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July 16, 2012

Canadian Institute of Steel Construction optimistic about near future

The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) is optimistic about the industry’s prospects for the next year or two.

“Overall, I’d say the outlook is very positive,” says president Ed Whalen.

The institute, which represents fabricators, detailers, steel mills and steel service centers as well as erectors and suppliers, expects natural resources development will drive construction “for a few years to come.

“We believe the steel industry will be following right along,” Whalen said in an interview.

In its annual report, the institute said most regions of the country have seen substantial growth in the past year.

Alberta and Saskatchewan have led the way, with Newfoundland and the Maritimes close behind due to natural resources and shipping contracts.

Looking ahead, Whalen said proposed development in northern Quebec could translate into opportunities for CISC members “in probably two years’ time.”

In Ontario, the Pan Am Games and transit expansions in the Toronto area will mean work down the road. As will industrial development in the north, according to the CISC.

Whalen said most fabricators are “pretty comfortable” with current capacities and staffing levels. Institute members include fabricators of structural steel, open-web steel joists and steel platework.

The Markham-headquartered institute has 665 members.

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