Canadian Consulting Engineer

ACEC Activities At A Glance 2002-2003

August 1, 2003
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

Over the past year, ACEC has been very active in implementing its strategic plan and the five priorities that were identified as a result of extensive consultations within the industry and with the pr...

Over the past year, ACEC has been very active in implementing its strategic plan and the five priorities that were identified as a result of extensive consultations within the industry and with the provincial member organizations. The five priorities are:



Business Practices



Some highlights of ACEC achievements and activities are:

Government relations

Presentation of a written and oral “pre-budget consultation” brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. In its final report to Parliament, the Standing Committee used a direct quote from the ACEC brief as the introductory paragraph to the section on infrastructure. ACEC’s key message to the Federal Government was:

“Canada has an out-of-control infrastructure deficit which is really Canada’s second national debt. This infrastructure debt should be seen as equally crippling as the national fiscal debt and should be tackled with the same level of vigour and urgency. In fact, the infrastructure deficit has a greater impact on the health, safety and well-being of Canadians than does the fiscal debt.”

Presentation of a written and oral brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport. ACEC’s key message to the Standing Committee was:

“The deterioration of Canada’s highways will put the country at an economic disadvantage with respect to international and inter-provincial trade, and is exposing the travelling public to unnecessary risk.”

Successful representations to elected federal officials for greater investments in infrastructure resulting in the announcement in the Speech from the Throne and in the budget of a 10-year infrastructure program.

Leadership role on the newly-established Federal/Industry Real Property Advisory Council. ACEC Co-Chairs this permanent joint Council which brings together senior officials from government and the design and construction industry in Canada to address all policy, program and administrative issues related to federal government procurement.

The organization of a thematic roundtable at the Canada and Africa Partnership conference, titled: “Regional Infrastructure Projects: Sources of Sustainable Development.” The roundtable, which was organized in collaboration with members of the ACEC Committee on CIDA, demonstrated to Ministers, government officials, foreign diplomats and members of the NGO (non-governmental organizations) community the need for infrastructure projects in Africa.

Representations to relevant federal government departments to take a strong position in encouraging companies that benefit from public Canadian support in the form of investment incentives to use Canadian-based companies where appropriate expertise and resources exist.

Signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between ACEC and the Department of National Defence and its contracting agency, Defence Construction Canada (DCC) which stipulates that DND and DCC wish to support the principles of Qualifications-Based Selection.

The organization of a Government Relations Day reception in collaboration with three other construction and architecture industry groups. The main message was the need for a well-funded, long-term national infrastructure program. The joint industry initiative provided more visibility to the design and construction industry and maximizes the lobbying efforts.

Business practices

The distribution of the third national business survey of member firms in Canada to complement the previous year’s ACEC client survey. The COMPAS survey was commissioned to identify industry practices and trends.

The conducting of a national survey to determine government procurement policies at the national, provincial and municipal levels with the view to identifying “best practices” that may be used as models of ideal procurement methods when making representations to governments.

The formulation of an industry-wide position on the principles of design-build and the development of a standard contract as a basis for discussion with the architectural and construction industries, as well as with government and other clients.

Successful representations for the adoption of a Guide for the calculation of remuneration for design-build proposals that will assist both public and private sector owners in determining a reasonable amount of compensation for the preparation of proposals.

The organization of two successful ACEC/PSMJ business seminars; the first, “Increasing Production and Profits without Increasing Payroll,” featured PSMJ president, Mr. Frank Stasiowski; the second was a Project Managers Bootcamp which was so well received that ACEC is planning future bootcamps in selected Canadian cities.

Participation as one of its four owners in the work of the Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) which provides a set of consensus standard construction documents for the design and construction industry in Canada.

Participation in the work of FIDIC in the development of policies and guidelines for sound international business practices such as integrity management and capacity building.


The implementation of the major Career Awareness Project, funded by the Government of Canada, to provide career information to high school students as well as engineering students across the country.

The development of common speaking notes for use by ACEC representatives, Member Organizations and member firms on “The Value of Consulting Engineering Services” and on “Tackling Canada’s Infrastructure Deficit.”

The development of a model newspaper “comment” article on Canada’s out-of-control infrastructure deficit for use by ACEC and Member Organizations.

The development by the National Communications Committee of a Harmonized Cross-Canada Image Strategy for the consulting engineering industry, as well as a strategy for the industry’s relationships with private sector clients.

The creation of RedR Canada as a separate, independent non-profit/ charitable organization that provides opportunities for individual engineers to be trained in disaster relief operations.

The implementation, jointly with Consulting Engineers of Ontario, of a new web-based membership database.


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