April 17, 2012
NDP Says Work by Private Sector Engineers "Less Safer" Than Government Engineers
NDP MLA Buckley Belanger yesterday suggested that highways designed by private consulting engineers will be "less safer" than if the same work was done by government engineers.
Yesterday in Question Period, Belanger was questioning Highways Minister Jim Reiter about the government's practice of using consulting engineers to do highway design work – a practice started in 1997 by the Romanow NDP government.
Belanger said: "Mr. Speaker, the people of this province will eventually be forced, we believe, to pay more through their taxes for roads which will be less safer, and of course more difficult to ensure quality control when you don't have staff to ensure that."
Reiter said the NDP's assertion that highways work done by private engineers is unsafe is both wrong and offensive.
"Every engineer treats safety as the highest priority, whether they work for the government or in the private sector," Reiter said. "The NDP's comments that somehow the highways designed by consulting engineers will be less safe are ridiculous, especially when you consider it was the NDP who started relying more heavily on consulting engineers to design highways 15 years ago."
"Under the NDP, the highways weren't unsafe because of who was designing them. They were unsafe because the NDP wasn't fixing them."
Reiter said Belanger should apologize to consulting engineers for suggesting their work was unsafe.