Houle Electric, Celebrating 70 Years of Success

Allan Lanzador

By Allan Lanzador

Houle Electric along with nearly 150 of its long term staff including managers and employee owners (both active and retired) will gather this Saturday to celebrate 70 years of success this year along its journey to build a lasting legacy as a leader in electrical construction in Western Canada. Houle provides core services in electrical construction, automated building controls, data networks, security & life safety systems, power quality & preventative maintenance (integrated and standalone solutions) for the commercial, industrial, government and P3 (Public Private Partnership) sectors.

The British Columbia based company, founded by the late Lionel Houle in 1944, continues to grow in 2014 with a new nation-wide outlook that does not compromise the high quality of service, professionalism, business ethics, and expert craftsmanship built into the fabric of its company culture, which has attributed to its seven decades of success.

“As a company, Houle has a strong sense of honesty and business ethics so much so that when those ethics are challenged, the company will defend it fiercely even at the cost of losing a profitable customer. This unwillingness to compromise on ethical values in exchange for increased revenue shows our dedication to maintaining a long-standing reputation as an honest and reliable contractor, “ says current company president, Robert Lashin.

Houle’s many award-winning projects stand as a physical testament to that uncompromising culture of integrity and service,beginning, beginning with Victoria General Hospital in 1980. This was Houle’s first major construction project valued at $3.3 million electrically, Houle would later do a major fire alarm upgrade for this hospital in 2010 for which it won the VRCA (Vancouver Regional Construction Association) Gold Award of Excellence. The Uptown Shopping Centre in Saanich (Victoria), BC, in 2012, was to be Houle’s first major shopping centre construction project valued greater than $10-million electrically. Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre (owned/operated by Fraser Health, pictured left) in 2008, was Houle’s first lucrative P3 project valued at $355-million ($30+ million electrically).

A commitment to its core values of safety, quality, ethics and integrity have seen the company through some of the toughest downturns in the economy to receive nation-wide recognition, such as being named one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies in 2012 and re-qualified for this honour again in 2013. As an additional compliment, Houle also saw its employee count go up to a peak of more than 1,000 last year.

Now over three decades since Lashin purchased Houle along with 12 other employees, there is a definite eye towards national expansion. Houle is already seeing major project opportunities emerge in other provinces such as Alberta and Saskatchewan. Houle has established National Contracts in both Automated Building Controls and Data Networks across Canada.

“As one of Canada’s recognized Best Managed Companies, we are now set to continue our growth not only in British Columbia but nation-wide and it is our goal to do so without compromising on the high quality of service that our customers expect,” Lashin affirms.

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