Canadian Contractor

BC Hydro and Site C contractors launch new Builders Code website


June 18, 2021
By BC Construction Association

BC Hydro and seven of its largest contractors have adopted the Builders Code conduct standard across Site C and in doing so have set the bar high for other sites across the province.

Over 200 contractors and owners have become Builders Code signatories, but Site C is the first multi-contractor, project–wide commitment.  This recognition of shared responsibility for ensuring acceptable site behaviour comes as the project staffs up for the summer season and helps ensure that all workers have the freedom to work safely and to the best of their ability regardless of gender, race, age, or other demographic factors.

The construction industry in BC has been designated as essential during pandemic, and the vast majority of its 242,000 employees have continued to work.   With post-COVID 19 economic recovery leaning heavily on infrastructure investment, the industry continues to face a skilled workforce shortage. There is a growing imperative for industry culture to change in order to attract and retain talent.

“Large employers and public owners like BC Hydro have the power to make a huge positive impact on culture across the construction workforce” comments Chris Atchison, President of the BC Construction Association, the organization behind the Builders Code. “By bringing so many large contractors along with them and approaching culture change from a project rather than a company perspective, the team at BC Hydro is showing tremendous leadership.”

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BC Hydro takes pride in the diversity of its trades workforce.  On the Site C Project site, contractors are currently reporting that 12 per cent of the workforce is women and ten per cent self-declare as indigenous, which is much higher than the current industry norms of 6 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.

“BC Hydro has made a commitment to diversity and inclusion and we see the Builders Code as a valuable tool in reaffirming that commitment,” says Chris O’Riley, President and CEO of BC Hydro. “For the industry to change, we need to be consistent in recognizing that safety hazards are psychological as well as physical. A site that tolerates hazing, bullying and harassment is not a safe site.”

The Site C contractors joining BC Hydro in the Builders Code signing are AFDE Partnership, Peace River Hydro Partners, ATCO Two Rivers Lodging Group, Duz Cho Construction, Voith Group, Saulteau Safety and Security, and Allteck Limited Partnership.


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