WINNIPEG — Recent municipal elections have given the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association (MHCA) a renewed sense of purpose to continue to advocate for infrastructure.
The election, which re-elected Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman, saw the new council composed almost equally of returning and new representatives.
According to The Heavy News Weekly, the association’s publication, the MHCA intends to reach out to new council members.
“We welcome all council members, in Winnipeg and rural municipalities, and thank them – and those who were not elected – for running for office,” said MHCA president Chris Lorenc.
Lorenc himself was a Winnipeg councillor from 1983 to 1992.
He added he intends to open discussion about the infrastructure priorities in Winnipeg which includes confirming the program for street renewal rises each year by the $11 million raised from the two per cent annual levy dedicated to that purpose.
He also believes more progress must be made on procurement practices to ensure tenders are advertised well in advance of the construction season each year, making the most of the limited months available to get work done.
The association wants to continue to work closely to ensure aggregate deposits, a key component in infrastructure projects, are secure. Recent amendments to the Planning Act have helped bring some certainty that applications for pits and quarries that meet requirements are not delayed.
“We’ve had good relations with Mayor Bowman and with successive chairs of the Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works Committee and we know that foundation will serve Winnipeggers well as we concentrate on reducing the infrastructure investment deficit,” said Lorenc. “There remains a substantial gap between what is and what must be invested in our streets and roads, to bring our transportation system to good shape, as a whole.”