Manitoba Hydro’s intention to lay off 700 staff is cause for concern about how quickly the Crown corporation will respond to requests for locating of underground utilities.
The MHCA has contacted Hydro’s president and spoken directly to senior staff within the provincial government, impressing upon them the importance of timely locates to construction projects.
“I am assured that the government has our message, understands it and will act to ensure that Hydro understands the nature of our concern and the need for timely locates,” MHCA President Chris Lorenc said.
The MHCA is asking any member who experiences unusual delay in response to requests or to actual locates to let the association know.
The layoffs, which could happen as early as this week, were announced by Hydro as it attempts to find costs savings mandated by the provincial government during the COVID-19 pandemic. A Hydro spokesman said that the lay-offs could affect service requests, including locates.
There is concern, as well, that the lay-offs may affect Hydro’s Safety Watch program, which sends observers to watch excavation work at construction sites to prevent injury, property damage or damage to Manitoba Hydro facilities.