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Canada’s remote northern communities rely on a network of challenging winter and ice roads. Transport firms have stepped up with logistics and experience to get goods to isolated residents.

By Kelly Gray

Canada has some very unforgiving northern territory when it comes to moving freight. The weather is brutal and the infrastructure is a constant challenge with thawing permafrost, heaving roadbeds and winter ice roads open fewer weeks than ever. Indeed, just getting cartons of milk to remote First Nations communities can be a daunting task. Consider the challenges of getting multi-ton construction piles, turbine blades or heavy equipment to sites that are accessible only during winter months along a network of ice and winter roads that add to the complexity of construction projects.

As baby boomers retire and the traditional labour pool shrinks, the construction industry is focusing on alternative workforces. Canada’s young, fast-growing Aboriginal population is an attractive proposition for an industry eager to engage the next generation.

By Lisa Gordon

For years, analysts have sounded the alarm about the coming retirement of the baby boomers and how their exit from the workforce will impact the Canadian economy.

According to a special report published in  e Globe and Mail in November 2015, Canadian labour market growth is expected to stagnate in the 2020s as retiring boomers create vacancies that employers will struggle to fill, keeping real economic growth below two per cent annually over the next decade. Add to that the country’s declining birth rate, and it’s clear that something must be done to tap into and develop new labour sources.

Many in the construction sector have turned their attention to the country’s Aboriginal communities – including First Nations, Metis and Inuit people – who combined represent the fastest growing, youngest segment of the Canadian population. According to an article published by Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. of B.C., it is estimated that more than 600,000 Aboriginal youth will enter the labour market between 2001 and 2026.

Lost time can be prevented by properly planning the project, having the recommended parts on site, and scheduling sufficient time for inspections and maintenance on the equipment

By Lisa Kopochinski

One needs only to watch the television show Ice Road Truckers – which features drivers who operate trucks across frozen lakes, rivers and tundra in both Alaska and Canada’s north – to get an idea of the challenges involved when transporting equipment and supplies to remote locations in extreme and often treacherous conditions. These conditions also spotlight the importance of diligent planning to help ensure that heavy equipment will perform at peak capacity once they reach these locations. Machines must not only be prepped and maintained prior to transport, but inspected and maintained regularly on site.

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About Us

Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.