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Essential Now and Later

If anything is certain today, it is that we are living in uncertain times.

When will we see a light at the end of this seemingly endless COVID-19 tunnel? What will our economy look like when we do? How will we recover?

When life does return to normal – and it will one day – Canadians will look to our industry as one that can lead us to a stronger economic future.

We know there’s an infrastructure deficit in this country that ranges anywhere from $125 billion to $600 billion. That spells a massive opportunity for those in our industry and it may just be the spark to reloading the Canadian economy once the pandemic has been defeated.

In previous economic meltdowns, public-sponsored projects played a major role in stimulating jobs and firing up the consumer economy. It’s one of the reasons Saskatchewan has more roads than just about anywhere – we built them in the 1930s.

These roads are in need of maintenance and new roads are begging to be built.

Yes, a number of communities within our province and our country have announced business closures and have stated that only organizations necessary to provide essential services are permitted to operate.

Thankfully, that includes our industry.

Many of us can forge ahead with our projects this season, albeit under strict health and safety guidelines. Canada’s National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure lists transportation infrastructure as an essential service to the health, safety, security and economic wellbeing of Canadians and the effective functioning of government.

Services and functions essential to preserving life, health and basic societal functioning also are included. Our first responders, healthcare workers, hydro and natural gas workers and those who supply food and medicines all rely on our network of roads and highways to perform.

It is critical that these services continue to operate, just as it’s critical for our industry to continue to operate.

The money being spent now at all levels of government will get us through the immediate challenges we face. However, that money will leave no long-term assets behind. Building infrastructure will create a legacy serving the economy for the next 50 years.

And that’s when it will be our time to shine. Be ready.

I wish all of our members good health during these challenging times.

 

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