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together than we could ever be as individual companies and
organizations. Together, we need to keep up the pressure.
This year, we will be engaging with government to rebalance
the risk profile and allocation throughout the design
to delivery continuum. Risk management has become risk
avoidance – at any cost. The pendulum on risk transfer has
swung too far and more than tweaking any written regulation
that impedes business, when risk is too great, business
To do this, ARHCA will begin this year by ramping up our
public education and advocacy; work with partner organizations;
and provide advice to government on new models of
financing and managing the provincial highway assets. We
have been working on a proposal that will start the conversation
about real change in thinking about a credible
capital plan that incentivizes business to invest and proves
to young workers they can choose a career in construction.
Over the last 25 years, Alberta has never had more than five
consecutive years of stable highway funding, resulting in
diminished overall condition. Alberta cannot afford to return
to this model and repeat history once again.
This is the year that we will highlight a new model for
funding the delivery of transportation in our province.
I addressed this a bit last year, including at our Driving
Improvement Summit in Banff. If you haven’t heard this
before, I am talking about an Alberta Highway Trust.
An Alberta Highway Trust would involve a highway
systems operator with a contractual commitment to a plan
and commensurate performance objectives would provide
Albertans with the transparency they deserve about the
condition of their assets, and the performance of their asset
manager in getting superior long-term results. Albertans do
not have to look to others for an excellent model. Alberta’s
traditional partnership with private companies that compete
to deliver infrastructure works effectively in the electrical
Government is good at holding contractors to account for
performance. Contract law is the foundation of all business
relationships and the achievement of business objectives. It
is time that Albertans had a performance contract with our
road authorities to hold their governments to account for
the condition of the assets and the cost of administrating
Given the massive fiscal challenges Alberta faces, we cannot
afford to continue the old model. In recovering from
the pandemic, Alberta needs to be open to “radical” new
approaches. An Alberta Highway Trust could pave the way
for better roads ahead. n
We are stronger together
than we could ever be
as individual companies
Together, we need to
keep up the pressure.