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CHBA Celebrates Achievements of Its Own

By Charlie Blore

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association held its 66th annual National Conference at the end of February in Quebec City. As in years past, the conference allowed the CHBA to honour some of its most successful members and welcome a new president.

Valela Wins Prestigious Beaver Award
The day’s top individual winner was Joe Valela of the Building Industry and Land Development Association of Toronto, who took home both the Beaver Award. The Beaver is doled out annually to the outstanding builder member of the year.
In other individual categories, Joseph Vella won the R-2000 Award which recognizes the member who made the most outstanding contribution to energy-efficient housing through the R-2000 program. The Gordon S. Shipp Award, which recognizes leadership, dedication and continuous lengthy service to the CHBA at the national level, was presented to Don Darling of the Sussex and District CHBA. Meanwhile, The William M. McCance Award was bestowed upon Bob Maling in recognition of his contribution to the home building industry in the technical area.
In the group categories, Central Nova was awarded the Community Service prize for its contribution to the betterment of the way of life of people in its community. The Dave Bell Memorial Award was given to the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association for its outstanding promotion of education and training programs to its members and consumers. Other winners included: the Calgary Region HBA, which took home the Colonel Boss Award as the most improved HBA; and Central Okanagan HBA, which won the Harry J. Long Memorial Trophy for the largest increase in membership.

Hail to the New Chief
Gary Friend (r) accepting the President’s “hammer”.
Among the other festivities of the weekend was the handover ceremony, as new CHBA president Gary Friend took over from outgoing president John Hrynkow. In his inaugural address, Friend, who is the president of South Ridge Developments in Surrey, urged government to take the necessary steps for the home building industry to lead Canada’s economic recovery effort.
“For every dollar spent, new home building and renovation produces more jobs and more economic activity in communities across Canada than any other industry,” said Friend.
He called on government to stop tying the industry’s hands through red tape, government imposed costs and inadequate spending for the training of skilled trades. He also called on the government to take action to curb the cash contracting industry, which costs billions to both builders and governments every year.

Friend also touched on the long-standing issue of indexation. The GST New Housing Rebate is not indexed, and as a result, the percentage of homes that qualify for the rebate has dropped from 90 per cent in 1991 to 45 per cent today.

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