Message from the President

Hello fellow members;

Normally a message from the President would be written from the viewpoint of an industry member, company owner, and professional.  But today, I’m writing to you also as a daughter to aging parents, a mother to two kids, the sibling of a Respiratory Therapist working on the front lines at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, and as a community member.

The COVID-19 virus is highly contagious and the number of cases due to community transmission is increasing at a rapid rate.  I trust that in our private lives we have all accepted our responsibility to follow the recommendations to stay home, practice physical distancing when we must go out, and limit these trips to the bare minimum. But what about our work lives?  There is nothing right now that explicitly requires our industry to stand down and remain at home. No drastic restrictions have been imposed. However, I have to ask you – Have you taken into account community safety in addition to your own workers’ safety when assessing the risk to on-going projects? Please have the discussion with your leadership team –  What projects deserve to be considered essential and which could be rescheduled to a later date when self-isolation recommendations are loosened. While physical distancing and more rigorous hand washing measures are appropriate ways to mitigate the transmission, it does not eliminate it. Staying home does.

I understand that the decision you make now may impact your financial outlook and we all need to keep the lights on, but keeping the lights on and jeopardizing the safety of our members, our health care workers, and the most vulnerable is not what our industry is all about.  Our heroic and hardworking health care workers deserve a chance at fighting this.  A pause of our non-essential projects will give them the ability to do that.

We will come out of this stronger than ever. Our actions now and in the immediate future will be remembered for the rest of our lives.  Our kids, parents, vulnerable communities, and our health care workers will thank you.

Please note that many of our local health authorities are accepting donations to bolster their supplies.  N95 masks, safety goggles, face shields, and protective clothing would no doubt be
very welcome. Feel free to contact me or your local health authority directly to coordinate donations.

Together we will get through this.


Kate Branch
President, BCEIA