Canadian Consulting Engineer

Quebec association responds to announcement of construction industry inquiry

The Association of Consulting Engineers of Quebec (AICQ) is working to uphold the reputation and status of its members as a public scandal faces the construction industry in the province.

October 24, 2011   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The Association of Consulting Engineers of Quebec (AICQ) is working to uphold the reputation and status of its members as a public scandal faces the construction industry in the province.

Last week, AICQ responded to an announcement by the Quebec government that it would be holding an official inquiry into the granting of government construction contracts over the past 15 years.

The government’s decision to hold an inquiry follows public pressure and the release last month of a report by a special watchdog committee led by Jacques Duchesneau. That report had suggested there was collusion and corruption in the construction industry. Similar allegations have been circulating in the media for almost three years, and include suggestions of back-room deals and involvement by Mafia. There is an ongoing police investigation into the allegations.

The new commission is to be led by the honourable France Charbonneau, a judge of the Quebec Superior Court, and will report in two years. The details were still being worked out, but at press time the government had decided that individuals could be ordered to testify.

On the same day as the inquiry announcement, AICQ issued a statement. The association said it hoped that in terms of protecting any judicial evidence and reputations, the independent, orderly and responsible process chosen for the commission of inquiry will be able to shed light on the various collusion and corruption problems mentioned publicly since 2009.

The association stressed that it has always promoted respect for law and professional business practices among its members, and it thinks that the commission will do its part in allowing the identification and denunciation of those responsible for any reprehensible acts.

At the same time the AICQ deplored the fact that the issue has engendered negative feelings and criticisms directed towards the entire industry, when concerns should have been directed only at those shown to be responsible for the acts.

The association also said that it hoped the commission of inquiry would devote enough technical resources to enable it to adequately understand the procedures for procurement and management of construction contracts.

In order to raise the profile of consulting engineers among the public, the previous Saturday, October 15, AICQ organized a special event “Vues de l’interieur” (Inside View). People were invited to tour projects accompanied by the engineers who had helped to realize them.

The event involved 17 projects and took place in four cities: Montreal, Quebec, Trois-Rivieres and Saguenay. Over 5,000 visited the sites, which included the Biodome and the recently opened symphony hall in Montreal, and the Chauveau soccer complex in Quebec City. As well, there were more than 16,500 visits to the website, www.vuesdelinterieur.ca

Click here.

  


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