Myron Ramage from Greglund products, Neil Forsyth from CSA and David Kennedy from Spraysulate.
JoAnn Gill from Northgate is on our committee but absent on maternity leave. We were running somewhat lean on committee horse power and enlisted both Myron and David mid-summer to assist.
The following is a summary of the key highlights that have been a part of the last year to date:
- As most know here in late 2013 you – – the MARS membership — by way of your support initiated a Part 10 review process.
- The MARS board being aware of Part 10 disappearing rumors arranged a meeting with the now late deputy minister Ivan Moore of municipal affairs to table these rumors. Rumors were unfounded and the board was assured of support and encouragement to take a lead approach.
- MARS pursued additional expertise to assist with the review process and approached a well-known expertise working for Riddell Kruczaba Architecture to prepare a scope of work for a review process. This was later accepted.
- Consultant provided MARS with detailed documents comparing Part 10 of the Alberta Building Code to Parts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, & NBC 9. At this point we had an internal consultant change from Sandy Mckenzie to Wayne Rose so a bit of regrouping at this point and are now back on track. Immediately after this change, Wayne “checked in” with Municipal Affairs stakeholders to inform that he now was involved in the Part 10 review process.
- MARS Technical Committee set out 3 working day sessions to assist consultant with relevant concerns and issues that he would be following up for required input from MARS membership.
- Our first session resulted in two lines of approaches for next sessions work. One was to set up a survey of various industry stakeholders as per Riddell (consultant) scope of work as a way to understand and represent what industry feels the priorities of a Part 10 review are. The working session achieved a first draft for further building on
- The second focus was to begin gathering information as it relates to a “best practices” approach to our industry’s compliance challenges and how this would relate to Part 10 code changes. This approach has been a preferred approach for other unique industries that find challenges with incorporating in prescriptive building code docs
It is also an approach that can provide more aggressive timelines in terms of information to users and authorities compared to current code change cycles.
- MARS 2nd working session – Red Deer – I have noted this as a significant event due to the expertise and collaboration that somehow the stars were aligned to provide us with. Wayne provided some in behind the scenes contact with Municipal Affairs Edmonton and the tabling of our working sessions. Municipal Affairs James Orr and Rob Lane made mention of volunteered time and presence for session #2 which we confirmed shortly thereafter. Bruce Adair’s schedule also allowed him to be in attendance for the working session #2
Recap of attendees as per Larry’s list.
There were two main outcomes that are noteworthy for us:
- Bring two key parties – industry and government to the table to be more on the same page with understanding of issues
- Municipal Affairs confirming their support and assistance to this initiative
- Our last working session #3 combined previous survey question work with input from our working session #2 to probably 1 or 2 review steps short of being forwarded to membership. Ideally before Christmas but the review steps will need to be completed.
In summary – to this point we are gathering information and views from the various stakeholders with a bit more ground to cover. It has been satisfying that at the outset, we felt that we were alone in this review and even to the point of feeling it still had major risk of Part 10 disappearing. It has been the opposite, various stakeholders volunteering for input and other grey areas of building types being put forth as perhaps included in some way.