by Shantel Lipp Shantel Lipp

Infrastructure needs its champions, and the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association is proud to be one of them.

Recently, our chair and some of our board members had the opportunity to attend a dinner meeting in Saskatoon sponsored, in part, by the SHCA.

The Canada West Foundation, which released the Shovel Ready to Shovel Worthy report last month, was in Saskatchewan for its board meeting, bringing together those who understand what Western Canada offers the world.

Trade infrastructure is how we make sure that what provinces like Saskatchewan produce can be transported from here to everywhere that buys what we sell. The SHCA champions for long-term investment into trade infrastructure through its relationships with the Western Canadian Roadbuilders as well as the Civil Infrastructure Council among others, such as the Canada West Foundation.

These relationships are how reports such as the Shovel Ready to Shovel Worthy report are produced and promoted. A report like that creates the narrative for industries like ours to have the conversation with elected officials, and industry leaders at all levels about working together to capitalize investment into trade corridors.

A report like Shovel Ready to Shovel Worthy is where compelling data is pulled together and presented to prove our case. A report with such data is at the core of our collaboration on coordinated campaigns that target the federal government to carve out explicit funds for trade-related infrastructure.

The contents of the report will be discussed at meetings with Saskatchewan’s new Minister of Highways, Jeremy Cockrill, as well as the new chief of staff, Brayden Fox, who I am excited to work with going forward.

It is the focus of messages our industry and association send out to the public through radio, social media and publications to get people thinking about the value Saskatchewan’s trade infrastructure brings to our economy and the people of this province.

It is what we bring forward to conversations with groups such as the City of Regina, the City of Saskatoon, SUMA, SARM, the Saskatchewan Trucking Association and chambers of commerce. We encourage municipally elected officials, business owners and administration to recognize how trade benefits from this infrastructure and to echo our message about investment in it.

If you can’t move it, you can’t sell it. That’s a message that resonates with everyone.   

Between opportunity and crisis, Saskatchewan and Canada face a choice. We have opportunity but we need a plan to capitalize on it over the long term to rebuild this country’s trading reputation.

Helping those who make decisions about funding trade infrastructure to recognize that opportunity and choose to support strategic investment that betters this country is why SHCA works with other champions.