b'FROM OUR PRESIDENTHang in ThereLast March, when the first lockdowns were discussed in Canada and we all started scrambling for masks, other PPE and anything remotely resembling hand sanitizer, few of us would have dreamed that one year later we would still be hunkered down managing the effects of the pandemic. Fortunately, the construction industry in Manitoba was deemed essential and continued working, keeping the majority of the industry employed while adapting to new working arrangements. Many other sectors have not been so lucky and may never recover.Travel restrictions implemented in January by public heath orders have impacted our industry, making it difficultif not impossiblefor service contractors to visit customers outside our borders without quarantining upon return. This restriction might be with us for a while longer given the variant strains that have appeared on the scene.On December 9, 2020, four months ago, Canada approved the first of the vaccines currently being rolled out to combat the virus. This was certainly some light at the end of the tunnel, but it seems to be taking an impossibly long time for the vaccine rollout across Manitoba. I expect to see more discussion about vaccinating certain groups ahead of the age-basedselection process.WCA continues to work closely with the provincial government on changes to health orders, discussions about relaxing restrictions (or increasing them), clarity on the path forward and industry support programs. We had hoped announcements of a large batch of stimulus projectsmany of which are rural water and sewer projectsfunded partly by the federal governments Investing in Canada Plan and cost-shared with Manitoba would be much further along, but the process seems mired in finger pointing.As we forge ahead with planning association activities, we have our fingers crossed for our Spring and Fall Golf Tournaments, and maybe a small outdoor networking event if the health orders allow. Builders Night has a date on the calendar for the fall, so we will wait to see if health orders and our members appetite to gather in numbers permit us to move forward with planning our popular events after the summer months.In the meantime, stay safe and hang in there.Ronald Hambley, President8 BUILD MANITOBAwinnipegconstruction.ca'