On behalf of CEA, the following will provide an update to our member companies during these unprecedented times. Although there is a sense of stress and concern weighing on everyone through our organizations and communities, times of crisis also provide times of opportunity for us, to find new solutions and ways of doing business, on both the short and long term.
As with each of your organizations, in this time of disruption, CEA has been forced to make decisions quickly, both internally and in working with our external client groups and allied industry associations. During the past year, we had reduced our staff and moved our office location to reduce costs. Early last week we further reduced staff in recognition of the current and forecast stoppage of industry events. Industry events and membership fees are our two sources of revenue. We have cancelled or postponed a number of events. The CEA Annual General meeting will be on May 14, 2020, 9:30 am with further details to follow. We have adapted to the new normalcy with remaining staff working remotely from their homes and meetings being held on a virtual basis.
Most importantly, we want to assure you that we are still playing a vital role in communicating with the government on behalf of industry. Over the past two weeks, CEA has been actively engaged in a number of personal and group meetings with provincial government representatives. This includes roundtable discussions with Premier Kenney and his Cabinet, numerous calls with Deputy Ministers and ongoing meetings with government staff responsible for procurement and delivery of projects. We have attempted to identify any severe or sudden impacts to our members’ businesses that could prevent full delivery of the current Capital Plan.
One of the first issues discussed was industry’s concern regarding liquidity. We have received assurance that the government’s business continuity plan is in place and prompt payment to all of their suppliers is considered to be a critical item. A variety of discussions have taken place in relation to existing and planned contracts, approval processes, time extensions for RFPs and tenders and how Force Majeure clauses will be handled in this time of crisis. Further clarification on many of these issues will be communicated to you by the government. Risk uncertainty and disruptions to the supply chain (in relation to materials, sub-consultants, utilities, approvals, etc.) are a concern from both our industry and the government. Additionally, this issue has been magnified on potential fixed fee and large alternate delivery projects. Safety on construction sites is also a key topic of discussion. Many of the concerns heard from industry have been conveyed through the discussions.
Securing recovery from the economic pandemic will depend on the government implementing programs to protect people’s livelihoods. This has presented a tremendous opportunity for our industry. Meetings to discuss our capacity and ability to handle more work through an Infrastructure stimulus program, which at this time could be of significant size. CEA is continuing to work hard at staying on top and in front of the developing situation and to advocate on behalf of our membership - to maintain project delivery on the current program and expand work for the industry for the long term.
Things will continue to evolve quickly over the weeks ahead and through the power of dedicated people working together to overcome challenges on the short term, there will be some long-term benefits. We will continue to keep you informed and provide support during these critical times.