Canadian Consulting Engineer

New Cabinet Signals New Era for Infrastructure

Canada's new Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Paul Martin, brings with him a revamped cabinet to handle the country's evolving challenges. His cabinet selections indicate support for cities and hi...

January 1, 2004   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Canada’s new Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Paul Martin, brings with him a revamped cabinet to handle the country’s evolving challenges. His cabinet selections indicate support for cities and highways with the appointment of a Minister of State for Infrastructure (Andy Scott), when in the past Infrastructure was a portfolio falling under Industry Canada. Prime Minister Martin also appointed a Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister with Special Emphasis on Cities (John Godfrey).

As you have seen in past editions of the ACEC Review, ACEC has communicated a strong and consistent message of the need for a greater, sustained, and dedicated funding policy to tackle the growing $57 billion national infrastructure debt.

A tripartite governmental approach with support from the private sector through initiatives such as Public-Private Partnerships, the New Deal for Cities, and a gas tax rebate system for clearly defined infrastructure projects is required to handle the increasing shortfall.

The federal government is to be congratulated for its commitment towards infrastructure since the early 1990s, and ACEC looks forward to meeting with Minister Scott and his department in the near future to see how the infrastructure-funding bar can be raised. Spending on infrastructure is not just an expense but also an investment with noticeable returns including more job creation, increased tax revenue, improved public safety, and a stronger system for future generations.

Rounding out the cabinet positions most pertinent to ACEC are Ralph Goodale as Minister of Finance, John McKay as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance (with Special Emphasis on Public Private Partnerships), Stephen Owen as Minister of PWGSC, Walt Lastewka as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of PWGSC (with Special Emphasis on Procurement Review), Geoff Regan as Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Tony Valeri as Minister of Transport, and Jim Karygiannis as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport (with Special Emphasis on Transport and the Environment).

K. GARRY BOLTON, P.ENG., CHAIR

ASSOCIATION OF CONSULTING ENGINEERS OF CANADA


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