You won’t find a Winnipeg Blue Bombers jersey hanging in
the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association (SHCA)
office. Nor will you see a Calgary Flames flag flying in downtown
Winnipeg where the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association
(MHCA) calls home.
But these three prairie provinces – Manitoba, Saskatchewan and
Alberta – will always consolidate their passion in one arena. That arena is
With hopes of having their voice heard, SHCA, MHCA, the Alberta
Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association (ARHCA) and the
B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction (B.C. Road Builders) are collaborating
on a policy paper that overall highlights the national importance
of the economic impact that their sector brings to the table.
“With the western provinces feeling the pinch, it seemed like the
perfect time to light this fire,” said Shantel Lipp, president of SHCA.
“In Saskatchewan, with the province’s new growth plan and the other
high-level things they’re looking to accomplish between now and 2030, it
just seemed like perfect timing to re-ignite this discussion and to revive the
Western Canadian road builders.”
The general theme of the paper is economic growth. It borrows a similar
mindset of that of the Asia–Pacific Gateway and Corridor plan. That
initiative included a system of transportation infrastructure through B.C.’s
Lower Mainland and Prince Rupert ports, road and rail connections
that reach across Western Canada and into the economic heartlands of
The purpose of the Asia-Pacific Gateway strategy was to establish
Canada’s Asia-Pacific corridor as the best transportation network facilitating
global supply chains between North America and Asia.
Trade infrastructure and the economy are closely linked. However, a
sluggish economy in the west – with B.C. being the exception – essentially
has killed any thoughts of spending on new roads and highways.
The Manitoba government significantly cut from its highways budget
and pulled back funding to municipalities for sorely needed infrastructure.
By Martin Charlton Communications
Western Canada’s road building associations are working
together on a joint policy paper to amplify their message
thinkbigmagazine.ca | Quarter 2 2020 | Think BIG 15