Ontario Construction News staff writer
The federal budget tabled in the House of Commons last week fell short on providing the right conditions to deliver on the government’s build back better objectives, says the Canadian Construction Association.
News of a $183.2 million investment over seven years for the development of innovative construction materials and revitalizing building standards to encourage low-carbon construction solutions will help the industry build resiliently, however the federal government is not the plan needed to address aging infrastructure and future needs.
Canada’s construction industry says federal budget misses the mark when it comes to building back better
“An investment in infrastructure is an investment in Canada’s growth economy and in the well-being of Canadians,” said Mary Van Buren, president of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA). “Infrastructure builds schools for our kids and the hospitals that care for us, keeps our water clean and our homes heated, and maintains the roads, bridges and trade corridors that connect our communities not only to each other but also to the global marketplace.”
“While we applaud efforts to improve the social condition of Canadians through announced investments in healthcare, housing affordability, clean technology and dental care, it’s important to remember that these things cannot be built, serviced and accessed without the critical infrastructure that Canadians rely on every day.”
With reports that Canada has fallen from 10th to 32nd in terms of global trade infrastructure, the CCA urges the government to scale up trade infrastructure to build supply chain capacity, support green innovation and emerging technologies, create transformational jobs, and fuel our global competitiveness.
A long-term strategy is needed to shore up trade-enabling infrastructure. While the Western Canada Trade Gateways and Corridors Initiative (WCTGCI) would boost domestic and international trade and bring public and private investments to Western Canada’s trade transportation network, the overall economy needs reliable infrastructure to connect supply chains and efficiently move goods and services across borders, the CCA encouraged in its pre-budget submission to the government.
The budget failed to create a consistent and long-term infrastructure investment plan that benefits all Canadians and is aligned with the current and future needs of the provinces; contracting that supports fair competition, innovation and shared risk; and developing a pipeline of skilled and talented workers.