PWABC Q1 2021 – President’s Message


Greetings PWABC members and friends!

I hope this quarterly update finds you, your families, and your public works organizations and colleagues doing well as we all continue to work and live through the changes and challenges associated with COVID-19.  It has now officially been a year since the official declaration of the global pandemic, and like all of you reading this message, the Public Works Association of British Columbia has definitely had to change and adapt in order to survive. But that said, brighter days appear to be coming on the horizon for all of us, and I’m sure that we are also looking forward to putting COVID in the rear view mirror.  On this note, please know that our Chapter (thanks to the support of the CPWA), submitted a letter of vaccination priority request for essential public works professionals to the Honourable Premier of British Columbia – Mr. John Horgan, Minister of Health – Mr. Adrian Dix, and the Provincial Health Officer – Dr. Bonnie Henry on January 8th, 2021.  Although the initial response was not favourable to most of our industry, our Chapter hopes that this will be reconsidered over the coming weeks as the Province’s vaccination plans continue.

But what can you look forward to now?  How about our 3rd Annual Joint Conference with the BC Municipal Safety Association!  The PWABC is super happy and excited to be partnering with this great safety Association once again, and we look to all of you to join in on this virtual event.  If you have a great project or topic that you’d like to feature in a presentation at this year’s virtual conference, please make your application on our website at today!  The 2021 conference will run over the course of October 5th and 6th, and both Associations are really excited for you to join us!!!  Alternatively, maybe you are a vendor or supplier hoping to connect with our anticipated delegate count of approximately 250?  Again, keep your eye on our website as sponsorship and tradeshow partner opportunities will be announced in the early part of April and we’d love to welcome back our past partners and look forward to the opportunity of making relationships with new partners.

Although the details aren’t fully ironed out, the PWABC is on the verge of adding some great training opportunities to our website for later in 2021.  Once again, head to our website at for those details when they get posted.  Another thing that you may want to do while on the PWABC website is to post your job openings!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to recognize our Chapter’s 2020 Annual Awards Winners, so in no particular order, please join our Board in congratulating the following winners:

  • Dedicated Service Award: Angela Mowatt, Clerk Dispatcher, City of Nanaimo
  • Women’s Ambassador Award: Pat Miller, Retired, Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality
  • Outstanding Public Works Employee Award, Ritchie “The Water Guy” Fulla, City of Nanaimo
  • Project of the Year Award, Gilbert to Number 3 Road South Dike Upgrade Project, City of Richmond
  • Manager of the Year Award, John Elliot, City of Nanaimo

Before closing, I’d like to send out a big thank you to all of our 2021 Board members who include:  Meryl Ditchburn-Heinz (President-Elect & Delegate, City of Nanaimo), Taryn Scollard (Secretary, City of Vancouver), Scott Lamont (Past-President & Treasurer, City of Rossland), Pat Miller (Board Member & Acting Executive Director), Brian Carter (Board Member, City of Burnaby), Alex Christensen (Board Member, WSP), David Best (Board Member, City of Penticton), Larry Ford (Board Member, City of Richmond), Michelle Heinz (Board Member, City of Victoria), Matt Brown (Board Member, City of Surrey), and Lisa Gulbicki (Board Member, City of Vancouver).  All of these fine folks are doing an excellent volunteer role on behalf of all of our membership and their organizations, thanks to you all!  And on that note, we are always looking for help, so if you have some volunteer capacity and a passion for public works, please drop us an email at to let us know your thoughts and ideas on how you’d like to contribute!

PS: As a special bonus offer to our membership, please see the attached information from Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre!

Thank you,

Chris Anderson, AScT, CPWP-M

PWABC 2021 President


Corporate Rate 10% Off – Public Works Association of BC

April is Safe Digging Month

Upcoming sessions for April is Safe Digging Month are:

  • March 31st –> Asset Management – How this will help you with long term planning
  • April 1st –> Ground Disturbance and Safe Excavation
  • April 14th –> Incident Investigations – Latest trends and methodologies
  • April 21st –> Indigenous Consultation – Learn more about the Canada Energy Regulator’s Indigenous Advisory Monitoring Committee (IAMC)
  • April 28th –> Locating Process – How to become more efficient

In addition to providing continuing professional education, the Digging Deeper Digital Education and Networking Series aims to reconnect peers, utilities, sponsors and suppliers to support the growth and development of the Damage Prevention industry now, and in the future.

Registration open HERE.

Join us as we #DigDeeper into Damage Prevention!


Dates and Time:

March 30th and 31st, 2021

Conference Information:

The MIABC’s Annual Risk Management Conference is held each spring and is open to all staff of all BC local governments. The conference provides an overview of the basic tenets of risk management, as well as presentations and workshops on more advanced topics. Best of all, it provides an excellent networking opportunity for attendees to make connections and socialize with their counterparts from other regions.

This year’s conference will focus on how local governments have been able to adapt to the complexities of a global pandemic while simultaneously responding to flood and wildfire events in their communities. The conference will reflect on how 2020 has made local governments more resilient as a result of redefining how they manage risk.

While the 2021 conference will be virtual, it will keep with the MIABC’s tradition of providing you with the same innovative, high-quality and engaging programming that you have become familiar with by attending past in-person conferences. You will still have the opportunity to connect one-on-one with your peers, listen to inspiring plenary sessions and participate in fun, interactive sessions – all from the comfort of your own home or office!

To plan your conference experience, download the program here.


MIABC Members: $100
Non-MIABC Members: $200


Registration is open until March 26th, 2021. Click here to register.

Attendees must register and provide their address by March 8th to receive an attendee gift.

If you do not work for a BC local government and would like to attend the conference, please contact the MIABC at

2021 National Public Works Week Virtual How-To Guide!

Introducing the 2021 National Public Works Week Virtual How-To Guide!

National Public Works Week (NPWW), held May 16-22, is almost here! Join us as we celebrate the amazing work of public works personnel throughout North America. Now more than ever, it is critical to energize and educate the public about the importance of public works—planning, building, managing, and operating at the heart of local communities to improve quality of life each day.

No matter how you’re celebrating National Public Works Week this year, it’s important that we all remain connected! We’re excited to share our “Virtual NPWW How-To Guide”, full of ideas you can use to celebrate with your community, whether it be in a small in-person gathering, or remote. Don’t forget to join the fun on social media by using the hashtag #NPWW and this year’s theme, #PWStrongerTogether!

What’s inside our Virtual How-To Guide:

  • 2021 Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year Award
  • Community Social Media Contests
  • First Responder and Essential Worker “Thank You’s”
  • #NPWW Social Media Spirit Week (Monday-Friday)
  • Community Outreach

We also encourage you to seek NPWW proclamations from your elected officials to share on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram with the #NPWWProclamation hashtag to be added to the APWA NPWW website.

For more information, please visit the APWA website: HERE

2021 CPWA National Public Works Week Awards

Dear CPWA National Public Works Week Celebrants:

We are thrilled to announce the CPWA National Public Works Week Awards Contest for 2021, recognizing Canadian communities for their excellent outreach and education during National Public Works Week. After the disappointment of having to cancel last year, we are excited to bring the awards back!

Since its beginning in 1960, agencies, municipalities, and public works professionals have used National Public Works Week (NPWW) to energize and educate the public on the importance of public works to their daily lives. As well, NPWW is an opportunity to recognize the public works professionals who provide these crucial public services and to promote public works as a career choice. We encourage your agency and community to join in the celebration and submit for a CPWA NPWW Award.

The theme for National Public Works Week 2021, “Stronger Together,” challenges our members and their citizens to think about the role public works plays in creating a great place to live. By working together, the impact citizens and public works professionals can have on their communities is magnified and results in the ability to accomplish goals once thought unattainable.

The 2021 CPWA National Public Works Week Awards categories:

  • First Time Entry: Any community submitting for the first time.
  • Community under 25,000: Any community with a population under 25,000.
  • Community of 25,000 to 99,999: Any community with a population of 25,000 to 99,000.
  • Community of 100,000 or more: Any community with a population of 100,000 or more.
  • Most Creative Entry

The nomination and submission process will again be managed online. The criteria and nomination forms are available now. However, nominations will not open, and online submissions cannot be accepted, until May. An announcement will be sent out when nominations go live.

The criteria and nomination form for the 2021 CPWA National Public Works Week Awards can be viewed here.


Anne Jackson, ENV SP

Director of Sustainability & Canadian Government Affairs

PWABC Members and Friends: COVID-19 – Message

PWABC Members and Friends:




Together, we are facing a truly unprecedented situation as COVID-19 is not only impacting our local communities in the Province of British Columbia but this pandemic also has far reaching national and international implications. During this time, it is important to put your safety, your family’s safety and your coworker’s safety at the forefront of your daily routine and planning.


As we experience Federal, Provincial, and Local polices being engaged on what feels like an hourly basis, to public amenities and facilities closing down, it is Public Works that will continue to provide essential services for the foreseeable future. What is an essential service? The basic assumption of safe water distribution and fire protection, sanitary collections and treatment, ensuring our roadways are open and safe and our drainage system is maintained. But I would like to add that another important service we as Public Works professionals can provide is a sense of normality. Depending on the direction of isolation,  in times of uncertainty such as the pandemic situation we are facing now, it is imperative that we ensure that the public services we safely provide will continue to take place. Solid waste management, sweeping programs, keeping our open spaced parks and trails open. As indoor public spaces continue to close their doors, these plus other amenities can help our communities maintain a sense of normality as we fight against the challenge at hand.


While this challenge needs to be approached from upmost safety precautions, there is an urgent need for Public Works to take a proactive role in crisis response and to offer their expertise on improving physical conditions and thereby creating dignified living conditions and the feeling of normality for people seeking sanctuary in an unfamiliar environment.


This may be the time to evaluate the depth in your work force. Did you cross train departmentally? How is your successional training? It is not too late. Start thinking about what you may do with a depleting crew. Time to take action is now. You are not alone. Reach out to your colleagues for assistance, mentorship or guidance. Reach out to your neighboring community if you need resources such as operators.


Again, safety to you and your family first. Continue to take precautions with your staff.  Continue to practice social distancing. Continue good hygiene. Flatten the Curve.



Many thanks,


Scott Lamont


Public Works Association of BC (PWABC)

215 – 5385 216 Street Langley, BC, V2Y 2N3