While welcoming the initiative that the bill represents, The OIQ thinks that it ought to clearly distinguish between investments intended to maintain or restore existing infrastructures and those for development projects.
Maintenance and restoration are obligations dictated by the requirements of safety, health and the public interest. Development investments, on the other hand, are socio-economic or political choices, not obligations dictated by the principles of sound infrastructure management. "The government and infrastructure managers must give priority to correcting the maintenance deficit before considering new developments," pointed out Mr. Zaki Ghavitian, Eng., the OIQ's president.
The OIQ also recommends that the maintenance and refurbishing programs that result from the action plans be included in long-term investment plans, covering a ten-year period. To that effect, the OIQ's president is recommending the creation of a monitoring and follow-up agency. According to Mr. Ghavitian, "the action plans must be submitted to this independent agency, which then makes the necessary checks, consolidates the information and sends it to the Treasury Board. It must act in total transparency so that it can inform society about the choices it faces and restore public confidence." It should be given the responsibility of reporting to government on the general state of infrastructure management, especially with respect to maintenance deficits and investments.
With regard to large-project governance, the OIQ notes that the government has decided to make substantial use of public-private partnerships. Without criticizing the value of this form of execution, the OIQ insists that it is essential for any large project to satisfy rigor, quality, expertise and competence criteria in its execution.
About the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec
Founded in 1920, the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec has a membership of more than 60,000 engineering professionals in all fields, except forest engineering.
The mission of the OIQ is to ensure the protection of the public by supervising the practice of the profession within the framework of its constituent laws and ensure that the profession serves the public interest.