WINNIPEG – The head of Manitoba’s heavy construction association is worried about layoffs in peak road repair season.
City Hall could be under budget when it comes to this year’s projects, according to a few councillors.
But Chris Lorenc says there are construction companies whose volumes of work are up to 30 percent less this season.
“We have people who have worked in our industry, who, because they haven’t been called back, are shopping around with their resumes to competitor companies because they don’t have work. It’s a perfect storm that’s hit our industry this year.”
Lorenc says the tendering of projects has been timely, but awarding projects to contractors has not been. He’s not a fan of the way the process works downtown.
“They need to understand that the roles and responsibilities of the elected branch of council are vastly different than the roles and responsibilities of a professional administration,” Lorenc explains. “When you blur the lines, that’s when you get the kinds of problems we’re seeing this construction season.”
Lorenc feels that there will be extra money to spend on projects this year, an idea that has been pushed hard by councillor Russ Wyatt.
“Unfortunately, what we have been told is that administration won’t know until mid-July whether or not they are at-budget, under-budget or over-budget,” Lorenc says. “Even if they did have a surplus, it doesn’t have designed projects that they could take to the field.”
Lorenc says they will put forth a proposal tomorrow in hopes of changing the structure of how the projects get approved.