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Manitoba reviewing industry concerns over project scoping: MHCA

September 24, 2021  By Manitoba Heavy Construction Association/Rock to Road Staff

Manitoba is considering the concerns of the heavy construction industry regarding the scoping and scheduling of large projects, infrastructure department officials in the province tell the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association (MHCA).

The contracts associated with the Lake Manitoba-Lake St. Martin outlet channels, of particular concern to MHCA members, were a focus of discussion at a meeting between industry and government in early September.

“Our concerns regarding the scoping of the construction contracts, and the ability of the local industry to respond in the bidding process, were discussed along with the schedules, which appear to present very tight deadlines,” MHCA President Chris Lorenc told the association’s executive committee at a Sept. 22 meeting.

“The department understood the need to size the projects such that local as well as extra-provincial contractors were able to bid.”


The senior department officials also reassured the MHCA that they are working toward releasing multi-year highways capital budgets, with the ultimate goal being annual and five-year investment plans.

Other MHCA updates

Also discussed at the Sept. 22 meeting:

  • Lorenc and MHCA Chair Nicole Chabot also met with interim Premier Kelvin Goertzen on Sept. 16 to communicate the need to invest public dollars strategically to enable economic growth, and reassert the MHCA’s six principles for core infrastructure investment, which also underscores the goal of economic growth.
  • A summit hosted Sept. 8 by the Canadian Construction Association, Economic Development Canada and the Western Canada Roadbuilders & Heavy Construction Association on the need for a significant increase to national investment in trade gateways and corridors found unanimous support for the concept. The next steps include a public release of a report out of the summit, which attracted leaders from a number of industries and sectors across the economy, and various organizations presenting the case to respective politicians in their provinces.
  • The provincial Quarry Rehab Program review by an advisory committee has discussed a number of issues for a revitalized program, including set backs from property lines and adjustment to the levy collected from the aggregate producers.
  • The executive committee members also discussed the format for a possible MHCA Chair’s Gala in 2021. Further discussion will take place at the Sept. 29 board of directors meeting, with consideration of various kinds of settings, in light of Manitoba’s public health restrictions on large indoor gatherings.

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