Manitoba construction industry leader fears government delays, restraints causing “Perfect Storm”

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A Manitoba construction leader fears government delays and restraints are directing his industry toward a “perfect storm.”

An email obtained by the Winnipeg Sun, which is attributed to Manitoba Heavy Construction Association (MHCA) president Chris Lorenc, claims the city failed to tender enough construction work and uses a tendering process that is “so bureaucratic it ensures failure.”

This, combined with provincial and federal cuts, threatens to spark layoffs, lead workers to leave the province and/or have companies run out of work within the next six weeks, the newspaper reports the email as saying.

“ The City of Winnipeg’s budget award process has been nothing short of appalling; the change in the federal government and its infrastructure budget priorities are still unclear; and we have a new provincial government which, while in the throes of reviewing the fiscal situation it is in, has cut the highway program by $50 million – 10 per cent – and has apparently stalled further tenders pending review,” the email says.

The Sun says Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona), who’s taken out radio ads to pressure council to approve more road work, said the statement is proof council must add to its list of projects for this construction season. “It’s a great time for us to put more dollars out because the industry needs the work and we’re getting better pricing,”

Wyatt is quoted as saying. Wyatt says the city looks set to save at least $8.65 million on three construction projects where bids came in lower than expected this season, which should be invested now.

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