Earlier this week, I was invited on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada’s Saskatchewan caucus to meet with representatives from the Saskatchewan team and various Members of Parliament and Senators during their stakeholder meetings.
The purpose of these meetings is to hear directly from stakeholders that are spread across our province and to discuss issues that are relevant to both Saskatchewan and our country.
This is an opportunity for me, on behalf of all Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association members, to share our concerns and issues with yet another level of government.
The simple fact that SHCA was invited to partake in these meetings tells me that it’s apparent to leaders at the federal level that infrastructure is important.
It’s extremely beneficial to bend the ears of officials at the federal level on how our industry is facing challenges right now and how it has a ripple effect on other vital sectors like agriculture, mining and long-haul trucking. All of these sectors contribute mightily to our country’s revenue streams and all are major chips in international trade.
Right now, we’re struggling with the federal stimulus packages issued for COVID-19 relief. Unfortunately, a lot of our members don’t qualify for this relief package because their season had yet to officially start when COVID-19 hit.
I feel this also would be an ideal opportunity to remind those at the federal level how the carbon tax handcuffs our industry. More innovation is needed to help slow emissions, not a penalizing and short-sighted tax.
However, we should be thankful the federal government has partnered with provincial and local governments to see more than 100 bridges in rural locations be replaced over the next four years. Replacing these bridges will help address the infrastructure gap in the transportation chain.
Having the opportunity to speak at meetings of this magnitude is critical for our industry. I’m thankful they included us. Now, we can only hope they hear our voice and action is taken.