Change ahead and the end of an era

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This BC Biomedical lab will be opening on Monday.  As BC Biomedical Laboratories are now a part of Life Labs, it may well be the last opening of a new BC Biomedical lab.  We at Tikal have been pleased to be the general contractor for many new labs including those at Davie St. in Yaletown, 64th and Scott Road in North Delta, North Road in Coquitlam, East 11th off Commercial Drive in Vancouver, Willowbrook Drive in Langley, Morgan Crossing in South Surrey and now this one on 152nd and 91st in the Fleetwood / Guildford area of Surrey.  How much longer will we see the familiar logo and the big BC beside it?  We don’t know.  It is the end of an era.  We  were also pleased to be part of the renovation team at most of the 45 local labs.  Everyone is hopeful that the changes ahead will be good for this corner of BC.

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Here is a recent story from the Daily Commercial News.  I heard about it this morning at our monthly potluck at from a nurse friend who told me that a temporary tent was set-up to inform people that they need to go to another emergency until this is sorted out – when they arrive at the Surrey Hospital:

November 21, 2012

Surrey hospital flooded


staff writer

Construction work related to the expansion of the Surrey Memorial Hospital may be the cause of a ruptured watermain that flooded one of the largest emergency rooms in B.C.

“At this moment, there is an expansion project occurring at the hospital and construction is happening outside of the emergency department,” said Tasleem Juma, spokesperson for the Fraser Health Authority.

“But, we are not sure exactly what or who caused the pipe to break and cause the flooding. We are still trying to determine what happened.”

Flooding forced the evacuation of the emergency room at Surrey Memorial Hospital early in the morning on Nov. 19.

A major construction project is currently taking place at Surrey Memorial, which involves work on a new emergency department and a critical care tower.

It has been widely reported in the media that a construction crew operating an excavator damaged a watermain on-site.

One of the largest emergency departments in B.C. was more than ankle deep in water.

Juma said the watermain breach at the site contained some silt, but did not include sewer water.

“We do know that there was a break in the main water line, which caused the emergency room area to flood,” said Juma. “The emergency room will be closed at least until tomorrow and we are in the process of assessing the damage and clean up time. There was a fair amount of water present, so we are doing a geotechnical assessment of the area. Because it was so wet we want to make sure it won’t affect the foundation and the building is safe and secure.”

Fire crews opened a drain to reduce the water level and have been pumping water out of the hospital.

The RCMP closed down roads near the hospital and B.C. Hydro crews were on the scene to mitigate any electrical problems.

“Our focus right now is to make sure our patients are safe and they get the services they need,” said Juma.

“We are working to set up a temporary emergency center at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. The B.C. Ambulance Service is diverting patients to other sites and a regional emergency operations center has been established, which will coordinate services that need to be provided to deal with the situation.”

end of DCN story

A sad story – and one that is sure to involve insurance companies!

It looks like it will be a very busy December for Tikal as we start work on a new BC Biomedical lab tomorrow in Surrey, plan for 2 Christmas shut down projects, get 2 Pharmasaves ready to open and push full steam ahead with the Eco Depot buildings in Pritchard.

hello week-end

We had a busy Friday with a tender closing, Shiro’s discharge from Women’s Hospital, a busy day at the soon to open BC Biomedical lab in Aberdeen Mall, Richmond and 2 children excited about spending the pending week-end with their mom!

The business community including the construction sector seems pleased with the new budget of the BC Liberal government.  This article is from the Journal of Commerce:

February 27, 2012

Capital spending takes a small hit in tight B.C. budget


staff writer

The 2012 B.C. Budget will reduce capital spending on the construction of basic infrastructure and increase some corporate income taxes, as part of a plan to eliminate the provincial deficit in the next two years.

“Generally, I think it’s a prudent budget that is based on a reasonable forecast,” said Keith Sashaw, president of the Vancouver Regional Construction Association.

“The government is taking steps to ensure there is a strong fiscal environment. Given what is going on in the rest of the world, this is the prudent thing to do.”

Finance Minister Kevin Falcon delivered the 2012 B.C. Budget in Victoria on Feb. 21.

He described it as a prudent and disciplined plan in a challenging world economic environment.

“We made a commitment to the people of British Columbia to return to balanced budgets by 2013-14,” said Falcon.

“We will honour that commitment.”

Budget 2012 forecasts a deficit of $968 million in 2012-13, and surpluses of $154 million in 2013-14 and $250 million in 2014-5.

The latest quarterly figures forecast a deficit of $2.5 billion for 2011-12.

Capital spending on public infrastructure between 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 is expected to total about $19.2 billion.

“There is a commitment to continued capital spending,” said Sashaw.

“The government’s expenditures between 2009 and last year were a response to the economic downturn. The budget recognizes that the private sector will start to step  up, which we are seeing signs of, in particular the projects that are going to be built in the northern part of the province.”

The updated forecast estimates that total capital spending will be $7.141 billion for 2011-2.

However, total capital spending is forecast to fall to $7.103 in 2012-2013, $6.03 billion in 2013-2014 and $6.035 billion in 2014-2015.

The Business Council of British Columbia agreed that the 2012 budget is taking a responsible and cautious approach to managing the province’s finances at a time of considerable economic uncertainty.

“The business council believes in balanced budgets and we were hoping that the government would continue with its fiscal plan aimed at eliminating the operating deficit in a timely manner,” stated Greg D’Avignon,  president and CEO of the Business Council of B.C.

“While there will be challenges in returning to the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) in 2013, we believe this budget strikes the right tone to position the province as a desired investment location. The combination of sound budget policies and an attractive overall investment climate will serve as a platform for growth and jobs going forward.”

B.C. will return to the PST on April 1, 2013.

The government will raise the HST rebate threshold for new home buyers to $850,000, from the current $525,000, on April 1, 2012.

This means more than 90 per cent of newly built homes will now be eligible for a provincial HST rebate of up to $42,500.

The small business corporate tax rate will be maintained at 2.5 per cent, instead of being reduced to zero, as had been planned for this coming April.

This decision will be revisited after the fiscal situation has improved.

If the fiscal situation worsens, the fiscal plan includes a temporary one-point increase in the general corporate income tax rate to 11 per cent, effective April 1, 2014.

However, the requirement to implement this tax measure will be re-evaluated in next year’s budget.

In addition, the government plans to generate revenue by selling off so called non-strategic surplus assets.

The government forecasts B.C.’s economy will grow by 1.8 per cent in 2012, 2.2 per cent in 2013 and 2.5 per cent per cent in 2014.

Over the next three years, government will contain spending growth to an annual average of two per cent.

Aberdeen Centre

We meet today for a pre construction meeting of the new tenant improvement for BC Biomedical Laboratories at Aberdeen Centre in Richmond.  It will be an interesting looking lab when it is complete with bamboo plywood and a stainless steel feature greeting you at the reception.  Now, to push forward for a Halloween opening at the Coquitlam lab we are working on now.


As the September weather becomes more seasonal after a heat wave, we have wrapped up the renovation of the Williams Lake Liquor store and the  change room renovation at the Maple Ridge Pool.  As new projects get started for the fall including the new lab for BC Biomedical Laboratories on Lansdowne in Coquitlam, what else is new in the construction world?  At you can find videos of a new noise barrier at YVR, moped riding electricians in downtown Vancouver and musings about possible future trends in the industry.

A glance at the rearview mirror – the year in review

Good bye 2010.  It was a banner year for Tikal Construction Ltd. with the best business for one year  since 1991 when we built a couple of large patrol yard office additions for the Ministry of Transportation in Shabaqua and Upsala, Ontario.  This year we welcomed new customers The Co-operators, Rip Curl Canada and Pita Pit and were happy to be working again with BC Biomedical Laboratories and Westminster Savings Credit Union.  

We welcomed new people on board such as Mark, Chris and Andrew and said good bye to Dwayne, wishing him well.  We will soon be saying so long to Tina as she takes her maternity leave.  Luigi may be serious about retiring this year as he turns 70.  We are thankful to have such a good team in place including Peter, Oskar,  A.J., and Shiro.

We are looking forward to another good year in 2011 with the economy on a gentle upswing. 

 At home, we are excited about Carla getting her tonsils and adenoids removed at Children’s Hospital early in January which should help her breathing which can be troublesome at night.  We are also excited that she will soon be joining Keshi at pre school – but not as excited as both girls are! 

Here is a photo of Shiro at Manhattan Beach south of Los Angeles from our recent trip there.  The previous blog postings photo was of Carla, Keshi and I facing the Pacific watching the sun set in the same place.

a late October snippet

Another sunny October day.  Work looks busy, busy until Christmas … and then?  Time to start estimating and getting the word out to minimize the inevitable January/February slowdown.  Projects starting soon in Newton and Vancouver for Co-operators as well as 2 to complete in the next month or so in Maple Ridge for and   Many of us are looking forward to the catered lunch at the credit union site tomorrow.  There aren’t many clients out there who are as good to work for!

It is the last week of Grandpa’s BC sojourn which is his transition between independent living in the hinterlands to living in a senior’s center in Thunder Bay.  He is a little uneasy about it, as it will be a new way of life for him.  We will have a small potluck send off for him this Friday night.

Carla is looking forward to her first ballet class this weekend.  Keshi is thrilled to be able to show off some of the moves to her little sister that she has learned in her 2 years plus of lessons.

Saturday morning

Saturday was a busy morning ahead of meeting Andrew in Mission where Blackwood delivered a double door and frame for us to renovate the BC Biomedical lab with better access to their data closet.  I left him to carry out the work while I drove back to Abbotsford to line up for the start of the 5 km race for Cares Counselling.  It was a good run and I realized that I was doing alright when a young girl of 9 or 10 told me ‘good job’ as she passed me about half way through the run.  When I took it up a notch for the sprint toward the finish, I had an age mate of hers speed past me in a determined drive to finish well, with a lot of cheers from the sidelines urging him to ‘go Marsh go’

There was good corporate citizenship on display at the picnic tables around the finish line represented by Tim Hortons, Panago Pizza and whoever provided the bagels, fruit and yogurt.  I had a bite and met up with Peter Ndungu and young Josh to guide them to the portable at Mouat High School where the “My Daddy and Me” program relocated to.  Unfortunately, Keshi and Carla couldn’t join us as they were getting ready for a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s playeatlaugh  joint in Langley.  I stopped to buy some dollar store birthday accessories and rushed home to help Shiro to get them out the door and on their way to toddler fun.  Grandpa would go along for the ride to meet up with his youngest son and my brother Gord half way between Ladner and Abbotsford in the Willowbrook area.

A Carla update and a metro Vancouver tour

Carla had us up at pre dawn on Friday morning.  After a great recovery day with a lot of energy and spunk on Thursday, she didn’t seem as well now.  When Shiro rushed off to a photo shoot for an Advil advert at a Burnaby studio, Carla didn’t want to let her go.  This was very unlike her.

She then let Daddy know that he wasn’t allowed to work either.  He would have to hold her aloft.  That made shaving difficult!  We then bundled Keshi up to go to her day care and to drop Grandpa off to his coffee klatch with the usual suspects at the golden arches.  Fortunately for me, Carla fell asleep during this scenic tour of Abbotsford.  This allowed Daddy to get some office work done before heading out after the lunch hour to check on some sites and drop off pay cheques.

Heading over the Mission bridge, Shiro phoned to say her photo shoot was done.  That was welcome news because our impromptu babysitter wasn’t as familiar with Carla and her needs as her parents.

A quick flurry of visits to the Maple Ridge sites of and for brief huddles with Peter, Chris and Mark.  Progress was moving along well for a Friday afternoon.  Next stop – the new office for at beside Coquitlam Centre where data rough in and drywall installation were nearing completion.   Second last stop was the newly opened Co-operators insurance office at the Sugar complex on East Hastings in Vancouver to meet up with Dwayne and have a quick look around before heading back to Abbotsford.  The last stop, before picking Keshi up at her daycare,  was the new Co-operators office in Langley just south of Highway 1 on 200th st., looking spanking clean with floors waxed and glass clean.

Shiro had phoned while I was on the road to let me know that she had called the ambulance to bring her and a very lethargic Carla to the hospital.  From previous experience with both Keshi and Carla we knew that this was the place for them when they succumbed to the state of lethargy where they need an IV of antibiotics to flush out the bad and flush in the good stuff!  She didn’t arouse while I was there to bring Keshi who would in turn have a sleep-over with visiting friends.

Fortunately, brother Gord had already arranged to take Grandpa for the weekend.  This plan was hatched when we thought that we were going to the Tacoma Dome to watch “Alegria” by Cirque de Soleil.  The only problem was that Grandpa wasn’t one to be boxed in by time.  With the sun shining, he wasn’t to be found when Gord showed up.   As Gord wanted to get back to Ladner in time to get his son Nolan to hockey practise, it was a good thing that Grandpa was already shuffling up Marble Hill Drive with his iconic “seeing-eye” cane of a gnarled tree limb that had been fashioned by brother Carl in Conmee Township in 2002.

A tri-city spin

It was great to have the sun again in southwestern BC for the day.  After stops in Maple Ridge visiting the bc biomedical site and the credit union, it was to our Coquitlam project beside to meet the building inspector.  After a full day of construction sites interspersed with picking up toddler items that Shiro has sourced from craigslist, I stopped at for an evening jog on the way home.  Very scenic and refreshing.

At home Keshi and Carla were excited to see dad back.  Squeals and hugs aplenty.  We then relaxed on the couch watching the cartoon antics of Curious George and the man with the yellow hat.  Great stories!

This Saturday features at the agrec centre.  Next day event photos will be available at   Our impromptu choir from will be singing in Punjabi and Swahili.