What is Parliament Hill Day?

Parliament Hill Day is an annual ACEC event dedicated to meeting Members of Parliament and raising awareness of the issues affecting the consulting engineering industry. Approximately 40 meetings are held throughout the day and normally only one or two concise messages are delivered.

Who Attends Parliament Hill Day?

Attendees consist of the ACEC Board, representatives from each Member Organization, and senior staff. In addition, each year ACEC invites representatives from each award winning firm at the Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards to participate.

Results of Parliament Hill Day

Parliament Hill Day 2012

On October 23, 2012, ACEC’s Parliament Hill Day brought representatives of the consulting engineering sector to Ottawa from across Canada for meetings with over 40 Members of Parliament. 

ACEC’s continued call for a long-term infrastructure plan was delivered to Parliamentarians via three key messages:

  1. Canada needs a long-term infrastructure plan
    • Predictable, sustainable investment allows the development and allocation of resources to effectively plan, finance, design, construct and operate infrastructure projects.
  2. We need to invest in infrastructure wisely
    • Asset management determines the current state and future demand for infrastructure so that life-cycle savings are achieved through sufficient and prudent investment.
  3. ACEC can help
    • ACEC and its membership have extensive expertise in infrastructure to ensure that a long-term infrastructure program is effective, efficient and provides value to Canadian taxpayers.

ACEC received support on both sides of the House of Commons and many MPs wrote letters of support to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities endorsing ACEC’s position.

On Parliament Hill Day, during Question Period, Ted Hsu, MP for Kingston and the Islands rose to pay tribute to the important contribution of consulting engineers to Canada.

Watch the Parliament Hill Day 2012 video
Get highlights of the day
View photos

Parliament Hill Day 2011

In 2011, ACEC’s Hill Day focus was on infrastructure and the creation of a long-term plan. Given that all major political parties made a commitment to develop a long-term infrastructure plan in the last election, it afforded ACEC the chance to hold the government to account on this promise and to flesh out some ideas as to what this plan might include.

In short, ACEC encouraged the federal government to take a leadership role in terms of working with all provinces, municipalities, and key stakeholders to assess and prioritize the country’s infrastructure needs over the next three years. This is important because current funding programs expire in 2014 and it is anticipated that the government will be creating new infrastructure programs at that time. If proper planning and assessments take place between now and then, the government will be in a better position to allocate appropriate funds to address the most important infrastructure needs of the country.

Click here to view ACEC’s Position Paper on Infrastructure, which formed the basis of our Hill Day messaging.

Success Story

The result of ACEC's Parliament Hill Day is that over 40 letters of support for our position were sent to the Minister of Infrastructure and the Minister of Finance from all political parties. ACEC also received considerable media coverage from the event, including several radio interviews and an appearance on CBC News Network's the Lang and O’Leary Exchange (national business news program).

 
Click here to view Summary Video of ACEC’s Hill Day 2011.
Click here to view Highlights document of ACEC’s Hill Day 2011.
Click here to view 2011 Hill Day photo gallery.
 

On November 30, 2011, the Minister of Infrastructure announced that the government will begin the long-term planning process for a new infrastructure plan. ACEC was invited to the announcement and received a chance to personally congratulate the Minister on this initiative.  ACEC has also been invited to contribute as a stakeholder in the planning process as the government evaluates and prioritizes the infrastructure needs in Canada.

Working with the Federal Government on a Long-Term Infrastructure Plan

Infrastructure Canada has been tasked with the development of a long-term plan for infrastructure and ACEC has been invited to work in partnership to assist with this plan over the next several years. The initial steps will take stock of what the government and its partners have accomplished to date, followed by an assessment of the knowledge gaps and priorities that need to be addressed. And finally, the plan will include recommendations on the broad principles and orientation of a long-term plan.

It should be noted that ACEC works together with other like-minded organizations when it is appropriate. In the case of infrastructure which impacts other levels of government (provincial and municipal), and the broader engineering community, ACEC allied with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), Engineers Canada, and the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) to deliver the consistent message of long term infrastructure planning to the federal government. ACEC is now working with this allied community to assist the government in its planning process.

If you have any questions about ACEC’s advocacy efforts, or would like more information, please contact Susie Grynol, Vice-President, Policy and Public Affairs, at sgrynol@acec.ca.

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