January 2002


"A review of the past month and what's ahead!"


The Business of Canadian Engineering

ACEC addresses the threat to terrorism acts insurance coverage

In a letter addressed to Finance Minister Paul Martin, ACEC raises its concerns with the current state of the insurance industry towards terrorism attack insurance coverage. Following the World Trade Center terrorist attack insurance companies and re-insurance companies have reacted by imposing policy restrictions that exclude terrorism as an “insured risk” from a wide range of insurance policies, including those that insure property, liability and errors and omissions. This action has already been implemented on the renewal of property policies covering an array of buildings, large high-rise buildings and civil structures. The full impact of these exclusions should be felt on policies renewing this year. As of January 1, 2002 most of the Canadian insurance companies will have renewed their re-insurance treaties. It is believed that these new re-insurance treaties will contain language that removes or seriously restricts the ability of insurers in Canada to provide coverage for any form of terrorist loss.

The impact of the proposed exclusion goes far beyond insurance. Financial institutions are reluctant to provide funding where the terrorism risk is not insured. As such, we can expect a freeze in funding for large commercial projects, for infrastructure projects, for energy related projects and possibly for other projects as well. ACEC will continue to monitor this issue in the following months and lobby the federal government to act on the matter. For a copy of the letter sent to Minister Martin, please visit our Web-site at: http://www.acec.ca/pdf/


The creation of a Strategic Infrastructure Foundation, announced in the December 2001 Federal Budget will require the introduction of legislation in the House of Commons. ACEC has developed a strategy to support the rapid approval of the Bill in Parliament and the swift establishment of the Foundation, which will operate at “arms length” from the government. The strategy calls for ACEC to write to key elected officials including the Prime Minister and to submit a brief to the Parliamentary Committee that will review the legislation.

The ACEC strategy on the Foundation as well as the ACEC letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Infrastructure can be found on the ACEC Web site at http://www.acec.ca/pdf/
strategy_infra_2002.pdf, http://www.acec.ca/pdf/
Infra_PM_Letter.pdf and http://www.acec.ca/pdf/f


The overall goal of the ACEC lobbying strategy is to promote the rapid establishment of the Strategic Infrastructure Foundation which must be effective, efficient and user-friendly for the consulting engineering industry.


The specific objectives of ACEC are to make representation for:

  1. The swift approval by parliament of the Bill so it can receive funds before March 31, 2002.

  2. An effective and efficient Foundation with decision-making and administrative procedures to facilitate the implementation of sound projects in a timely fashion.

  3. A Foundation that is open to new ideas and innovative ways of supporting infrastructure projects.

  4. A governance structure for the Foundation that can expedite investments, with a Board composed of knowledgeable individuals, including representatives from the consulting engineering industry.

  5. A Foundation that can earn a good reputation with governments and the different partners and, thus, create a climate for growth and further funding.

  6. A Foundation that will work in harmony with the provincial and municipal levels of government in identifying and prioritizing projects.

ACEC members wishing further information are invited to contact the ACEC President, Mr. Claude Paul Boivin at 1-800-565-0569 ext. 201

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