The end of 2022 is within sight. I am proud of all we accomplished this year, and I am looking forward to making more progress in the upcoming year.
This year, I recognized we need to continue to help others fully understand our industry. Those we work with need to continuously hear from us to better understand our members, the contributions you make and the challenges you face.
For example, the City of Regina put forward a motion about local procurement and economic recovery. In that motion was a fair wage policy for all construction, maintenance and service contracts. I made a submission on behalf of the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association explaining the implications of such a policy and I asked questions that showed the kinds of challenges such a policy would create.
Knowing how we attract and compensate employees, the qualifications of those employed in the industry as well as how our members work with a general contractor were just some of the points I made in my submission. In the end, the motion was defeated, but I recognize it was a good opportunity to help a level of government understand what businesses like yours need to be successful working with them.
Another example of how I worked to ensure governments and others better understand our industry to improve their relationship with members is the work I did with the Ministry of Highways to develop adjustments to the fuel escalation clause.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Highways presented some proposed adjustments to the fuel escalation clause. That proposal was reviewed, and several members provided additional improvements they would like to see added. I brought forward their requests and provided actual figures and examples of how our industry has been impacted by the price of diesel fuel climbing. Ultimately, after some back and forth, updates were made and included in fall tenders.
On a broader scale, we are working with other heavy construction associations in Western Canada to draw attention to the need for Canada to invest in its trade infrastructure. We were part of the release of a report From Shovel Ready to Shovel Worthy that was produced by the Canada West Foundation. That report encourages both the federal and provincial governments to plan their investment more strategically in infrastructure that supports the movement of goods and people through and far beyond our country.
It is important that we continue to raise the profile of our industry by explaining the work that we do, how that work gets completed and how that work contributes to improving our province and country. When we can help others recognize the significance of the work being done by our industry, we can not only benefit our members, but we can also improve what is possible in our province and country because of what members like you build. This is what makes me proud of the role I hold and the work that I do on your behalf.
You’ve worked hard through this year and now, with the construction season done for the year and the next one still months away, I hope you have an opportunity to rest and recover – and maybe even escape the cold – to get back at it once winter fades away. I wish you all a very merry Christmas and all the best in the new year, when I look forward to getting back to work to make even more progress on your behalf.