Fort McMurray Construction Association Establishes Contractor Database
As Fort McMurray has evolved over the years and in response to local tragedies, so has the Fort McMurray Construction Association (FMCA) as it strives to remain responsive to those changes.
The creation of its Contractor Database is one of those responses and one brought about by disaster.
“The 2016 Horse River wildfire and the April 2020 flood highlighted the need for an accessible venue for everyone including government and emergency services to find local contractors,” recalls Lana Maloney, executive director of the FMCA. “These events clearly demonstrated there was a need for a one-stop shop so to speak where people could find contractors ranging from general to subs. We developed this comprehensive database in response to that information gap.”
The database is a free service to all contractors, regardless if they are FMCA members or not.
“When we began in 1987, the FMCA pledged to always meet challenges in this fast-paced changing world in real time as they happen,” added Keith Plowman, president of the FMCA. “The database is another way we have strived to meet those challenges.”
With more than 130 members, FMCA membership ranges from suppliers, trade contractors and general contractors.
The search function for the database - www.directory.fmca.net - has several options including name, equipment list and location.
The database is also a way to ensure anyone looking for contractors knows what is available locally.
Following the fire and flood, he pointed out that many insurance providers pressured clients to use preferred vendors from other communities.
“We have to change that dialogue so that our local contractors are the preferred vendors for local work.
“With the downturn from oil prices and the pandemic, we cannot afford to see that money leave this community and never come back.”
To further support the local construction industry. the FMCA launched its own Job Board in March.
This online resource is dedicated to helping community members find local job opportunities in the construction industry. The Job Board is free to both anyone looking for a job and companies posting job opportunities.
“We are excited to launch this unique initiative to promote local construction job opportunities in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB),” says Maloney. “The creation of this inclusive Job Board is yet another tool the FMCA has created to continue to strengthen our local construction industry.”
Contractors from outside the municipality who have been awarded work here are also able to utilize the board in looking for local workers.
Aside from viewing the listed opportunities, job seekers are welcome to upload their resumes and can find job hunting tips on the site.
The FMCA Job Board - Jobs By FMCA – Your Source for Fort McMurray Construction Jobs - differs from other employment sites such as Indeed because it’s strictly construction opportunities and only for the Wood Buffalo region.
“We know these initiatives are unique to Wood Buffalo, and it seems Alberta, and possibly Western Canada as we have not been able to locate any similar services,” adds Plowman.
These initiatives form part of the social procurement advocacy the FMCA undertakes for its members and the betterment of the community.
Social procurement is taking the opportunity that comes with every purchase or contract award to leverage local spending for further investments in the community which can create positive economic ripple effects.
The FMCA has been actively working towards the creation of a social procurement policy within the municipality since 2013. It had been scheduled to present a draft policy to RMWB Council in May 2016; a meeting that never happened because of the Horse River wildfire raging through the community.
The FMCA has continued work on updating the policy with the RMWB’s procurement department with a goal of creating an adopted policy that works for both the user and the municipality.
“Our objective has always been to promote a strong and vigorous construction industry in the RMWB,” said Maloney. “That is why the FMCA will continue to work to enhance the community in which we live and create initiatives like our Contractor Database and Job Board.”
Continuing to create opportunities for meaningful dialogue, the FMCA was honoured to present a virtual Town Hall on April 15 with the Honorable Erin O’Toole, Leader of the Official Opposition of Canada and Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
A video of the Town Hall has been posted on the FMCA’s Facebook page.
“It was a great conversation. His comments were reassuring as they reflected his knowledge of this area and the issues facing it. He understood the value of our region and its characterization as the economic engine of Canada,” states Plowman.
“His comments about his plans to enhance the Canadian manufacturing sector and pipelines were welcomed. Similarly, his remarks about aiding our region by repealing Bills C-69 and C-48 among other actions were good to hear.”
Bill C-69, the Impact Assessment Act, sets up a new authority to assess industrial projects, such as pipelines, mines and inter-provincial highways, for their effects on public health, the environment and the economy. Provincial Energy Ministers have called the Bill polarizing, saying it tells the world Canada is not open for business given onerous regulation. It is said to also undermine certainty in regulation, critical for large-scale capital plans and final investment decisions in Canada's favour, as well as performance-based policies, which benefit communities with such incentives as job creation, research and development, innovation and capital investment.
Bill C-48 is the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act and would introduce laws to significantly limit Canada’s ability to export crude oil to growing global markets in Asia.
In the vein of equal representation, the FMCA has extended an invitation for similar Town Halls to Jagmeet Singh, MP Burnaby South and Leader of the NDP of Canada; Maxime Bernier, Leader of the People’s Party of Canada, and Annamie Paul, Leader of the Green Party of Canada. An invitation has also been extended to the Right Honorable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. To date, only Mr. Bernier has accepted the invitation with a virtual Town Hall now scheduled for May 5.