A loud voice gets attention
"...we will seek to reach an agreement with our provincial and municipal partners by no later than the end of year 2000, to begin in 2001 a five-year modern infrastructure program for Canada." Prime M...
“…we will seek to reach an agreement with our provincial and municipal partners by no later than the end of year 2000, to begin in 2001 a five-year modern infrastructure program for Canada.” Prime Minister Jean Chretien responded to the Throne Speech with words we were delighted to hear. On the heels of our six month campaign to address Canada’s $60 billion infrastructure deficit in a judicious and effective manner, the government’s recognition of the cornerstones of our industry’s position indeed gave cause for optimism.
On November 4, ACEC made its pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. Our appearance sought to draw further attention to the issue of deteriorating infrastructure in Canada, but, more importantly, to its obvious and immediate consequences for our economy and the health and safety of our communities.
As you read this, the 3rd Annual ACEC Government Days will have been held in Ottawa at which the two mainstays of our industry’s position will have been discussed: the immediate priorities and the long-term strategy. Experts on topics ranging from multi-modal transportation systems to municipal infrastructure to public administration will have given their views on the matter, and collectively they will have generated some workable ideas for those in government who need to know.
It is only recently that we’ve had a government at least willing to recognize infrastructure renewal and rehabilitation as a priority. We now have evidence that the government understands the need for long-term commitment to this issue. We find this response encouraging — it suggests that your association is on the right path in bringing these matters to the public forum.
Our challenge now is to ensure that Ottawa commits sufficient funding to this program and gives priority to those areas of our national infrastructure in greatest need of attention.
JOHN BOYD, P.ENG., CHAIR ASSOCIATION OF CONSULTING ENGINEERS OF CANADA