ACEC-BC COVID-19 Advisory Team: Meeting #7

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Meeting 7: Don’t call it a comeback

This afternoon the Premier is set to discuss the restart BC plan. While much of this province has been dormant as a result of the Provincial Health Officer’s orders, the consulting sector has continued to make progress on public and private infrastructure programs across the province and around the world. Our focus therefore is not to restart or come back to work, but to pragmatically consider our transition back to workplaces and practices employed pre-pandemic.

I’m fine, thanks.

This week the Canadian Mental Health Association is building awareness through their Mental Health Awareness Week campaign. The focus – what I say and what I really mean – deals with the challenges many of us face in balancing our personal mental wellness and the pressures of our work, family and life commitments. I encourage you to explore the resources on our ACEC-BC Mental Health Resources page, including Effective Leadership: A Series for Supporting and Dealing with Issues Related to Mental Well-Being in the Workplace During a Time of Crisis.

ACEC-BC COVID-19 Advisory Group:

Our meeting last week had a focus on our work in the field and how we work in the office:

  • Utilities Integration: in response to the pandemic, BC Hydro put their attention to supporting the health & safety of their team members and to ensuring provision of electricity to the province was uninterrupted. Their attention to essential service meant that field crews were not able to attend to integration and relocation work necessary for roadworks, water and sewer and other infrastructure construction projects. In the last few weeks BC Hydro deployed a team to triage this backlog and address work in sequence.
  • System Recovery: reduced ridership in the lower mainland led to a curtailment of transit service. TransLink is now turning their focus to system recovery. Beginning June 1 transit riders will be able to access buses using the front door. Capacity will be added in July and again in September in anticipation of increased traffic.
  • Public Consultation: all public sector agencies are required in one form or another to consult with the public. A temporary suspension of this requirement allowed projects to move forward with limited consultation; agencies are now turning their focus to honour consultation requirements using virtual tools.   
  • Remote communalities and vulnerable colleagues: rural, remote and indigenous communities are expressing concern regarding their vulnerability to infection from non-residents entering their community for work or travel. The Advisory Group is sharing information to support individuals and communities to stay safe and well; we hope to share this information in future practice guidance on our COVID-19 Resource Centre.

Our team continues to work hard to support members through our advocacy and offering opportunities for members to engage virtually through our new Wednesday Lunch & Learn webinar series:

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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