Water Cooler Survey: October is Healthy Workplace Month

carousel_2015_panel_home1_927x400cArticle by Melany Hallam

QUESTION: Does your worksite offer employees any health promotion programs, services, classes, or incentives?  Yes/No

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a healthy workplace program? Employee discounts at the local gym? Healthy snacks in the lunchroom vending machine?

Physical health is only one aspect of health in the workplace. There are many programs and means of accommodating employees who suffer an injury (on the job or off) or are diagnosed with heart disease, cancer, or any other equally debilitating physical illness. However, when it comes to mental illness, some workplaces may not even acknowledge that you have an illness at all.

What is mental illness, anyway? According to the Canadian Psychiatric Association, it can be defined as “significant clinical patterns of behaviour or emotions associated with some level of distress, suffering (pain, death), or impairment in one or more areas of functioning (school, work, social, and family interactions).” There is a long list of symptoms, which can be biological, psychological or behavioural, or a combination of these. Basically, it’s when a person can’t function normally due to trauma or their own biology.

Why isn’t mental illness taken as seriously as physical illness? Stigma accounts for a big part of the problem. People still often think that having a mental illness is a sign of weakness, and the best way to deal with it is to hide it. But this strategy comes at a huge cost. Here are some statistics from Partners for Mental Health, a Canadian non-profit group dedicated to promoting mental health in the workplace:

  • 44% of workers say they have or have had mental-health issues
  • 1 in 3 workplace disability claims are related to mental illness
  • mental illness now beats out heart disease as the fastest growing category of disability costs
  • 500,000 Canadians missed work this week due to mental-health issues
  • only 23% of those asked in a 2008 Canadian Medical Association survey would talk to their employer about their mental illness
  • $51 billion—the annual cost of mental illness in Canada

Some mental illnesses are chronic and some are relatively temporary. Diabetes is a chronic disease, as are some forms of depression. Sometimes, the reaction to a person who is depressed is that they should “pull themselves together” and “just get over it.” Ask yourself if this is how you would react to someone with diabetes.

There is much progress being made in terms of incorporating mental-health issues into healthy-workplace discussions, as even a quick online search will show. Like any disease, injury, or impairment, accommodating employees with these challenges can be well worth the effort. If faced with a choice, employers will almost always opt to keep existing employees because it’s cost-effective and less of a hassle in the long run than hiring and training new staff (see a related Water Cooler post here).

Mental health is just one more aspect of a healthy workplace, and I for one look forward to the day when it’s accepted as such.


More reading and personal stories:

Site C Dam construction for first half of October, 2015



Job Fairs and Business-to-Business Networking Sessions to be Held in the Peace Region

Events in Tumbler Ridge, Chetwynd and Fort St. John

The BC Chamber of Commerce and BC Hydro are hosting job fairs and business-to-business networking sessions in the Peace region in October. The sessions will provide an opportunity for job seekers and businesses from local and Aboriginal communities to meet with BC Hydro’s contractors and other regional employers, including the Site C worker accommodation and site preparation contractors. Representatives from employment and skills training resources, such as WorkBC, Employment Connections and Northern Lights College, will also be in attendance.

Job seekers are encouraged to bring copies of your resume. No registration is required for job fairs. Registration is required for the business-to-business networking sessions. Attendees can register at bcchamber.org/events

The sessions will take place in the following communities. Please note the specific times for each event.

Job Fair and Business Networking Schedule
Community Date Times Location
Tumbler Ridge Monday, October 5 Job Fair: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Business-to-business networking session: 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Conference Centre

Trend Mountain Hotel and Conference Centre

375 Southgate Street, Tumbler Ridge

Chetwynd Tuesday, October 6 Job Fair: 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Business-to-business networking session one: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Business-to-business networking session two: 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Cottonwood Hall

Chetwynd & District Recreation Centre

4552 North Access Road, Chetwynd

Fort St. John Wednesday, October 7 Business-to-business networking session one: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Business-to-business networking session two: 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Ralph Pomeroy Room

Pomeroy Hotel

11308 Alaska Road, Fort St John

Fort St. John Thursday, October 8 Job Fair: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm


Ralph Pomeroy Room

Pomeroy Hotel

11308 Alaska Road, Fort St John

BC Hydro is partnering with the following organizations to deliver the job fairs: the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, WorkBC, the Tumbler Ridge Chamber of Commerce, the Fort St. John and District Chamber of Commerce, the Chetwynd Chamber of Commerce and the BC Chamber of Commerce.

Learn More

  • Visit the project website: com
  • Follow the Site C Twitter account: @sitecproject
  • Call the toll-free project line: 1-877-217-0777
  • Email the project team: sitec@bchydro.com


The following construction activities are scheduled to occur September 28 to October 11:

  • The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s (MoTI) contractor for the public road improvements will continue work on 240 Road and 269 Road. Work on Old Fort Road will occur in 2016.
  • The worker accommodation contractor will continue site preparation for the worker camp, including installation of utilities and other infrastructure. The temporary camp is now complete.
  • Clearing, vegetation removal, excavation and road construction will continue on the north bank of the dam site. Trucks will continue to remove timber from the site.
  • Upon receipt of the required authorizations, excavation will occur in the vicinity of the Peace River as part of the construction of the temporary construction bridge.
  • The production of riprap will continue within the existing MoTI Wuthrich Quarry.
  • Selective clearing and other work will continue on the south bank of the dam site around access roads and to prepare the area for construction of the temporary construction bridge, a temporary substation and a new rail siding. Construction and upgrades of the south bank access roads will continue, including work to construct the new rail siding.
  • Security gates, fences and guard shacks will be installed at the dam site.
  • Installation of a new 25 kV distribution line will start. This line will be located beside an existing distribution line that runs along public roads, including Old Fort Road, 85th Avenue, 81st Avenue, 240 Road and 269 Road. During this period, some clearing will continue in this area.  While this work takes place, local area residents can expect the following:
  • Please note that all activities listed in this construction bulletin are based on the latest information in our construction plan and are subject to change.
  • There will be additional truck traffic in the area as construction crews mobilize to the Site C dam site and logging trucks remove timber. This will include increased industrial traffic on the resource roads from Chetwynd leading to the construction site on the south bank of the dam site.
  • While road improvements are made to 240 Road and 269 Road, motorists can expect to encounter traffic control personnel, minor traffic delays and single-lane alternating traffic.
  • While clearing and distribution line work occurs along public roads, construction crews and vehicles will be in the area. Please use caution.
  • Early morning and/or night shifts may be scheduled, in addition to shifts on the weekends.
  • Some noise and dust may result in the vicinity of the dam site and along public roads as a result of the scheduled construction activities.


Learn More

Please click here to view a print-ready PDF in your web browser.

Winter Resort Jobs


It’s the first day of Autumn, and folks are starting to think about applying for winter resort jobs.

Here are some leads for ski resort jobs in BC



Non-BC Options here: http://www.coolworks.com/ski-resort-jobs/




Site C Dam Work Available

This artist rendering shows the camp that will eventually house up to 2,200 workers on the Site C Dam construction project. (BC Hydro)
This artist rendering shows the camp that will eventually house up to 2,200 workers on the Site C Dam construction project. (BC Hydro)

Work camp will eventually house 2,200 construction workers

Link to this CBC news story: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/work-begins-on-massive-work-camp-for-site-c-dam-1.3227002

Work is about to begin in Northeastern B.C. on a massive work camp to house thousands of workers coming to build the Site C hydroelectric dam.

When it is completed, the camp on the northern bank of the Peace River will be a self-contained community, with its own sewage and water systems and facilities that rival nearby Fort St. John.

It is expected to house 1,800 workers when it opens early next year, with the ability to expand to eventually house 2,200 at the height of construction on the $9 billion dam.

At its peak, the camp is expected to bump up the population of the Fort St. John area by more than 10 per cent.

It will be so large it will have its own theatre, outdoor fields, indoor running track, a library and a spiritual centre.

BC Hydro spokesman David Conway said the aim is to attract and keep workers with quality amenities, including guest rooms featuring double beds, en suite bathrooms and wifi.

“The quality of worker accommodation is a key component of the project’s labour approach to attract and retain workers in what is expected to be a period of high demand for skilled workers,” he said.

ATCO subsidiary Two Rivers Lodging Group won the contract to build the work camp. But before construction of the camp begins, the contractor has to build its own smaller camp to house the workers who will build the larger camp.

When it is completed the Site C Dam will flood a valley 83 kilometres long, between Hudson’s Hope and Fort St. John.

It has been opposed by some environmentalists, farmers and First Nations.

With files from Betsy Trumpener


From the Site C website: https://www.sitecproject.com/

The vast majority of hiring for the project will be done by the companies awarded contracts to build

Site C. Please apply directly to those companies awarded contracts to build the project, as BC Hydro will not be accepting resumes on behalf of companies on the project. However, BC Hydro will facilitate the hiring process by listing the successful companies and their contact information on this page of the website.

Update: BC Hydro job fairs was postponed to September 2015 (https://www.sitecproject.com/job­fairs­

postponed­to­september­2015) but no date has been provided for such a fair as of yet. We will update this page as this information is released.

Site C  Contractors

Public Road Improvements

(https://www.sitecproject.com/sites/default/files/fact­ sheet­public­road­improvements­july­2015_0.pdf)

The Public Road Improvements contract includes upgrading and paving 1.6 kilometres of

240 Road, 900 meters of 269

Road, and widening, paving and partially realigning 5.6 kilometres of Old Fort Road.

It also includes installation of street lights at various intersections along Old Fort Road and 240


Contract Award:

 A.L. Sims and Sons Ltd

 Email: hr@simsgroup.ca

 Web: www.alsims.ca


Site Preparation – North Bank

(https://www.sitecproject.com/business­and­job­ opportunities/procurement­update/site­preparation­

The Site Preparation – North Bank contract includes building access roads,

excavation, and producing and stockpiling aggregate materials.

Contract Award:

Morgan Construction & Environmental Ltd.

Email: careers@mcel.ca

Web: www.mcel.ca


South Bank Clearing

Clearing the south bank of the dam site includes the removal of trees and vegetation, constructing temporary access roads, upgrading and maintaining an existing road and other site preparation activities.

Contract Award:

Paul Paquette & Son’s Contracting

 Email: twpowell@paulpaquette.com


Worker Accommodation

(https://www.sitecproject.com/business­and­job­ opportunities/procurement­update/worker­ accommodation)

The worker accommodation contract

includes the design, construction, partial financing, operation and

maintenance of a temporary work camp located on the north bank of the Peace River.

Preferred Proponent:

Two Rivers Lodging Group (ATCO Structures & Logistics Ltd. and Bird Design Build Construction Inc.)

 Email: tworivers@atcosl.com  Web: www.atcosl.com/en­ca/Careers


General Contact 

Site C Clean Energy Project (/contact­us)

P.O. Box 2218

Vancouver, BC V6B 3W2

Toll­free: 1 877 217 0777

Fax: 604 695 5290

Email: sitec@bchydro.com (mailto:sit%65c@bc%68%79dro.%63o%6D)

Community Consultation Office, Fort St. John (/contact­us)

9948 100th Ave

Fort St. John, BC V1J 1Y5

Tel: 250 785 3420

Fax: 250 785 3570

Community Consultation Office, Hudson’s Hope (/contact­us)

The Pearkes Centre

10801 Dudley Drive

Hudson’s Hope, BC V0C 1V0

Special Event Server Program


This is a reblogged post from http://powellriverdailynews.com/2015/08/12/special-event-server-program/

written by Citizen Journalist

Serving alcohol at events isn’t always fun – it can actually get quite challenging – which is why government is ensuring that event servers have specific training to deal with tough liquor service scenarios.

A new Special Event Server training program (SES) is now available at www.specialeventserver.com for licence holders, managers and servers – paid or volunteer – at all special occasion licensed events with less than 500 guests.

The SES training is delivered by go2HR – B.C.’s tourism industry human resources association and server training administrator – at a cost of $20, based on a cost-recovery model.
This course is offered at a discounted rate from the full Serving It Right course, which costs $35 when done online, or $40 for the paper version.

“The new Special Event Server program is a condensed course geared toward liquor service at special events like community fairs, weddings, and festivals. We are giving event servers the tools and training they need to ensure that they fully understand their responsibilities as a liquor server – something that go2HR is extremely dedicated to providing,” said Arlene Keis, go2HR CEO.

The course, which takes around one hour to complete, was created with health and safety at special events in mind – delivering on a Liquor Policy Review commitment.

“More than one third of all my recommendations coming out of the Liquor Policy Review were focused on the health and safety of British Columbians – and this new program is a solid step in that direction to help with the education process for event servers, managers and licensees,” said John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Reform.

“Not only do we want to ensure that patrons ordering drinks stay safe, we want to make certain that the thousands of people employed and volunteering in the service industry have the tools they need to do their job effectively – and this training will make sure everyone is on the same page,” he said.

In an effort to increase alcohol awareness and social responsibility, trainees will learn their legal responsibilities, along with strategies for dealing with challenging situations – including how to spot intoxication and when to stop serving.

Dr. Tim Stockwell, director of the Centre for Addictions Research of BC –

“Ensuring that everyone who serves alcohol understands the risks and responsibilities associated with their job, and with alcohol consumption, is an important part of government’s responsibility as it reforms B.C.’s liquor laws,” said Dr. Tim Stockwell, director of the Centre for Addictions Research of BC.  “Continued emphasis is needed on protecting health and safety at events where liquor is served to minimise alcohol-related injuries and crime in and around licensed premises.”

Beginning Sept. 15, 2015, everyone who serves or sells alcohol in B.C. is required to have either completed the SES training or the more in-depth Serving It Right (SIR) certification, and will need to renew their training every five years. This will include, for the first time, all servers in B.C.’s more than 5,600 licensed restaurants, as well as staff at BC Liquor Stores, rural agency and wine stores.

“We want to keep British Columbians safe when they are attending special events – and we can help do that by ensuring that the people serving alcohol are not only aware of their legal responsibilities, but are prepared to handle uncomfortable situations, should they arise,” said Coralee Oakes, Minister Responsible for Liquor.

“The reality is, cutting someone off can be difficult, but sometimes it needs to be done. By learning to spot the warning signs for intoxication, and having the tools to deal with someone who may want another drink but shouldn’t have one, we are helping to protect the public and set event servers up for success.”

Coastal Postings: August 2015


  • August 2015: 140 job postings (105 Career Link postings and 35 from elsewhere) for 176 individual positions. 52 of the 140 postings were re-posted
  • August 2014: 117 Job postings (83 Career Link postings and 34 elsewhere) for 127 individual positions. 43 of the postings were re-postings.
  • Looking even further back…
  • August 2013: 67 Career Link postings
  • August 2012: 48 Career Link postings
  • August 2011: 61 Career Link postings
  • August 2010: 38 Career Link postings
  • August 2009: 58 Career Link postings

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑