Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Hiring by contractors, road builders head in different directions

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Derrick Penner, Vancouver Sun

There has not been a lot to write about this week. Or at least anything where I felt I had anything worth adding. On the whole I prefer to have things that I want to comment upon rather than just pass along. I assume that my readers are a well informed bunch who probably look at many of the same rss feeds and email lists that I do.

This piece today simply confirms what I was writing fairly recently, that the people who build houses and condos are not the same as those that build roads. So while housing construction is going to slow down that does not necessarily mean that resources can be switched into the road building sector. The skill sets and experience may be related, but they are different.

It may also be worth noting today’s Vaughan Palmer piece on what the economic downturn does to the province’s budgetary predictions. Millions this year (there are still five months to go in the fiscal year) but billions for the next three years (the “planning cycle”). Since contracts have not yet been signed on the Gateway projects, this again may not be bad news. The “fairy gold” of the P3s has also dried up, so the public sector will be required to pick up much more of the tab. Though no doubt Mr Falcon will still be considering how much more of the provincial pension plan funds he can divert. A prospect which, as a future beneficiary, alarms me considerably. It is one thing to see my RRSP dwindle, it is quite something else to contemplate the possibility that civil service pensions could now be at risk to prop up the follies of misguided politicians

Written by Stephen Rees

October 30, 2008 at 9:20 am

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