ACEC Visits Parliament Hill
On October 21, ACEC Chair Garry Bolton, P. Eng., travelled from Winnipeg to Ottawa to appear with ACEC President Claude Paul Boivin in front of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.Each ...
On October 21, ACEC Chair Garry Bolton, P. Eng., travelled from Winnipeg to Ottawa to appear with ACEC President Claude Paul Boivin in front of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.
Each year, the committee invites Canadian interest groups to contribute to pre-budget discussions. The committee creates a report based on those recommendations and makes it available to the Finance Minister for him to consider when drafting the budget.
Liberal MP Sue Barnes chairs the committee, which on October 21 was attended by Rick Casson (Canadian Alliance), Roy Cullen (Liberal), Nick Discepola (Liberal), Sophia Leung (Liberal), Shawn Murphy (Liberal), Pauline Picard (Bloc Qubecois) and Bryon Wilfert (Liberal).
ACEC made three recommendations based on the priorities set out at this summer’s summit. ACEC believes the government should:
1. Establish a National Round Table for Infrastructure, bringing together all relevant stakeholders to advise the government in the development of a comprehensive, multi-year National Infrastructure Action Plan, and then commit stable funding to implement the plan in full.
2. Address the pressing need to revitalize Canada’s highways.
3. Reinstate funding for infrastructure creation and repair projects in the developing world, while CIDA should increase funding for its industrial co-operation program.
The Committee schedules several groups of varying interests for the same meeting, so Mr. Bolton and Mr. Boivin appeared along with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Voluntary Sector Forum, the Information Technology Association of Canada and the Canadian Construction Association. ACEC fielded several questions about the use of the fuel tax, the role of other levels of government, and private-public partnerships. As the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, and a former President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Liberal Bryon Wilfert especially has a strong understanding of infrastructure needs and funding, and he had many questions for ACEC.
Last year, Mr. Boivin appeared in front of the committee with then-ACEC Chair Pierre Shoiry, ing. and part of their brief was quoted in the committee’s final report. ACEC hopes that the committee will consider ACEC’s position for its recommendations again this year. For more information on the Standing House Committee on Finance, please visit http://www.parl.gc.ca/FINA-e.