Keynote Speaker: Rex Murphy

Social Commentator, Editorialist & Distinct Canadian Voice

As a speaker, Rex radiates intelligence and trustworthiness. An accomplished and respected political pundit, Rex’s wit and finger on the pulse on national and international issues have made him a highly sought speaker across the country. He is our keynote as his unique style and deep insight of the political and economical landscape that affects our industry will resonate with you as an open shop contractor.  As a delegate at the Open Shop Leaders Forum, you can expect to be simultaneously informed and entertained by Rex’s provocative commentary.  He should not be missed.

Lunch Speaker: Construction Economic Outlook

Prospecting construction opportunities amidst global uncertainty.
Navigating Canadian, US and world economies in today’s climate has never been more complex and nuanced. Commodity prices, important to Canada’s capital investment decisions, are difficult to predict. Trade agreements are continually under more scrutiny. European economies are managing Brexit. And the future of interest rates, a key driver of construction activity in Canada is predicted to increase, but when? Jock Finlayson, executive vice president & chief policy officer of the BC Business Council, past director of the Bank of Canada and a leading economist will untangle how these forces are affecting the construction industry. As an expert in the field, he is well positioned to discuss the regional, national and international factors that will drive future construction activity in your market.

Panel Presentation: Building the Aboriginal Connection

Joint ventures and partnerships with the Aboriginal community have become a successful business model for many contractors and developers.  The Aboriginal community has the ability to bring considerable strengths to any project, but companies often experience challenges in developing the relationship.  This informative and interactive panel discussion will include presentations from companies that have overcome those challenges as well as nationally-renowned Aboriginal leaders that will provide insight into how to develop successful partnerships.  A Q&A session at the end of the panel presentations will allow delegates to more fully explore how to leverage the power of Aboriginal partnerships.

Session A: Cannabis in Construction

Concerned over the legalization of marijuana and the impact it will have on your job site? Do you have questions about random drug tests and keeping your job site safe? No issue has the potential to alter the safety protocol of your company than the pending legalization of marijuana.  This session will bring in experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities other jurisdictions have overcome and how to project your workforce from this imminent reality.

Session B: Successful Bidding Practices

Winning the bid and delivering – strategies and tactics to ensure success.
In a hyper competitive construction industry, companies must continually re-assess and improve their bidding strategies and executing of the work. Much research has been done on new methods that can improve bidding success, reduce costs and better manage risks. Jeff Sawyer and Dr. Kenneth Sullivan from Arizona State University have  spent close to a decade exploring this research. They’ve examined successful contractors and sub trade contractors processes and determined criteria for what works and what doesn’t.  At this session, they will share their findings and introduce the tools and documents that will help you ensure success.

Session C: Government Relations

Politics is playing an increasing role in the construction industry as procurement models and policy determine winners and losers in infrastructure spending. This session will focus on the current political landscape across Canada and how it impacts the open shop construction sector.  Panelists include Merit Canada President, Terrance Oakey and a leading government relations expert with an aim to arming your company with the tools it needs to minimize any negative impact of government decisions.

Session D: Digital Revolution in Construction

Digital is changing the game in construction.

The digital revolution is changing the way we work, live and learn. All industries are facing the realities of adapting to new technologies with some succeeding while others struggle. News media, taxis and the hotel industry, to name a few, are all responding to the challenges and opportunities of new technologies. The construction industry is also at a intersection with several new technological adaptions changing the way we work. Online bidding and plan room services have replaced physical plan rooms and blueprints. BIM allows precise modelling of a project and management systems are more robust and immediate. More changes are coming over the next five to 10 years. Craig Roberts, vice president of marketing and business development at ConstructConnect, and his international team are on the cutting edge of these trends. He will outline what contractors can expect from future technological changes and how the contractors can adapt.