b'FROM OUR CHAIRConstruction Material Shortages Continue in 2021The construction industry is battling unprecedented material shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic, something that continues to impact members and the local community. As material supply becomes less reliable, prices have increased significantly over the past few months.The Winnipeg Construction Association recognizes that material shortages in Manitoba pose a serious risk, and this increases the longer the bid award period. This risk impacts both contractors and owners.WCA members are reporting soaring lumber prices and steep price increases in steel and other construction materials. The most recent round of steel increases reflects the highest rate of inflation the industry has experienced to date.While the WCA cannot change the volatility to material shortages and prices that the pandemic has presented, we are committed to working to mitigate the substantial risks and advocate for changes that will positively impact our members and our greater ICI construction industry. In January, we reached out to the owner and design community to recommend a 30-day (or less) award period. We have also had conversations with public owners, including the University of Manitoba, Department of Central Capital, City of Winnipeg and Manitoba Infrastructure, asking them to reduce award periods. We are encouraged from our conversations, as some public owners are willing and able to amend their bid evaluation process.WCA also met with the Manitoba Association of Architects to discuss this very important issue, and they have agreed to use their networks to inform the owner community. We will continue to implore the owner community to help reduce the risk for both themselves and contractors.These are positive steps forward in mitigating the risk that construction material shortages have posed. While we know the difficulty in procuring some construction materials and the sky-rocketing costs associated with these shortages wont go away anytime soon, WCA remains dedicated to working in the best interests of its members, and we are optimistic that together we can combat the latest challenge that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused. John Enns, ChairIssue 1 Spring Edition 2021 BUILD MANITOBA 7'