ACEC-BC COVID-19 Advisory Team: Meeting #6

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Meeting 6: Powering up

Last week the government of Saskatchewan released the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan. The staged plan pre-empted announcements from other provinces and the federal government’s recommended guidelines. Without similar guidance from our provincial government, the plan provides some insight into how other western provinces may phase in services. Importantly, the plan retains strict limits on gatherings through the fourth of five phases.

In BC, our plans to transition back to the office will include similar restrictions. Our existing Provincial Health Order limits gatherings to 50-people, which in many cases is far less than our office capacity. Plans will also need to consider whether we will welcome visitors to our offices including clients, partners, and other consultants. While we can work separately to develop these plans, we do have a great opportunity to coordinate efforts within the industry much like our partners in construction have done to assure site safety. Coordination ensures that each of us knows how to behave and what to expect when entering each other’s facilities and allows us to learn from each others on challenges and successes.

The ACEC-BC COVID-19 Advisory Group identified some barriers to active practice and construction including:

  • Regulation & Certifications: Practitioners who require health and other testing to recertify or retain their qualification are having trouble gaining access to services. In some cases, provincial regulators are looking to federal regulators for direction and will release guidance regarding extension of existing qualifications or suspension of requirements until services become available.
  • Utilities Alignment: Construction sites usually require coordinating relocation or integration of utility connections. This work is scheduled with utility providers and completed by the utility’s crew. While our utility providers determined how to keep their crews safe, they deprioritised some work. We are working with BC Hydro to address scheduling and coordination of construction.

As we look ahead, we will start to address how we can support BC infrastructure owners in developing opportunities to access stimulus funding. ACEC-BC is facilitating early conversations between members and partners to identify an effective framework to assess opportunities.

When the ACEC-BC COVID-19 Advisory Group meets on Thursday, April 30, we will again be discussing health and safety and industry resilience.

  • Contract Management: On April 29, ACEC-BC partnered with Associate Member Singleton Reynolds to offer a webinar on legal and insurance mechanisms to help manage delays in construction resulting from the pandemic.
  • Shifting to Digital: ACEC-BC is partnering with Notarius, the City of Surrey, and Binnie to support members and clients interested in adopting digital sign / seal for engineering documents.
  • Supporting Wellness: Next week ACEC-BC will release a series highlighting resources and practices to promote mental health.

Questions? Concerns?We want to hear from you. Submit your comments and issues through the ACEC-BC online feedback portal available on the ACEC-BC Resource Centre. Issues submitted will be forwarded to the Advisory Group for review and comment.

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