by Shantel Lipp Shantel Lipp

Government is a critical stakeholder in heavy construction.

When those in politics have a solid understanding of our industry, the decisions that get made are more likely to take into account the value we offer the province and its economy as well as the issues and concerns of those who make up the industry.

As you know, the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association is a member-driven association relied on to advocate for your interests. It is important to maintain a quality relationship with those who are elected to make decisions that impact our industry. 

SHCA has partnered with Martin Charlton Communications to ensure the most effective approach is used to represent our industry to elected officials and bureaucrats. Martin Charlton Communications has worked with local, regional, national and international organizations for the past two decades to help them connect with government by telling their story.

The right people need to be told that story and it needs to be told in the right way, which is what Martin Charlton Communications – and in particular, Kelly Gallagher – works with clients to develop. The strategies he creates help organizations promote their contributions, anticipate and avoid complications and guide them through the maze of government. Gallagher spent six years in professional political service on both the federal and provincial level – including serving as chief of staff for four provincial cabinet ministers, becoming one of the most well-known and respected figures in the Saskatchewan government relations industry. 

During the third week of August, Gallagher will meet with the SHCA board to discuss the six key factors to keep in mind when conducting a persuasive government relations campaign. This is an opportunity for the board to consider how these factors – patience, simple messaging, integrity, the influence of bureaucrats on politicians, alliances and maintaining contact – can be applied to our industry’s interests. 

The work required to maintain a mutually beneficial connection with government is never-ending and requires consistent attention and decisive action. The individuals elected to represent the citizens of Saskatchewan have so many perspectives and interests to consider. 

Taking the time to reflect on what it takes to effectively c0nsort with elected representatives, so that our industry and its interests receive the appropriate attention and consideration, is time well spent because of the benefits it will deliver to our membership. Infrastructure funding and fair bidding on projects, the regulation of our industry and safety matters are areas to focus on with government and this session with Gallagher should sharpen our focus and strengthen our tactics. 

The story we have to tell about our industry is one I take pride in telling during my interactions with those in government. Thank you for the opportunity to celebrate and advocate on your behalf.