The Low-Down on Construction – November 4, 2019

The federal election is over, the voters have had their say, and a new landscape is forming across the country. Much will be said about the latest federal election, and the fallout will continue for weeks and months.  The biggest question:  will Prime Minister Trudeau make any course corrections to a mixed verdict by voters?

What remains clear, considering the Liberals being shut out on the prairies, is that Prime Minister Trudeau will need to address some economic realities in addition to the political ones in Saskatchewan. The reality is, now more than ever, we need a renewed commitment to infrastructure.  Our industries – agriculture, mining, energy, transportation, and more – cannot function let alone thrive without infrastructure. And our province and country cannot thrive without our industries.

If the federal government is serious not only about repairing frayed regional relationships, then they should immediately sit down with provincial, municipal, and other local leaders to identify vital infrastructure projects that will help get our economy moving again. As we’ve noted in the past, Saskatchewan’s infrastructure needs cover three main areas:

  • Catching up to the infrastructure deficit decades of anemic growth have left behind
  • Investing in the immediate needs our province needs like improved highways and bridges, and
  • Planning for the future growth our province will need in the years and decades to come

It is imperative that the projects the federal government helps build should be driven by the province and municipalities themselves. Across the province we have very real need for water and wastewater treatment upgrades, drainage, highway safety, roads, and bridges, and more. Much like the previous government’s “Canada Action Plan” that put a special focus on projects of this nature, the federal government should forego “feel good” projects with an eye towards broader economic impact and ROI.

Despite the Liberals being shut out completely in Saskatchewan and Alberta, the Trudeau government now has an opportunity to make these investments where they are needed and where they will have the most benefit without a looming election clouding their judgement. They must deal directly with provincial and local officials to get the job done.

MERIT Saskatchewan renews our call for federal and provincial governments to continue to work together to help build the infrastructure projects we need today and tomorrow.

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