Advocacy Activities

ACEC is committed to advocating on behalf of the consulting engineering industry, through a variety of activities involving decision-makers.

2011 Parliament Hill Event Focused on Infrastructure

Every year, we organize a "Parliament Hill Day," dedicated to enabling our Board members, our staff, and representatives of our member firms to meet with Members of Parliament. (We also invite representatives from the firms that won at the Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards.) In these meetings, we strive to raise awareness of issues affecting the consulting engineering industry, and to discuss issues of mutual interest. Typically, some 40 individual meetings are held throughout the day, delivering a handful of key messages.

This year, our Parliament Hill Day focused on the creation of a long-term plan for public infrastructure. In the last election, all major political parties made a commitment to develop such a plan; and so ACEC seized the opportunity to hold the government to account. Our goal in this meeting was to flesh out some concrete ideas to include in the plan.

During this meeting, and in later communications, ACEC encouraged the government to work with all provinces, territories, municipalities, and other key association stakeholders to assess and prioritize the country's infrastructure needs. It is vital that this be done over the next two years, since all current funding programs expire in 2014. At that time, the government will create new programs; and if proper planning and assessments are in place, the government will be in a much better position to allocate funds to address the most important needs.

The Parliament Hill Day was successful in producing results. On November 30, Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, announced that in 2011 the government will begin planning a new long-term infrastructure initiative. ACEC Vice-President, Policy and Public Affairs, Susie Grynol, CAE, was invited to attend the official announcement, and was able to personally congratulate the Minister. Our association was also invited to contribute to the planning process.

As well, more than 40 letters of support for our position were sent by all political parties to the Minister of Infrastructure and the Minister of Finance. ACEC also received valuable media coverage from the event. This included several radio interviews, and an appearance by John Gamble, ACEC President, on CBC's national business news program, The Lang and O'Leary Exchange.

Resources on Parliament Hill Day

 
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.
 

Federal Government Consultations

Now that Infrastructure Canada has been tasked with developing a long-term plan, we look forward to working as a partner in this process over the next several years. The initial goal is to take stock of what the government and its partners have accomplished to date; the next phase involves assessing the "knowledge gaps," and deciding which priorities need to be addressed. The final stage will be recommending the broad principles and orientation of the plan.

In this process, ACEC will consult with like-minded organizations on issues of mutual interest. Because public infrastructure affects both other government levels (provincial and municipal), and the broader engineering community, we have allied with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), Engineers Canada, and the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE). Our aim is to send the federal government a consistent message about long-term infrastructure planning.

Infrastructure "Report Card" Participation

One of the most critical steps in developing a workable plan is determining the state of existing infrastructure. To this end, we are participating on the advisory committee for the Canadian Infrastructure Report Card project. This project, an initiative of the Department of Infrastructure, brings together key stakeholders in the design, building, operation and maintenance of Canada's municipalities. These stakeholder organizations include the FCM, the CCA, the CSCE and the CPWA.

The goal is for the Report Card to serve as a valuable resource for projecting and prioritizing Canada's infrastructure needs. Once the report is completed, it will be released in 2012. For more information on the project, visit the official website at http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/.

Finance Committee Submission

Every fall, the most powerful committee in parliament, the Standing Committee on Finance, solicits input from various stakeholder groups across Canada to determine its budgetary priorities for the coming year. In 2011, ACEC submitted a report to the Finance Committee, outlining its views on the need for a long-term infrastructure plan.

View ACEC's Finance Committee submission.

 

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