C E O ’ S M E S S A G E
Preparing for the
Can we afford to keep the old model
of transportation funding?
And just like that, it’s a new year. Now that we are
into February, we’ve all had some time to look back
and digest the tumult that was 2020 – a year of
unknowns and the need to adapt.
Faced with an emergency, contractors and owners found
new inspiration to cooperate to achieve the common goals of
employing Albertans to fix roads.
In fact, though 2020 was not without its losses for us all,
our industry was one of the few that continued to make
positive contributions to sustaining the province. We lobbied
for, and were successful in, convincing the Government
of Alberta to return half a billion dollars to the capital and
maintenance budget for much-needed stimulus projects that
also stemmed the tide of highway kilometers sliding into
Providing funding and getting projects delivered are
two different things. We were fortunate that our Minister,
Ric McIver, has a business background. He understood
our concerns that the usual interpretation of government
contracts was incompatible with the massive and
unprecedented risks of pandemic response. ARHCA,
Minister McIver, and the Deputy Minister, Rae-Ann
Lajeunesse, worked to institute a Fairness Advisory Panel
of representatives of ARHCA, CEA and government to
review COVID-19 claims if they needed to be escalated.
Creating this mechanism was like pulling a stick out of the
spokes so that when tenders were issued, contractors had
comfort that whatever was to happen, government had
made a demonstrable commitment to fairness.
Through our advocacy and the industry response to the
stimulus spending, we proved a lot last year. Roadbuilders
proved we had a lot of capacity, could employ a lot of
Albertans and that government is receiving excellent value
for the taxpayer in a competitive market. Thanks to all those
efforts and accomplishments, we are in a stronger position
to showcase to government what we need moving forward.
I want to thank you all for your participation in our advocacy.
As this government enters its crucial third year of its
mandate before the next election cycle, we need you more
than ever. As we’ve said time and time again, we are stronger
By Ron Glen, CEO, ARHCA
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