A strengthened partnership between government and the B.C. construction industry was announced by Premier Christy Clark and Manley McLachlan, president of the B.C. Construction Association.
"B.C.'s construction industry plays a key role in creating jobs and building and strengthening our economy," said Premier Clark. "We are committed to working with the industry to ensure we're delivering the best infrastructure at an affordable price for taxpayers."
The 14-member group will consult, discuss and share information and ideas related to improving government's infrastructure procurement practices and use of construction-industry resources. The committee, created in response to industry calls for a stronger relationship with government, will have representatives from both government and industry.
"The Infrastructure Forum is an important step in strengthening public-sector procurement processes," said McLachlan. "With nearly $80 billion worth of construction underway in the province now, and more expected in the future, we're looking forward to continued steady progress on this issue."
Government's current guidelines for planning and managing publicly funded capital assets have been in place for over 10 years. Committee members will work collaboratively to provide recommendations to government about updating, implementing and communicating changes to the Capital Asset Management Framework (CAMF), including the oversight functions to ensure compliance with these guidelines.
"Our government is committed to putting British Columbia on the right path to eliminate the deficit, meet key infrastructure and service delivery needs, and build a more competitive economy that attracts jobs and investment," Finance Minister Michael de Jong said. "We will work with the industry to review opportunities to improve procurement and delivery of infrastructure projects and ensure maximum value is achieved for taxpayer investment."
On the committee will be five construction industry representatives - including members with multiple trade affiliations - and two representatives from design consultants' associations. Committee representatives for government will include deputy ministers responsible for much of government procurement and construction: Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology; Citizens' Services and Open Government; Education; Health; and Transportation and Infrastructure.
The committee will be co-chaired by the deputy minister of Finance and the B.C. Construction Association (BCCA) board chair. Three special advisors have been named. They are Manley McLachlan, president, BCCA; Philip Hochstein, president, ICBA; and Sarah Clark, president and CEO, Partnerships BC.
Creating this committee is in keeping with the B.C. government's Jobs Plan, an economic action plan designed to attract new investment in order to protect and create jobs in every region of the province.
- Taxpayer-supported infrastructure spending on B.C. hospitals, schools, post secondary facilities, transit and roads is expected to total $10.5 billion between 2012-13 to 2014-15 (source: First Quarterly Report - September 2012).
- During the same time period, a total of $8.8 billion is forecast to be spent on self-supported infrastructure such as electrical generation, transmissions and distribution projects, the Port Mann Bridge and other capital assets in B.C.
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Finance
B.C. Construction Association