The OIQ President pointed out "that at a time when various levels of government are approving massive investments to overcome the infrastructure maintenance deficit and build new structures, in order to stimulate the economy, Québec must break with the management methods of the past if it is to ensure the durability of its public structures and spend the public's money wisely."
The Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec favourably welcomes the extensive latitude granted to Infrastructure Québec, compared to the Public-Private Partnerships Agency of Québec, in the choice of execution methods. "However, the collapse of a portion of the La Concorde Overpass, the partial or total decommissioning of so many structures in the wake of the Johnson Commission report and the recent events involving the contract award process serve as lessons about our current methods and the corrective measures we need to apply to infrastructure management," added Ms. Cohen.
In its brief, the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec submitted a series of recommendations to give Québec an overall approach to managing its public infrastructures. It must shed the reflex of engaging in day-to-day management and instead concentrate on an integrated approach, which takes into account the full structure lifecycle: construction, maintenance, renovation, upgrading and eventual demolition.
The OIQ considers an organization like Infrastructure Québec to be the ideal instrument for ensuring that the managers of pubic infrastructures prepare long-term maintenance and financing plans, in order to offer a satisfactory service level at the right cost for society.
Programs for the maintenance of new infrastructures should be filed with this agency, which would make the necessary verifications, consolidate the information and send it to the government. The activities of this agency must be fully transparent so that it can provide information to society on the choices that must be made as well as restore the public trust. The agency must report to the government on the general state of infrastructure management, in particular with respect to maintenance and investment deficits.
The Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec considers Infrastructure Québec to be ideally suited to act as consultant and guide public infrastructure managers. It should collect relevant information on the state of our structures, thus becoming a collective memory of the maintenance of our public infrastructures. The OIQ is convinced that as a result, not only the managers of the public institutions contemplated by the draft law would rely on it but so would others who build and operate structures, including municipalities that are less well endowed to deal with major projects for their community.