Canadian Consulting Engineer

Chair’s Report: Get involved

As consulting engineers, we are traditionally at the heart of the development of public and private infrastructure, which has a direct impact on our quality of life. Yet we often find ourselves having...

October 1, 2002   Canadian Consulting Engineer

As consulting engineers, we are traditionally at the heart of the development of public and private infrastructure, which has a direct impact on our quality of life. Yet we often find ourselves having to explain our role and our profession, and we are seldom officially consulted for our vision of the strategic issues associated with infrastructure.

As part of the debate on the state of Canadian infrastructure, the ACEC and its provincial counterparts have devoted considerable effort to promoting the massive investments required to restore it to an acceptable standard.

I am asking you to familiarize yourselves with the position that our association will present to the House of Commons Finance Committee on the need to act vigorously in order to halt the degradation of our infrastructure. This debate offers an opportunity to share our vision with decision-makers, to raise public awareness on infrastructure issues, and to play a predominant role in the development of government policies. It is also an opportunity to exercise a unified influence of our industry, and to consolidate links and actions with the provincial organizations and other partners. Why are we not consulted more often on these critical infrastructure issues? Who else is in a better position to talk about infrastructure?

There is a general consensus on the excellent reputation of our industry, our expertise and our professionalism, and we are recognized for the active and prominent roles of our members within our communities. However, unless we take a more public leadership role, both individually and collectively, we will remain, in the eyes of decision-makers, politicians and the public, an honourable and respected profession, but no more than that.

Although consulting engineers undeniably have the potential and leadership to affect tomorrow’s choices, we must inspire them to take on this challenge. I invite all engineers, CEOs and members of our industry to get involved and take the opportunity offered by the debate on the infrastructure issue to promote the importance of immediate action if we are to preserve these collective assets, and for the need of a long-term planning initiative to ensure their sustainability.

PIERRE SHOIRY, P.ENG., CHAIR

ASSOCIATION OF CONSULTING ENGINEERS OF CANADA


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