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CCA taps national advisory councils on COVID-19 recovery strategy

The Canadian Construction Association’s new advisory councils held their first meeting to prepare recommendations for helping the industry and the country recover from the business shutdown triggered by the pandemic.

In a series of teleconference meetings, held during the week of April 6, five recommendations came back to guide the CCA on an economic recovery strategy. The top recommendation asked CCA to call upon the federal government to:

  • have shovel-ready projects at all levels of government, at all price points and across all asset types/sectors to ensure full industry participation;
  • approve municipal asset management plans where available; providing a percent of funds, rather than approving on a project by project basis. This avoids need to look at each project separately;
  • minimize the red tape, including softening requirements of a social nature in the short-term, accelerating permitting and simplifying forms;
  • Get tenders out as soon as possible;
  • Broaden categories of Investing in Canada plan: Saskatchewan, Manitoba do not need LRTs for example.
  • Budget for higher costs: lower productivity due to increased sanitation, physical distancing, etc.

The advisory councils also recommended the CCA continual update its national COVID-19 best practices, including how to address physical distancing when it is not possible onsite, and also ensure the supply for personal protection equipment. The CCA was asked to launch a training program on how to run a healthy and safe site to prepare members for possible similar outbreaks in the future.

The CCA sent a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office April 22 in response to the primary recommendation on the immediate investment in infrastructure projects.

The CCA noted it would be considering the use of webinars for the purpose of continual training for safety amid the pandemic public health orders.

It was agreed that, for virtual meetings, each NAC would use the video conferencing so members can see each other and that each meeting should begin with a brief recap of CCA initiatives.

There was also discussion about increasing the meeting frequency and broadening participation.