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March 21, 2005

CCA CONFERENCE COVERAGE

Motion endorsed at meeting

Board supports formation of round table on infrastructure

CANCUN, Mexico

The board of directors of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) has thrown its support behind creation of the National Round Table on Sustainable Infrastructure.

Acting on a motion from the roadbuilders and heavy construction council, the board endorsed the association’s participation in the establishment and operation of the new organization.

To be modeled on the existing National Round Table on the Economy and the Environment, the entity would provide a permanent forum whereby the three levels of government, the private sector and the research community could come together to discuss the needs, information gaps and the strategic, long-term direction of Canada’s core physical infrastructure.

The round table would report to the federal infrastructure minister.

Late last year, the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers approached CCA about sitting on a steering committee to create the organization.

Association officials have participated in committee meetings.

Other groups represented on the committee include the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Infrastructure Canada and the Canadian Public Works Association.

“It is the group’s intention to now begin a wider ‘reaching out’ process, particularly among provincial governments and other private-sector organizations to broaden the (round table’s) inclusion,” said Jeff Morrison, secretary to the roadbuilders’ council.

Jeff Morrison

In a Jan. 28 memo, Morrison said the steering committee is seeking seed funding from Infrastructure Canada to get the new organization off the ground.

“They are not seeking funding from CCA, although such a request may be forthcoming in the future.”

On another front, the CCA board also approved participation in the national InfraGuide program —essentially a network of various stakeholders involved in core infrastructure development who look at and develop solutions to the technical challenges related to infrastructure development in Canada.

These solutions are published in best practices documents that a growing number of municipalities are adopting when tendering projects.

In a memo, Morrison said CCA participation in the process would give contractors a voice in development of these practices.

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