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Why don’t we capitalize on homegrown know-how?

OTTAWA, Ont. -- Given the success Canadian companies have abroad, one would think the federal government would even...


OTTAWA, Ont. — Given the success Canadian companies have abroad, one would think the federal government would eventually clue in and employ their services at home, but that’s rarely the case.

Take Canada’s northern experience; crumbling and often poorly designed highways coupled with a generally weaker economy the further north you move. Canadian firm Dessau-Soprin has a wide range of expertise in the fields of engineering and construction, reflecting Canadian excellence in the international market in over 30 countries.

The firm carries out projects that open up remote areas and create optimum conditions for economic development, while making the environment the number one priority.

Active on the international scene since the early 1970s, Dessau-Soprin has won numerous awards for excellence, including a 2001 Award for International Cooperation for its Highway 2000 project in Jamaica. This is its third award for international cooperation in six years. Highway 2000, a four-lane freeway under construction, will link Kingston with Montego Bay.

Using state-of-the-art Canadian surveying technologies, Dessau-Soprin evaluated the technical, economic and environmental impacts of the project, as well as the possible repercussions on the communities along the entire 240-km route. Construction of the new highway — which is creating considerable local employment — is taking place through a private-public partnership, under a BOT (build, operate and transfer) formula.

And then consider the plight of Western Canadian grain haulers who are being crushed by changes to their industry’s transportation network. Winnipeg’s Campbell Agri Business Strategists is a management consulting firm currently working to reform far worse problems in India.

The country continues to suffer from famines and food riots at the same time as up to 15 per cent of its surplus supply of food grains is rotting every year.

Surely if Campbell is able to work with the Indian government and that country’s private sector to modernize India’s bulk grain handling, storage and transportation system it could make some improvements here at home.


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