By Simon Blake
More than 320 delegates attended the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada 76th Annual National Conference in Maui, Hawaii Nov. 6-9.
There were speakers, education sessions, receptions, an outdoor trade show, a golf tournament, social events and networking opportunities. Most afternoons were free to allow delegates and companions time to enjoy Maui. “This was certainly one of the best conferences on record, and we’re thrilled to have been joined by so many members from across the country,” reported MCAC’s Daryl Sharkey.
One session that drew the attention of delegates covered the organization’s new MCAC Group Captive insurance program – basically an insurance company wholly owned by MCAC to insure the risk of its members.
“This isn’t an idea that we hope will happen; we are excited that it will be a reality in the new year,” said Lois Gardner of AON Insurance, which is organizing the program.
She expects members, many of whom are already insured through AON, will save five to ten percent on their annual premiums and, with the dividends they receive as owners, that should increase to about 20 percent. On a company currently paying $90,000 in annual premiums, that would add up to a $20,000 annual savings, she explained. “The challenge is to get enough companies involved to make it work,” she added.
MCAC expects that not only will the program be a significant benefit for members, but it will also be a strong draw for recruiting new ones.
AON manages 1,200 captive insurance programs worldwide, said Gardner.
It’s been a busy year for MCAC, reported outgoing chairman Del Pawliuk (R.F. Contracting, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) at the annual meeting. The group is more active than ever on the political front while continuing to improve education and other programs for members.
MCAC is in the middle of a five-year strategic plan expected to be completed in 2020. Priorities include a plan to rebrand the organization to ensure its name remains relevant
It continues to make strides in providing education for members and is working towards a better Red Seal program for the mechanical trades.
On the political front, MCAC is a member of the Coalition for Small Business Tax Fairness, which is fighting proposed federal tax changes for small business.
“It would have a very significant negative effect on our members. We’ve made some progress, but there’s still a ways to go,” said Pawliuk.
MCAC is also working with the Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating on various code issues.
Working with the National Trade Contractors Coalition of Canada, federal prompt payment legislation has passed in the Senate and become a victim of politics in the House of Commons, stalled by the Liberal government despite the backing of many of its members primarily because it was created by a Conservative, the legislation’s sponsor, Senator Don Plett (Landmark Mechanical, Landmark, Man.), told MCAC members.
He urged them to phone their local MP and tell them to either move Bill S224 forward or let them know that “I will actively work against you in the next election.” Simply sending an email or letter hasn’t got the message across, he added. (Ontario recently passed prompt payment legislation with all parties supporting it, the first province to do so.)
New president elected
Members elected Dave Flamand, a partner in Peak Mechanical (Saskatoon, Sask.), as their new president. He replaces Pawliuk, who is moving into the secretary/treasurer’s role. MCAC reduced the president/chairman’s term to one year from two this year.
Also elected to the executive committee were Jack Bavis, G.J. Cahill (Mount Pearl, Nfld.), president-elect and vice-president eastern; Dave Holek (Lekter Industrial Services Inc., Belle River, Ont.), vice-president central; and Wayne Davidson, Davidson Brothers Mechanical (Burnaby, B.C.), vice-president western. Richard McKeagan remains chief executive officer, but announced that he will be retiring next July.
The next MCAC national conference will take place Sept. 19-22 in Whistler, B.C. For more information, please visit www.mcac.ca.