by Shantel Lipp Shantel Lipp

One of the best parts of my job as president is interacting with the many members of the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association (SHCA).

Heavy civil construction is filled with dedicated, hard-working and passionate individuals who take great pride in a job well done. While some outside of our industry might think heavy construction is only about paving, we know there is so much more happening when we look at the work done by our membership. That is why we use the tagline, “If the Earth moved, it was us.”

The scale of the infrastructure developed and maintained by our members is tremendous. These projects often have long timelines, complex engineering requirements and significant environmental considerations. Highways, roads and parking lots are just a few examples of public infrastructure improvements that SHCA members complete.

Other heavy civil construction projects include excavating and preparing sites for commercial and industrial sites or subdividing land into individual lots for homes. There are those who do underground utility work and some who tackle water infrastructure, such as water diversion tunnels, water and sewer lines, water drainage and irrigation ditches and bridges. 

We welcome contractors, suppliers, engineers and other professionals as members. They are designing and planning, supplying materials and equipment, and constructing structures that are cost effective while maintaining the flow of public operations and delivering results that will benefit people for decades to come. There are also those whose financial expertise and legal proficiency are necessary for contracts to be developed and proceed. Other professionals are responding to tenders, doing payroll, processing payments and conducting other administrative work necessary to keep our members’ businesses running.

The work of our members supports other major sectors of Saskatchewan’s economy, including the transportation, agriculture and energy sectors. Many recent projects that have proceeded in Saskatchewan began with the work of SHCA members.

SHCA members can be found at sites where canola crush plants are developed, where mines need access roads and haul roads, at airports where runways are being improved and much more. These are just a few examples of how our industry supports the evolving infrastructure needs and economic growth of Saskatchewan in ways that go beyond building, widening and improving highways.

What’s the big deal? All of this work and all of these people are an immensely big deal – not just to our association, but to our province and its prosperity. I am mentioning all of this because I know there are others out there doing this vitally necessary work who would benefit from being an SHCA member. 

We want to welcome more of them into the association. We are developing even more ways to provide additional resources and deliver greater value to our existing membership, which I feel confident will appeal to new members as well.

Growing our membership and reviewing our members’ return on investment were two of the priorities set by the SHCA board at its April meeting. Another priority is to work with other industries to deliver messages to the voters, candidates and parties about the importance of adequate investment in the critical infrastructure needed by our province to create more opportunities in Saskatchewan.

We will work to deliver this message as we head towards a fall provincial election. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Saskatchewan has a big job ahead of it. Getting on top of it will take someone speaking up to say we need to do better. That someone will be us – SHCA, representing members who continue to better Saskatchewan. We encourage SHCA members to like SHCA on Facebook or LinkedIn to follow this advocacy as it unfolds.