Saskatchewan's Major Capital Projects and Industry Sustainability

ACEC-SK has been advocating for specific long-term provincial capital spending information for a long of time.  Our argument has always been, and continues to be, that releasing this information in a timely way allows industry to resource plan more effectively.  We are very pleased that in response to COVID, the provincial government has been engaging in conversations with industry in a deliberate intent to be more transparent about upcoming capital projects, using such techniques as Market Sounding, Information Sessions and others.

Just as importantly, we have also identified that a measured spending pace allows industry to respond effectively and creates a greater benefit to the taxpayer.  By avoiding the peaks and valleys, by not flooding the market with artificially high demands for services, the market will remain stable because the supply of services will remain stable.  If demand becomes artificially high, it exhausts supply, puts upward pressure on pricing, and eventually leads to an extreme downturn in demand as capital budgets are consumed.  This is not good for the long-term sustainability of our industry.  It will again result in consulting engineering firms releasing staff, and firms leaving the province.

Right now ACEC-SK is very concerned that a new trend of artificial supply is occurring.  While an increase in spending is what our industry requested, the magnitude of this increase is creating a distortion in the marketplace. We engaged with government about this prior to the writ period, and we will continue to engage on this matter after the election to communicate the benefits of a measured pace for future capital spending. 

October 5, 2020

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