ACEC-Canada asks federal government for industry support
March 26, 2020
The Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Canada (ACEC-Canada) has written to the prime minister and several cabinet ministers with specific recommendations for how the consulting engineering community can retain its capacity to help the federal government mitigate the COVID-19 crisis and to support post-crisis recovery.
“We applaud the ‘all of government’ approach in protecting the health and safety of Canadians,” writes ACEC-Canada president and CEO John D. Gamble, P.Eng. “Thank you for your leadership.”
The recommendations include:
- Deeming the planning, design, construction and operation of critical infrastructure, such as hospitals, transportation, power and wastewater treatment, “essential services” nationwide.
- Accelerating existing infrastructure commitments through the Investing in Canada Plan and other legacy programs as stimulus over the next two to three years.
- Using the Gas Tax Fund to jumpstart the economy.
- Streamlining project approvals, as Infrastructure Canada did during an economic downturn in 2009.
- Developing policies to make significant credit available to consulting engineering firms by backstopping and underwriting loans.
“Past economic challenges have demonstrated the effectiveness of infrastructure as a form of stimulus,” Gamble writes. “Once delivered, infrastructure assets continue to enhance our quality of life, rather than being a one-time expenditure.”
To read the full letter, click here.
The recommendations follow ongoing contact with the federal government, key stakeholder partners and provincial/territorial consulting engineering associations. ACEC-Canada has also worked with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and 60-plus business associations across the country to protect and support businesses and jobs through the crisis; to read their joint statement, click here.
Indeed, ACEC-Canada says its primary focus for the foreseeable future will be mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on consulting engineering firms and positioning the industry to assist with the eventual recovery.